6. Seize the electronics
This is the easiest and first step, especially since electronics are probably the reason your child is in trouble in the first place (too much video gaming, incessant texting, following Dr. Umar on Instagram). Once you take the gadgets away, your kid will know you mean business. Also, their brains will start to shapeshift into something not controlled by clicks and rewards. Win-win.
5. Talk to them
Kids have reasons for doing most of the things they do… at least until they become teenagers, at which point their reasons just become “hormones.” Until then, you may want to set a precedent of sitting them down and listening to what they have to say. Ask them about the reasoning and emotions behind their choices. You may find that there’s something you can resolve easily. Or you may despise them more. It’s a toss-up.
4. Threaten to whoop ’em
You know why we have so many nukes? No, it’s not because humans are predisposed to a destructive nature that has us careening into an apocalypse. It’s because nuclear weapons are deterrents. Just knowing the damage they cause is enough to stave off a whole lot of wars. (At least we think that’s how it works.) Anyway, your belt is your nuke. Nothing wrong with threatening violence every once in a while — eventually your kid will forget that you’ve never actually done it. Use that fear to create order… just like Batman.
3. Ground them
To be honest, we don’t even know what grounding really means. Is that when you chain a child to a sturdy piece of furniture in their room for an undetermined period of time and slide some gruel under the door for supper? That might sound extreme, but if you also leave a hacksaw right at their fingertips, it becomes a teachable moment about choices.
2. Make ’em learn something
You know what’s good for kids? Actual education. We all know they aren’t learning a cotdamn thing until like 2022. So you might as well have them put in some extra hours on common core and reading. Will associating education with punishment have negative outcomes? Probably. But if you get them to despise busy work early, maybe they’ll grow to start their own LLCs and lecture people on Twitter about it.
The ultimate cheat code. Chores are great because you get to teach your kid about responsibility and the virtues of not being a knucklehead, all while getting a bunch of shit done in your house that you really didn’t feel like doing. Folding your drawls? Done. Loading the damn dishwasher? Check. Organizing the collection of kicks you somehow scored on the SNKRS app? Oh, hell yeah. Wanna hear a dark secret? Sometimes parents sit around daydreaming about their kids lying or stealing or joining a gang so they can sit back, drink tea, and watch them reseed the lawn.