Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lesson learned

Biscuit taught himself a lesson at school recently.

As anyone who knows him can attest, he's quite a talker. (And that's an understatement.) And whenever he gets a not-so-great color on the behavior chart, that's usually the culprit.

His first day back after the flu, Biscuit came home and said he got blue on the chart. Well, that's just one step down, so I fussed at him and told him he needed to do better, but I don't see that as a huge deal.

But when I picked him up the next day and asked him what color he got, he said, "Well, Mom, I guess I just have to tell you that you'll be getting an email from my teacher."

"Why?" I asked him.

"Well, I hate to tell you this, but I got red today," Biscuit said.

"Red?" I asked him.

"Yes," Biscuit said. "What happened was ..."

I interrupted his story to ask him to wait until we were in the car and I could hear him better.

Once we were in the car, he described how things started to go badly and went down hill from there.

We had talked before about how he shouldn't talk in class, but clearly, my message wasn't getting through.

So I said to him, "Do you realize that when you talk in class, you're basically telling your teacher that what you have to say is more important that what she has to say. And you're also keeping your friends and classmates from doing their work well."

I had used that logic before, but I hoped repeating it might catch his attention.

He listened and promised to do better ... blah, blah, blah. But I didn't feel like I had really gotten through to him.

Then a few days later, he came home and told me quite a story.

On the ride home, I always ask him what color he got on the behavior chart. Then I ask him what "special" he had (music, art, P.E., guidance, library). I ask him how his lunch was. Then I ask him to tell me the two best things that happened to him that day.

We went through all of that usual stuff, then he said, "Mom, I realized something today."

"What was that?" I asked.

"Well, we were in music today, and I was telling my teacher about a composer I like, and as I was talking, a couple of boys in my class started talking and giggling so much that I forgot what I wanted to say," Biscuit explained.

"Okay," I said. "But what was your realization?"

"I realized that it hurt my feelings when I was trying to talk and they were talking and laughing at the same time," he said. "So I figured if it made me sad when they did it, it probably makes them sad when I do it."


All the talking I've done. All the encouraging his teacher has done. And it all comes down to him getting a taste of his own medicine.

And it really has helped. He's had all good colors on the behavior chart since that day.

As much as it frustrated me that I never got through to him, it also pleases me so much that he figured it out.

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