Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning How to Discipline

We're in the middle of transferring responsibility to Justinbustin for his homework and book reports. With all the homeschooling and part time schooling we've done with him he's gotten so used to having his teacher at home that he has grown to lean on us to get done what he needs to get done. Now he's learning to be responsible for knowing what he needs to get done and accomplishing that on his own. It's a tough battle, but he's doing great.

On a somewhat related note, the lady he carpools with drives me nuts. On one hand she's fabulous because she has totally helped me figure out this whole public school thing and that homework needs to be a priority and he needs to treat it with priority just as if he were homeschooling or in part time school. My neighbor was the one who helped me figure out it's best to have him do it immediately after school so he can have the rest of the afternoon to play. On the other hand, the lady we carpool with is accusing my son of lying a LOT. I haven't figured out yet if she's opening my eyes or judging my kid. First of all, Justinbustin is a sneaker. Always has been. Not in a malicious way. He's too smart for his own good and will try to pull a fast one on you if you let him, i.e. my mom doesn't let me eat [insert whatever you want here]. You always have to be one step ahead of him. Well, this lady has boiled it down to him lying.

It could be it's hard for me to hear. And in the case of homework it's been true. At least in the sense he hasn't thought through his answer before he gives it to us. "Is your homework done?" "Yes." "Okay, reading, mad minutes, math homework...?" "Oh. I forgot math homework." That had to stop, which is why we're working on it now. I don't know if what is bothering me is that I can't handle the fact that my angel baby might be doing something wrong thus making him a bad person. Of course! he's not a bad person if he lies or tries to pull fast ones on us, it's something we need to PARENT him on, not get angry with him for. Still I can't help being angry with him or SOMEbody, I'm still not sure who.

The other thing that bothers me about the lady he carpools with is I hate, hate, hate (yes, that's a strong word and I've chosen to use it) how her own son is with her. He's whiny and avoidy and doesn't make eye contact with her and "slithers" (it's the best way to put it) around when she asks him to do something. If it was me? I'd be all like, "Boy you better do what I asked you to do right now or you are in the naug*ty chair a-sap (thanks Super Nanny)." He totally drives me NUTS!! That says something of her interaction with him right? So now that my son is spending four hours of his week with her is he starting to act the same way with her? And when he comes home trying to pull it off with me? Or is this more of me blaming someone else for something that was there already and I need to deal with?

I take this boy's sister to school and pick her up and take her home afterwards with Shawners as part of our carpool. When I first had the two of them in the car together they would bicker and fight, talk ugly to each other and be mean. The girl would irritate Shawners on purpose and Shawners would react by doing it back. At first we worked on having games and books to occupy them on the drive which worked okay as long as they were playing by the rules of the game. Finally the other day I got sick of it and belted out a little speech, "Shawners and Girl it is YOUR responsibility to be kind to each other when you are together. Shawners when Girl says stop it is YOUR responsibility to stop the first time, and Girl when Shawners asks you not to do something it is YOUR responsibility not to do it. Girl, when you want to ask Shawners something it is YOUR responsibility to ask in a nice manner, and Shawners it is YOUR responsibility to respond in a nice manner." I've had to repeat the speech once or twice but now they are working on writing a story together, with all of us carpool people in it, beautifully and cooperatively.

Not to pat my own back, but isn't that how the tune should go back at where Justinbustin's staying? Is he so bad that I have to step in and come down hard on my end and ground him for the last two weeks from playing, like I have, so he'll get his homework and book report done there? Put my kid on a freakin' time out for all I care. Sit him down and tell him homework is what you are doing and if you do any different you won't be allowed the privilege of playing while you're at my house. Tell him it's not my responsibility to know your homework, when you come here you get your homework done, that's what you do, and I'm not the one that needs to be telling you to do that.


h*dizzle said...

aw i thought you did a good job of discipling when i was in town...did it work out?!did he finish the book report?!


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