It was nice to have a dear old friend join us for Christmas this year. He's a single guy, stationed in Wyoming and he made the 6 hour drive and stayed with us through Christmas weekend. At one point, our older children were telling him stories from their childhood, most of which had to do with some of the creative discipline Wingnut had used on them. They were all howling with laughter, and our friend encouraged me to write some of it down. He thought it'd make for a great blog post. He is right. Wingnut could write a book on creative discipline. Here are just a few of the memories our kids were recounting.
Stand Guard: A couple of our older children were tasked with standing guard outside a younger sibling's door until she fell asleep for the night. This job was given as punishment for terrorizing her so badly she could not sleep for fear of being eaten or some such nonsense.
Not Daddy's Princess: Special K's favorite t-shirt had a graphic on it declaring "Daddy's Little Princess". She loved to wear it when her Daddy was home and he always commented on it, making her grin from ear to ear. On one occasion she was having a truly rough and rotten evening and a tantrum was definitely looming. She happened to be wearing her "Daddy's Little Princess" shirt. Wingnut had her go to her room and change out of it, as her behavior was not the behavior of anyone's princess. She was heartbroken and many tears were shed, but it was very effective. It is rare these days for her to get into a battle of wills with her Dad.
Let's Pretend: Skoshi A was playing a game of pretend with her older siblings. I believe they were acting out scenes from Lord of the Rings. Skoshi was a bit too young to identify with LOTR characters and was insisting on being Cinderella. Being the rigid rule enforcers they were, the older two harangued her and tried to force her to be an LOTR character. Crying, she went to Wingnut to tattle. As punishment for their lack of creativity, the older two had to take on characters chosen by Skoshi A, no matter how distasteful. Gleefully, she chose to be Galadriel (an LOTR character after all) and assigned the other two orc and ring wraith characters.
Creative and unconventional, his measures were very effective at the time. Today, my kids laugh about it. I think that is a good thing. If you think about it, who laughs about the times they were spanked as children? Wingnut very, very, rarely ever used corporal punishment on the older children, and has never used it on the younger children. He really hasn't the need to. With age and experience comes a wealth of wisdom, that is for certain.