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Cyndi MacMillan is a well-rounded writer who embraces many genres and forms. Her work has been published in local newspapers and has won contests. She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing publication within their glossy covers.

Verse is both magnetic and kinetic. She attempts - madly- to give equal attention to her poetry, short stories, and a novel-in-progress, the Trim of Wicks.  Regardless of genre, she focuses on language. One word has the power to repel or pull. She never forgets the reader and does her best to make their ride interesting.

Poetry soup is a good forum which enables people from around the world to share poetry. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for friends to meet.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.



Blog Posted:5/1/2013 8:35:00 PM

This is just a guess, but I’m thinking that parents have been struggling with discipline issues since two year old Cane pulled Abel’s hair.

And I’ve bought the books, tried this and that. I'm doing my best to raise a girl who understands that good behavior brings rewards, bad behavior brings consequences, and that we all make mistakes, get emotional, howl on occasion. Love is unconditonal.

For those of you who haven’t parented young children for a while here is today’s most basic guidelines for discipline

1) No spanking
2) No denial of food (no going to bed without supper)
3) No restraints or isolation
4) No elimination (or threat of illumination) of affection
5) No yelling or shouting
6) No comparing your child’s behavior to other children’s behavior
7) No belittling or calling a child bad, naughty

All the above I totally get and follow (okay, sometimes my voice gets a little loud, close to a yell. I’m human. An exhausted human.)

But here are other things that parents of this generation are told:

8) Food should never be used as a reward. Treats are activities, not sweets.

Okay, I get that in THEORY. Obviously, if we identify pleasure with food, we are more liable to face weight issues. We must learn that we can reward ourselves with walks, talks, reading, and that food is meant for nutrition. But let’s face it. Life isn’t textbook. Sometimes we DO treat ourselves, to a sundae, fresh strawberries from a farmer’s stand, even herbal tea... Even the doc gives out a lolly after shots!

9) Time outs are restricted to 1 minute per year. A three year old has a three minute time out.

So, three minutes for refusing to listen. And three minutes for screaming, defiance, tearing up the mail, refusing to stop and then breaking a toy on purpose. Ummm??? Same consequence? Anyone else see a problem with this?

10) Time outs are never to be done in a bedroom. Bedrooms are a place of calm, peace and quiet. Keep the bedroom a sanctuary..

I actually agree with this. But having a hysterical preschooler demanding to get off the living room chair (time out spot) is also getting her some attention. Though short, my girl looks like the incredible hulk when she’s in full tantrum mode. The only difference she turns red, not green. And she vomits. She gets so mad that she spews. Think Linda Blair. So though I agree with this, I gotta say that after SHE has her time out, Mommy wants one for herself! Motrin?

11) Never take away the television as a form of discipline.

Okay, here’s the real reason for this blog. Point number 11.

Today, my girl went into the “do as I say” mode, just turned off the ears and dug in her heels. Think diva on steroids.

ME:  Honey, can you please clean up these blocks?


ME: I’ll help you. It will go faster with two people. It's tidy up time.


ME: After we clean up, I can put on your show. First, we tidy up. And you are not speaking nicely to me. You are yelling and you are forgetting to say please.


ME:  You need to use the word, please.

SHE: I can’t.

ME: You can’t say please? I think you can say please.

My hubby and I agree. Our daughter has my temper and his pride. Poor thing! LOL. She is scowling, but her head is hanging, and the lip has a slight quiver. She is torn. Comply or resist?

SHE. No, I can’t. I really can't, Mommy.

ME: After we clean up, I will put on your show. But you will need to say please.


ME: I am only giving you one warning. If you say that again the television will be turned off for the entire day. It will not go back on till tomorrow morning.


I turn off the television and my girl FREAKS. I mean full out face on the  floor melt down. Sobbing, wailing, pleading

SHE: Please, mommy. I promise, I’ll help now. I’ll say please. Please, turn the TV back on! Please please please!

ME: the television IS staying off for the whole day. This is called a consequence.


ME: I told you what would happen and that is what has happened. I love you. It’s beautiful out. We’ll go to the park. Tomorrow, you may watch some television. And you will remember to speak to me nicer. No yelling.

My girl looks like a crack addict searching the next fix. Or her mother at 6 am desperate for that first coffee, which I guzzle.

Despite my calm approach, she is so upset that she vomits. Which of course, makes her more upset. I bury that instinct to cave, to settle her down. It is so hard. But I know, somehow, that this is a turning point. She needs to be shown that what I say, I mean.

She fumes for 30 minutes.

It takes another hour to calm her down. It is 10:30. I'm wondering if I did the right thing.

We leave for the park at 11:30 am.

We return from the park at 7 pm!

Yup, the entire day spent in the park.

Not one tantrum, snarl, power struggle, just a lovely day. Lots of exploration. We looked at ants, talked about tree roots, dug castle moats in the sandbox, played soccer and I taught her how to toss a Frisbee. We cuddled, watched birds, colored with sidewalk chalk.

And she didn’t ask for television when we got home. She KNEW my answer would be no. Why fight when the outcome will be the same?

She played in her bath, we read stories and she snuggled into me, fell fast asleep with a smile on her face and said, “It was a good day, Mommy. Thank you.”

So, as far as I can see, the don’t deny television thingie?

It all depends on the crime.

I say that the most important part of discipline is that the consequence should fit the offence, that love is always shown and that the child can trust that her parents keep their word.

And with that, I gotta say that today was an awesome day. Thank you, Verity.

I wonder what tomorrow will be like?

Lord, help me!


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  1. Date: 5/2/2013 9:41:00 PM
    LOVED this blog...

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  1. Date: 5/2/2013 5:43:00 PM
    I don't spank my kids.... however they need it... Any volunteers:-)

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  1. Date: 5/2/2013 4:38:00 PM
    My wish at this very moment is to come back in my next life as your child Cindy, however I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy----so what the heck am I saying-----okay---a story about teenage discipline which is in your not too distant future. (Pity you) Our daughter started slamming the door because what YOU just said is STUPID--WHATEVER!!--so what I said was--(the most important thing in their life is their room) "The next time you slam the door you won't have one"---so it happened and I removed the door---WHEN I SAY SOMETHING I FOLLOW UP--guess what--the door was never slammed again.

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    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 5/3/2013 7:49:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Oops--Must clarify, that I replaced the door after 2 days
    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 5/2/2013 4:39:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I gave it 2 days to work and it DID!!
  1. Date: 5/2/2013 8:49:00 AM
    This is hard for me - I grew up with no TV until I was over ten years old. So my mother never threatened us with that. It was "Wait until your Father gets home" .

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 5/2/2013 8:58:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    -ditto-..... :-)
  1. Date: 5/2/2013 7:06:00 AM
    Suzette, I hear you, understand. But though I was longwinded, as per usual, I neglected some facts. 1) it had been raining for days. No outdoor play, no chance to get it all out, release that pent up frustration and energy. 2) April has been hellish -- snow, rain, ice rain, sleet, high winds (causing trees to topple! Power outages) 3) I'd ALREADY told her that we were going to the park (should have mentioned that) so I was keeping to the original plan. The motto of this story is that compared to nature, time with your loved ones, discovering abilities, being active and learning to appreciate the gift of a day, that television pales in comparison. I encourage my daughter to negotiate, compromise and participate in resolutions, usually. Yesterday, she needed outdoor play. And she got plenty. LOL. So did I ... But I know where you're coming from. It's always a struggle to find the balance...

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 5/2/2013 7:24:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ADD children need more discipline (ie YOU/I/WE need to be consistent - not easy when you have 2 children 16 months apart and you have to cater for the needs of the Whole Family - an interfering Mother-in-Law included in the mix). I think that the word is LOVE - that tempers every decision, like you rightly say .... X
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 7:14:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ah, just reread, Yes, you knew the manager! LOL. Totally different scenario! hmm... still wouldn't do this myself, but all parents handle situations differently. What is good for one family, may not work for another. :D
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 7:12:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I think every parent has at times wanted to walk away from a tantrum. But these are different times and Canada has so laws in this regard. 1) I can't imagine a store manager accepting this responsibility today, not even for 1 minute. 2) I am not certain if this manager was a friend, different story
  1. Date: 5/2/2013 7:03:00 AM
    I know YOU are a great Mom because you care so much,Cyndi.

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  1. Date: 5/2/2013 7:02:00 AM
    I think some of this stuff is ridiculous. I guess I failed parenting 101. But looking at the kids of today, I think the ones from my time were better prepared for the world!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 7:18:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ridiculous doesn't even touch some of the garbage that they are guilting parents with... I try to be reasonable, weigh things out, but still, some days, I feel like I can't win either way! She's happy. Her preschool report says she's advanced, helpful and eager. We gotta be doing something right, :D, thanks doll!
  1. Date: 5/2/2013 3:42:00 AM
    I loved this story and the wise comments below. My daughter was diagnosed with ADD at a young age and the above would not have worked. I learned by instinct the ONE time rule: If I made a ruling (eg, no TV) and she persisted, then it increased from no TV for one day, two days, and more. She soon learned that I only spoke once in a calm and respectful manner - not giving her orders (which used to upset her about other family members). Now on to my next tale: She was about 4 years old and we went shopping (where I knew the manager and staff). She threw her first public tantrum (over sweets). I said "No", but she persisted. I told her that I would leave her at the shop if she did not stop...

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 5/2/2013 3:53:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Motto of the story: A debate with a 4 year old is a no win situation. In an indirect way, to reward a child, should not ideally follow a difficult encounter as described by you above. Yes, it did you good, but she might expect the same outcome in future...
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 5/2/2013 3:46:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Not only did she never throw a tantrum in public again, but her brother also learned from this lesson. Namely, I only speak once. As adults, they are used to self-discipline and when they encounter the a child throwing a tantrum, they have been known to retell this tale.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 5/2/2013 3:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I left her there with the trolley of goods (not yet paid for) and took my son and went home. The staff took her to the office and gave her a glass of water. 5 minutes later I got a phone call that she is calm now....The manager winked at me when I fetched her and said that she wished that she had though of that...
  1. Date: 5/2/2013 1:12:00 AM
    Cyndi, There 'ain't no books' to bringing up children or on staying married for that matter. Trust me, been there, (still there in both cases after 50+years) and still wearing the teeshirt. It's a two-way relationship in both cases and its life-long.The blood-bond is the strongest tie known to man.Rgds Brian

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 6:59:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I know this is just the beginning. Oh boy, that hill looks HUGE!
  1. Date: 5/1/2013 11:35:00 PM
    This is a wonderful story Cyndi So many parents don't have the courage to stand up and be a parent. They want to be 'friends' with their children. I really applaud you for loving her enough to to give give her 'tough love.' Thanks for a charming blog. SuZ

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 7:01:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    THanks, Suz--I always aim to be a friend-LY parent, but a parent all the same!
  1. Date: 5/1/2013 11:01:00 PM
    Sounds like you're a great mommy Cyndi, love the story, it was entertaining lol i'm sure it wasnt all for you...but you had a great day at the park and you stuck to your word, many parents dont do that these days. Good job.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 7:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Bernard! Great days are treasure troves!
  1. Date: 5/1/2013 10:34:00 PM
    hummmm ... Nope! Try this tactic: "Honey, clean up these blocks." ... "No, you do it. " ... "Clean up these blocks or Im going to put them in the trash can" ... and if she refuse it, put them in the trash can and that's it! No more problem with the blocks. She will learn something. : D

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 5/2/2013 6:58:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I'm saving that approach for the Blackberry 10 wwwwwhahaha! ;-)

My Past Blog Posts

Apologies and thanks !
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Date Posted: 12/19/2014 8:18:00 AM
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I CAN'T BREATHE: A peaceful Protest, An Anthology of Powerful Poems
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CELEBRITY CHEF KILLED BY OFFICER FOR JAYWALKING-- a piece of prose/contest soon to follow
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Terrorist attack at Parliament. Ottawa, our national capital, is on lockdown.
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How I judge Contests by Cyndi MacMillan
Date Posted: 9/10/2014 9:58:00 PM
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Grammar and poetry: a Fiction Writer’s Oddball View
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My Recent Poems

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12/15/2014 A POEM FOR CRAIG -- SHORT Versefamily,grief,
12/12/2014 SANCTUARY Free versefear,poets,world,
12/9/2014 PROTEST of PEACE Verseanti bullying,conflict,em
12/9/2014 CHEF KILLED BY OFFICER FOR JAYWALKING Proseparody,truth,
11/10/2014 CHAN Free versefriend,goodbye,
10/15/2014 DARK ANGELS OF HIGHGATE Sestinafuneral,psychological,sad
9/4/2014 I COMES Free versesexy,
9/2/2014 cummings and i Versepoetry,word play,
8/25/2014 LIFE WILL BE A HONEYMOON Lyricparadise,passion,romantic
8/25/2014 HOSTEL, QUEBEC CITY, 1978 Free versehistory,places,
8/21/2014 DEGREES Sonnetbooks,sensual,words,
7/17/2014 CRADLED Trioletbaby,love,
6/7/2014 TORRENT Sonnetcelebration,life,women,
4/21/2014 LA MARQUISE Free versepsychological,
4/8/2014 ROOTS Free versemoving on,power,teenage,
4/4/2014 GINGHAM AND LACE, A BLITZ POEM Versedaughter,love,
4/4/2014 NUDE, THIRTY DOLLARS, A BLITZ Verseart,imagination,lost love
3/24/2014 50 GODS Free versegod,peace,philosophy,
3/15/2014 WINTER IN PORTLAND Free versedepression,winter,
2/25/2014 PITY THE PIRANHA Free verseintrospection,people,
2/13/2014 DOUBLE OH Crown of Sonnetsfilm,sexy,
2/10/2014 TARTANS Sonnetfriend,patriotic,places,p
2/9/2014 TESTIMONIALS Sonnetfaith,friend,nature,
2/5/2014 ON THE FRINGE Sonnetafrica,allegory,culture,f
2/3/2014 SUMMERLAND Sonnetfriend,music,places,poetr
2/2/2014 WORD ON THE STREET, 2009 Sonnetbooks,friend,places,poetr
1/31/2014 HEROES Sonnetfriend,hero,places,poetry
1/29/2014 DIVINE STEEPLES Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/28/2014 SNIPPETS Sonnetfilm,friend,poetry,
1/27/2014 NEW-DALI Sonnetart,friend,poetry,time,
1/26/2014 MUSE Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/24/2014 ONE TWO ONE Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/23/2014 FIREWORKS Sonnetfriend,heaven,life,metaph
1/22/2014 UNREHEARSED Sonnetart,friend,love,
1/21/2014 THE WIT OF ROSE Sonnetfantasy,friend,places,
1/20/2014 CHANTRY Sonnetlight,memory,places,
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1/17/2014 HAT MAN Sonnetfriendship,poetry,
1/14/2014 FANFARE Sonnetbooks,friend,imagination,
1/14/2014 MY HEART BELONGS TO MONTREAL Iambic Pentameterheart,places,
1/13/2014 AN EDUCATED MAN Free verseeducation,life,truth,wisd
1/9/2014 SPICY Sonnetfood,passion,
1/6/2014 THE STAND Prosetruth,
1/4/2014 WOMAN, I BE I do not know?life,
12/19/2013 EXPLORING THE BASEMENT Free verseabuse,childhood,courage,
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6/5/2013 BAIT, 1986 Free versegrowing up,lust,men,
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5/28/2013 HER FIRST PLACE Sonnetart,imagination,
5/28/2013 BLAMELESS Personificationrain,
5/27/2013 THE SHINING Sestinaevil,film,horror,
5/22/2013 ALL FALL DOWN Sestinadeath,history,london,
5/18/2013 POETRY Free versepoetry,
5/13/2013 MADE IN BANGLADESH Ghazalchange,clothes,death,
5/5/2013 SUNDAY SOJOURN Haibungarden,morning,time,
4/28/2013 WOMEN Free versefriendship,gender,
4/26/2013 SYLVIA Crown of Sonnetslife,poets,writing,
4/20/2013 THE POET'S CREED Free versepoetry,world,writing,
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3/5/2013 THE LANGUAGE OF ASH ley Smith Free versechange,mystery,social,sui
2/22/2013 haiku 3 Haikufunny,seasons,
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2/7/2013 haiku 2 Haikubaby,
2/7/2013 haiku 1 Haikuchild,seasons,metaphor,
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2/3/2013 ALCHEMY Versefood,seasons,time,februar
1/31/2013 SMAAK STUKKEND Carpe Diemimagination,introspection
1/8/2013 HIGHWAY OF TEARS Rhymemystery,women,women,
12/20/2012 THIS BLEAK HEREAFTER Terzanellechild,death,grief,night,m
12/10/2012 A PRETTY DRESS Rondeaupassion,romantic,women,lo
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My Photos

Fav Poems

The Sowing Free versedevotion,
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Lighting My Candle From Within Quintain (English)caregiving,introspection,
The Kirk by the Sea Coupletnostalgia,religion,love,
Moonlight On The Ward Chokahealth,life,
Nocturnal Poetry Rhymeimagination,life,poetry,
Slumber Epicdedication,epic,slam,
FROSTY NIGHT STROLL Coupletinspirational,seasons,
Our Thanksgiving Light Poetryholiday,
Tomorrow's Grace Ethereepeace,
A New Star Shines Above Hawaii Rhymededication,music,
Jesus, Our Savior Shapereligion,life,
Monarch of Summer Haibunanimals,devotion,inspirat
Untouched Rhymeforgiveness,me,me,
Midnight Pearls Than-Baukintrospection,love,
Beaucoup Blooms Terza Rimanature,spring,spring,
On Heaven's Doorway Narrativeinspirational,life,care,c
WALKING ON FAITH Versefaith,for children,
Beachworld Free verseplaces,sea,sun,
Sleepless Nights Narrativeangst,imagination,mystery
Another Face Rhymelost love,
What Dreams are Made Of - LGT Blank versefear,life,mystery,
Paired Parings Balladchildhood,
AUTUMN'S SPLENDOROUS BEAUTY Quatrainnature,autumn,autumn,
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis Epicabuse,analogy,corruption,
Anticipation Free verseautumn,death,life,
friend to friend Haikupeople,philosophy,
Calligraphy Verseon writing and words,
Cyndi Sonnetdedication,
Night Comes Rhymetime,
Without Hope's Gleam Terzanellehope,flower,flower,joy,pa
When Your Dead YOUR Dead Rhymefriendship,love,wife,
after my prayer Haikuinspirational,
Chamber Music Chopped Blank versemusic,
Money-God Free versededication,hope,love,reco
Down Fall Italian Sonnetbeautiful,miracle,nature,
God Forbid Coupletangst,devotion,write,life
To Kashinath and Cyndi Rhymededication,devotion,frien
Edinburgh Free versededication,
CHERISHED Sonnetlove,peace,
Shield Walls Lyricimagination,love,
Live The Cliches Free versedream,hope,love,poetry,
Bliss State Quatrainfaith,
A Reminder: To Be Free versetruth,writing,
She Came In and Changed Everything Dramatic Versedeath,deep,epic,evil,sorr
IN THE MOOD Light Poetryadventure,woman,
Edinburgh Free versededication,hope,life,love
The Byway Rhymecare,
To Love Myself Sonnetlove,new year,self,
Westward Movement Free versedevotion,love,peace,
The Rocking Chair Rhymechild,christmas,sister,
To the Rescue Rhymesnow,
A Perfect Storm Rhyme royallife,
Onward Christian Soldiers Rhyme 
BEYOND TEARS Rhymechild,encouraging,hope,
Dewberry Cobbler Haibungrowing up,
Release Free verseencouraging,grief,hope,st
IN STILLNESS Free versechange,life,
Return of the Stork--Stillborn Tribulation Versebaby,death,
Within Reason- Maurice Yvonne and Seren Roberts Verselife,

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