Things Kids Get Away With

Times have changed. There is no doubt about that. Back in the day (my day) I wouldn't have dreamed of disobeying an adult or talking back to them. Okay. I did. Once.  Notice that? Once. Being a mouthy teenager got nipped in the bud pretty quickly. My parents showed me that they were still in charge and I still had a lot to learn.

Fast forward a few years and we now have 5 year olds talking back. Trying to argue. I say trying because I refuse to argue and it is hard for someone to argue with a brick wall. Although... I have seen it.  Even after I give my directive and walk away they are still standing there arguing with the air.  I guess they want to have the last word.

What about the kid who has learned that when they don't want to do something all they have to do is throw a tantrum or simply refuse and become a statue.  Unfortunately, the statue is really quite effective. They don't budge. Or speak.  It is frustrating, but on the brighter side they are quiet.  I call this silently defiant. It irritates me.  It also tells me that this practiced behavior is something that is called to action frequently. Not only at school, but also at home. And, it tells me that at home parents simply give up and complete the task themselves and move on.  Time isn't taken to correct the behavior so the behavior is found to be effective. And heaven knows how tied the hands of a teacher are.  So... we do what we can and eventually we ignore the little statue and move on.  I know what my parents would have done. It wouldn't have been pretty, but it would have gotten my attention and it would have proven once and for all time how ineffective my strategy was. Not that I would have tried this anyway. I couldn't keep my mouth shut for more than 30 seconds.

Here's one that is almost laughable. Almost.  "I'll tell my parents and you'll be in trouble." I say, "Go ahead. In fact, let me dial the number for you and speak to them also."  Sadly, in these upside down times teachers are often guilty until proven innocent and parents call the school ready for a fight.  Back in my day, if I had done something horrible enough for the teacher to call home, I could expect a spanking. Not a beating given in anger, but discipline given in love. And my parents didn't blame the teacher. Instead they apologized for my behavior. They were ashamed of my behavior. Okay, I need to be politically correct.... choices. My parents were ashamed of my choices. I made the wrong choice. I needed to rethink my choice. Whatever you want to call it, it still means the same. I did something wrong and needed correction... punishment.

Oh, and the word wrong. When did that go out of vogue? I guess it was the same year that we were told not to use the word lazy.   I don't care what you call it- unmotivated, tired, bored, unchallenged.... it is L.A.Z.Y.  There are several days that I am exhausted or unmotivated but I still get out of bed and go to school.  I don't have any excuses or reasons for staying home. But I do have several reasons for going to work.

Here's one. "This is too easy for me. I'm bored with the assignments." "Really? Why don't you try doing them to prove to me that they are too easy for you?" What is really irritating is when these words come from the parent. In over 25 years I have yet to meet a child that is so highly intelligent that every assignment, project, or activity is boring.  I have met several that would rather be having fun than doing 'work' (another taboo word), but I've never had the privilege of someone so intelligent that they were too bored to complete tasks. And... I've had several off-the-charts-smart kids. But, they always contributed and dug deeper and rose to challenges.  I have had a parent tell me that their child was smarter than anyone in the class, including me. Somehow I doubt that and I was never given any evidence to prove it.

You know what?
All of this leaves me pining for the good ole days.

Fall is here!! The leaves are brilliant. The air is crisp.
Here is one of my favorite resources - perfect for this time of year- perfect for combining reading and history!


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