Opinion - effective disclipine for my kids

Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 07:41 am
I had a bad morning - actually it didn't start out bad, just at the end leaving my house.

We have a lack of keeping track of things/lossing things. Any way background - my kids usually arrive home before we do. The high schooler usually gets home first. She had a key last year in middle school, but I just found out this week she doesn't know where it is and has been using the emergency key that is hidden. My younger daughter uses this on the rare occassion she is home first. My husband had in the past been home around the time they get home so keys really haven't been an issue, but this week with someone else on vacation he has been putting in longer hours and the kids are home by themselves.

To complicate this more - this week I have been keyless as we gave my key to a neighborhood kid to care for our dog over the past weekend when we were away. Supposedly the key came back, but my younger daughter who had it said she placed it on this counter, but it wasn't there. I said, I would make more keys this weekend so we would all have a key and have the hidden key as well.

Well this morning the biggie happened. I dropped my older daughter at school, came home and made sure my younger one was at the bus, and then upon leaving locked the door. Damn I forgot my bag. I went to get the hidden key and it wasn't there. I ran across the lawn screamed at my younger one where the heck is the key - oh I put it in the sunroom in the window sill. Well that is great I look in the window and there it is right behind the locked door. The kid thinks its funny. But now there is no way in.

I'm pissed. She gets on the bus; I can't reach my husband (not that that is going to do any good - he isn't going to be able to do anything) - the only one with a key in his possession. Any case, I was able to get a hold of my mom and she is going to drop off a copy of the key we gave her in the hidden spot so my high schooler will be able to get in.

Very long I know - the think is I want to have this hit home as they need to take responsibility for not losing these things. I am tired of hearing excuses - well I don't have a key ring; I told sis where the key was....

I thought I would have them pay for replacement keys (although dollar-wise not expensive, they will not like parting with money). Do you think that is sufficent? Should I have them do something for their grandmother having to go out of her way?
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 08:00 am
Ugh. Kids and keys.....

I hate to think about how many keys to our house are floating around.

I think having them do something for their grandmother is a great idea -- some cleaning or gardening or leaf raking. That way they earn back their keys.

After a big bike heist at Mo's school we had to get him a better lock (his lock was cut but his bike was left behind, thank goodness) and all the good ones use keys. I've been thinking I should just go ahead and order copies. Now I think I will.
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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 08:05 am
I'd make all of it about keys and responsibility. Require your kids do as follows -

1) Buy new keys (hell, change the locks)
2) Buy or make a key rack for everyone, install it by the front door
3) Buy key rings for everyone who doesn't have them

The idea of anyone who comes/goes not having a key ring is weird, and it leads to this very thing. It can be a simple clip-on item, to clip to a belt loop or purse strap. The rack is where all of these key rings go at the end of the day. You come home, your key rack is looped over one of the hooks.

This will not prevent people from ever losing their keys again, as folks could forget to bring their keys with them or could take them off the rings or lose the entire rings. But it is a start.

As for doing something with/for their grandmother, I think that's a nice idea anyway, but my point here is not only a punishment that will have some feeling but also maybe preventing this sort of thing from happening again.
Region Philbis
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 09:30 am

hide an extra emergency key somewhere secret that only you and your husband know about...
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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:01 pm
Well the key I had given to the neighborhood girl had two key rings on it and it still managed to get lost within the same day of getting it back.

The one my older daughter had is the understandable one - she didn't have a key ring (although she did at one time - still don't know what happened to that probably broke) and really didn't need it over the summer so it is likely in a softball bag or some other sports bag she used some time after end of school year and beginning of this year.

But that was being lost. Upon knowing it was lost at beginning of school year she should have told me and we could have easily had a replacement key made and not to simply rely on hidden key - which I just found out about this week. That was when I realized we only now had one hidden key and hubby's key.

Of course as fate would have it - the day prior to planned on making keys is the locked out date.
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:51 pm
If your kids have to sit on the stoop for several hours waiting for you to come home, they'll figure out how to not misplace the keys.

You make it way too easy for them to not put in the effort to do so.
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 01:53 pm
You could also have a digital lock installed and eliminate keys entirely.
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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 02:11 pm
I agree with that, BFN.

My family never kept a lot of keys. Maybe we were all losers..
I think I've only completely lost my keys once, and they were found some time later under some car seat nook.

I lose stuff in the house. This could be the dreaded senior stuff, except that I always have, related to my eye history . If I drop something on the floor, I don't always see it right away if it's small. Have to turn my head or my eyes, and I still may miss it if it is dark. This is lifelong, I'm used to it, my visual field tests haven't change in 25 years and that was when I first had them, but to simplify my looking I always keep my keys in the doorway area, and other stuff, like the flashlight, other places. Anyway, I have keys out to a couple of people but I don't trust them not to lose them, gah. One I'm thinking about - I like my immediate duplex neighbor, but not so much her relatives, who seem to be thoughtless bozos. So far I keep the key. But the other neighbor has one.
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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 02:55 pm
So far as the key thing goes, it's easy. Just never lock the doors. Everyone has a key except linkat, and if anyone is left out of the key distribution program it seems like everyone in the neighborhood just uses the hidden key - except when someone forgets to return it.

Just don't lock the door.
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:01 pm
Well that was actually my back up plan for them. If my mom was unable to come over - that is what would have happened.

The reason I even considered to call my mom was the worst problem child was not going to suffer. She had something after school today. My older one would be home earlier and have to suffer at the mistake (the left key in the house) of her younger sister and be forced to sit outside or in the garage, believe me I thought about doing that, but thought it unfair as she had always remembered in the past to put the key back in its proper place.

The thing is too this morning I just praised the younger for being responsible as she got ready for school and cleaned up and left the house without me being there (I passed her as she was walking out the door) - I had to drive the older one to school as there are no school buses for high school.

My bigger concern is the lack of ownership and concern over their mistake. I mean I understand mistakes happen, but I want them to own up and say yeah I screwed up, rather than say well daddy must have moved your keys, I put them here and I told sis that the key was on the window sill. Whereas she should, darn I forgot to put it back. Or my older one saying sorry, I can't find my key - I'm not sure what happened to over the summer. Rather than me finding out by asking her if she had her key in her backpack one day.

It isn't so much the missing keys - I am expecting them to be more responsible and to own up when they make an error and maybe even come up with their own solutions to resolve future problem of missing keys. But I want to "punish" them in such a way to understand the importance of being taking ownership and responsibility.

We do plan to have a sit down with them tonight and explain it. And then come to a decision.
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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:03 pm
Yeah we honestly don't lock the door that much - but with them being home alone after school - I feel more comfortable with the door being locked when they enter. Now granted the dog is there, it is definately more a mental thing.
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Frank Apisa
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:15 pm
I lost my key ring on Thursday of last week…my car keys, my house keys, and all those discount plastic things that you use at the supermarket. I was driving my aunt’s car…taking them shopping and had the keys to my car in my pocket. When we get home and I get into my car…no keys. They musta slipped out. Checked both my aunts car and my car very carefully…no keys.

I am almost certain I lost them at the supermarket…so I call there. Young Indian girl answers…if you can do her responses with an Indian accent, this becomes much more clear:

Frank: “I was shopping there earlier and I must have dropped my key ring with all my keys on it. Has anyone turned in a key ring with several keys and a bunch of supermarket discount plastics?”

Clerk: (quizzical voice) “You are looking for discounts?”

Frank: “No…no...no. I lost my keys while I was shopping there earlier and I was wondering if any keys were turned in.”

Clerk: (Honestly) “You want to come here to shop?”

Frank: (still very understanding and calm…and using a friendly tone) “No…I lost my keys while shopping there earlier and I am trying to find out if any keys have been turned in.”

Clerk: (Still, honestly) “Well how can I help you?”

Frank: (Actually continuing to retain some semblance of calm and sanity) “Look, I would like to leave my telephone number…and if anyone turns in a set of keys, you folks can call me and I will come and pick them up.

Clerk: (May I be struck dead!) “You want our telephone number?”

At that point I said, “Thank you”…and hung up. Used my aunt's car to go home and got a spare set of keys...then drove back to the supermarket. I spoke one of the women at the service desk (a young Indian girl was also behind the counter) and asked about keys that might have been turned in.

The woman treated my story as though it were an unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion on her free time; opened a drawer; shuffled around some things in it; and said, “Nope, no keys”…and then just looked away. She never offered to take a phone number in case something was turned in later (I wrote my phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to her anyway.)

No calls came over the weekend…went back early this week and checked…no keys turned in.

Your story was sad, Link. But….
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 03:42 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I'm sorry to laugh, Frank. That store needs some shaping up, whether anyone is Indian or not. You go there often?
I went to my grocery today and pulled out a dysfunctional cart and one of the long time clerks came over and said this is a bad one, life your hands so I don't chop your fingers... and fixed it. They know me, for better or worse. Wasn't all that busy on a Fri. morning though, a scary thought, as I like the place and want it to thrive. So I'll say the name, John Brooks market.

In the same market, the time before last that I went there, I went to the bulk-stuff dispensary and put many almonds in a bag (the cheapest nuts there, and besides, I like them). I put the wired label on and the almonds were with me when I went to the meat section, I remember it, in the top space where some put little kids. I got to check out, and I had no almonds. Did I drop them? unlikely. Did someone take them? unlikely. Were they in the lower basket? No. I looked around where I had been in the store, no almonds in the produce section, no almonds in meat. I checked out and then asked the store people if anyone had turned in a bag of almonds. No.

A week later, the checker remembered me when I was buying walnuts. Not the same checker.

So, like, just don't lose your nuts.
Frank Apisa
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 04:04 pm
Funny, Ossobuco.

I was not picking on the Indian girl...she was a bit confused. (Perhaps more than a bit...but she was new.) The other woman...I have seen at the front counter many times. I take my aunts (ages 87 and 93) there every Thursday. The place is absolutely mismanaged, but the aunts have been going there for years...and any change would drive 'em nuts.
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