Friday, October 14, 2011

Knowing when to quit; An adventure in discipline.

Disciplining details get fuzzy after a long lecture. Sometimes you just need to know when to quit. We usually end the “discussion” by asking the child who made the bad choice if there is there anything he or she wants want to say. That way it can be called a “discussion”.

This particular time, Evan was having a difficult time admitting that he had done anything wrong. His teacher gave him a “red ticket” meaning he was in trouble. He was not listening to the teacher and chasing the other kids around the classroom during show and tell. This happened at the end of the day, so she didn’t have time to address the problem completely.

Evan handed me his red ticket with tears in his eyes. The other kids wanted to show me their work for the day. I planned to talk with Evan about it more, but life happened and I didn’t address it completely either.

The next day the mother of the other child involved asked me if Evan got a red ticket, like her son. Then she asked, “Do you know what it was about?”

“No. Just they were running around chasing.” I said.

She informed me that, “It was a booger.” We laughed in secret. Oh, to be in kindergarten and be chased by a booger!

Knowing that Evan has a booger picking problem, I could envision him chasing the other kids easily.

Later that night my husband and I ran through the typical lecture, reminding him of the importance of honesty and the consequences for lying. At the conclusion of the interrogation we asked, “Is there anything you want to say?”

He responded with a miserable, “Yeah.” His lower lip hanging down far enough it could almost touch his knees.

I thought, okay, here comes the confession. We got through to him and now we can make it all better. Perhaps he would say sorry along with the confession.

He didn’t say anything for a while so I asked, “What is it?” I was ready to get out my parenting badge and put a fresh coat of polish on it.

The same miserable voice said, “Goodnight.” Then he kissed both me and his father on the cheek and slunk his way down to go to bed.

I was glad he left quickly so he couldn’t see me laughing. I guess my parenting badge will sit in the closet a while longer.

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