Thursday, August 23, 2012

Behavior Sheet

Setting:  The end of the last school year.  I'm laying on my bed resting, waiting for the kids to come home from school.
Enters: Sweetie Heart (9)

SH: :With a look of foreboding:  Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Me:  I'll go with the good news.
SH: : Tosses me a piece of candy:
Me: And the bad news?
SH: :Hands me a piece of paper.  "It's a behavior sheet."

So now I have two options.  I can lecture her about getting in trouble at school.  Tell her how her teacher already called and talked to me about her "bad" behavior.  Tell her I expect her to be respectful and "make good choices" (whatever that means.)

Me: Okay :I look it over:
SH: You have to sign it. And I have to stay after school.
Me: Okay
SH:  :Stands there waiting for what's next.  Daring me, with her look, to lecture her:
Me:  Do you want to talk about it?
SH: No
Me: Okay.  This is between you and your teacher.  I assume she's already talked to you about it.  So I don't feel the need to say anything more about it.  But I'm here to listen if you want to talk about it.  :I sign the paper and hand it back:
Me: Everyone gets in trouble sometimes.  It's not a big deal.  In the last 5 years you've been at school you haven't had a single behavior sheet.  I'm not concerned about this one.  If you start getting more of these we'll need to sit down and talk about it.  But that's all I have to say about it.

Sweetie Heart goes on to tell me all about what happened.  I asked her what she could have done different.  She responded.

We made connections.  She knows I have confidence in her.  She knows that I love her even when she makes mischief.  And we build a relationship of trust.  She knows she can talk to me about things without getting lectured about things.  The afternoon and evening move on in a positive way and we forget about behavior sheet.

Thank you Vicki for helping me see beyond the mischief and live into a positive relationship with my children.

Vicki Hoefle, professional parent educator, has a new book out called Duct Tape Parenting:
A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Bibliomotion,
August 2012), which is available at bookstores nationwide, as well as on all major online
retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, and others."

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