Here is a repost from my former New Mexico Newspaper column, The Lighter Side.
When was the last time you saw a child actually get disciplined? Today, it appears that parents have switched the book of ‘effective parenting’ for a sports manual. I honestly believe that if I hear one more Mom or Dad yell at an unruly hellion with the words, “Okay, this is it, it’s time for a timeout,” I think I’ll lose my lunch. Who came up with the idea that sitting on a chair for ten minutes effectively takes care of a problem? (Excluding the electric chair, of course)
It used to be that having a well-mannered child meant you could take one out to a fancy restaurant and he/she would keep their hands clasp in their lap and would even know the proper utensil to use first. Now, a well-mannered child is defined by grunting a thank you and if their hair doesn’t look like an explosion in a cotton candy factory.
I believe the basics of parenting begins with parental time. A study conducted a few years ago found that Father’s spend ten minutes a day with their children. This is five minutes less than it takes to walk to the refrigerator and back during a half time football break.
So, if parenting is a chore and you don’t have time, than we need to make it user friendly. I suggest the makers of Playstation and Gameboy make a parenting game that the whole family can play together. An example of a game would go like this…
Child: “Mom, I’m entering the realm of Dirty Dish Mountain on my way to battle the Evil Dust Bunnies on the Planet Sofa.”
Mom:”Remember Dear, if you net three dirty pots, a bent spatula, and a twisted plunger, you’ll have to wash the dishes tonight.”
Child: “Oh, Mom the Evil Emperor GarbageMan set me up.”
Mom: “You know the rules.”
Child: “Yes, Mom!”
Now the discipline part. No games until the chores are done. And if you insist on still doing it, then definitely no games during timeouts!