Anyway, last month we drove up to the temple with a couple from our ward who also has sons. During the drive we were visiting and it came up that they make their boys (who are teenagers) do push-ups for punishment anytime they do something wrong. They said that they started this when their boys were about Jacob's age because it helped them get conditioned for wrestling. Aaron and I both looked at each other and instantly knew that this was something we wanted to do. As they shared with us their experiences with it I kept thinking what a great idea it was.
So the next day we explained our new punishment policy to the boys and they were actually thrilled. No more time outs or swats on the toosh I feel so liberated! Now when they act up, disobey, hit each other or are unkind they have to do the number of push ups that is appropriate for the offense. I can't tell you how wonderful this is for me as a mother! Now I don't get nearly as emotional when punishing the kids because it's a punishment that I am able to completely detach myself from. I simply and calmly tell them how many push ups they just earned. This morning Jacob had to do 20 push ups because he was harassing his brother to the point that Joseph was crying in frustration with the situation. So he did them (this picture was taken today) and then as usual he had to apologize to his brother and give him a hug.
Also, the rules for this punishment are that you have to do it wherever we are and if you protest or whine you get 5 more push ups added onto your punishment for each whine or comment. I was at Walmart the other day and one of the boys had to do push ups right in the parking lot outside the car. I've also made them drop while in the grocery store right in the middle of the aisle. (The added humiliation of doing it in public makes the punishment even worse). Ben had to do them in the pew during sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago because he was throwing a fit about something ridiculous.
A fun side note that I wanted to remember is that Benjamin ( who just turned 4) has the best form of all the boys. Initially Aaron and I were worried that he might not be able to do a push up because he's so young, but we were certainly wrong. He is such a muscly little boy, so solid and tough. Sometimes they are all down at the same time doing push ups and Ben will finish first because he does all of his so perfectly while his brothers sometime have to do repeats for "poor form."
This is the best thing ever! And on top of everything else they're getting so buff (if that's even possible for this age) (: