I experimented with eliminating the word "no" from our vocabulary, but quickly realized that was crazy. "No 'no'?"
I tried spanking, and then recognized that the children quickly forgot what they were corrected for and unless I wanted to be constantly swatting my kids, I needed to come up with something else.
I dabbled with time out, but was dismayed that the kids appeared to enjoy time out more often than not. Whenever I put one in the corner, the other two would go and stand there with the one who I was trying to discipline.
Since I can't
There was once a day - that if our children were being mischievous, all I needed to do was redirect them to something else and they'd play happily. Unfortunately for me, those days didn't last and are now long gone.
These days, when our children have their mind(s) made up about something ... they will not stop until they get it. Or, until I snap, give them a swat and stick them in their crib devoid of toys or blankets. I love them with all my heart ... but they are persistent little buggers.
A partial list of the hot ticket items that they will not give up and which are driving me absolutely insane, include: pulling every single diaper wipe out of the warmer and scattering them across the floor (this really annoys me because the tidy cube of wipes that are automatically fed, is now a pile of wet towels); splashing their little hands in anything that contains water (toilet, dog bowl, puddles) resulting in their clothes getting soaking wet (this usually ONLY happens moments before we are about to walk out the door to something we are already 45 minutes late for); taking off every shred of clothing - including their diapers; climbing on top of the table and/or counters; chewing on electric cords that I
I know that they know when they aren't suppose to do something. They will look at me ... and then very cautiously, do whatever it is that I don't want them to do. Let's say I see them in the act of climbing on the table ... I'll say "We don't climb on furniture ... sit on your bum!" and they will instantly drop to their bottom and give me a coy smile. If I turn my back for a moment ... they'll do it again. And again, and again.
And then usually, the other two will join in - and in no time flat, I'm running around like a loon telling my children "SIT ON YOUR BUM! SIT ON YOUR BUM!! SIT ON YOUR BUM!!!"
The girls are the ringleaders. Not so much the boy. William will follow suit to whatever his sisters are doing. Just this morning, moments after I had finished cleaning (of course), they got a hold of Charlie's ground coffee and decorated the playroom with black dust while I was preparing lunch, less than 10 feet away. I knew something was up when our house started to smell like Starbucks and the kids weren't making much noise. When I turned around and looked at them, they stared at me with coffee dust COVERING THEIR BODIES and with huge eyes they shrugged their little shoulders and said "oh oh."
They're testing me, I know it. They're seeing just how far they can push. But I'm starting to suspect all they want is to see my head burst in to flames again.