Toy Jail

They always said it was the terrible two’s. Then when Logan turned three I thought they must have been mistaken. Now that he’s four I’m wondering if they must have been off their rocker because four has been much harder than two or three ever was. At least when he was two he didn’t know how to talk back yet, don’t worry, he’s got it mastered now. Somehow in the last month he came up with the notion that he is in charge and he doesn’t have to listen to anyone anymore, especially Mom.

We tried time-out. We tried talking about it. We tried grounding, and yes, we even tried spanking. Nothing worked. Mommy was getting beyond frustrated and Logan was becoming a terror in our home. I had to keep reminding myself how much I loved being a mom, because there were definitely a few moments when I started to wonder why I ever considered having children in the first place. I wanted someone to talk to about this parenting thing, because no matter what I tried, nothing was working. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a significant other to bounce my ideas off of, but I did have my own mother, who I think did a pretty good job raising three kids on her own, so I decided to talk to her about it instead.

She reminded me of the time she packed up all our toys in a big garbage bag and threw them away. It may have seemed a little extreme at the time, but it worked. After that she started Toy Jail. If we were misbehaving or didn’t pick up our toys when we were supposed to, then they started disappearing into a hidden box labeled “Toy Jail.” We had to do things around the house to earn them back one thing at a time. Before long, we quit leaving our toys out and we started being more obedient because we got sick of our toys disappearing. I think it’s about time to pull out the old box again. Maybe then I can convince Logan to listen to his Mommy again!

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Sarah Williams

About Sarah Williams

I am a single mother to a sweet little 4 year old boy named Logan. I am almost done with my degree in Elementary Education and have loved every second of it. I love writing for and hope to be able to help other single moms through the difficulties of raising a child on your own.