Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: Hallo-mean!

Posted October 17, 2012

Lynda Loveland

Trick or treat.
You be sweet.
Or you’ll be sitting
home on your seat!

The line has been drawn in the sand. If behavior doesn’t improve from the three young ogres living in my house, there will be NO HALLOWEEN! My husband and I are fed up with instructions not being followed the first time they were given. It’s pretty much an overall lack of listening.

Here's what we did. We counted up the number of days left before Halloween. Right now there are 14 days left. When they misbehave they get a strike. If they get 14 strikes before the big night, they sit home. And they can get more than one strike a day.

We actually started last week. Who knew my kids were such over-achievers? They each compiled anywhere from 5-7 strikes in the first couple of days! Or maybe they just got it confused with bowling. Anyway, things have evened out a bit this week and as long as they don't get one strike a day from here on out, they'll be howling in happiness with the rest of the goblins instead of howling in pain from missing out on the sugar extravaganza.

We've decided to give them opportunities to earn strikes back, not with extra chores but with feats of exceptional behavior.

If it doesn't work out for them, the costumes will hold till next year, cause I bought 'em big!

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to follow her on Facebook.



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  • Squirreling Dervish Oct 18, 2012

    Glad we have cats.

  • Pilot-42 Oct 18, 2012

    Linda, I feel your pain! My boys are 2 and 4 and hard-headed, disrespectful, and rotten. I am actually considering taking away Halloween but I wonder if the boys are too young to understand that this action equals this result. I'll probably screw my boys up at some point in their lives . . . Is this too early?

  • carousel mom Oct 18, 2012

    You go girl!!! It's called parenting. Thank you for being a good parent. More adults need to try it with their kids.

  • zoedentist Oct 18, 2012

    Seems useless to dole out strikes if you'll allow them to "earn" them back again. They'd probably learn to listen and obey much better if you did what you said -- 14 strikes and you're at home on the couch. When our sons were growing up, we learned very quickly how important it was to "say what we mean" and "mean what we say". They're now grown and most wonderful young men who quite soon realized that decisions they made did actually dictate the life they had to lead!

  • kg4rmt Oct 18, 2012

    Yay, Linda. I'm glad to hear that someone is more concerned about being a "parent" than a "friend" to their children. Saying "no" is any easy word to say - only one syllable - then stick to your guns.!! If your children have to miss Halloween, it will be a lesson they'll never forget. Good luck!

  • st5937 Oct 18, 2012


  • babbleon1 Oct 18, 2012

    I've got some friends who expect their kids to do what they're told the first time, too. The problem I see is that they throw the instructions in with regular conversations, and the kid never even hears it. It's not 'misbehaving', it's that the parents didn't get the kid's attention.

    This makes me very careful to get my kid's attention before I give him directions, and it's worked well for me. I ask him to look at me, and to repeat what I say. Then if he doesn't do it, immediate time-out.

    I'm not saying you have the same issue as my friends, but please consider if the way you give instructions is contributing to the problem.

  • snowl Oct 18, 2012

    Just in case your kids actually enjoy all the games and gimmicks to keep them on their toes....Why not just spring a punishment on them instead of giving notice? It must be stressful for you trying to keep up with all the "game rules". I'm just saying....Happy Halloween!

  • Twittyfan Oct 18, 2012

    Stand your ground and be proud. Children know how to push buttons at an early age. If everyone would be firm and stand their ground like some parents this world would be in such great shape and we would not have all the troubled people today.. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

  • JAT Oct 18, 2012

    Good luck with that, Lynda. Deep down, they know good and well that you are not going to make them sit at home on Halloween.