Monday, April 27, 2015

Thoms Gets A "4"

It's been a rough afternoon...and evening here in the Shipley house.

Mrs. Naff texted me this afternoon to warn me that Thomas would be coming home with a "4" in his behavior calendar.

She warned me, because she knows I can be "a little much" when my kids mess up. And by "kids" I mean "Thomas."

Poor Thomas. He is far more "human" than Gracie was in school, and far more human than I allow him to be.

Just about all teacher use some sort of system to manage behavior in their classrooms.  Gracie has had colored fish, stop lights, smiley thumbs, and numbers 1-5.  Thomas, obviously has only had 3 years of some sort of behavior charted.

Why does all this matter?

Never ONCE in her entire school existance has Gracie EVER brought home less than a "5," or moved her fish, or changed her stop light color or not gotten a smiley thumb.

I expect the best of my kids--especially behavior, so I doubt this shocks you. Of course, if you know Gracie at all, you know she is a little me, and her "perfect" school behavior shouldn't shock you either.

Thomas knew when he got off the bus that a "4" wasn't good. 

I did everything possible to not bring it up, keep my disappointment in check, and hide any sort of "face" that may make him feel worse than I figured he might feel.

The 2nd thing he announced when he stepped off the bus was "mom, I got a "4" today."

We talked about it, with no guilt, and no anger. He told me why and I told him that it was important to always listen to the teacher.

I could tell by his face that he was going to struggle with it, so it was pretty easy to go from "disappointed mom trying to hide the disappointment" to protector and "its no big deal speech giver."

He didn't want any snack and wanted to write the apology note to Mrs. Naff that I insisted he write--right away.  So, I got paper and pencil and laid them out for him to use.

I was putting away my new camera, and I had to capture this face.  I know it seems mean to freeze this moment--but I needed to. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.  I have to remember that I am often too hard on them. I have expectations that most parents do not have, and while encouraging and pushing your kids to be their best can be a good thing, pushing them to hard can lead to a child who is devastated by a one time "4" out of "5" when a 1 thru 3 is really the only ones with cause for alarm.

I knew I had to build him back up.

Not only did he get extra hugs all day today, but we changed up our reading theme from "Spring" books to "Mama Loves Me No Matter What" kind of books.

By the time I kissed him goodnight he was smiling and ready to face another fun day at Kindergarten.

This parenting thing is not only hard, it may serve up more lessons for mama's than it might for the children.

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