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.