I use that line a lot. Not that it works really…
Disciplining a child as a Step Mom can be compared to walking a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. You need a family plan developed BEFORE you try to cross that gap.
Hopefully you have already had a conversation with your spouse about this long before you got married. You need to decide together what is the approach or style that you both agree to. It is important to clearly spell out where your boundaries are as the Step Parent, or if there is any in giving the discipline. Then the conversation needs to be shared to the kids so they have a clear understanding that they do need to listen to you too.
I find that making a child feel guilty over disappointing you is far more effective than yelling – although we all have those moments too. My personal approach is sending them to their room for a pause. This gives both parties time to calm down. Yes sometimes they make you want to pull your hair out…or their hair out, thus the time out for both parties. Within a short period of time I go to them and we have a conversation about whatever just happened, and how it could have been handled better.
I am a huge believer in consequences and love to interject extra learning whenever possible. Depending on the “crime” I make them give me 2-4 new “to them” words and their definitions. I also request a sentence with the word being used appropriately in. I give them a number of days so they can prepare and get back to me. The cool thing is my family now has a great vocabulary! Not only that, but the entire time they are discovering the new word and what they mean, it is being reinforced that they could have made better decisions. The internet has far more fun things to be looking up rather than vocabulary…
What is your creative punishment?