I have been a faithful reader for years. I know that I have not employed your methods completely. I've been one of those parents who thinks they are strict but does a lot more talking than acting. I have three childen; a 15 yr old girl, 14 yr old girl, and 9 year old boy. They all have their issues, as I assume most kids do. I have some guilt over my lenience and over-talking in the past, but I know we can move beyond that. Here is my problem - I don't know if there is any hope for my 9 year old. We "threw him out of the Garden of Eden." Still, he can't keep his room clean - he hides food and toys and crayons and clothes and garbage... anything. I have to tell him what his chores are every day despite them being posted. I'm not cutting him a lot of slack. I'm not doing a lot of talking. But after a couple weeks, I see no progress. I'm not particularly proud of this, but the only time he actually paused and seemed to pay any attention to me was when I slapped his mouth one day. I have to be doing something wrong. I'm so frustrated that I am ready to give up. Can I send him to his room every day until he starts to take care of his responsibilities? What good would that do? Is this really a battle of wills or is there something wrong with me or him?

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