Skip to main content

Sentences

January 11, 2018

Recently I was looking through an old spiral notebook, and found pages and pages of sentences.  It made me laugh, since that’s a consequence I haven’t used in a while.  “The rules apply to me…I will control my temper…I speak kindly to my sisters…Mom was right.”  (I must have been feeling kind of vindicated on that last one.) 

One quick note:  the whole purpose of the sentences is to make my son or daughter think.  There’s two details that are really important here:  keep it in the present tense, and word things in a positive way.  Instead of saying, “I won’t burp at the dinner table,” change it to something like, “I have good manners at dinner.”  Instead of saying, “I won’t lie to my mom,” (s)he would write, “I am honest with my parents.”  Assigning 50-100 sentences for an infraction is usually about right.

Another consequence we like is running laps around the block.  The other day the boys were throwing markers at each other across the room.  One boy accidentally beaned his baby sister in the forehead (and it's not the boy you would think), even when she was clearly not in the line of fire.  For having poor aim, for not stopping when we said stop, and for general unruliness, both boys were sent out the door in opposite directions to run laps.  One boy was given a lighter punishment since he hadn't beaned his sister, but he was still protesting any laps at all.  To remind him of the great mercy he was being shown by virtue of the lighter sentence, Norm told him, “since you got wise and shut your mouth, you only have to run two laps.” Said son immediately opened his mouth like a guppy, as wide as he could, without making a sound.  Silent smartmouth.  Norm immediately tacked another lap onto his sentence to discourage further smarthmouth guppiness.  It was cold and dark outside, but Norm and I went out to the front porch to watch, just for the sheer entertainment. 


The point of consequences and discipline in our home isn't to punish or to bring restitution.  It's to help our children identify when they've done something they shouldn't, and to give them time to think.  Running laps or writing gives them time to think about what they did, and hopefully to think about what they would do differently next time. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Leaving Utah

Norm and I are at a crossroads.  It's time for our family to take the next step.  But first a quick trip down memory lane. We first came to Utah sixteen years ago.  We were young and cute and pregnant with baby #1.  Norm had been accepted as a student.  I had a lot of fun during my first two years of college, and I imagine the admissions board looked at my transcript and said something like, "yeah right!"  (More details about getting a D in organ lessons over  here .) So my first BYU application was rejected.  They let me attend classes as a visiting student, and one day an admissions officer called my phone.  It was a landline, and we were living in BYU married student housing.  He had two questions for me:  Is your husband a full time student?  Yes.  And you live on  campus?  Yes.  End of interview.  A few days later I got my acceptance letter. We finally graduated together in 2004. We bought our first home in Lehi, not too far from Willow Creek middle schoo

Thorns and gifts

We've been reading in the New Testament as a family lately, and Paul has some great advice and counsel that's still applicable today.  In his letter to the church in Corinth, he talks about a thorn in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. It's kind of a moot point to speculate what Paul's particular thorn might have been, but I've often wondered. More importantly: what is God's purpose in giving his children such difficult stuff to learn? Why does life have to be so hard?

One More Syllable

It's been a year. One year ago we moved to Texas. One year ago I started asking people to call me Kristina instead of Kristy, thus adding one more syllable to my name. August is our anniversary. Last year we celebrated that anniversary by adding a cool new memory. That day we drove up to our house, found the keys and walked inside with the kids. We spent the night in our house without any stuff. Isn't it funny how places seem bigger when they're unfurnished? And that pool in the backyard? We knew nothing about pools and maintenance but just jumped in carefree. It was great. It was like being in a hotel but with room for everybody to spread out. Maybe it's time to explain the name change. For me, I had decided before moving to Texas that I wanted to quit using Kristy as my nickname. It served me well for many years and I still like it, but it's mainly for simplicity. When I'd first meet somebody, maybe I'd mumble or maybe I don't speak clearly enou

Meek Warhorse

Norm's last church talk/sermon in Utah before moving to Texas July 2018, Lehi UT, Traverse Mountain 8th Ward Hello brothers and sisters, it’s my privilege to speak to you today.  I guess this is our good-bye address even though we haven’t moved yet, which I’m taking as a personal sign that the bishopric can’t wait for the next family to move in.  (that was a joke, guys) In my remarks today, I’m going to cover an alternative definition of meekness that really struck a chord with me.  Once I’ve introduced this idea, I’m going to share my supporting argument for meekness as a strength, and then I’m going to talk about how I believe we can develop this form of meekness in our lives. As Kristy told you, our topic is “being meek and lowly of heart” which, in the terms I normally think of meekness or lowliness, is a subject that does not come naturally to me.  I am not naturally what I consider to be meek, quiet or, as Kristy would tell you, all that well behaved.  While I