Pete Gilbert">

Drop and Give Me Five

My wife was home for several weeks this summer, between finishing her residency and starting her new job. All three kids were home this summer too, no school or preschool, and very few activities away from our family. Just three kids and two parents together ALL SUMMER LONG. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fantastic time, easily the best summer of my life, but there were a few parent/child disagreements along the way.

Most of the conflict in our house this summer was between my wife and our seven-year-old daughter. It seemed like our daughter decided that since she and my wife were both home this summer that she would sort of test out the power structure of the house. There was a lot of talking back and storming off and some seriously impressive eye rolling.

When she would act up, we would give out the standard, basic punishments: time out/go to your room, that sort of thing. These punishments worked, sort of. They took her out of whatever situation she was mad about, changed the scenery for her, but that was about it. There didn’t seem to be a true consequence for her.

My wife decided we needed to come up with a more creative punishment- pushups. What a great idea. I was all for it.

At first our kids didn’t know a pushup from a fruit roll up, so we had them do planks as a punishment. As they got into more trouble (and stronger) they were able to correctly perform pushups.

There are definitely some positives to making kids do pushups for punishment. First of all, they don’t like doing them, which means we’ve found a good consequence for negative behavior. Second, they are getting stronger, especially the back talking seven-year-old.

It’s safe to say her biceps are now as strong as her eye rolling muscles.

-(Drill Sergeant Dad) Pete

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