Or you’ll have to sleep in the garage…..

For real my ex-husband threatened my then 4 year old daughter with that punishment.  We all know that kids can drive us to distraction and occasionally we have an interaction where the child says “So, I don’t care” for each time you tell them stop-or-else.  For one thing,  threatening more than you did last time doesn’t work.  It’s not like her 4 year old mind is going to say “So, I don’t care if you tell me to sit on the chair for a time-out.  I’m holding out for no TV or dessert but early bedtime because THEN I’ll listen to you.”  And it’s a no-brainer that when we’re calm we realize that you can’t threaten something that you won’t actually do in a million years.  However, this time he kept upping the ante on the punishment until he yelled OR YOU’LL HAVE TO SLEEP IN THE GARAGE!  Really?

Being a smart child she responded “No I won’t.”

I intervened.

I had a similar moment recently with one of my high school students.  Don’t worry, I didn’t threaten him out loud with sleeping in the garage.  I did ask him to stop talking and focus.  He didn’t.  It went kind of like this…..

Him:  talk, talk, talk, laugh

Me:  Please stop talking and focus.

Him:  talk, talk, talk, laugh

Me:  I’d like to talk to you outside.

Him:  laugh laugh laugh okay

Me in the Hallway:  We’ve discussed this before and it has to stop.

Him:  This is how I am. I’m not going to change.

Me:  Now I’m going to call your parents. Your behavior is inappropriate and that’s the next step.

Him:  So? They know how I am.

Me:  Then I’m going to write a behavior referral.

Him:  So? I don’t care.

Me silently in my own head:  Stop or you’ll have to sleep in the garage.

I wasn’t able to give myself a time-out to regroup, but I did realize at that point that we were both acting like little kids, even though I’m 61 and he’s 18.  And I want to stress that I have very good classroom management so this was rather a shocker to me.  But the important lesson to learn here?

There’s no sleeping in the garage on my watch.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
This entry was posted in education, humor, parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Or you’ll have to sleep in the garage…..

  1. George says:

    I’m curious……what year was he in?


  2. I teach English Language Learners so we go by level, not grade. He’s about to graduate. This was all about me not avoiding the power struggle, not him.

    Liked by 1 person

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