The old threats just don't work, at least not in the age of the internet.
Remember the days when you could tell your kids that you'd shut off the TV if they didn't behave? Or deny computer privileges for a week? My wife and I have clearly been outsmarted by a band of four people under the age of 12.
Worse yet, they live in our house.
As our family journeyed through Lent this past Spring, my wife and I would often lob the kinds of threats that used to work. Note the past tense. We began with, "One more time and you'll lose computer use for the rest of the week..." When it didn't seem to phase our oldest daughter, we wondered why.
Was my tone of voice off? Had my wife tipped her hand too soon in the argument? Were we losing our parenting mojo? (ok, I would never actually think that much less use the word mojo outloud)
And then it struck us- we have enough iOS devices to run a small branch of Radio Shack. The 11 year old just headed over to the iPad and started gaming there. Plunked down on our Craigslist couch, she had worked the system to a "t". The 8 year old grabbed my iPhone and voila- MineSweep magically appeared. He too had figured out that the internet no longer limits a person to just one device.
This is what the internet does to parents everywhere. Since the old geographical threats no longer apply, we have to be more crafty than ever before.