Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Un-Punishments

This week, I have been dealing with E and his school issues. He settled the thing with the girl already, and had a doctor's appointment on Friday, so of course, there were no advancements on that front. My boy...he got his H1N1 shot, and smiled through it. I even took a picture.

Anyway, back to the point...

I got an email from one of his teachers. Brother-man is doing great on his tests...scores couldn't be more perfect. However, he isn't doing (or turning in, one of those) classwork and homework. He's skating by with great grades because his assessments make up so much of his them...but it IS NOT okay (with momma) that you're being lazy and not doing the side dishes, because the meat and potatoes have already been taken care of.

So...I decided to take away what he loves most. Grounded him from the Wii, and the computer (unless he has to do homework...oh yeah...he doesn't DO that). I also suspended his private drum lessons that he loves so much.

But then I had to realize...the drum lessons are his enrichment. taking away his artistic release is exactly the opposite of what I do for a living. I would be putting him in the same position I'm trying to take my students out of. So...drum lessons were given back.

I talked to the drum instructor, because we have alot of the same views on things, and found out what he thought. He thinks that I need to try to work on the character flaw in him, and in this case, its laziness. So I ask the boy about this, and its true. So I ask him what I can do to help him out...what can I do to help motivate him. He says that the things he looks forward to usually motivate him. So we work out a few 'motivational spurs' that we both agree on. We're gonna try these for a few days, to find out if they work. If he comes home and gets his homework done, he can go outside and hang with his friends (something that was taken away previously), and he can read those flippin' manga books that I said weren't proper reading material for his reading logs (I still believe that...but these are his release, and I am secretly happy he has taken an interest in reading so much that he was hurt to lose this privilege). If we can get through the week with all homework done and turned in, then he will get his Wii and computer privileges back. Let's see how this goes.

Now, in AYD terms, this is giving the child safety and structure, but its also creating an awareness of self worth. Safety and structure because he knows exactly what he is to do afterschool everyday, and it creates a routine, which is what kids need to be comfortable. Also, self worth, because he was able to help me make this decision, and understands that I do trust him, until he gives me a reason not to. He feels like he really made the decision, and therefore, invests himself into the outcome. What we are looking for is a positive outcome, and our full intention is to work until we get one. My job in this case is to be supportive, and guide him. If he falters, I will be there to try to get him back on track, but I must let him do this on his own. This is HIS learning moment, I am just along for the ride.


  1. Sounds like a great plan...I so wish I would have had your blog about a year ago with our teen....

  2. I like that last line. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to get out of our teens' way.