Today was a day like no other. By no other I mean dealing with something that I have never had to create a punishment for. Is it a punishment.....I meant a lesson.
You know like when my eldest at the age of 18 months old would mid tantrum begin to bang his head on the ground. I was at my wits end.....no idea what to do or how to handle it. Well , he will be 16 in 2 weeks. and I realized that the majority of what he did was based on my reactions.
My son has friends who are staying with us from Illinois. These are actually his best friends. The kind of friends that, as a mother you can just visualize them all standing up for each other as their Best Man. They have a strong brotherhood. They are very loyal to each other and would NEVER turn the other one in. So I pretty much knew how this would turn out when I confronted them.
Today I woke up and realized that something wasn't right. Then I began to notice some clues. (Which i cannot disclose because if he reads this it may only help him to not make those same mistakes in the future)
I realized that these boys had snuck out in the middle of the night to meet girls! Let me rephrase...not the middle of the night...2 am. It was that same exhausting feeling that I would get when he was a toddler and I didn't know how to handle the situation. I stewed on this all day and I'm not going to lie, I felt hurt, lied to and taken advantage of. Until about 4 pm, when I finally was able to sit them down and have the TALK! It was like looking at 3, 5 year old boys that had maybe taken a toy away from someone in kindergarten. But their not 5 years old. One is 15, one 16 and one 17.
Obviously, this is one of those things that you HAVE to nip in the bud. My way of handling it has to make such an impact on these boys that they will NEVER consider doing it again. Sure I could yell, ground, take priveleges away but with two boys from out of town, this would be a challenge.
So, I chose hard labor! I told them that they had to wash all of our windows inside and out, top to bottom. Then, I had a dresser that needed to be put together.
They thought they were getting off easy and agreed to the tasks. Until they finished the main floor and thought they were done.
(AHEM)~ "You still need to do the upstairs boys!"
"WHAT...how are we going to reach them?"
You can't see the third boy but he is on the inside cleaning that window.
It seemed to become quite the bonding experience. They will forever have this memory. While I felt that it was important for them to learn this lesson, my other thought was that these boys are going to be here until Sunday. Grounding them wasn't really even something I considered, and not something I think would have thought about in the future. They begged me NOT to call their mom and dad. They actually agreed to the windows under the condition that I NOT call their mom and dad. "Do I look like a negotiator?"
After speaking to both parents, I realized how this is the gift that keeps on giving. They too are planning on having these boys wash all of their windows as a follow up reminder to not even consider it in their home. The downfall of that is that my son will not get to participate in the "part two" of lessons in not to sneak out. But....I am sure I have more up my sleeve for him.