Punishment?

Punishment. It sounds almost as if we are a group of parents, discussing consequences for our children. But…more on that later.

Punishment is defined as

  • “The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.”
    • Example, breaking the law demands justice and punishment.
  • informal – Rough treatment or handling inflicted on or suffered by a person or thing.
    • Example, my phone takes a lot of punishment because my hands never want to work right and I always drop it.
  • The penalty inflicted
    • Example, the parents helped their teen escape punishment from the law because of what he did

 

Today I’m going to speak to punishment in regards to modern day kids and teens. As a parent and as a professional I believe that makes me qualified to speak on this subject.

My kids – when my daughter was 12 she tried talking back to me. I remember this day in great detail. We were standing in her room, pained pink with black border that had dogs in them. She was upset about something and was talking back. This was a first – she had never done this. I realized this was a turning point. I could either accept this and have a future upset pre-teen tantrums, or I could take charge. As the parent – I took charge.

It was that moment that I believe helped mold her. She realized that I was in charge, not she. In that heated moment I stepped up. I told her, listen, I know you’re upset. But I’m the parent. I know they say that kids are going to rebel, talk back, and talk hate to their parents. And I’m here to tell you that I raised you better than that. You know better. I am telling you, you will NOT do that. This is the last we’re going to have this discussion. I never want to hear you talk back to me again. AND…that was it. It really was.

My daughter is now 17 and is going to college this fall. She has never talked back. She has never said “I hate you.” She has never disrespected myself or any adult. She follows all the rules and won’t break them. Perhaps this is because she is an Aspie (Asperger’s). Many Aspie’s are rule followers. Perhaps I just got lucky. Or perhaps it’s because we keep God at our core, at our center.

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She has said that she had chances to stray, to do wrong, but she didn’t. She will say that she didn’t because it was wrong. She was involved in a church youth group for years, went on mission trips, youth retreats, and volunteered for local VBS. She will say that a large part of why she chose the right thing was because of what she learned at home, church, and youth group.

Now we no longer attend the church she grew up in. The reason? I divorced. You can read about that in my other post, Left Behind. While divorce will cause many kids/teens to get in trouble, she refused to be a statistic.

In general, we can use hardships as an excuse, or we can grow from them and get stronger. It’s when we are weak we get strong. I never did understand that until I was on my face and wiped out. When I was at my weakest I realized, I truly realized how strong I had become.

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Parents – don’t stop your child from getting punished. Don’t stop your adult child from going to jail. Sometimes they need to fall on their face so they can learn to get up on their own. They need to learn that they have consequences.

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I have a cousin who is 57 (I am 41) and he has never learned to take responsibility for his actions. Recently he has gone on a “trouble spree”. I took something to him a couple weeks ago and as I was leaving a Sheriff pulled in. Had he been able to run, he definitely would have. As it was, he kept telling the sheriff who his uncle was and how he was going to get him out of trouble.

People – TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR NEPHEWS, YOUR NIECES, THOSE AROUND YOU…STAND UP ON YOUR OWN. FACE YOUR CONSEQUENCES. If you are facing jail, go to jail with all the dignity you can. Learn from it. Become a better person.

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Don’t be a parent who always gets their kid out of trouble.

Don’t be a blind parent. Your kid isn’t as innocent as you think.

Invade their privacy and read their texts. Look at the social media pages. KNOW what your kid is doing.

DON’T be a parent who is shocked when the cops show up at your house. Don’t be the parent who is refusing to believe the school when they say your kid did something.

KNOW your kid/teenager/mentee

SPEND time with them. 

My daughter is 17. Her friends message me. I know her friends, and her friends know me.

I have her roommate on my social media. I have her roommate’s mom on social media. I plan on having lunch with her mom in a few weeks.

Punishment – I never really had to punish my daughter too much. I just had to guide her. I didn’t have to punish her because I set the bar high when she was young. I’m not against punishment, I am for justice, for learning, and for growing. 

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I see too many kids “getting away with murder” because their parents think they shouldn’t be punished. I feel so sorry for those teachers, for those school principals, for those guidance counselors. I will tell you, they have their hands full. I have talked to them, I am friends with them.

They have kids who turn into teens, who are like adults. They think rules don’t apply to them. They do what they want. Then we release them into the world.

  • Punishment.
  • Justice.
  • Transformation.
  • Growth.

Is the point of an injustice punishment or transformation and growth of the person who did the wrong?

That is really the question.

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/punishment/”>Punishment</a&gt;

 

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Left behind…and hurt the most

Life has a funny way of changing you. Of changing the way you think, the way you feel, the very way you operate. We all have our ups and downs. We make good decisions and bad ones. It’s one of those bad ones that still haunt me today.

Back some years ago I was married to someone who wasn’t supportive. Each of us had previously been married before and had children from those previous marriages. Through the years our kids became very close. People who didn’t know our story, thought they were biological siblings.

 

I knew my marriage was a mistake from before I even said I do. But I didn’t have the balls to duck out of it. And I’m a woman, so don’t actually have balls anyways…but you know what I mean. I knew something was wrong from the get-go. He couldn’t get a job, couldn’t hold a job down. His family wouldn’t feed him or his kid. Just some fishy stuff. If only I knew then what I know know. 

What was left behind? My innocence. I thought there were still good men out there. Now I don’t. Now I am certain that 99% of them have an agenda. If they have kids they want you to either raise their kids or pay their bills or something. So I’m done with that. 

 

While I can’t change the past, I can change the now and the future. I can pray for her. I can send positive thoughts her way. I can hope and pray that someone enters her life who can help her reach her full potential. To get where she needs to be in school. To have a love and passion for learning. To learn that not all mom’s are mean, not all step-mom’s have to leave, and that she is loved. I know that those still in her life are responsible for what goes in her ears, so there is nothing I can do about that. Just hope that one day when she is older she realizes that as they are or were…

What is left behind – hurt….she has no idea why I had to leave. We had our water shut off, about to get kicked out, and our power was getting shut off the next day. She has no idea that her dad refused to work. That I have several chronic illnesses, some of them that may be fatal. She has no idea that when I told her dad I couldn’t work anymore and said he needed to get a job with insurance, he laughed – and said that was never going to happen. 

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So…now there is a left-behind story that makes me look like the bad guy. Like the worst person in the world. I feel I had no other choice to make but to leave. We were about to be homeless. My health had crashed and I would have to stop numerous times on the way home just to make it home. When I did get home, I would crawl to the couch…literally.

What was left behind was hurtful words and actions – my kid has Asperger’s and for that my kid was always made fun of by him. When we left my kid told me “I NEVER want to go back to living like that again…ever. And I won’t.”

 

So many things left behind. So many regrets about hurt people. Time will heal, people move on. Many things left behind, some left better behind us.

 

The ex and his kid moved on, have a new woman in their life. Hope she works out for them. And hope he doesn’t cost her $60,000 like he did me!

 

I have never…

For the last few years I’ve been mentally prepping myself for the fact that my only child will be going to college “this” year. However, two years ago, I got divorced. Then we moved in with my parents. It only made sense to stay there until I decided where to go once she graduated and went off to school. And now that time has come.

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And THEN it hit me…

In all of my adult life (I’m 41) I have NEVER LIVED ALONE. And NOW I will. To be honest, it terrifies me. What am I going to DO when I get off work in the evening? Who am I going to TALK to? I can be a loner…but I also want to be more social. I no longer want to be the hermit that I am.

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Talk about a smack of reality right in the face! So, I’m trying to plan ahead. I want to learn to kayak, want to get into shape, so started planning being an alone and empty nester. I started pricing kayaks, looking at rivers and lakes, got my bike down, and priced gyms and debated amenities.

THEN…there’s the fact that I may be moving out of the only state I’ve ever lived in. I have been working for years towards a certain position, and hopefully soon will have it. But reality is strange.

  • Am I ready to be on my own?
  • Will I become an old cat lady?

Then I know…all my life, I have survived. I have figured things out. While I have always had a husband – I have always worked. But this time it’s different. It’s just me. 

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I’ve never lived in an apartment.

  • Will I like it?
  • Will there be a sense of community?
  • Will the kids next door annoy me?
  • Will I be able to HEAR my neighbors?
  • If they are smoking will I be able to smell it?
  • Will the previous owner’s cat give me an allergic reaction?
  • Will my car be safe?
  • Will my apartment be broken into?
  • Will an apartment employee rifle through my personal belongings?

These are all LEGITIMATE concerns. I’ve always lived in the suburbs in a safe community (or at least seemingly safe, we’ve never had a problem at my house per se). Yes, I hear guns shooting, but that’s from the gun club. And EVERYONE here has guns, but we grew up around them and know how to handle them.

Tractors are all too commonplace around here. Where I’m going, will be a bit more urban…probably. Well, that’s my plan anyways. I’m trading in my suburban views for a more urban one. This sunset is probably one of my favorite ones I’ve captured around “here”. As I’m sitting in traffic in whatever city lies ahead, I am certain I will think of past and future sunsets and whatever the future holds.

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I’m still mystified, confused, and scratching my head – but realize there’s someone bigger than me out there.

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All photos were taken by me. All rights reserved.