Last week, Raine started a new after school program. She's supposed to stay after school, and there is an organized activity program that includes doing homework, snacks, playtime and - most important - supervision. With Ron working days, he doesn't get home until after 6, and school doesn't end for me for an hour after Raine's ends. So, we needed something.
Monday, I reminded her to stay, and talked about starting the new program, and when I would be there to pick her up and all. When I got there, at 5 - 2 & a half hours after she got out of school - there was no Raine. They hadn't seen her that day, and had assumed she hadn't been at school. Well, I wasn not a happy camper, I can tell you. She was in the second place I looked - home - thank goodness. I don't know what she thought was going to happen when I got home, but what ever it was, it didn't. I didn't beat her. I did yell, but more than that I got across the idea that it is really IMPORTANT to be where your parents expect you to be. It is important NOT to scare your mother like that. She was genuinely sorry.
All weekend, she endured her punishment. She was grounded. No going to anyone's house to play. No inviting friends over to play. TV & computer were severely limited for the whole, long weekend. We went to the used bookstore and got a couple new books to read ( both of us). Then, for the weekend, she got to hang out with mom. The TV was off a lot, so a lot of reading got done by both of us. She rode her bike some each day, because exercise is good for you. She did a lot of building with legos and bionicles. A lot. She got an hour of TV or computer in the mornings, and another in the afternoon, after she did a chore. She went through her clothing and got out the winter clothes and put away the shorts (and we discovered a serious lack of long pants that fit).
She did get a couple of breaks. She had a couple hours with her best friend on Thanksgiving day. He happened to be at his aunt's house when we went over to visit with his other aunt who was here from out of town. She got to have some computer time with her Uncle Carl while I sewed with Roxanne. We bought new pants for her. Winter is coming.
But I gained some respect for my child in how she handled her consequences. She did not sulk. She didn't even complain much. There were a few times when she said she was bored, but then she found something to entertain herself. She did pretty well with it thow whole weekend, really.
This is a child who does, and will, test the boundaries that we set. She can - I think - be reasoned with, and she can face consequences for her actions. Not everyone - child or adult - can. I hope she learned something about being where she should be, and why. I certainly learned something about her.