About a week ago we found that Mary (my 5 year old youngest daughter) wrote her name on the wall in our Living room and she colored on the couch with a washable marker (just about a 6 in line, nothing more on the couch). Here is her masterpiece of a name on the wall:
On top of her drawing on the wall/couch, she has been doing other things... like throwing some food from dinner on the floor so she doesn't have to eat it and hiding candy wrappers behind the couch to name a few.
Well my husband and I talked to her about her actions and we did not give her anymore of a punishment than being sent to her room at that time. But I thought by confronting her and talking to hear about what she is doing and trying to make sure she changes her ways, that it would be a good way to stop her "I am going to do what I want to" attitude.
Then I was sick, I pretty much could not do ANYTHING for like three days straight! And well everyone knows just because you are is sick that does not mean everything stops... my husband still had to go to work and I had to be with the girls -sick- during the girls' Mid-Winter WEEK break from school, so they were home 24-7! During that time Mary decided that she would become an graffiti artist again and not only write her name but also her sisters name on 3 - count them THREE - other places throughout the house. The dining room, the stairway and the other wall in the living room... this time with PERMANENT marker!
So this time, my husband and I sat her down, talk to her again and this time had to give a punishment, a harsh punishment if you look at it in the eyes of a 5 year old. My two daughters love to color, that is their usual past time, pretty much a few hours out of the day are spent coloring and doing crafts and we have never really had a problem with them coloring on anything that they were not suppose to... so when we told my 5 year old that she could not use, pencils, pens, markers or crayons at all except if she had (kindergarten) homework to do set was devastated! On top of that we told her she could only watch one 1/2 hour of TV a day. Then we made her try and clean the walls (of course it did not come off I'll have to get a magic eraser or something).
My point now is that punishments seem to be harder for the parents because the last two days I have spent my time telling her "No, you cannot watch TV", "No you cannot color", "Please find something to do", "You have a million toys in your room, go play with them", etc. Let's hope she is learning something from this whole thing, right?