Have you ever send your kid to the quiet corner OR reduce his/her allowances OR ban him/her from watching his/her favourite cartoons OR “You are grounded for a week!” OR even spank him/her till he/she shouts “Ok.ok.. I’ll never do it again.” ….But when the pain on the buttocks are gone, so did the memory and that promise…. Familiar?

It was the last Friday in December 2008, for the very first time, my boys did something that almost made me EAT THEM ALIVE!

“Me first!” “No! Me first” A common verbal fight went on that night in the kitchen. I ignored. Few seconds later two sprinters sped to the living room to fight for a ‘good’ seat infront of the PC for their favourite internet game on Playhouse Disney. (By the way, that’s in the past, now, they are only playing games using their Facebook account)

I heard the sound of water running. I sprung up and Damn! They were so eager to have that ‘main’ seat, both had refused to turn off the tap, fearing that the 1 second used in slapping down the tap handle, to stop the water flow, would be too costly to their vie for that VIP seat.

The tap handle was lifted to the maximum. The strength of the water was so great, sprinkles were ‘bouncing’ off from the basin to give my floor an uncalled for wash.

I rescued my floor in split seconds (my house isn’t that big anyway), turned my head and spit fire at my boys like an escaped dragon! I was so pissed!

What would you do after the fiery scoldings?

Water is Precious. Water is MONEY!!! I MUST make them understand how important water is. I HAVE TO make them know wasting water is throwing money senselessly. I AM DETERMINED to make them REMEMBER this mistake!

What would you do?


The look on my face had shocked my boys, they stood nervously infront of their play corner instead of fighting for that chair. “Binbin, what is Gorgor’s favourite HotWheels Car?! …. Keatkeat, and what is Binbin’s favourite?”

That’s the great thing about having 2! At times like these, they are eager to ‘help’ the disciplinary master. ‘Cos if you only had one, he will never want you to take away ‘THE favourite’, he’ll probably pass you the 2nd favourite!

I kept them high in the storeroom, but low enough for them to see with tippy toes, yet not low enough for them to touch. They are ‘trained’ well enough not to ‘rescue’ their ‘pets’ when the law-enforcer is not looking.

Since then, they will open the door everyday to peek at their favourites and then come over to me, “Mommy, did you scold me today?”

Yes, that’s their only lifeline – Be So Good for 24 hours, so much so that I DID NOT Scold or even raise my voice at you and you will get your favourite toy car back!

Days went passed. Weeks too. After 3+ months, Binbin DID IT! Yesterday was indeed a GOOD FRIDAY for him. My 4 year old was such a heavenly boy that I had to ask Allan to help me do the recall-QC and yes, the boy deserved to be rewarded.


Sigh…as for the challenging Keatkeat, instead of reaching for this goal, over the past 3+ months, 2nd and 3rd favourites had joined the 1st victim ‘behind-bars’.


So now, he had to Not be scolded for 24hours thrice before he’ll be able to get his top favourite blue car.

I’m saying that taking away the kid’s favourite things is the most effective punishment for my boys, ‘cos even the poor-memory-Binbin CAN remember why his red car was kept from him.

When I passed it to him, other than giving me a *Phew*-Finally-You-Are-Back-In-My-Palm expression, he assured me (without being asked), “Mommy, I will not waste water anymore, because water is important.”