Taking Responsibility

We had another child who didn’t want to come in when asked the other day.  I went through the same motions of standing until he decided to come inside with me.  Before stepping inside, I got on his level and explained that his actions were not appropriate.

This is a child who does this repeatedly.  It has become a daily behavior and it really needs to stop.  He is not a difficult child for anything else, just when it comes to going inside.

I mentioned to him that we are going to have to make his punishment much more severe from now on.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure exactly what that would be in the end, I just wanted to drill in the severity of this behavior to him. 

I could tell from his eyes that it was beginning to sink in.  Then I said the magic words, “I’m going to have to talk to his teacher and decide…and maybe we would have to meet with mom to come up with a solution.”

His eyes got big!  His head shook from side to side!  “No, we don’t need to tell mommy!”

I’m not one to use the parents as a punishment; it’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to the teachers (takes their authority away).  I told him that I would discuss it with the teacher later and would let him know what we decided.

We decided that he needed to tell mom about his ongoing behavior. 

After snack I called him into the office and explained to him what needed to happen.  I told him that when mom came and picked him up from school, he would need to tell her that he didn’t listen when it was time to come inside.

We practiced saying it.  He kept saying, “but I’m not going to get a time out when I get home.”

I told him that would be up to mom.

I could tell he got it.  He really got it.

How do I know?  That night when mom came to pick him up (3 hours after our conversation) the first thing he did was confess to her what he did. 

The next day?  He lined right up when it was time to go inside.

See he had to take responsibility for his actions.  We all need to learn to do that.  He did take responsibility.  The action of telling on his own of his wrong-doing was a huge step for him.

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