We're pretty interesting parents, we aren't yellers, threateners or spankers and we don't always parent by the rule book. We are more apt to giggle at someones offenses in private and watch them squirm for a few days before we let them know we are on to their game. Yes, this means we are a little deceptive, but I have to tell you it's a lot more fun than yelling, screaming and pitching a big 'ol fit. And, the bonus is that they never reeeeally know if they've gotten away with anything or not, which once your kids hit middle school you gotta keep them thinking you are still way smarter than they think.
Which leads me to greener punishments. Funny concept, I know, but hear me out. Many people talk about reading the 'Last Child in the Woods' or how their children don't get enough fresh air or exercise. For the most part my boys are very, very active but about this time every summer "Sedentary-Disease" starts to settle in. August is a tough month. Tired of all their summer friends, swimming in the lake is passe, the park is 'stoopid' and all the cool kids are on vacation. Sitting on the sofa, air conditioning blasting, TV on in one year, iPod in the other, they sit and grow roots.Well, then, just wait until you need a punishment, my friend, a good green momma can fix you right up. The soon-to-be-a-middle-schooler decided he would dip his toe into the big pool of 'Let's see if I can trick mom and dad' and let me tell - you he can't swim. So, rather than take away the coveted Nintendo, hand out a grouding or stash the iPod on top of the fridge the eco 'burban dad and I conspired. Can we find a healthier punishment that a) teaches him a lesson while getting him off his butt and b) benefits the eco 'burban parents?
The eco 'burban offender's punishment? Rather than being grounded, staying in the house while the rest get exercise and fresh air, he gets to spend 30 minutes in the morning and 3o minutes in the evening walking Tahoe 'the spotted wonder' for a grand 7 days. It's hot outside, and humid, and lonely when you can't take a brother along or stop at your friend's house or dash to the corner store for a treat or listen to your iPod while you walk. It also gives him a lot of time to think, get some exercise and gets him out of the house. The dog gets double the exercise he would get in day, so he is happy and tired - which mean momma is happy. We all win. And, my boys still think I'm on to their games. Ssssh, don't tell them my tricks!