Let's start off by passing along the knowledge that I practically never spank my kids. They're generally pretty well behaved on their own. Except Younger Son, and that's all out of my hands anyway. But Son and Daughter are usually very good. I consistently get compliments in public on how well behaved and polite they are.
That being said, yesterday I spanked son for the second time. He's also on his first ever grounding sentence. He's been pushing me as far as he can lately, and I really can't take anymore.
The first time I ever spanked him was last summer, probably late August. We moved into this house in July, and he was told he was free to play outside in the back yard whenever he wanted. It's fully fenced in and I didn't have to worry about people being tempted to take him or him wandering away. Or so I thought. Part of the way Autism Spectrum Disorder displays in him is that he has no sense of danger. He constantly wanders off if I don't watch him. So there was a period of a few weeks last summer where he would open the gate and leave the back yard. We'd find him out front or over at the neighbor's house usually. We had many talks about why he was not allowed to leave the yard. Every time, he said he understood and it wouldn't be a problem anymore. But then one morning I was cleaning the kitchen and I happened to turn and look at the front door. Son was out front, peering in the windows at me. I lost it in an instant. I brought him inside, straight up to his bedroom, and I spanked his butt. He never did it again. I felt horrible about it for days afterward, but he was over it in an hour and the problems with him wandering off stopped.
Lately, we've been having constant battles over everything. He back talks constantly. He argues with everything everyone says, just to be obnoxious. He's been drawing all over the walls and in his books and on his clothes. For weeks now, we've been fighting him to chew with his mouth closed and to stop talking with food in his mouth. We tell him no less than five times at every meal and nothing changes. Yesterday was another one of those days that I couldn't take any more. At one point, Daughter came to me with a toothpaste tube and asked me to open it. She had toothpaste all over her face like she'd been eating it. I asked Son where she got it and he said he'd given it to her. After a call the Poison Control, I'd had enough.
I sent Son to clean up his bedroom. That means pick up all the Legos, throw away all the pieces of trash, get the clothes off the floor. Basic stuff. I ended up telling him twice more. And then I spanked his butt. He never did pick up the stuff. At nap time, I pointedly told him there were to be NO toys or books in the bed, he was to lay down and be quiet if he wasn't going to sleep. At the end of nap time, there were no less than six books in the bed. Various toys. Some pens (which we'd all ready taken away and forbidden multiple times).
After dinner, Husband, Son and I sat down together so that I could explain to son that he was going to be grounded for a week. No movies, no video games, all the toys were coming out of his bedroom, and there would be no books going into the bedroom. They left to get everything cleaned up and Son went immediately to bed as it was only twenty minutes before bed time anyway.
This morning, Son asks first thing if he can have his video games. When I said no and asked if he remembered why they were taken away, he gave me a blank stare and sulked out of the kitchen. I'm not sure he's going to learn anything from all of this. I'm very frustrated and don't know where to proceed from here.
On a positive note, I worked a while on my embroidery last night and discovered that I had, in fact, made much more progress on it than I remembered. It was a small moment of joy in my otherwise stressful day.
Here's hoping that things settle down a little over the next few days, or I'm going to start locking myself in the bedroom and hiding like a hermit.