My 8yo has me knocking me head against a wall. One minute he is a sweet, caring, responsible little guy. The next minute he is doing something that he knows specifically he is not supposed to do. We'ved talked. We've explained. We've brainstormed together. He just does it anyway.
We have some plants in our backyard that send up long shoots and then bloom. We have been tending to them, waiting for the bloom. Ds chopped some off one time. We explained why not to do that, how important it was to us, etc. We gave him other options of things he could cut in the garden. Then one day he does it again.
We have big pruning shears that he loves to play with. We have gone over the safety aspects, and told which things outside are okay to cut and which aren't. Dead branches, brown leaves, etc., those things he can cut. Limbs of the fruit tree, no. Today I look out and he is in the chicken run with the shears. He had cut several holes in the hardware cloth (the very expensive, stronger than chicken wire stuff that we bought and put up to keep the chickens safe from predators). He helped built the coop. He knows exactly why we used that material and not other material. He knows it's expensive. It's put on in huge sheets, so it's not like you can patch small pieces.
We had a few weeks of him calling people "moron." I don't know where he learned this word, but I'm assuming Calvin and Hobbes or a tv show (we limit a lot of shows, but he saw Powerpuff Girls with his cousin, maybe it came from there? It's not a word we ever use.). I talked with him over and over about how that is not okay. I told him why. We talked about how it makes people feel. It happened over and over and over. Finally, in desperation, I told him that if he uses that word again, no tv for a week. Surprise surprise, I haven't heard it since. So apparently he can control himself if there's a reason to.
I have talked with him about how we don't want to use punishments. But I'm feeling backed into a corner. I mean what, he just cuts holes in the chicken run, and then goes on his merry way? Destroys our plants, and nothing? Apparently our being upset or hurt doesn't deter him.
Really, what am I supposed to do? I am completely out of ideas.