This is how we parent.
So, the transition has gone okay… but there has definitely been some adjustment. Of course, just as Barney Stinson (aka NPH, the hottest man ever) says on How I Met Your Mother “New is always better.” Colby thought so, too, when he started in his new Kindergarten class. Everything was new and exciting to him and he behaved very well.
Tuesday, when I picked Colby up from daycare, he immediately said, “Mom, I got a red card today.”
Red is not good, as you can imagine. Green- Awesome, Yellow- Not so awesome, Red- Very not awesome, Black- Mommy gets super pissed.
He was sent to the daycare director’s office for a talking-to. He had been disruptive during quiet time and had not stopped making annoying noises with his mouth even after he was asked to stop. He was disrespectful.
This mama don’t raise no cheeky kids.
On the car ride home, he told me all of this without an inkling of remorse to his voice. That irked me, but I know too that was all a part of his act. I had to find the one thing that would help him to understand how unacceptable this behavior was.
“Colby, you have a field trip to go on tomorrow, don’t you?”
“Yeah…” he responded hesitantly.
“Well, see, this is my dilemma. Field trips are a privilege. They are meant for big kids who make choices to listen to their teachers and show them respect. After what I’ve heard from your behavior today, I’m not really sure that I’m comfortable sending you on a field trip when you showed today that you couldn’t listen to your teacher’s instructions.”
He started whimpering.
“But, I want to go on the field trip, Mommy!”
I let him sit with that for a minute. Cruel? Maybe. But it felt like the right thing to do.
“Here’s the deal, dude,” I said after what probably felt like an eternity to him, but was really 30 seconds. “I will let you go on the field trip tomorrow. But understand this: If I hear that you are disrespectful, if I hear that you don’t listen or that you whine at all, I will absolutely NOT allow you to go on the field trip next week. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, Mommy!” Colby said.
Then I repeated that whole “field trips are a privilege thing” because I liked how it sounded and also, because I was remembering an adorable story from my friend:
Will, then three years old, was in his preschool class. Another child had just been taken to the hallway for being exceptionally naughty. Will stood up and sternly informed the class, “Guys! Preschool is a privilege!” in hopes that they would all understand how not-okay it was to get in trouble while in class.
After dinner, Colby wrote a note to his teacher to apologize. It was the first real note that he’s written. Love those teaching moments that turn into even teach-ier moments.
The story continues, though. Tuesday was also a less-than-great day for Lily and we got a note home that said she was very whiny and threw a tantrum at lunch time. At dinner, we gave her a bit of a talking-to and mentioned more of the, “You need to respect your teachers” stuff. We also took away watching a Christmas movie Tuesday night for the kids, because of the bummer notes home.
Yesterday, both kids did great and Lily’s teacher wrote an extra note to let us know that Lily was “very conscious of her behavior and did an excellent job today.”
Clint and I were ecstatic. Let’s just hope it wasn’t a one day thing, huh?