Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Gonna Stab You

Yup, those were the words my seven year old yelled today while we were outside ... in front of the neighbors.

The story: According to the news, this might be the last nice day for awhile. So, I decided I'd better rake the front yard (S did the back all by himself this weekend), and I figured since it was so sunny and pretty I'd pull C's bike out of the shed. When he got home from school (half day Monday's) his bike was out and I was raking. He was so excited and started riding away. Our neighbors came home from their Thanksgiving VK and their daughter, E, was running around chasing C. It was so cute. Anyway once the grownups finished unpacking their car they came over to chat. We were just about to wrap it up when C started going inside with E right behind him. I called out "hey pal where are you going?" and he said "to get a snack." at that I asked him to wait and he turned around and tried to slam the screen door. I jokingly said "you can't slam it, it's already broken." and then that is when he held up a stick and said "I'm gonna stab you." My first instinct was to correct his grammar and then send him to his room for eternity. But instead here is how it broke down.

L & J, I am sorry we need to go inside now (L & J are the grownups). C, get your bike and put it on the porch, it is time for you to go inside. Once we were inside I very calmly (almost too calmly) said "threatening to harm someone else is a no warning situation, you are going to be punished, sit here while I change my bandages" [ Bandages are another story, my right hand is all torn up from one Thanksgiving burn, a potato peeler mishap and a mystery gouge on my thumb - anyway they were all gross from raking] I took my sweet time changing out the bandages and let him stew for a few.

When I got back to the living room I think I was too calm again. No yelling, no spanking (we don't spank anyway, but I'd assume if we did we'd be instilling the policy here), no threatening, just very basic. "We don't threaten each other with violence ever, you need to go to your room; no TV, just sit on your bed, you can come out to use the bathroom or get a small drink of water. We'll see you at dinner." And off he went - no apologies, no crying, no nothing. And off I went, back to rake. I figured the hard labor would help me blow off some steam. I was really angry and to be honest, embarrassed.

As I was raking some time later, a man came up in his car and was obviously lost. He asked me in broken English to put an address in his GPS, but it wasn't in English and I was so clueless. I tried to give him directions but in the end I managed a very bad translation of "follow me." I called C down to hop in the car and we led the guy to his destination, it was only a mile away, and he was so thankful. In the car C says "Mom I have something to say, I am sorry and I appologize." I thanked him for his apology and dug my heels in expecting the next sentence "So, now can I go back outside?" To which I said "C I appreciate your apology, but threatening another person is very serious and a needs a harsher consequence than hanging out in your room for a half hour. When we get home you will need to return to your room. I hope that this helps you remember not to say those type of things again." He said nothing.

When we got home he attempted to slam the door on me, I pretended not to notice. Maybe I should of at least yelled or something, but really there was no outcome that could of been better if I had. The kid is grounded to his room until dinner time. Thanks to the attempted door slam, were eating later than normal and there will be no TV tonight for him. Zero. Dinner, homework, bath, bed.

It is weird. I don't feel bad about punishing him, this can't go unnoticed in my book. But I do feel guilty about not doing fun stuff with him today.


becca said...

You did the right thing! I think the calm route was the way to go, it shows that you will not be swayed with emotion. (man I have to remember that the next time I want to fly off the handel) I would have been mortified if the boys said that in front of another parent. But I think all our kids have done it. One of the little boys at scouts kept saying today "I would kill him" for every question I asked on stranger danger. I finally took him aside and said that was not how we talked in scouts and it was inapproriate. Come to find out he was likeing the reaction from the other boys every time he said it. shock value. Good luck , I think you got through to C. You did good!

Jamie said...

Wow!!! Good job! You handled that wonderfully!!

Kim said...

I know how it is. My kids have done some of the same things in front of people.You feel so embarassed and wonder what they think of you as a parent since your kid says that kind of stuff. Let it go, all kids do ro say stuff like that at some point. However Kudos to you for sticking to your guns. Im such a softy I dont stay mad for but a minute and its hard to go and yell at them after its been awhile because Im no longer mad. But good for you mama, Im sure it made him think about what he said and done though