Little Lesson #8
Anyone Grounded at Your House?

You would think I would have this discipline thing down by the 4th child.

But I don’t.

You might think I learned a few things even though I was both unprepared and unqualified with the first three, and I would be prepared and qualified to parent our totally planned LAST child.

But I didn’t.

Scary Baby’s claim to fame may well be that she made PhilBillPaul and I surrender.

I hope that is not her legacy.

Because I really do believe kids need and want boundaries even though their brains don’t know how to show and articulate this to the world.

This kid would force several child-rearing *experts* to re-write their books on strong-willed, stubborn children if they ever met her.

Unfortunately they won’t be able to meet her anytime soon.

Because she’s grounded again.


The sign went up on the front porch two weeks ago when she was grounded the first time of this school year.

The sign went up because she is very social and when the phone and door bell ring it is almost always for her. I have tried to scare the neighbor kids away but they just keep coming back. Either I’m not scary enough or Scary Baby is so much fun and totally worth facing the Scary Mom.

One week of freedom later and she’s grounded again.

Emotions run high in our house. I accepted that long ago. I am emotional. Prone to emotional outbursts both before and after the coma. I’ve always believed home is where you should feel safe enough to throw a fit if you need to. Sometimes you just have to let that all out. It’s hard to always be good and obedient and proper. Or is it just hard for me?

She has some real issues about staying up too late in her room after she has been tucked in and then falling apart in the morning in fits of hysterical crying and screaming about how tired she is and how she can’t go to school.

It makes for some really stressful mornings and some really grouchy parents.

I recognize that every child is different. I know this because every one of mine is remarkably different even though they’ve been reared by the same parents in the same house since birth. I just did not encounter this problem with the older kids. Only one is a morning person who wakes up singing – that darn Wizzy is Little Miss Merry Sunshine and she learned early not to talk to the rest of us in the morning.

In case the neighbors are reading, we’re sorry about the screaming and we’re working on some diet changes…less sugar, more protein and talking about self-control and making better choices.


Little Lesson (LL): Putting your kids to bed earlier and earlier doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will actually go to sleep.

Share a Little Lesson (SALL): Any tips on how to actually make them go to sleep? Using Benadryl, Nyquil, etc., does not count as a helpful tip especially if they’re not sick!


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Tammy says:

    I am just crazy for the sign! I will have to remember that one! Hysterical!!!! Good luck!

  2. 2
    Leanne says:


    Let me recommend a book for you. It’s called “You Can’t Make Me (but I can be persuaded).” It’s a short read and really saved my life (and my relationship) with my strong willed son. The book tells you how strong willed kids think, why they act the way they do, and how to discipline them. It even taught me how to use my son’s strong will to his benefit.

    There’s also a website that you can go to order to book, or just share your struggles with other parents of strong willed children (SWC’s).

    go to:


  3. 3
    Diane says:

    Have you tried books on tape or music?
    My little one (4) watches movies- if she gets in bed on time and has done all she was supposed to during the day. It helps her- she is usually in dreamland after 5-10 minutes. I have 2 teenagers, however, who are night owls. Nothing helps at that point- not even yelling and threats.

    Good luck!
    I do love the sign. I have posted similiar messages on facebook, myspace and AIM when the older two have been on restriction.