I saw a teenager tending to a little … person in the supermarket today. The person in question was, as a psychologist would say nicely, testing the limits of adult authority. The poor teen was completely at a loss, and it occurred to me that I probably would be, too, with a hobgoblin like that in my charge.
The problem with kids is, how do you discipline them without warping the little buggers? Or alarming the DSS? Time outs don’t really weigh heavily against the brainstem-seated selfishness that the wee people struggle with. To take away their pudding, you first have to give them pudding. Grounding doesn’t work until they’re old enough to actually have someplace to go.
So I figure, let the teeming millions speak. Surely we have enough collective centuries of childhood here to put together a manual of creative…let us say “ramifications” that parents have used to keep supermarket candy bars in their racks, tiny canines out of other kids’ arms, and noise pollution to a level below that which causes whales to beach. I myself have produced nothing beyond the chromosome-package stage and somehow, my own memories are a blank on this topic: Either I was a perfect angel or I was licentiously spoiled, but I remember few punishments from my youth.
So drawing on your experiences as child and, perhaps, childer, tell those of us who are childest, what works best?