Saturday, April 24, 2010

Being Forced to be Good

I know it's been a while since I posted, forgive me. (Not sure if anyone even reads this thing but anyway....)

For those who don't know, I have seven boys. Ranging every two years from 12 down to 3 months. I realized the other day that my boys are only good when I force them to be good. I wonder if that is the nature of a boy? I don't know. Here is what I mean...

In the morning before school, they are not allowed to watch TV. That has been the rule since my 12-year-old was 5. We have never wavered from that rule. Early on, to "help" the situation. I programmed the cable box to block all shows from 5am until 9am so when they turn the TV on they can't get to anything. Thus, I was forcing them to be good by preventing them from disobeying.

When we got a new cable box, I didn't set the ban up and within a day they were down watching TV even though they knew they were not supposed to. I kept the ban off as an experiment and reminded them EVERY MORNING that they were not supposed to have the TV on. I did this for a week. Well the ban got put back on.

This week they had gotten some DVDs from the library. Well, all week I found them watching their DVDs!

This is just one of many things in the house. If I don't put in place forceful methods of making sure the children do the right thing, they won't do the right thing! Even my 12-year-old!

Just once, I would like them to do the right thing without being forced. But simply say to themselves (for instance), the rule is I don't eat outside the kitchen, I'm not going to eat on the couch.

Perhaps I'm asking too much. Who am I kidding, I'm raising boys!


-bd said...

When you reminded them about not watching TV in the morning on school days. Where here consequences for choosing to watch TV...?

If the only consequence for disobeying is to be reminded... there is no reason to choose to follow the rules.

If, by way of example, choosing to watch TV in the morning means they are choosing NOT to watch TV in the evening. And this is enforced. I suspect they would change their behavior...

Unknown said...

You're absolutely right, Ben. No, we haven't been doing that I simply have exhaustively been saying, "You know you're not supposed to do this."

That would probably work so I will do that. However, I still feel this is a forcing measure. I guess it's just human nature to disobey.

Unknown said...

You are training them to obey. All humans are naturally inclined to disobey. Heck, what the first word that most children learn? "No."

It is exhausting. I know, and I only have ONE boy. But, it's just as tough with a girl...

Hang in there.