Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Advice Please

Today when I picked up Hogan from school, he got sent home with a yellow note. When they get a yellow note, it means that the did something wrong in class that day and that their clip was moved up the stop light from green to yellow. Hogan has only had is clip moved one time before. It was last year and his teacher said that the music teacher has moved it and that she thought it was unfair and for me not to worry about it. So I didn't do much. However, this time the note said that he was doing something bad. It said that while the teacher was reprimanding the class for being chatty he put his fingers in his ears. When I asked him about it, he said that she was getting on to the class and he didn't like it so he plugged his ears. (I did not feel like he did it smartelicly but more like I don't like this make it stop) It has always been BIG trouble if the kids get their clips moved. I have always told the kids that they would get a big spanking if they were bad at school. But in this moment as I read this note I felt for the dude. There have been so many times that I have wanted to plug my ears when some one was gripping at me. I did think it was disrespectful for him to do that but I understood why he did. So to keep my word I did give him a spanking when he got home. I explained to him that what he did was rude and disrespectful. I told him that when a grown up was talking to him he had to listen and obey. I also made him write an apology to his teacher. However, something about spanking him seemed wrong. It did not feel like it was the right thing to do. I mostly did it to keep my word that if he ever got in trouble in shool that it meant big trouble when he got home. Was I wrong? Should I have not spanked him?


The Robinsons said...

I read this earlier today and have been thinking about it off and on this afternoon. I appreciate your blog for many reasons, one of them being, it gives me a glimpse of "what is to come" in my own kids' lives.

As I was thinking, the story of Uzzah came to mind. God had told the Israelites not to touch the ark of the covenant or they would die. Uzzah was helping to return the ark (which had been stolen) to Jerusalem when the ox pulling the cart stumbled, and the ark was jostled. Uzzah reached out to steady the ark, and was struck dead. I always thought that was so harsh. But God always keeps his promises. If he had allowed Uzzah to live after having touched the ark of the covenant (as good as his intentions may have been), what would have have said about God's word?

I, for one think you did the right thing. The right thing isn't always the easy thing. I even think it is ok to let Hogan know you sympathize with him--as long as you also explain why you had to keep your word.

I think going to school must be so hard for kids. They answer to their parents for so long, and then have to share some of that authority with a teacher. I think you do your kids (and their teachers) a great service by standing behind the teachers and not driving a rift between them and you. It helps not to set up a pattern for later in life for your kids to think they can blow off their authorities and come to you to help them be the exception to a rule that they don't agree with.

Sorry to write a novel...and I certainly don't claim to have all the answers...but that's what came to mind when you asked for advice. Good luck finding peace, but for what it's worth, I think you're doing a great job with all of your little ones.

Jill said...

I agree with the above post. I have been thinking about this lately, but since Scarlett is only in Mother's Day Out, we don't have many chances for these situations yet. I think it is important to stand by your word, but if you think it's too harsh, I think it's OK to change your mind for next time. Maybe you could sit down with the kids and say that instead of spanking, if they get in trouble they will lose a privilege or something like that. I guess it kind of depends on what "gets" to each child. Scarlett doesn't usually get spankings, so when so does get one, I think they really have an impact on her. (I hope!) For the record, I would have done the same thing you did.

ps-As a former teacher, I really appreciated follow through at home from the parents. Sadly, instead, I got a lot of notes from parents defending their kids, which in turn, led to more disrespect and problems.

Isn't being a mom hard?!?!?!

Jill said...
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Shannon said...

You did the right thing. Always keep your word. Marymae puts her fingers in her ears too when she doesn't want to hear something. I'm tellin' you, they're two peas in a pod!

Tarah said...

Yes, I agree with most of the posts. You did the right thing. It is very clear that disobedience and disrespect chooses punishment. It is very good that you have told them up front that their will be consequences for every bad choice they make. Although he may not have been the chatty one in class, he was guilty for disrespecting his teacher. I'm sure this was just a good lesson learned. You did a great job for following through.

Tarah said...
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Linda said...

Oh Sweetheart..as parents we will ALWAYS question our methods. I go to bed at night and wonder about the day and if I was too hard on my little boy or if I spent enough quality time with each of my children etc. It's just our Mommy nature. BUT one thing I have always had to do that is the hardest thing is be consistant. Which is exactly what you did. I agree that if you don't think the punishment 'fits' the 'crime' (;o) then you can adjust it. I have the hardest time especially if I've taken something away for the day and then my little boy is soooooooooo nice and good the rest of the day...kills me! But I think it helps him in the future to realize I will keep my word. I will always tell him in the end how much I love him and then reiterate why he was punished.

Many hugs Momma, hang in there.

Perks said...

You did the right thing this time. I've always told Chloe that if she gets in trouble at school or church that she gets in trouble at home.

Last week, she had to sit out at recess on two different days for 5 minutes for 2 different reasons. They were silly reasons and she totally fessed up (the teacher didn't send anything home, Chloe just told me herself). Her punishment was sitting out for 5 minutes from something fun at home. Nothing big but she knew she was going to have some sort of punishment.

One thing I am having to learn though is that my kids aren't necessarily going to behave like I did in school. I NEVER got in trouble. Mike, on the other hand, was a great student but a class clown. So, he's a little more tolerant of little offenses. Chloe is more like her daddy.

Elisabeth set a high standard for the boys. Maybe you could have different levels of punishments...especially with three BOYS going through school! :)

Amy said...

I say, DITTO!! Man, you've got some great readers!! Love the story of Uzzah. SO SMART she is!!

I definately think you did the right thing. This parent thing is so stinkin hard!!

Thanks for sharing. :)

Corrie said...

I think you did the right thing. Promised consequences can be a hard thing to dish out, especially if you think they may not be warranted. But follow through is very important and I think your son learned a valuable lesson about respecting authority even when you don't want to.

From everything I've read on your blog, I think you're an exceptional mother. Your children are fortunate to have a mom who takes their upbringing so seriously.

(By the way -- I totally went out and bought that cupcake book. LOVE IT!! Expect to see cupcakes for all our birthday celebrations from now til the end of time.)

Angie Campbell said...

I totally agree. Consistency is the key to healthy parenting. As a counselor, as a teacher, and as a mother, it is important that we stand behind our teachers and support them (even if we do not wholly agree). As far as the spanking, there are so many different views on that, and I used to never spank the kids, but Trace definitely pushes my limits and he too received a spanking last night. (that's a long story, and he is also grounded for continuous arguing with me). So, I feel your pain, and I really think that young boys are quite difficult, but if we hang in there together, and we are consistent, then they will know how much they are loved!

Tomilyn said...

Ditto to all the posts. From a teachers point of view, I especially appreciate what you did. I have had parents who disagreed with me, but stood behind my decision in the eyes of their children. Later, either through a phone call or a meeting they have voiced their disagreement. In turn, their children have been better behaved. In my experience, it is the parents who disagree and disrespect authority in front of their kids who will continue to have problems with their kids in school.

In life, we will come across people in positions of authority in which we disagree with or do not like. However, we know as adults that we can voice our opinion respectfully. And, sometimes we just have to take it, no matter how much we don't afree or like it. I think it is an important lesson for our kids to learn early. By following through on your word and most importantly talking to Hogan about the inappropriate behavior, you have started to show him this valuable lesson. From what I can tell you are doing an amazing job! I don't know how you and Denise do it with 4! Kudos to y'all!