Friday, March 2, 2012

Wrapping Up!

To wrap up this week's talk about discipline and how to manage our kids' behavior, I would like to share a recent real world example of what happens when you are not consistent with your rules and/or not prepared to follow through with the consequences when they are broken.
So my girls and I were at the park recently, enjoying the fabulous and rare warm Tennessee weather. My girls saw a group of kids playing in the sandbox, which I can't stand by the way. Not only because they get sand in every crevice of their body, but also, because it just kind of freaks me out at what could possibly be in those public sandboxes. Who knows!

Anyway, my girls just joined right in with the “sandbox kids” as I stood by watching, cringing and crossing my fingers that they wouldn't catch anything or get hurt on something. So there was a boy that my youngest child started playing with and all of a sudden he starts throwing sand. Everywhere! Now, where is the mom when all of this is happening? Well, just chatting it up with her friends, and right there watching the whole thing. The mom proceeds to shout at the little boy, in her deep southern accent saying, "Now, don't you throw sand, Luke, or you are going to have to get out!" Well, at this point, I am even more convinced that the sandbox is probably not a good idea, so I get the girls excited about going on the twisty slide instead.

While I am trying to divert my girls’ attention elsewhere, get the sand dusted off of them, etc., the boy throws sand at me. Yep! Oh boy was this Mama not happy! So I wait for the Mom to take her precious boy out of the sandbox like she said, right? Well, she says or yells ..."Luke, I told you if you throw sand one more time, you are out of the sandbox." You know what ole Luke said? "Mom, I don't want to get out of the sandbox. I like to throw sand." Okay, so here I am thinking, stand firm, and don’t let him get to you. Don't let him win this battle and think it is okay to behave this way or talk to you this way. So the Mom shrugs it off and says, "Well, we were going to leave in five minutes anyway," and lets the sand throwing kid keep playing. Then, guess what, as five minutes passed, the woman is still chatting it up with her friends, and says, "We got to go Luuuke." Do you think Luke listened or really believed that he had to go home or that he needed to do what his Mom said? Why should he, all she did was keep yelling and making these empty threats after threats.

So Mamas, with my long winded story, I am further encouraging you to set limits early on, be as consistent as possible and follow through with the consequences. Ole Luke just kept on fighting his mom, talking back and tuning her out because he knew she really didn’t mean business.

Remember my buddy, Heather's post last week about the Kindergarten Readiness Survey and what the majority teachers really expect a Kindergartener should be able to do...follow directions, learn how to take turns, share, be respectful and be sensitive to others' feelings? Can you believe what some of the least important skills were: knowing English, the ability to identify primary colors, basic shapes and the ability to count to 20!

As Heather stated last week, and I quote, "By modeling compassion (sending notes to someone who is sick), taking turns (by playing games together), sharing with others, and having high expectations for following directions at home, you are teaching some of the most important skills for kindergarten readiness." And I will also add... you are teaching your child real world, everyday social skills.

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