Saturday, November 20, 2010

Actions and Consequences

What do you think of my decision? Please be honest.

A few weeks ago I found one of my son's  t-shirts with several scissor cuts in the hem area. When confronted he (eventually) admitted to cutting the t-shirt.  Don't you hate the sentence ' I don't knooooowwwww.....' You know the kind you get when you ask your kid why in the name of Sam Hill they did something?! It was a brand new shirt and I wasn't pleased. I gave him a scolding and a stern warning that he could only cut paper and only with permission. Later I found another t-shirt with a cut in the bottom. I didn't say anything figuring it had happened shortly before the one I'd found previously.
This morning I noticed my daughters' Corbin Bleau (sp?) concert ticket on her desk. I wondered why it wasn't in it's usual place but didn't say anything suspecting that she was rearranging her belongings. I should mention that she met the singer/actor and he autographed that ticket.
Hours later I heard much commotion. My son (who turned 5 in August btw), cut up the ticket. I gave him a spank on the derriere this time and grounded him for the rest of the weekend. No sweets, desserts, tv or pc time. Now IT man is mad at me for messing up the weekend. He felt I should just have left the grounding to the rest of the day until evening. You see, Saturday is family TV night. We watch a movie and eat a steak dinner.  Now that we won't watch the tube together tonight IT man is boycotting steak and family time. Thanks, I love being the family ogre. Apparently we can't do without the TV. He feels my punishment is too severe and is irate that it affects our family movie time. Gee, sorry I didn't time Bear's bad behaviour better.  He should have done this on a Monday. He also feels Bear shouldn't have had access to scissors and that I shouldn't teach him how to cut stuff up even though I told him that this was necessary fine motor skills practise we must do. He found the scissors in his big sister's desk by the way.

So, you experienced mothers and fathers out there. Please let me know what you guys think.  Was I too severe?  I know this is quite a severe punishment but feel that the lack of punishment during the t-shirt episode contributed to this. My parents were big on punishments. His parents quite the opposite. I strive for the middleground. Our children are rarely punished. Scolded and sit down meetings happen with some more frequency but two day groundings can be counted on one hand for both combined. 

How do you discipline your kids? Do you discuss the punishement together or does one parent usually assume the ogre role?  How do you handle the situation when one of you disagrees with the punishment?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Everybody's got one...(show me yours, I'll show you mine)

Now, go pick your mind out of the gutter. There's a dear. Here, sit down, have a cucumber sandwich and a spot of tea. Fancy a biscuit? That's British for cookie.

Everybody's got one? By that I meant 'Opinion'.  What floors me is how liberal we all are with our opinions on things which often don't even affect us at all. Throw out some words into any gathering of  people and see what happens. Homeschooling and Circumcision just to mention two, are biggies. One thing I'd like to ask those who make such bilious comments about homeschooling is this: "How does my decision to homeschool my children affect you?" Why do you feel entitled to 'bless' us with your unsolicited opinions? Many anti homeschooling opinions are penned by individuals who have little one-on-one experience with homeschoolers. I can see how some teachers may have a dim view of it for a variety of reasons. The thing I am not always sure about is this; are these views truly based solely on their care and concern for the children or a variety of other reasons.

So what is it that invites people, even those not directly impacted by homeschooling, to make comments? Read any homeschooling blog and you are sure to come across personal accounts of homeschooling parents having to fend off often uninformed and negative remarks about their choice. Comments often made by family (in which case I can understand the concern but please educate yourself before opening your mouth) and in many cases strangers. Shouldn't we all make sure we are educated about an issue before we open our mouths.

My son currently has the habit of telling people he meets that he is homeschooled. Out of the blue and for no reason. I wish he wouldn't do that. I don't want people judging my children based on some preconceived negative notion about homeschoolers. Much rather, I'd prefer it to be something they find out later when they know my children and me for who we are. We all have thoughts about a multitude of different topics and issues. But a wise person keeps their thoughts and opinions to themselves unless solicited to share them. Even then it's often wiser to remain silents and noncommittal especially if ones knowledge is third hand and poorly formulated or apt to hurt someones feelings. My feelings about religion, as for example, would ruffle many feathers.  Why would I go and trample over what is important to someone else just to hear myself talk? 

Rather than accosting someone with a bunch of preconceived notions about something, just ask some questions and really listen to the answers. That's another thing I see a lot of. People ask questions merely as a way to draw one into a conversation. The questions are usually meant as a vehicle to allow the person who asked to then follow it up with their opinions and it often becomes clear that they didn't really listen to the answers given.

Free speech. On so many occasions I told my daughter that Free Speech is one of the things that makes this country so great. One other great thing is the liberal use of the 'Delete' button. Or the 'X' button to close a browser window. It definitely saves some nerves. Just because we have the liberty of Free Speech doesn't necessarily mean that it's one we are required to use all the time.  And yet the increasingly narcissistic nature of our society invites more 'opinions' and 'thoughts' than in the decades before.

Silence can be golden.