Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I have a rule in my house that school comes before anything. I am more lenient with chores or things at home but with school I may be a little extreme. So when Brandon brings home a yellow, I lose it. (In his school they have a daily behavioral monitoring that is Green, Yellow or Red. If they bring home a green it means they had a good day, a yellow means that the teacher had to call their attention a few times or give them many warnings and a red means that they did not correct themselves after the warnings and there was a consequence.) The only reasons he has brought home yellows is for talking in class when he is not supposed to. To be honest with you, I know that this alone is not a big deal. If they had this system when I was growing up I would have had not only yellows but probably would forever be bringng home reds for talking. (maybe he got my talking gene =/) However, I feel that if I do not give a consequence at home for a yellow that he will think that bringing home a red is also acceptable. Lets just say I try to nip it at the bud. So we are almost at the end of the year and so far he has brought home a total of 5 yellows but the last two were last week in the SAME week. The first time he got a yellow I had him write a proper letter to apologize to the teacher and I took away TV/electronics for a day. I figured that I will use this as a writing lesson as well as an apology. The second and third time I added days to the previous days of no tv/electronics. For example, the third time, he had no tv/electronics for three days. I told him if he continues to bring home yellows I will continue to add on days.
That seemed to work until the last week, when on Tuesday and Thursday he brought yellows. I had the no tv/electronics on full force for 5 days. However... on Saturday we had a pool bar-b-q at my uncles house that was planned for a few weeks ahead of time. He had a blast that day playing with all his cousins, did not matter that he had the no tv/electronics punishment because they were in the pool all day. Then on Sunday, I thought I had the upper hand since I had tons of “boring” errands to do and Robert was staying home with the baby. So I gave him a choice. (you know the thing that all the parenting books tell you to do. ha!) He had the choice of either going with me or staying home and doing a cleaning project in his room if Robert was watching TV. He thought about it and at first he was leaning toward staying home because going with mommy would be just too boring. However, I think he changed his mind when the lazy bug kicked in. So he came along with me, almost reluctantly. I warned him that if he complained, whined or misbehaved he was going to have another day added. He agreed.
So there we went, to the mall first where we also had some lunch. To my surprise we actually had a very good and entertaining conversation. Then I went to go do my nails, I knew he was going to be bored so I had brought along some math worksheets to practice two chapters he was having a hard time with at school to have him do. He whizzed by them quickly, I guess he no longer is having trouble with that. I had also brought a spiral notebook, so I proceeded to write down addition problems about 5 pages worth. I was astonished that he found that not only challenging but entertaining, he loved it and asked me for more when he was finished! When I was done with my nails I had to go to a few more stores and grocery shopping. When we were at the grocery store he was helping me with the grocery list. While in the car, we had more great, silly conversations. By looking at his face I can tell he was extremely happy and I actually was having a great time too! I guess I had not noticed that we have not spent a day alone together in a very long time.
This little outing was supposed to be a punishment for him. Little did I know that he was going to enjoy all of it! Made me think though. I really need to make a bigger effort in spending more one on one time with him more often. Also, this whole punishment strategy needs a major overhaul because obviously my tactics are not working. He actually enjoys it! Sheesh!!!
How do you punish your kids? What works? What doesn’t? I need ideas!