Yes, We Take Away Our 5-Year-Old’s Privileges

You may all see the sweet face, eyeglasses, dimples, and low cut hair on the photos I share online of our son, A.J.,  and think to yourself, “He’s so cute.”

Yes, he is quite adorable. (Although I question it when he wakes at 6 a.m. most days.)

But what I want to share is that from time to time…

He loses his privileges: no TV, no tablet, no playdates or sweets.

Discipline 5 Year Old

Unfortunately, this weekend is one of those weekends when his privileges have been denied. So we’re getting creative on how to keep him busy without losing our minds.

You see, 5 year-olds think every day is a party. Where are we going today? What are we eating? What’s for dessert? Those are the most common questions he asks on any given day.

My husband is definitely the “The Heavy” at our house. There’s something about the bass in his voice that cuts through the air when A.J. misbehaves and immediately changes the dynamic.

On particularly rough days, a phone call or FaceTime chat with Daddy at work allows us to have a family meeting and works for us. It puts us all on the same page for what happens next: how to correct the behavior going forward.

Grandma is particularly peeved when we punish A.J. (What happened to the lady who raised me? She’s sure gotten a little softer over the years!)

The last five years of our lives as parents have been plagued with headlines about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray…

We are raising a Black boy in America.

Go back and re-read that sentence. Let it sink in for a minute. I talked about our fears of his public perception as being cute will someday turn into him being viewed as a criminal.

cute now criminal later

It’s our job to teach him about fairness and opportunity in the world. There are lessons he has to learn that my husband and I have to teach him so that he doesn’t learn the hard way.

We love him. The world doesn’t.

Whatever your parenting has been like so far, has recommendations on correcting children’s behavior in:  “Smart Discipline for Every Age”

A.J. Collage

Talk back to me in the comments: What works best for your family when it comes to discipline or punishment? What have you noticed for age appropriate punsishments?

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Of course, you give consequences for poor behavior. That’s called parenting! At AJ’s age, we did mainly time-outs. As our kiddo has gotten older, it’s technology that’s taken away. As a two-house family, we’re definitely the stricter. What do we get in return? A much more respectful and considerate preteen.

  2. Time out never worked for us. Taking away privileges( TV time, ipad time) WORKS over here. Heck, the THREAT of it works. He was having a few problems with being a chatter box as school, all I did was THREATEN to take away TV time. Perfect behaviour since.

  3. I don’t know why that happens but when I say something it’s like ignore mommy let their dad tell them to do something it’s done no questions asked, no talking back, it’s just done. I punish my kids my daughter got in trouble for the first time last week and I took away her privilege of the tablet for that Friday (they only get their electronics on the weekend) I made her do some work like fold clothes, clean her room, vacuum, etc. Needless to say she was pissed and didn’t even hug me that night….oh well tough tiddy lol

  4. I feel like I wrote this post with you! I stand with you, I take away privileges from my 6 year old (we started when he was 5) as a consequence for bad behavior. And just like you, my mama says I’m being too tough on him (which is strange considering she was definitely not a softie when I was growing up!

  5. I’ve started to take away electronics as well and send them outside to play. I think I’ve gotten so used to having them occupied with their electronics in the evening that when I take these things away it makes me spend time with them which is good. I don’t allow them to play outside without me so we’ve been having a good time taking evening walks. I’ve actually been thinking about only giving them one charge a week, so that they learn to ration their time and get active doing other things.

  6. What a great way to instill values in your son! We have two little girls and time out in their rooms is a daily occurrence along with what are we doing today? We take away their favorite toy, ban TV, or play date if it’s really bad.

  7. Natural consequences tend to work for us. Tying the punishment to the infraction whenever possible helps our kids think twice.

  8. In our home taking away electronics is like the end of the world. Also placing them in their room. You would think we put them in a cage the way they act.

  9. Taking away toys has worked pretty well for us. My son has a ton of boy energy and getting him moving to burn some of that keeps him out of trouble.

  10. Chunks only watches tv and/or plays with toys on the weekend so the threat of missing those straightens things up during the week. Also, the thought of losing out on a trip somewhere is crucial, tears and all.