How to Know When to Discipline
by Terri Bonin
It’s Parent Observation Day in the kindergarten class. Students buzz with excitement waiting to show off the “Pass-Catch: Answer” game to expectant parents. Parents settle with anticipation while students gather in a huddled circle facing the teacher.
Let the game begin: The beanbag flies from proud teacher to well-taught pupils. Silently, parents hold a unanimous breath.
*Whoosh!* Children jump to catch the bag of beans. Only one will receive its plopping land, (but each will receive a turn throughout the course of questions.)
*Plop!* All eyes turn to the (first) smiling winner.
One over-excited student who missed the opening toss by an inch loses control as realization settles that It’s Not Her Turn to answer, yet!
And the disappointed one becomes the star of the show.
*Stomp!* Stomp!* Huff!*
Swinging her empty hands angrily, she loudly huffs to the door, flings it open, and announces, “I’m LEAVING.”
The moms observing the class wonder what the teacher will do. The teacher wonders what Miss Priss’s mom will do…
But no one does anything of significance.
Miss Priss is coaxed back into the room where she marches to the chalkboard hastily erasing the teacher’s previous hard work to show her disapproval. The teacher resumes the game hoping to calm stormy waters and usher pleasantness back into the atmosphere. Mom sheepishly shrugs her shoulders.
I understand Weary Mom who is put on the spot in front of parents and children. I commiserate with Tired Teacher who hopes not to offend anyone, but Miss Priss NEEDS someone to love her enough to say: NO! This behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
The instructions need to be followed up with consequences and discipline that will adjust her attitude.
This little one’s life flashes before my eyes and I see her as a teen. “MOOOOoom, he IS NOT A THUG! He is Wonderful and I LOVE HIM! You CAN’T stop me from going with him, MOM!” and out she marches with a huff.
Now is the time to train the child to listen to wise counsel. It is virtually now or never. Six-year-old Miss Priss is fast becoming what she is going to be and the teen years lurk around the corner waiting to surprise mom with no mercy. If Miss Priss won’t listen to reason now, she won’t listen later. Only it won’t be a chalkboard that is destroyed, but her life.
Over the last month, you’ve read posts about the habit of obedience.
Instilling it into the fiber of kids’ character.
Consistency, follow through and accountability have been discussed. Three quite draining actions for the FB-addicted, blog-loving mama. I must admit that it’s so much easier to read about parenting than it is to actually get in there and do it.
But “get in there” we must.
Obedience does not come naturally that’s why we must be proactively requiring it from our kids. However, I have a bomb to drop on you concerning this…
I’ll drop it next week, so stay tuned.