If there’s one thing that will encourage me to open my mouth to a stranger, it’s having them drop an “f”-bomb or some other verbal diarreah in front of my kids.
If it’s not bad enough that their nasty mouths are rude, they usually follow up their swearing by flipping me off afterwards. As a result, my 4-year old knows words she has NEVER heard from us, or on TV or the radio. She’s been in line next to someone who thinks he has every right to shriek, “What the f#ck was that sh!t about?” in front of my kids.
Here’s the thing: you do have a right. You can be a jerk if you want. You have a right to disrespect me and give my kids a wonderful new vocabulary. Your constitutional right to be a twit is protected. However, you aren’t protected from me, and I’m armed with a rather large vocabulary, a lack of diplomacy skills, and a wicked maternal instinct.
And I won’t hold back. I was a teacher. I am very skilled at correcting bad behavior while still being completely pleasant and not breaking rules.
So be aware, potty mouth. Be prepared. MamaBear is not impressed, and her children know the deal: you probably didn’t have a mother like me to lay down the rules. It’s OK. You can learn good behavior from the kids.
I was volunteering in Boy #2’s classroom today and was filing papers when I saw something that made me laugh so hard the teacher said from the other side of the room, “You saw his essay, didn’t you?” I did. Here’s what he wrote: “I just love my Mom. I treasure her like gold. But something is weird about her. She is a very tall person for her age.”
A very tall person for my age? Perfect. Only kids can come up with stuff like this. Only a former teacher would nod her head after reading that, and then agree with the comments from the teacher instructing her student (my son) to include better transitions next time.
I approach many lessons with my children the same way I did in my own classroom as a teacher. More than that, I teach them lessons that reinforce my philosophy about the world and the kind of citizen I aim to be. Part of that, whether it involves bringing home their best report card or improving on their last one, includes a celebration in the form of a reward (or, looking at it another way, the reward of a celebration).
Good grades are rewarded in this house. See why it works.
We expect our children to do their best in school. It’s a team effort: we have regular conferences with their teachers, and I participate in daily communication with them through our kids’ school planners. Once their work has been graded and sent home, we review it with the kids, sign it and return it to their teachers. There aren’t usually any big surprises when progress reports and report cards come home. However, there are often one or two areas that stand out from the rest, because their marks indicate they’ve exceeded expectations, improved in an area in which they may have previously struggled, or even lost some ground academically.
We’re on it like white on rice. The kids don’t get punished for falling behind. Instead, they receive extra work and we focus our efforts a little more in that area. They also receive hugs from me for the hard work they’ve done and the hard work they continue to do. But if we’ve set a goal to improve a specific area in which they’ve required extra effort, and if they meet that goal, there is a reward — anything from a special trip to get ice cream to a game they’ve wanted for the past year. It can even be monetary.
You want to know why it works? Read the rest here.