Wednesday, 11 January 2012

School's back in...back to lernin'

We are now three days back into the school routine and it is already a fight to get them dressed in the morning.  The kids LERV school but they have no sense of time or urgency.  They are now, at the magical age of 4, more than able to dress themselves but if I was going to rely on that developmental stage to be true, they would never make it to school in time.....they would never make it in time to attend school.  It would be time to pick them up from school by the time the last sock was pulled on properly and shoe on the correct foot.

So I have come to the conclusion that we leave them to their own devices on the weekends and holidays but on school days I help dress them.  That way a weekend day with backward-inside-out underpants is common and enjoyed and we don't have to worry about dressing weather appropriately for school, which is a considerable concern in the cold Canadian winter (although that isn't true this year with barely below freezing weather)

I had an interesting school experience lately and would like to share.....

Recently, I was told by my daughter's teacher that Bea had had a bit of an altercation with one of the other students in the class which ended with Bea pushing the girl.  Now this girl is a friend of ours and we have played with her often.  When I spoke to Bea about it she said that this girl was picking on her which might very well be true....who knows! but that isn't the point.....I make a point of teaching them that they can only control their behavior and if someone is treating them badly to tell the person that they don't like it when they act that way, won't play with them if they do act that way and then walk away.  They understand the concept and I have heard them say it to each other when one isn't being co-operative. I also know that some of this behavior is influenced by another student in the class that Bea thinks is 'super funny' but is really super obnoxious.

I told Bea that the next morning she was going to apologize or she wasn't going to school.  Making it clear that school is a great gift that is to be respected and if you are going to act disrespectful, you can't go.

She seemed put out by this but also like any kid, was hoping there was an out.  Maybe Mummy would forget by morning? The next morning we got up, got dressed etc like normal but over breakfast I reminded her what she had to do and then again while we walked to school.  We always line up for Bea's class first and I pointed out the student she needed to speak to.  Bea suddenly got very shy, she is not a shy child, and wouldn't do it.  I told her we would have to go home if she didn't and still holding Gabe's hand I followed her class in as they made their way to her classroom (I was able to drop Gabe off in his class on the way as we walked past it).  Her teacher asked me what was going on and I explained.  Her teacher seemed surprised that I was being so strict about it but also respected what I was doing and let me interrupt the class (briefly) to see the consequences through.  There is nothing like a little embarrassment to push your hand.  Over a quiet sitting in a circle class I crouched down in front of Bea and explained again what she had to do and for the Super Obnoxious influence kid's ears, I explained in some detail about respect and control of your own behavior.  I also said to Bea that this was her last chance or we were going home.  She got up, apologized to her friend and hugged her.  I then hugged her and told her loudly how proud I was and left.

As I left, her teacher pulled me aside and thanked me for making school a 'reward' for good behavior and that she was surprised by how much I stuck to my guns about the consequences of Bea's behavior.  She said that most parents would've left it to the teacher to deal with the situation and done little to nothing about it.  This surprised me.....the teacher is there is teach my kid....not raise them.  It is my 'job' to reinforce the rules of school and a respect for learning and friendship while they are students AS WELL AS be a Mummy.  If I don't back up their teachers, the teacher will never have control of the room and no one will every learn anything.

Why do you think parents have gotten so 'soft' on parenting??

1 comment:

Umber Hamid said...

I love this post. It reminds me of the wonderful responsibility of parenting. Life is exhausting but we have to carve out a little time for these huge life lessons!