I watched this show today on TV about Strict Parents and thought it was hilarious. The setup is two teenage kids from different homes, who are causing mayhem in their homes, go live with a host family for about a week. The kids show up with cigarettes in their pockets, nose rings, and gigantic attitudes about how no one is going to make them do anything. They walk around strutting like little peacocks, insisting no one is ever going to make them do anything they don't feel they should have to do.
They show these kids in their own homes before they are carried off to the host family and you see the kids sitting in their filthy rooms with all kinds of expensive gadgets and clothes. They all had laptops, cell phones, etc. They all thought it was funny to yell at their parents and laugh at their parents and were happy in their gleeful disobedience. All I kept thinking is what I would do (pack up everything that is on the floor and throw it away, period). You could give their belongings to goodwill or the salvation army. I wouldn't even bother to tell them. Let them go out of the house and while they are gone, just pack their crap up and give it away and don't bother answering them when they ask where it is.
The electronic stuff? laptops? cell phones????? hell no!!!!!!! And how are they getting cigarettes? None of these kids were working and none were old enough to purchase cigarettes. I bet they all had an allowance, even though none of them did any kind of chores and treated their parents like crap. They wouldn't be getting a dime, including lunch money.
So they get to the host family and the first two head off to this family who lives on a farm. The father is built like the Hulk and the mother looks pretty stern (reminding me of an older sister or two of my own at times growing up). This family's punishment is to carry this water filled pole that looks to be about 6 or 7 feet in length, around the farm when they misbehave. If they are rude, they carry the pole around the perimeter. If they don't do as they are asked, they carry the pole again. The longer they keep up the negative attitude and bad behavior, the more they trot around the yard carrying the pole. At one point they refuse to carry the pole and the father takes each of them and sticks them in a middle of a field, in the hot sun, to sit and think about their behavior. He won't let them come back to the house until they agree to carry said pole the amount of times they were told they had to.
As they sit there, separately, neither one of them are going to do this stuff, no way. I laughed watching these two spoiled bratty teenagers sitting in time out. The teenage girl was the first to cave, after about two hours of sitting in the hot sun. She carried that pole and decided it would behoove her to do the chores asked of her. The boy lasted a little longer and decided it was a "stupid rule" but he would do it. They are then asked to help build a pig pen for a new pig coming to the farm. They have to do manual labor, dig holes, put the poles in the ground and help staple the fence on it. While they claimed earlier they were never going to do that, they both managed to do exactly what the host parents expected them to do.
At the end of the week, each kid gets a letter from his mother and they quickly realize maybe life with their parent is not so bad after all, and they begin to realize how awful they have been to their parents.
The next show featured even brattier kids, including a tall, tanned prima donna who "knew" she was beautiful and loved to report how she could make her mother do anything she wanted. She talked to her mother like a piece of shit, no other way to describe it. The boy came with wild hair, nose rings, cigarettes, and pants hanging off his rear end. His room looked worse than a couple of my kids used to look. Again, both had laptop computers, cell phones, cigarettes and the girl had been sneaking booze into her room.
They went to a different host family. I liked the first family, the farm ones better. But there was something about this host mother that made me laugh. I swear I saw a little of the devil in her eyes when she pulled out her notebook of "punishments" for naughty children. The first night, the teenage boy declared he had to be taken home because these people were crazy and long after his concerns and tears were ignored he decided he may as well help out. The girl did a crappy job with her assigned chores and smiled as she thought she got away with being lazy. The host mother's punishment? she pulled out a bowl of little round dots (like the kind left over in a hole puncher) and she threw them all over the rug. the girl had to go down the stairs and pick up the dots one by one and carry them up the stairs and go down and get another one (she could only take one dot up each flight of stairs). By the time she got to about the tenth dot, she threw herself on the floor feigning an asthma attack and demanding to be taken to the hospital.
I admit, I was sadistically laughing at this very spoiled teenage girl throwing a temper tantrum as if she were a two year old. The host mother had a little glee in her eyes and I think I knew what she was feeling.
I have had a few teenagers in my home throw little temper tantrums. One of my favorite things is when they go to stomp up the stairs and in their anger, trip and fall on their face going up. I remember making my youngest go back down and up the stairs stomping his feet as hard as he could, at least ten more times so he could get it out of his system. If he didn't stomp hard enough, I made him go again and I laughed every time he fell. I have also made him practice going up the stairs as softly as he could, making him go back up and down if I could hear a single step. And for everytime he spoke a word, he had to start over. It still makes me laugh thinking about how mad he got at me and I really don't give a rat's ass.
I remember my two oldest fighting and we used to make them sit on the couch and hug each other. We would make them embrace and hold each other. We may even have tied them together with a rope, I don't remember. I just remember laughing at how angry it made them that I would force them to sit and touch each other. I remember them saying they would rather die than sit next to each other.
There are lots of genius ways to get back at your kids for driving you nuts. I dont' remember which kid, but one of mine wanted to dress crazy and go to school so I went one day in my pajamas and showed up at their school with my hair umcombed and no bra, with ragged pj's on and asked permission from the office to go to their classroom. I remember walking down that hall and laughing and watching them be embarrassed.
With my youngest, he loves to volunteer me to give his friends rides everywhere, even though I am a single mom and can't really afford the extra gas. So when they get in the car, I sing, loudly, and believe me, I can't sing. I usually play a Davis Cassidy song or something else from the 1970's and sing my heart out. And I insist they sing along. "but mom all of my friends are going to think you are crazy???" gee, really? maybe they won't want to ride with me anymore and call their own parents to take them home.