Today B bought an M&M for a penny he found on the floor. Later in the day he had several coins and I told him that it was stealing since he hadn't earned the money. I told him to put it back or tell us where it was from. He didn't want to. I told him that I would spank him at night if he hadn't put the money back by the end of the day. At 8pm he asked me if he could show me where he had gotten the money. And "Will I still get a spank?"
I watched him put the coins back in the coin holder in the car. "No, you don't get a spank." I told him. I explained that it was important to not steal and that I loved him and didn't want him to become a thief so I was willing to spank him to keep him from becoming a thief. But because he put it back, he didn't have to get a spank.
The back story that lead to this was B getting into the kitchen over the last month and sneaking candies. He has taken the nutella jar before too and we found it behind a couch in the front room. We keep some treats in the house and a bowl of change on top of the fridge. The older 3 have never tried to sneak treats or money. B at 4 was pushing that boundary and we needed to change his course.
It's my job to raise my children to behave as I want them to behave. If I want them to be honest, I need to not freak out when they tell me hard truths. If I want them to play piano I have to sit on their heads to make sure they progress. If I want them to not complain and whine, I have to treat bad attitude as a crime against them that I will not tolerate.
A few weeks ago lP was in a bad attitude and I had sent her to the corner. I often threaten lP because she does not obey quickly. Being told "Do you need to get slapped?" is my last resort when she's laying on the floor making dying cat sounds instead of going to the corner or her room as I've told her to. I don't slap her, it is a rhetorical question that seems to be the only thing that gets through her fog of opposition. So I had already talked to her and reached the point of sending her to her room. She stomped off and very clearly slung her hip into L, sending him crashing against chairs then to the floor. She claims she did not mean to do that. I believe that she did not mean for him to be hurt, but I've seen her lash out like this too many times. So I caught up with her and spanked her once on the butt.
Sadly this really impacted her in a profound and positive way. She hasn't been quite so willful the last few weeks. I don't want to be a parent that spanks and lP does not want to be a child that is ever spanked again.