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I Threw Away My Kid’s Toys. All of Them!

"I'm done with the talking back. Done with it. If you don't change your attitude, all your video games are gone. GONE!"

He shaped up. I felt great. Good parenting.

"What's that? We don't use that word. How many times have I told you that? If you say it again, you're losing your iPad for the rest of the month!

He shaped up. I felt great. Good parenting.

“You can’t hit. You're to come and tell me first! I don't care what he did! You can't just hit someone. All your stuffed animals, consider them gone!”

There was no more hitting after that. I felt great. Good parenting.

End of post.

I wish.

"Brian. You can't just threaten to get rid of all their stuff."


Aimee was right.

My frustration gets the best of me and my go-to-punishment is to take away something for a ridiculous amount of time. "The rest of the summer!" "The whole year!" 

When my oldest was 3, he refused to clean up his toys. So, I took his toys to the garage. All of them.

I can't remember if I told him I was "getting rid of them forever" or "giving them to kids who will appreciate them" — whatever it was, it still haunts me. He thought I threw them away. Now, as a more seasoned dad, I see that was absurd. What was I doing?

I could have handled that a different way. 

I have no feel for how long a punishment should be. I just don't.

I've had to backtrack from my heat-of-the-moment threats.

Here are my pathetic methods to fix my unrealistic punishments:

1.) Time off for good behavior: "I'm cutting back your punishment because you've been so good lately."

2.) Pretend the sentencing phase is still ongoing: "I've been thinking more about what you did. I think if you are good for the next few hours, you can have the computer back later today."

I'm a dad-in-progress.

I can punish without taking away things for eternity, but frustration gets the best of me.

Thank God for my wife and her sensibility. Without her, we'd have a lot of year-long punishments to wait out.

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  1. Good dad! I told my boys that if they did not follow the rules they would lose their toys. And one day I packed them all up and brought them to a children's shelter. It was a harsh lesson for my three sons but they realized their behavior and started to earn toys. Stay strong and make sure if u threaten u r willing to follow through with it.

    1. Very nice story! I enjoy reading them. Your boys are just being boys .They will always make messes, sometimes they would not listen and they might get a little loud.But that is being a child , They will have their times of being rowdy, messy, and you can take things away from them.That is part of life .then they grow up, and when they do you will miss that part of their lives. Which will never return. But no matter what they will still love mommy and daddy. They will remember the good times not the bad times . You and your wife seem to me like the best parents.And no matter how things turn out they will always love their mommy and daddy. Much blessing to you and your family. Have a great evening.I hope this message Dosen't disappear like the rest of them..I mean well.

    2. I sent the message and it still says unknown .I got a new password .I don't know why it says unknown..anyway I wrote it.M.Z. The one above this one .have a goodnight Brian.

    3. Fellow Parent - thank you for your comments!!

      MZ: That's odd, but either way, I see your comments. Have a great night!

  2. My method which worked for me was to tell my son to go to his room - no gadgets, tv, etc. - and stay there until he was in control. When he could come out and act properly, then he could come out. I never put a time limit on it, but he would stay for a while, come out and I would ask him if he was in control now. If his behavior showed that he had calmed down and was acting in an acceptable manner, then all was good; if he resumed prior behavior, it was back to his room. Once, when we had a visitor and my son was acting up, I sent him to his room. When it was time for dinner, I called to him to see if he was ready to come out. His response was, "If I was in control, I would be out there." He came out about 5 minutes later and was wonderful. The friend who was visiting was amazed that this worked for him.

  3. Ummm... Have you been inside my head??? These words come out of my mouth... A LOT!!! My 7 year old is ����������������☠�� UGH! He is off the chain and it doesn't matter what punishment or how long it is, he's still wild. I'm glad I'm not the only one!!!

  4. Yeah, I seem to remember similar threats when my daughter was small and her room was a disaster area, threatening to throw all her toys away. Not one of my finest moments. I found short duration removal of a favorite activity or item got results. All that said, I was very lucky, she was a very easy child to raise. Hang in there!


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