Well I Never…

“I never” and it’s cousin “you never” have got to be the most frustrating sentence starters in the English language.  In my house they are almost always followed by the phrases “get to” and “let me.”  And they come out of my children’s mouths any time I tell them no about anything.

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“Can I play my DS?”

“Not right now, maybe after dinner.”

“That’s so unfair, I NEVER get to play my DS.”  (um…you just played it this morning…for like 2 hours)

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“Can I have a snack?”

“No, lunch will be on the table in about 2 minutes.”

“Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww….you NEVER let me have a snack!!!!”  (why exactly would you need a snack if I’m feeding you real food even as you argue with me about the snack?)

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It doesn’t seem to matter whether they just completed the activity 5 minutes ago, whether it’s something they get to do every single day, or even if we tell them they can have or do whatever it is they want shortly.  As long as we are saying no they swear that they’ve never done it before.  Just before rest the other day Cameron came into my room to use the bathroom, then after his rest he did it again and when I questioned him about it he swore he’d never gone in there before and really wanted to.

I don’t know why it is that they have this entitlement attitude.  We do all that we can to teach the kids that they have to earn their priveleges and don’t just get them handed to them.  They don’t get an allowance, they get paid to do chores.  If they make bad choices, their priveleges are revoked.  Take video games for example.  All of the kids (sadly even the two year old) developed a really bad video game habit around Thanksgiving.  It seemed that they felt that was the only thing they were able to do.  They whined if you told them to play with toys, they whined if you suggested going outside, they whined if you told them to go to their room.  We reminded them that video games are a privelege and that we could (and have) take them away.  We suggested that if they didn’t go and play with their toys more often that 1) we might as well get rid of them because the kids obviously weren’t interested in them, and 2) that Santa better be told not to come because if they didn’t like the toys they already had then what would be the point in getting more.

Warnings didn’t work.  We yelled ourselves hoarse for about a week, then followed through on our punishment.  All video games were banned.  They were banned until the kids understood that there were other things to do besides play video games all day long.  The ban lasted all the way from the weekend before Thanksgiving through a few days before Christmas.  Since then, things have gotten much better.  They don’t ask to play them nearly as often, and when we do say no they tend not to throw out the “you never let me” line.

Harsh though a month long grounding sounds it seems, at least at the moment, to be having a lasting impression on the kids.

 

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