Give ’em Enough Rope …

(A lame justification for playing a Clash song. But lame justifications are all that are needed)

I have to admit. I kinda like yelling at my kids. I know it’s counter productive. I know it creates a toxic atmosphere at home. I know that my children never respond well to it. But I can’t help it. It’s like some kind of quick-fix parenting. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I’m just lazy. But sometimes it just feels good to explode and give them a good rollicking. I’ve even found myself yelling at my kids to stop yelling. And I always regret it after. I’m an idiot.

Discipline has become the cause célèbre of arguments in our house. It’s hard – really hard. Between a stubborn six and a terrible two year old, maintaining discipline (and how to maintain it) is something I struggle with.  As a teacher, I hear a lot about student autonomy as a way to improve motivation. By allowing students to be more involved with decision making in the classroom, teachers can enjoy higher levels of motivation … in theory.

On the way home from a gruelling day with unmotivated and undisciplined students, I thought about whether I could better involve my kids in decision making and establishing rules at home.

I sat down with my son and discussed what he thought were important house rules, and why such rules were important. I then asked him if he wanted to make some signs which explain the rules to everyone. He agreed, drew some pictures and wrote the rules underneath.


Now, if any rules are broken, I can just point to the relevant sign and give him a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-esque raised eyebrow, and he has to relent. What can he do? He wrote the rules! Tee hee!

Give ’em enough rope.



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