Second Chances

What parents won’t often admit: When they ground their kids, they are punishing themselves too.

After T’s unfortunate incident with taking the lollipop from the store, we grounded him last weekend; no electronics and he would not have his Halloween decor, bought on the same trip to the store, until next year.

It may seem extreme, but we felt it was important he understood the severity of his actions.

By grounding T, we were indirectly punishing ourselves. Giving T tablet time is a way to give ourselves free time throughout the day.

But we stuck to our guns and had an ok weekend. Last Sunday, we went for three walks. If inmates get outdoor time, surely our guy is allowed!

At the end of last weekend, T asked if we were still mad. I told him we were not happy about what he did, but we love him and we focused on the positive: he returned the lollipop, apologized, and he learned an important lesson.

Halloween decor went up October 1. 😂

I spoke about this incident during my recent checkin with my psychologist, who specializes in children with special needs.

We had an interesting chat about punishment vs discipline. What I got out of it was to match the consequence with the severity of the action, otherwise the punishment overtakes the lesson.

Research has shown that discipline can be challenging with kids with FASD, as they have difficulty understanding cause and effect.

I’m not sure I agree with that, but also, while I’m an expert on T, I’m not an FASD expert and I’m learning new lessons every day.

Regardless, what I got from this recent experience is the importance of focusing on the lesson, because that is what will matter in the long run, once the anger, shock and sadness has passed.

We spent the weekend carving pumpkins
Roasted seeds yielded from 5 pumpkins. 😋

Just like every day is a new day for kids like T, we must believe in second chances.

This past weekend was more fun and relaxed.

T did great at swim lessons and his instructor said T will move up to Level 2 for the winter session.

We met up with friends for lunch then dropped off a care package for a friend.

T and I went to buy Halloween candies. On the way into the store, T gave a twoonie to a panhandler and on the way out, he said bye to the man, who appreciated T’s kindness.

This past weekend was grounding for me.

It reminded me to take a step back – as with every negative situation in the past – and look at the big picture: T is a great kid finding his way in the world. I believe he learned an important lesson.

We are aware of the possibility of future incidents, but it’s time to move on from this one.

The hubby and I told T he had a fantastic weekend, did great at swimming and we reminded him that he did a good thing by returning the lollipop.

For all his efforts, we told him he could get his decor back in time for Halloween.

Goodie bags the hubby prepared for Halloween trick o treaters! He’s so extra and that’s why I love him.

This morning, T woke up excitedly with no fuss, got changed into his costume for school – Master Chief from the video game, Halo.

Tonight, he finished his reading homework in speedy time then went out for trick or treating.

We got home by 7 pm and he spent the rest of the night handing out candy to trick or treaters. One kid had the same costume as T which got him super excited!

Having fun at someone’s well-decorated home.

29 thoughts on “Second Chances

  1. “If inmates get outdoor time, surely our guy is allowed!” ☠️

    Thanks for clarifying the difference between punishment and discipline. I never really thought about the two as being different. That’s a very important point! Every time I read your posts I am truly in awe of your insightful parenting.

    1. Thank you Dr! If I can be honest with you, I still kinda struggle on some days between the two but just following someone’s expert lead. 🙂

      I enjoyed your recent cosplay mention in your post. I really can’t wait to attend a Con with T one day. I think he’ll really enjoy it. I’ll probably enjoy it more. 😂

      Take care,

  2. Great Insights as always. My Dad told me when the kids were young, “Make sure when you are giving a punishment, you are not punishing yourselves!” Glad you all had a second chance at fun and candy!

  3. This warmed my heart, Ab. No parent is perfect. But it must feel really good seeing your children, despite the mistakes they did, do the right and kind things to others. One step at a time. I wish you another great weekend ahead!

  4. It’s always nice to get a second chance and to demonstrate that you’ve learned from your mistakes. I’ve always been a fan of positive reinforcement. T’s heart is clearly in the right place. Glad to hear that you had a wonderful Halloween and weekend leading up to the big event. Nice job with your Halloween decor and carved pumpkins. Those are also some awesome looking goodie bags!!

    1. Thanks Linda. It really is as you said focusing on learning from mistakes. 🙏 Halloween was loads of fun. Christmas stuff goes up very soon. 😂 Enjoy the rest of your week!

      1. Oh I know! There’s already Christmas stuff on all the shelves at the stores! While I enjoy the holiday season, it just seems way too early, especially when we’re still enjoying temperatures in the double digits! I like to wait until after Remembrance Day to start with my Christmas decorations.

  5. I responded a few days ago but I dont think I posted it lol. I meant to. WordPress does strange things. Anyway, it is hard for us and cause and effect, as you know. However, there has to be consequences. We can learn consequences you may just have to do them over and over again. So, kudos to you and hubby. And T for following through. I hope you had a wonderful Halloween!!

    1. Thanks very much, Rebecca. Yes, WordPress has been doing some weird things lately.

      It’s comforting to hear from you about the cause and effect thing. It is very hard and on some days, so incredibly frustrating from a parent’s perspective. But I can also imagine what it must feel like from your or T’s eyes.

      If you don’t mind me asking, what has worked for you over the years in terms of understanding consequences? Maybe that’s the topic of a future blog post for you! 😊 Looking forward to reading it. Haha.

      We had a wonderful Halloween and I hope you and your family did as well. Take care.

      1. Oh boy. Consequences…so I remember when I was like 7 or 8 I put my hand over the open power window in my dads car and I put the window up. He yelled at me because I was going to close my fingers in the window. I didn’t think ahead to the effect lol. I then thought he was yelling because I had done something wrong, and I started crying. So, the loud tone helped me…then I remember we were at a Dennys and I knocked over 3 chocolate milks. All mine because I kept knocking them over. I didnt realize if they were.close to my hand they would go down. I learned after 3 times, although I think my parents put the drink by them at that point haha. Trial and error my friend. Much to my parents dismay. And tone. I climbed on my friends deck railing that was 20 feet from the ground and her mom yelled at me. I learned after the yell. Very sensitive to noise. Now, as an adult, as a wife and mom…I am still learning from mistakes. And they aren’t so easily fixed…

      2. These are all great examples and I see my T in all of them. I really don’t like to yell and I instantly regret it when I do, but I can also see your point around it conveying the severity of the situation.

        We are at the end all works in progress even into our adulthood.

        Thanks for the insight as always!

    1. Thank you! It was a wonderful past weekend (the grounded part was the prior weekend) and Halloween was wonderful. Hope you had the same!

  6. I think that T is an awesome young man with two amazingly awesome parents! Sure, he’ll make mistakes on the path of life, probably more than the average kid, but with your help, he’ll learn from them and grow from the experience. I hope you all had a fun Hallowe’en … oh, and could you save me some of those roasted pumpkin seeds?

    1. Thank you, Jill. I sure hope so about the learning and growing. We’re cautiously optimistic. 😊 For sure, lots of roasted pumpkin seeds to go around. Surprisingly easy to make and enjoy! Hope you had nice Halloween too.

      1. You do the best you can, my friend … it’s all any of us can do. Thanks for the pumpkin seeds! Yummy! We usually roast some around this time of year, but I didn’t even get a single pumpkin to carve this year — just didn’t feel up to it either physically or mentally. Perhaps next year!

    1. Thanks Diane. It was a bit excessive to be honest compared to the usual year but I let him have his fun this year. We’re all trying to get through continued pandemic days in our own ways. 😆

      1. I understand that! Our area is the worst in the state right now with Covid, but I’m over it. I’m tired of Covid controlling our lives, especially since it’s just like getting the flu now.

  7. Love the two versions of grounding you use in this post – makes me wonder if grounding can be grounding. And thank goodness for second chances – we all need to believe in them or I think it would be hard to get up in the morning. So glad for your and hubby’s amazing parenting skill and attitude and your beautiful family. Happy Halloween!

    1. Thank you, Wynne. Life lessons always serve to ground us, I believe. 😊 The Marshmallow Man was a house we visited, not ours, and T loved it. Hope you and your kids had a wonderful Halloween too!

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