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Moriah Bettencourt

LOL You've gotta be consistent! But I will confess that I *never* throw away anything with eyes or a mouth... those darned Toy Store movies have scarred me for life!


There is a long standing family story that my mother told my sister if she did not clean her room she would put all her toys in the trash and throw them away. And she did. My sister refused to clean her room so my mother had no choice, but to take all her toys and put them in a big black trash bag and throw them out while my sister sobbed. My sister cried and cried, but we always cleaned our rooms after that, and I am proud to say are successful and loving adults and not scared by the occasional harsh punishments of our parents. Don't worry it is hard now, but she will get better.


Ha!! You won Karen! Yay for you! I feel your pain, though, I have been there too many times lately!! And I hate myself when I cross that threatening line. It makes me feel so powerful and powerless at the exact same time. kids...gotta love 'em!

Shenandoah bed and breakfast

Threatening a child is necessary to make him listen to you obediently.It should work and if it work it is simply great.But try not to hurt your child.Hurting somebody is not good.Just treat your child like that he respects you and listen to you at once.

Jen Spain

There is no way I can let my 9 year old see this -- he just might keep on with the homework battle in hopes that I will get frustrated and throw it away! I am so impressed at your consistency (and kind of in awe/scared of the lady who sawed a toy in half). I have thrown toys out too which led to a lot of wailing at the time, but it sure got the point across -- and Lord knows there's no shortage of toys around here. Reading this has made me feel so much better about the homework and doing-as-you're-asked battles that have gone on around here lately!


you're such a good mommy!
kids need consistency in their lives.
as hard as that must have been, you did the right thing!

Lynda p

Wow we share the first 3 things, but kudos to your consistency. A few weeks ago I cleaned my 9yr old daughters room with that same impatience and got rid of toys (not prize possesions) but all the same. Well I still had the bag in my van & actually pulled out a toy she was looking for. I had told her days before I got rid of it cause she didn't keep her room clean, but I have not given it back to her though. And after i read ur post I will not! Thnx and hang I there. I must say, that Annie is one sweet innocent lil baby, but those are the ones u have to be strong with! Lol


Karen, I just really love your stories. It feels like I am actually wantching everything unfold.


Very cool post, thank you for sharing the story :) Many greetings from Germany


Karen, you are a great mum and I really know how hard this could be - I battle 4 of them myself.
I love all your stories - and this one made me smile after the battles I had today....

Leonie - Australia

Ha Ha, that gave me a laugh reading your story, though I am sure it wasn't funny for you going through it, I must say though I am a little concerned for the Mum who sawed the toy in half, she could need some anger management classes ha ha. Hope the rest of your week is less stressful!

Michelle B

I too have a three year old (boy) that has been more to handle latley. We have been putting his toys in time out. And that works well. But I suppose I get a bad mother award because the other night he wouldn't stay in bed and I was so tired I actually told him if he doesn't stay in his bed that the monster downstairs will come up and get him. We haven't had any wandering three year olds in the middle of the night since. And I am hoping I didn't scar him forever. Three is hard - they are so cute and so rotton all at the same time.

Brandi in OH

Karen you did the right thing...My #1 rule of parenting (I have two girls 11 & 8) plus I was a Nanny for 7 years, is be CONSISTENT. You know that when the punishment is just as difficult for you as it is for the child then 9 times out of 10 it will do the job and you won't have to repeat it.
When I was a nanny and the kids were old enough to pick their toys up by themselves I told them that I was not going to show up on Mondays and clean up their weekend mess like their parents expected me to. Luckily their parents backed me up on it. I said "if I find toys out I will put them the back of my car trunk for one week". I only had to do it once and their son who is now 26 has never forgotten the first and only time I had to put his Lego spaceship away for him.

Jennifer S

Good Job Karen! ( and glad you grabbed a photo..what a story!) I actually love how she was yelling that she is just a tiny baby and everyone is mean...thats adorable! Not so adorable at the time I am sure. My youngest seems so much like her, but 2.5..OH BOY. GIve me strength! I am sure I will be thinking of this post someday fighting my own battles :) Thanks.


I was rolling on the floor when I got to the part where Annie told Josh *her* version. All she did was protest the wet floor once and you freaked out and threw a baby away, right! Hilarious. Josh must've been cracking up. Annie will razz you about this until you are old and gray!


You are my hero. Never doubt for 1 second that you are a totally kick-ass mom. Your kids will grow up to respect authority and to know the difference between right and wrong. I love this story. Once I threw a toy out the window of the car when we stopped at a red light. My sister called me a mean mom, but you know what, my kid doesn't ever DARE to throw toys around the car anymore. :)


Great story. I too throw toys away for misbehavior. I put it in an empty trash bag right in front of them then take the trash bag outside to the garage trash. When they are not looking or not at home I retrieve the toy and put it in my closet where it sits for months until they've forgotten they've ever had it. Then it gets regifted to them as an award for good behavior over whatever period of time we established. I just can't bear to throw something away that I paid hard earned money for. Don't know what I'll do when they're old enough to remember, probably make them take it and donate it to less fortunate kids. Glad to know I'm not the only parent who does this.

jennifer Compton



Good for stayiny consistent!
I have to admit, that had me teary and laughing at the same time! You are brave woman. Very brave!


It really is "trying" on ones nerves when a child is not behaving in the manner in which they were told to behave. Especially when it is for a punishment to one of their deeds. I know this all too well. I applaud you for sticking to your guns with Annie. Her heart will heal. I raised 4 boys and now a daughter (14 years difference between DD and youngest DS)... and I find girls are much more tempermental than boys. Everyday is a learning process. We are not always right, we are not always wrong...but in the end it is best to stick to our word. Our children remember that more than remembering the punishment.


Hang in there!


Love it! I have such a hard time throwing away toys (especially the treasured ones) when my kids misbehave. But when they are defiant you've got to stick to your word. It's the only thing they'll learn. And I usually don't throw them away, I donate the toys. (That way at least my hard earned money isn't going to bless the trash, but another family/child).

And the last time I did it, I made my kids do the donating.

Tammy Mellish

LOVE IT! Chloe, btw, doesn't LOVE IT! She just came over while I was away and saw this screen with the baby in the trash and was MORTIFIED! Chloe, much like Annie (and as I have written before) is a HUGE dolly lover. She also was scrolling down and saw 'her big sissy' wearing 'my big sissy's' dress (my two girls have that same blue dress with the ruffle at the chest.. a Target score on Clearance. I'm just laughing out loud that she thinks Courtney Lee borrowed Mikaela's LOL!).

Sara R.

Holy cow! You are BRAVE. I'd have cried myself...


When my son was about six, he was playing with an action figure (I think it was a Power Ranger) in the back seat of our van while on the way home from school. Well, this particular toy made noise. I tolerated it as long as I could and then I told him to wait until we got home to play with it any more. Well, he continued to make it make its ANNOYING noise. So, I told him he needed to stop it unless he wanted me to take it. My normally well behaved, polite child replied in a smug and sassy tone, "What are you gonna do with it ? HOld it until we get home ? I'll just make the noise with it when I get home."

Without even batting an eyelash, I reached into the back seat and snatched it from his hands and tossed it out the window. (We were on the Huey P Long Bridge crossing the Mississippi river at that particular moment.)

I said, "Now you can't." and kept driving.

To this day, we joke about whether or not the Power Rangers were avid swimmers or not. =)

You're not alone. Parenting just brings those kinds of events right to the surface.

ana roat

Confessions of a toy-tossing mom...I tried this and although it worked, I couldn't bring myself up to actually throwing the toy away so I'd retrieve it while Rebekah wasn't looking and hide it in the garage. Now some 25 years later, my "drama queen" has her treasures back. Keep up the good mom!


Here's my list:
1. lack of patience
2. lack of patience
3. lack of consistency

I definately need to work on both! Thanks for the reminder.

PS: I'm just glad to know that other parents are having 'bad mornings' in their homes too.

Sherri Rodgers

Tsk. Tsk. Little Miss Annie may not have many toys if she keeps it up at this rate...

Karen, If you watch Caesar on "The Dog Whisperer"-- it is all about being the Pack Leader and enforcing your position in the pack. If you are raising chickens (which I am doing right now)-- it is called the "pecking order", and you must establish that you are Top Chicken and Annie is the Bottom Chicken. Stick to your guns! Keep sending Annie to time out. And if I were you-- I wouldn't let Annie call her Mommy "meany"-- she should keep those mean words in her head.

You are doing a great job!

Cindy Elwood

Your good. I have thrown toys away but I always take them out of the trash and give them back to the girls days later. Before they get the toys back, they must have redeemed themselves. I wish I was more consistent. Great lesson today!!


Been there...done the t-shirt! People who criticize should be forced to take care of a tempermental, disobediant 3 year old for a month and see what they think about us "harsh" moms then. I guarantee all their preaching about patience will fly out the window! 3 - 4 1/2 was the toughest age with both my kids. Not sure why the call it Terrible Twos - I thought that age was a piece of cake compared to three!


Wow! You did it. I need to do the same. I am lacking the patience that I need for my youngest. Good for you!

Susan Bowers

Way to go Karen! I once bagged up most of my boys' toys (3 large yard bags) because I threatened and followed through - and took them to the attic where they stayed for over 6 months. Boys hardly missed them so they ended up going in the trash or were donated later.

Kids really want truth and stability. Both were accomplished.


I haven't read any of the other comments. So... in case someone has already said this, You are an inspiration to those of us who struggle with consistency! I am the reverse of you, I have patience and less consistency, which means there are times that the rest of our family suffer my out of control kids. (they aren't out of control always, but when it does happen, OMG!)

Anyway, if it has already been said, please take it to heart... Your good qualities are an inspiration to the rest of us. And as I say to my children "Good Job!"


Great post Karen! Funny thing is that just last night, I told my kids if they didn't pick up their toys before they went to bed, Mommy and Daddy would pick them up and take them right out to the trash bin. I've never seen my son clean up all his toys so fast!
I know that consistency is one of the most important things when it comes to parenting, the hardest for me is following through on the "if you don't eat your dinner, there's nothing to eat until breakfast!" that gets me everytime, but I have to put the kid to bed hungry or it will bite me in the A$$ later!!! like when he's 15!

Wendy Goodman

I've threatened to throw toys in the garbage. Sometimes it's all I have left to get my point across. Parenting does take patience, doesn't it? Some days I just don't have it in me. But I know I'll never have a 3-year old ever again, so I just try to roll with it, celebrate each day, and try not to get too upset. It's not easy! Have a great day.


Hugs to you...I know exactly how that feels. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "I hate you" or "You're mean" when things do go her way. Also good for you to follow through. I bet Coley and Courtney won't misbehave like Annie did after seening what you did. I'm glad that Josh is onboard too and didn't derail you.

Take Care,


Karen, I don't often have a chance to post but I follow your blog and love your family/home/photos from afar.
Your parenting lists are the same as mine I think.
Love this story.
Been there, done that.
Even locked myself away so I wouldn't retrieve the toy.
I always wish our families could hang out together, I bet we would have a blast.

Annie L.

"O" my goodness... I think we live in two different houses but with the same 3 year old. My daughter Madison acts exactly the same. I often stare at the mirror and wonder if I am doing something wrong.. Am I not loving her enough. How can she go from so loving to, I am not going to be your best friend MOMMY!!!! She acts completely different with other people, pleasant as an angel.. It helps my heart hurt less knowing that someone who is a real mom is having the same issues.. Good luck to you Karen. I will pray for you and myself as well.


I know it was emotional turmoil but think of the funny story it makes. OK I thought it was funny. The "not my baby" made me snort. My mom did something like that to us when we refused to clean our rooms. I could not even tell you want toys we lost.

Paola Norman

I'm so pround of YOU Karen. Parents have to make some tought decisions sometimes especially when it comes to parenting. I believe children have to know that when a parents speaks they are serious, nothing is worse then empty threats...As heart wrenching as it was I belive it will really pay off in the long run. Annie now knows your serious and so do the other kids.
You rock. I'm sure there will be one day soon when Annie will behave wonderfully and a new baby will come into the picture.
Your wonderful, thanks for sharing your stories.
Take care,

Becky (aka: beckywedd)

Good job Karen! You are being a good mom, no matter how hard it was. And the proof is in the pudding -- Annie behaved the next time! Way to be a responsible mom (although it must have been brutally hard). And thanks for sharing your honesty about your kids -- so many people put a BS good face on it and your honesty is so powerful and refreshing. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!

Becky (aka: beckywedd)


Good for you! Consistency & follow-through..two things I insist on. Oh how I wish I could buy patience in a spray and mist myself throughout the day. And some toddler energy-we have an abundance of it but unfortuneatly it's non-transferrable. And most days caffeine is just not enough.


u just described yesterday morning at my house. seriously. Change Annie's name to Myles and change the baby to a super hero movie, and you have tuesday morning at my house. : )

Tina Schiefer

Oh, raising children is such a joy!

Once all three of my boys wouldn't clean their rooms and I had had it! Too many hours begging and pleading. I'd have them in their rooms and they'd get sidetracked and begin playing - AND not cleaning.

Sure, THEY were having fun, but totally off-task.

After hours of this - yes, hours! I'd tried to be patient...I finally sent them out of the room and went in. I removed the screens from the windows and threw all the toys out the window!

Then, they had to go outside and put them into the garbage can. (They didn't actually get thrown away though. I couldn't bear the thought of all that $$$ being trashed! I later boxed them up and stored them in the garage - heck, I'm such a pack rat, they're probably still in a box!)

The best part, other than the lesson hopefully they learned that day, was the neighbor across the street - a mom of three boys exactly the same ages - came out and gave me a thumbs-up! See, all moms go through the same things - different kids, different scenarios, SAME emotions!


Wow! That was tough! I am a lot like you are. If I threaten a punishment and my son keeps going, I follow through. I, too, try to always be careful what I threaten because I know I have to follow through, no matter how difficult. Having 2 yr and 6 yr old sons, I can easily imagine how hard that was for you. But, once you said what the punishment would be, you HAD to do it. And I think Courtney and Cole learned a lesson from Annie's mistake too. For a while, at least, I'll bet you get lots more cooperation from everyone at your house. It's hard to be the mom. Hang in there and keep doing a great job. And, could you come to my house and help me break my 6 year old from his new habit of lying?

Tammy Mellish

I'm back again because I've had some time to sit with what you wrote and I just want to give you a hug, because I'm sure that it tore you up to do that. I've done similar things.. and although it feels good to follow through on the parenting end, it does NOT feel good to break the heart you hold in your hand (even if it is for their own good.. and it is our job after all to raise them right).

Be well.

cindy b.

LOL! GREAT story!! And BRAVO to you for following through on what you say. If only more parents would do that!! And hearing that another mom actually cut a toy in HALF...eeks!! :-) Thanks so much for that story! Loved it!! Happy Hump Day!

Kim Bolyard

please tell me you took the baby out of the garbage and hid it can give it to her when she it 16....and say remember this...LOL...I have to say I admire you..I could have never done it.....


Nicki Lundeen

Yea for you. You are a great mom and being consistent is one of the most important things, I believe. It isn't easy raising respectful children these days but it seems you are well on your way. Good for you.

Michelle J

Your Annie Posts always make me laugh. I've said it before, I think my 4 year old is Annies double. I thought it again the other day with your post about the crying. And today - wow. She calls me Meany (can't stand that), sasses, and screams in Time out. Then when I tell her she is making me sad she cries - But I Loooove you Mom, as if I've just told her I would never hug, kiss, or even look at her ever again. Sigh. (my older two were OH so easy - I'm getting paid for that now!)

Toys go away for an undisclosed amount of time. I'm too sentimental even though I've threatened to do the trashbag with my older girls rooms- instead they stay pigsties, and they lose allowance and the ability to have sleepovers and friends over until they are clean.. Then I worry I am taking away part of their childhood! Oy Next time you slip, have Josh take the doll out and give it to Goodwill so it doesn't feel so awful to you.


I love the story and one day she will read it an appreciate how you were consistent in disciplining. But, oh man she is a hoot!


So funny. You stay strong! As for me, I'd probably have fished that darn doll out of the trash, but then I'd be caught for being a softie!


Quite honestly I could have written that post - obviously the kids names are different but when I lose my patience - which is usually quite quickly - I threaten them with exactly the same - toys in the bin - done it to! Lord help us !!! We are human and they (the little ones) most certainly are not!!! Thank you for sharing - I know now that somewhere across the pond you are doing the same as me!!


LOL - you are my HERO!!!! I wish I could be that consistent with my teenagers - but I AM getting better and you just helped the cause even more! Thank you! :o)Hang in there - those little rascals (even the ones as CUTE and ADORABLE as Annie) get to all of us at times!


OMG! Did you get the baby out of the garbage? And maybe hide it although I know that would be 'wrong' because she'd never believe you would do it again, bu did you get the baby out of the garbage?
And you better behave because I can see your camera ending up in there one day! Or hide it on a very high shelf and don't worry about behaving!


Awesome story! I have thrown away a few things, it is harder than it sounds:) Good stuff!

Lisa Russell

My 15 and 16 year old boys still talk about that time "mom FREAKED out over the spilled bbq sauce in the car incident". See my then 6 year old tried to convince me that he could handle bbq sauce in the car with his chicken nuggets from McDonald's. And I told him, "No you can't, no sauce." So as I'm driving he's in the backseat opening his bbq sauce like I never said a word. Next thing I know, his younger 5 year old brother is crying and saying "Mom's gonna kill you." And I turned around and bbq sauce is all over the cloth seats! So I snatched that stupid freaking bbq sauce and whipped it out the window while screaming "That's it, you are NEVER eating bbq sauce again!" Freaked them both out because of my head spinning and my screaming, plus the bbq sauce was flung out the window and splattered all over the car next to us. Both of them cried in the back seat the whole ride home. The good news: We can all laugh about it - and 10 years later we've never had another incident with bbq sauce. When we sold that car both of them commented that they will miss that bbq sauce stain in the backseat. Punks!


WOW that took courage...I could have just seen myself getting that baby out of the trash in a heartbeat...boy oh boy what a morning huh? You had me laughing all the way through your story though, so thank you. I needed it. Hope the rest of the week is better :)

tara pollard pakosta

I could never do that, because I am the inconsistent parent. the one with all the empty threats!
but good for you! because I just could not have followed through! that's why my girls laugh at me
when I say something they know I would never do....I am getting better thougH!

Nicole Kberg

I've done the same thing to my 3 yr old boy's beloved basket of dinosaurs. Not sure what hurt more: seeing his sad face, my sad face having to follow through on my threat or the fact that I had just thrown away $100 dollars+ worth of plastic. He's a better listener for it though.

Kim P

Thanks for posting this. We're having a rough morning at our house too. It started at 7:30am and didn't stop until she finally went down for a nap (what'll I do when naps are done?!?....hopefully she'll grow and learn....). Anyway, it's always so refreshing to hear what's happening everywhere else (love all the commments with the stories too!). They help my mental state just a little.


Great job. I do always have to remember not to threaten things that will 'cost me' too much, cuz that always sucks when it hurts me equally/worse than the kids...example: "knock it off or we're not going out to dinner", means I have to cook. Dang.


You are sooooo not alone! My middle child is just like Annie...spunky and willful. I am the President of the Mean Mommy Club here in Colorado. You are officially an honorary member!!!!!!!!!!!

Denise M

I love that you shared that.
My youngest, Kara, just turned 4 and sounds very much like your Annie. Bossing her sisters around, tantrums, screaming fits. Sometimes I feel like the worst momma ever because I lack patience but then I'll read one of your posts and see that I'm not alone.

Lan Amphone

Ahhh, i got through this everyday so it's good to hear about someone else's experience. Except I haven't found anything that means that much to my 4 and 2 year old except for my daughter's blankie. And I feel awful about it too. We gotta do what we gotta do.


you are a good impress me every day :)


Amen sister! Yah gotta do what yah gotta do! As most people have said, we've all been there, done that! I have had to do the same things with my kids and it's amazing how quickly they learn! Very funny story! That Annie is a card!


oh, your story remindes me so much at the day, when I was in the same situation with my son Leon and I threatened to fast, that I would throw his favorite stuffed animal "Gogo" out of the window (we are in the 3rd floor). And he didn't listen, so that I had to do what I've said ...


I laughed so hard at this posting today I had to blog about it on my own blog. I know parenting can be tough and there isn't a manual. We all do the best we can. I think throwing away a toy is better than harming the child anyway. One day when she is older you will tell her the story and both laugh about it. Take a look at my blog for the posting.

Take care,


Dang...that must have been a new one too since it is fully clothed and has not been abused by the dreaded sharpie! Consistency is key!!! Way to stay strong.

kathy b

I just want to give you a hug.Thanks for your honesty. Congratulations on being consistant and following through on your threat. Now if we didn't have to threaten, eh? I was a Preschool teacher for a couple thousand kiddos. I discovered praise for good behavior got me a lot more than my threats. But sometimes I had to scratch the bottom of the barrel for anything to praise and all that kept me from throwing away a toy was the fact that I was being watched by all those other eyes in my classroom. No one is perfect! You go girl, mama to four!

The story in our family is that my mother in law drove her three fighting kids to an orpanage. She told them all they could take one toy. They all repented in the drive way of the building. Years later they all learned the that the ominous three story brick building was really a senior citizens residence.

God bless you!
Kathy b

Kelly Friend

That picture makes me laugh everytime I see, I don't have kids but I teach first grade so I understand about having your paitence tested! Thanks for posts that are always guarenteed to make me smile!


You've got a redhead on your hands for sure! LOL....
my mom used to say if we left our toys out and didn't clean up she would put them in a Salvation Army bag and donate them....and one day....she did! Never did I leave anything out again.....
So don't feel aren't alone in sending toys away to curb behavior!


I tossed more than one toy when my boys were growing up. I did alot of things I thought would scar them for life.
Well, now they are 29, 27 and 22. And they are fantastic young men. They do like to tease me about some of the things I did to "punish" them. But they weren't tramatized for life.
Keep up the good work!

Janet W

This, too you will survive! My now 20 year old was three at the time she dangled her pacifier (which she loved dearly!) out the car window and threatened to throw. I told her if she did she wasn't getting another. She did, she didn't get another and she never took another nap after that! I'm not sure who was the loser in that battle! You keep on meaning what you say and they will never doubt that you mean it! That matters the older they get! Loved that story (and the pix!)


although it might seem a bit mean at the time. but good job with going through with your words! = )

Dana N

So sorry you had a rough day. I've done the same thing to my daughter and I felt terrible. But like you, I had to follow through on my threat. Glad to know I'm not alone in the patience department. Wishing you a better tomorrow!



Louise Murr



You GO, Mom!!! Consistency and follow-through are key to raising kids! My now 15-yr-old STILL doesn't like to talk about the time I marched him into his Kindergarten class, having made him wear cutesy pajamas to school! For months, he had been pitching fits in the mornings about getting dressed and was making me late to work every day. I finally told him I was going to wake him up, set a timer, and he had to be dressed when the timer went off or he would get to go to Kindergarten in pajamas and Winnie the Pooh slippers (which he thought were too babyish). He met the criteria for 2 weeks, then reverted back to old behavior and BAM! Off to Kindergarten we went, with him dressed in the pajamas and slippers. Never had another problem after that! LOL


My mom was like you and I really admire her for it. By the time I was a teenager, I knew as did all my friends, that my mom was never bluffing and if I got in trouble, I was in trouble to stay. I did stupid, silly, crazy teenager things, but I knew where the line was. When I got grounded, there was no discussion or negotiation, but most importantly I respected her rules and so did my friends. But my mom was really open, too. Example, I didn't have a curfew so my time to get home depended on what I was doing. The rule was that if I was going to be late or something changed, I had to call home and inform my parents. Roger that. Worked like a charm because I got to do things late into the night sometimes and my parents never had to wonder where I was.


When our dog was a puppy, our trainer told us to use a spray bottle to help train him not to do things, such as jump up. To this day, all we have to do is show him the bottle and he immediately stops whatever he is doing.

Something tells me all you'll have to do is show Annie this picture and she'll behave!

Ember S.

I want to know why, in every book I read while pregnant, they talk the heck out of the terrible twos...but never mention the terrible-er threes! Please tell me four is the magic number. For the sake of the babies!!
Speaking of babies...did she really go out with the trash?? :(


I FEEL your pain. My son is almost exactly Annie's age and we are dealing with the same attitude issues. Hang in there.


aren't kids grand?? you're a GREAT mom and I really enjoy reading about your family!

Mary Ann

Parenting...the hardest job you wil ever have. It's also the most rewarding, the most meaningful, and the most wonderful job you will ever have.

Judy Webb

Did you leave that darling baby in the garbage? Or did you fish it out and hide it in your closet?

Gena - MI

It stinks sometimes when you have to follow through! I had a picky eater who wouldn't finish one of his favorite meals (when he was 5 or so). I told him to finish or no dessert. He didn't believe me and wouldn't finish and told me that he didn't want dessert. I let him dump what was left on his plate.

He cried when we got ice cream out for dessert. :( I stuck to my guns -- even after he drew me a picture of a broken heart and told me that it was his! :(

This was the same kid when I told him that if he didn't eat his food he was going to die (he was really picky). He told me that would be OK since he'd be in heaven with Jesus.


I'm 64 now and don't have to deal the children discipline issues of daily life any more but my one and only bit of parenting wisdom I always offered up to anyone who would listen was "Say what you mean, mean what you say" I see it still works.


Ah man...first hugs to you....if you thought it was hard on was much harder on YOU. I did this once...when my child was about Annie's age (she is 14 now and still remembers this)...and she kept throwing fits when we'd leave somewhere...I made the mistake of saying we'd never GO INSIDE McDonald's again for a year. Good thing there was a drive thru! But I stuck to it...and I also left a restaurant once w/o eating b/c she was misbehaving so badly...we sat in the car while she raged and I cried watching my husband and mom eat a good meal. Man alive.


Your stories truly are the best. When reading your stories I laugh my tail off. You're adorable and your family is the greatest!!

Never stop being you..

gina harpur

Did Anne get even and throw you away? No blogging for a few days?... I'm worried.


:D I SO know how you are feeling! I have to admit, that I have done the same thing!

I was at my wit's end a while back. I could NOT get my daughter to pick up after herself no matter how hard I tried (or bribed her). Then, I came across Shel Silverstein's web site and found a story about the toy monster. This particular monster would gobble up toys left out on the floor overnight. What's even better, is the fact that on Mr. Silverstein's website, the story is animated!!! I showed it to my daughter with the hopes that this would FINALLY convince her to pick up! Apparently, that night, it did not work.

When she awoke the next morning, all the toys she had left out the night before were gone (and I mean, ALL the toys)! I told her that apparently, the toy monster figured out that she didn't really want to toys and ate them! I really don't have a problem with her picking up after herself anymore!! :D


Something tells me Santa will be bringing at least one new baby for Yannie!!

baby gifts

Poor toys, they are always the victim when kids don't listen... But we can't help it, those are their precious things.

Kristin Michael

Oh, and I thought I was the meanest mother ever!!! You have me beat for sure:)

Monika Wright

Have been through this same scenario myself...won't change my mind after I've said it, thrown toys away, and am a bit of a screamer about doing things after I've told them too many times to just do it.

Did you really throw it away? Oh, that hurts doesn't it? You'll remember that way, way, way longer than she will ever imagine.

I try to be a good Mommy, but the way I look at it...with 3 kids, there's always going to be mad at Mommy for something. Love makes the world go 'round.

Sally Davidson

Karen Russell, you are my hero. :)

ady abreu

Hi Karen, I loved reading this story and if it makes you feel any better I did that six years ago with a remote control car and it's still working. You definitely have to be consistent because as I tell my son. If Mom isn't happy nobody in the house will be happy...


Oh Boy!! Been there done that!! Last year our threats didn't seem to be real to our 15 year old son who didn't do his part in getting his grades up.. so when the report cards came home.. the for sale sign went up on his dirt bike.. and when it sold we made him wheel it into the guys truck!! It broke my heart...I just didn't think he would have let it get that far.. but he did and we had to follow thru! It's heart breaking !! Hang in there.. and from what I can see with everyones else's comments.. we aren't alone!

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