Monday, 28 September 2009

Boy's Home: Saving our sanity since 1997

Some friends of mine were discussing punishment techniques for their toddlers. This reminded me of my brother’s naughty years and one particular form of punishment that had him running scared.

When my brother was little, I’m talking like 2-3 years old. He had a tendency to misbehave and just plain ignore his parents. Granted he was copying his big sister but it’s not something a 3 year old should be doing.
“Kelton please finish the rest of your carrots.”
“You finish it!”
“Kelton Please pack up your toys.”
“You do it.”

We tried everything from taking away his toys to not giving him pudding to even ignoring him. Ignoring him was the least effective. Whenever we ignored him he would just break something and then clap his hands at his triumph.

One day he was doing something particularly naughty and his father came out with, “Stop that son or we’ll send you to the boy's home!” Kelton looked rather confused; he hadn’t heard this one before. Mum was quick to follow and explained that very naughty boys went to the boy’s home and often they never returned. Very quickly Kelton became a reformed child, too scared to even breathe in case he was sent to the boy's home. It got to the point that mum would only have to pick up the receiver of the phone and Kelton would her hug her leg in tears screaming “NO BOY'S HOME NO BOY'S HOME! I'LL BE GOOD! NO BOY'S HOME!”

The boy’s home threat worked marvellously and we though the problem was solved. One day mum took me and our now reformed little angle to the grocery store. Contentently munching on an unpaid apple we didn’t hear boo out of him as I pushed him in his stroller and mum pushed the trolley. We got to the checkout and Kelton was let out of his stroller to choose a MR. Men book. The boy in front of us in the queue was throwing a tantrum and a half. Kelton calmly put the books down and waddled up to him, “Be good or your mum will send you to the boy's home!” The whole queue went quite and stared at my mother who went a deep red colour as she strapped her darling angle back in his stroller.

The boy’s home threat was never used again.

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