Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)
TITLE: My Children Drive Me Crazy!
By Timmy Boyle
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There are many things in life that frustrate me, but two stand out more than any other. One is being a parent and the other is having children.
Now, I love my children immensely…I really do, but they drive me crazy. Of course, if you were to ask them, they’d probably say I drive them crazy, so I guess it’s a mutual relationship of frustration.
However, seeing as I am the one writing this article, I have chosen to leave my supposed faults out of it and focus solely on their obvious ones.
I think the main problem rests in the fact that they simply don’t listen. And sometimes when they don’t listen, there needs to be some sort of disciplinary action taken. And when she was younger, disciplining my middle daughter, in particular, was like disciplining a rubber ball.
You see, after disciplining Aliyah, I was always the one who walked away frustrated and angry…like I had been the one disciplined.
Aliyah is an incredibly sweet, forgiving, imaginative child who can still, bless her heart, be satisfied playing with a cardboard box and some bubble wrap. When a young child like this does get into trouble, and discipline is required, it is nearly impossible to make the “discipliner” feel like they actually got their point across.
We often tried sending her to her room, but whenever she would be banished in order to think about her “sin”, we would always hear laughter minutes later. She and her best friend, “Light” - her table lamp companion - always had an amazing time together. In fact, that little lamp had such amusing stories to tell, it actually made me jealous that “Light” was funnier than I was. Whenever her release was eventually granted, we would often be greeted with, “Thank you for sending me to my room.”
We also tried the, incredibly popular, “Time-Out” system, but do you know what happens when you sit a highly imaginative child in front of a blank wall for five minutes? Nothing…in our world. But "Aliyah-land", as she called it, was always busy with excitement. For my daughter, five minutes of time-out produced a life time of action and adventure in her alternate world. It wasn’t long before sending her to time-out was met with a hardy, “YAY!”
Aliyah liked to play…a lot, so her room was in a constant state of disarray. I don’t mind a little mess here and there but I do believe that there should be some sense of organization. I eventually stumbled across a parenting book that had what I thought was a pretty solid solution to this problem.
So, as the book said, I told Aliyah that at 5:00pm, anything still on the floor would be put in a box and kept in the basement for one month. Every 10 minutes I’d walk upstairs to find her watching TV, so I’d nicely remind her that time was slipping away. “30 minutes…20 minutes…10 minutes…You have one minute!” At 5:00pm I marched into her room and started tossing everything into a big box.
I will admit that I was gaining much satisfaction. “This will teach her”, I thought. But, then toys began appearing in the box that I wasn’t tossing in. I looked up to see Aliyah tossing toys in, as well. “Let me help you, Dad!”
A month later her room was spotless…because all of her toys were now neatly stored away in the basement. Finally, the time came for the first of the boxes to be returned. She excitedly ripped it open as if it was a Christmas present and gleefully proclaimed, “Oh, there it is…I’ve been looking all over for that!”
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