Tag Archives: behavior

No Break for Behavior

22 Sep

I support cause and effect punishment. If you do something you know is wrong, especially after being warned and told not to do it again, there should be a punishment. Whether it’s being mean/hurtful to someone else, refusing to listen/respect adults or tearing the paint off of walls, there needs to be some corrective action taken and guidance provided about what is proper behavior and what is not.

What that punishment is has varied for us over the years. There were a lot of time-outs. There were a few spankings. Too many scoldings to count. Privileges and toys (once an entire doll house) taken away. Even soap (with immediate rinsing). The severity of the punishment depended on the no-no. We rarely had to punish twice for the same no-no. A lot of it was us figuring it out as we went. If it seemed like one thing wasn’t working after a while, we tried another. If it seemed the punishment really didn’t fit the behavior, we altered it.

This is why I’m so confused/surprised that I’m feeling that kids need a break now and then. We give plenty of warnings to allow them to settle down and make a better choice so our need for punishment has dropped significantly because they’ve learned they don’t want to be in trouble and that they want to do what’s right. I believe school does this too. I can count on one hand the number of times Nia had to “pull a stick” during her years in school. Nate is (knock on wood) actually doing great in school as well. He had to pull a stick once for keeping his feet on someone else’s square on the rug, which I’m sure boils down to a listening issue. He’s been doing so well at following all the school rules but then there are even more rules at after-school and I guess – well – he’s just a little tired at that point.

We got a note home from the after-school counselors saying Nate’s behavior is becoming a problem because he’s not listening. They were surprised because he is one of “their best kids.” I called because I wanted specifics so I would know how to help correct the concern. Basically, he’s not listening is what I was told.

  • He bounces in his seat on the bus. I told him not to bounce. Keep his bottom in the seat. It’s for his safety and all the kids because the bus driver doesn’t need distractions. He understood.
  • In the after-school room, he’s to listen to his counselors like he listens to his teacher. Be a helper, not a hurter.
  • If he brings another note home then we will take away privileges. No video games. No tv time.

Fine. But then I thought about it. So many rules. All day long. When I went to my grandparents after elementary school they never had a report for my mom. “Nikki wouldn’t listen. She sassed her grandpa.” I did that. Yes. But it was never relayed to my parents. After a day of rule-following so well at school, I was allowed a rest from the regime. To not listen here and there, without it being written up.

I guess it comes down to – I just don’t want to be nagging him all the time. Not good for any of us. A break is needed. I feel like it will be ok if I ease up on him for minor after-school issues. I think my working mommy with no family around guilt is blurring my behavior patrol glasses. I may need a time-out.

Watching Us, Watching Them

5 Jul

Fish Frenzy

This is not meant to be a negative reflection of the Georgia Aquarium and all its greatness. I love it there. It’s incredible. The kids ooh and ah at every swimming creature and we cherish the pleasant memories we make there. I just don’t love what we put ourselves through to try to create those pleasant memories.

Maybe I’m high-strung. Maybe I expect too much. It’s just, it’s almost impossible to really enjoy all the wonders the underwater attraction has to offer. All of the bodies outside of the tanks hamper it every time.

I’ve been to the aquarium four times so far. Each time, it’s the same thing. Hordes of people crowding around tank windows of all sizes, crammed into caverns or awesome tunnels, trying to get a glimpse of something. Don’t stop or look too long because then you’ll be criticized or shot a dirty look by people who want to rush through. Don’t rush through because then you’ll get a head shake by those who want to appreciate it more. I overheard one girl say to her fellow tourist, “People with strollers and others just want to stop and look. I mean, come on! See it and then move on.” Oh, and forget running into a nice person who will offer to let a child squeeze through to get a better look. I mean, they’re two to four feet tall, I guess they could get in the way.  (No!)

Front Row to the Fish Show

I wonder, what do the fish think looking back at us? They have more room in their tanks then we do outside, looking in. Do they think we are crazy? All those people sardined in, pointing and peering, looking at each other rudely as they wait to get a better look. “Did they really pay to (not) see us swim around?” “Look at that one, picking his nose.” “Why do those little ones keep slapping the glass?” “Why isn’t anyone over here at my window nook?”

I paid to watch the fish and sharks and stuff but I got a side of people watching for free. I’m not sure you can put a price on that level of entertainment.

Our Little Addict

14 Mar

Sometimes I don’t feel like the mommy as much as I feel like the “supplier.”  There are certain things that we just cannot let Nia have at her disposal.

1.  Her use of construction paper must be monitored.  Now, I’m not so bad that I hold all the paper and only give her a sheet at a time or anything.  (What fun would that be for either of us?)  But, if I let her have free reign over the entire stash of construction paper, we would need to restock it every day.  It can get out of hand real fast if we’re not careful.

2.  Tape.  Wow, does she have a passion for tape.  She wants to tape everything. Don’t have a hair clip?  Tape it.  Did a glass break?  Tape it.  She will cut up the tiniest pieces of construction paper and then want to tape them together or to other whole pieces of construction paper.  Glue won’t do.  Nope.  She’s gotta have the tape.  It appears as though she’ll keep getting her tape and paper fix thanks to her Aunt Sissy.  She recently sent us a nice supply so as long as I maintain control of how much Nia’s using, we should be good to go for awhile.

3. Flavored/Scented lip gloss.  She would love so much to be able to carry 3 or 4 tubes of it in her tiny purse and apply it liberally throughout any given day.  I would love for her to be able to do that but I can’t let her because she’s allergic to something in them. I feel so bad that I have to confiscate them from her when she gets them as a gift.  (If I don’t she will sneak away and smear them on her mouth over and over again until the gloss looks as though she was eating it as well.)  She always asks, “Can’t I just try a little Mommy?  Just a little?”  My heart breaks because I remember how much I loved those glosses when I was little but I just cannot let her get her grip on the gloss.

4.  Scented lotions. If she could she would use the whole bottle in one day. If she’s even alone with a small bottle for more than a few minutes she smells as though she just painted herself with it.

Ah, and this is only the beginning.  I’m sure it’s only going to get more interesting and challenging as grows up.


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