We had a family council/come-to-Jesus meeting tonight. The kids have been making some pretty poor choices lately, so we all sat down and had a talk. Mostly, me and Troy did the talking, and the children did all the crying and complaining. We even made a list of behaviors and consequences, with the consequences getting more severe with each infraction. For example, you hit someone, that's 25 sit-ups. You do it again, it jumps to 100. Hit someone a third time, that's 300 sit-ups. We've obviously been having serious issues with keeping our hands to ourselves. We even went into what would happen if they hit someone outside this house, which is a whole other issue I can't even begin to delve in to. (Seriously though, you wouldn't hit your friend, because then they wouldn't be your friend. What makes you think it's okay to hit your family? Answer: IT'S NOT.) Anyways, I explained that if you hit people at school, you get suspended or even expelled. And since they're getting older, they're reaching a magical age where if you were to hit someone, the police would be called. And then you would probably have to go to juvenile detention, which is JAIL.... FOR CHILDREN.
I also fully realize that some people will think I'm being harsh. My answer to that is get over it. I am their parent, and it is my job to help turn these short little people into reasonably well adjusted and even tempered adults. And if that means taking away choices, so be it.
Also: I *may* have opened a brand new bar of soap and given it a place of honor in the kitchen where everyone can see it. Because, you know, filthy little mouths need to get washed out every now and then. And yes, we went with BAR SOAP, because have you ever taken a bit out of a bar of soap? It's entirely unpleasant, and it gets into all the nooks and crannies of your teeth, and the tasted lingers. As does the reminder that you shouldn't use those words, especially when talking to your wonderfully loving parents who have so graciously provided you with food, clothing, shelter, and most recently, hand crafted Halloween costumes.
The Xbox power cord has also been removed for the forseeable future. This is a mighty blow to the two oldest children who fancy themselves famous YouTube-ers. Tablets have been turned in to Troy, and they may be checked out for 30 minutes per day, provided all of your responsibilities are done, including a mandatory forty five minutes of active play. (For Pete's sake, why do children not realize how fun it is to play hide and seek and see how many jumps they can get in a row?)
At any rate, the expectations have been laid out in black and white, and we will see how it goes tomorrow. I predict some heavy wailing and gnashing of teeth.