In our house we are well aware that our children all have very different personalities. What affects one just doesn't have the same reaction from the other.
When it comes to discipline and giving out consequences for their choices we see this personality difference in full effect.
Ella had a few hard days over the weekend where she struggled with telling the truth. We'd talk to her about why it's good to always tell the truth even if you know the end result of telling the truth will probably still get you in trouble.
After many (many) small fibs over the course of two days and a couple bigger ones where she was given plenty of opportunity to tell the truth, she was then given a punishment that we knew would really hit home with her.Oh the drama that ensued when I told her to go get a piece of paper and a pencil. She didn't know what I was going to make her do but she knew it wasn't going to be fun.
In tears already because I told her how very disappointed I was in her (pull that phrase out with Miss Ella and the tears flow, with Mailee you get no reaction) she began to cry even harder as I told her to number the paper to 30 and told her she needed to write "I will not lie" thirty times.
Oh.the.drama.! You would've thought she was dying!!!Tears dripped on her paper as she cried the whole time while writing. When she was finished she threw her pencil down and buried herself into her bed.
Not the reaction of remorse we were looking for.So back to the paper and 15 more spaces were added for her to write and ponder why she was writing and why she should really be upset...not at us or the punishment, but in herself for making a bad choice.
Mailee just couldn't comprehend what the big deal was. She wanted to write like Ella too and kept asking us if she could.
It was one of those moments when it was clear to me that though we have the same expectations and guidelines and even rules for the most part for all our children, the way we handle situations when a child of ours needs to be given a punishment for their less than stellar choices depends on the child. What is highly effective on one may not always work for the other, and in our case this is blatantly clear.
It's been three days since the writing punishment and Ella still reminds me about it, making sure I am aware of how brutal that was for her.
I made a mental note of how effective the punishment was...you know...for next time.Side note: I can recall numerous occasions when my own parents used this writing punishment method on me.
One time in particular sticks out when I was being toxic to my sibling and to this day I have the scripture passage from the Bible still memorized (you would too if you had to write it 500 times!!!).
Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Though I am hoping I don't have to make my children write this passage 500 times just as I did when I was little, I am pretty sure it will happen, but as long as they understand why they are doing it, that's all I care about.