Over the years, I've been working on disciplining my 4 children effectively. This is a major challenge for any parent and it is a work in progress. New situations arise and new challenges must be met. I certainly find it difficult to be clear, calm and reasonable when disciplining.
Today my 7 year old Arielle was taking a bath. She loves to use my bathtub because its width allows her to practice swimming, dunk her head and play. I have convinced/enticed Arielle to take a bath in my bathroom by reminding her of these benefits when one of her siblings wants to use the children's bathtub. I am more than happy to share with my kids and I do not make my bedroom exclusive. At the same time, I expect them to maintain the dignity of our home and leave the room as I left it (even if it's not the neatest room in the house).
Tonight Arielle was playing in the tub while I was putting Tzvi (3yo) to bed. When I came out, my bathroom was practically flooded, the floor and bathmat soaked, and Arielle was splashing the mirrors.
I have learned (mostly from my very-smart-first-grade-teacher sister-in-law, Michelle) that punishments and consequences need to be tied to the action. So, I told Arielle she had to come out of the bath immediately. No soap, no shampoo or conditioner. She lost her bath completely. I explained that I don't share my bathroom with kids who are not responsible enough to use it properly. She knew that what she was doing was wrong. At first she was extremely upset but then she realized she had no recourse as this was not what was expected of her.
I am proud to say that the consequence was clear. I carried through and I think I got the message across.
What would you do? Comments and advice welcome!