Do I Really Have To Be the Adult?

Today was one of those days when I really didn’t want to have to be the adult, but I had to shove my soft side out of the way and let the sensible side take charge.  Apparently, my son has been having a bit of a problem keeping his hands to himself in kindergarten.  As is the case with most boys, he likes to be goofy and act crazy with his friends.  I guess this has caused some problems for the teacher starting class activities on time.  She decided to create an oh-so-sophisticated “smiley face” system, whereby he gets a happy face on days when he’s cooperative and a frown face on days when he’s not.   Since my daughter was going to an Easter party after school with her little girl friends, I had told my son we’d have a lunch date to a cool new train restaurant in town.  The kid was beyond excited about our little excursion — he could hardly wait.  So, when I picked him up from school at lunchtime this morning, I could just tell from the “cat-that-swallowed-the-canary” look on his face, that all was not good in the hood. He had gotten himself in trouble, and as a result, received two very unhappy faces on his behavior chart.  As soon as he saw me, the tears instantly welled up in his eyes.  I could tell how heart-broken he was.  I wanted so badly to take back my ultimatum about the lunch date.  My heart kept telling me that he’s only five, but my head kept telling me that I couldn’t punk out on my follow-through.  I had a serious battle with this in my mind but, ultimately, decided to go with my head.  It killed me to tell him we couldn’t go on our date. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it totally sucked to be the bad news messenger.  I fully realize that this is just the tiny tip of the iceberg for what’s to come as far as discipline goes. To be honest, I dread the teenage years with every fiber of my being.  I guess for now, I should just thank my lucky stars that I’m only dealing with a water-spitting contest in the kindergarten coat room because God only knows what will be going on in the coat room in just a few years down the road….

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4 Responses

  1. you did the right thing! My 8yo boy puts on the tears and I give in…and now he doesn’t believe that I will follow through on “consequences”. His K teacher (back in the day) said some gifted kids need a system where they can earn things back. I try to tell myself that it’s because he’s smart (and not because I’m spineless) that he always needs a 2nd (3rd 4th & 5th) chance.

    • thank you for the vote of confidence — i needed it! i really felt like a royal bitch for not taking him on our little date. surprisingly, he seemed more upset about missing out on his lunch outing w/me than not getting to play his Wii — maybe i haven’t quite lost the fight with the world of technology just yet…. 🙂

  2. Oh, honey, I’m as sooooo right there with ya. No, literally! Our clever little system is blue cards (or green cards, yellow cards, orange cards, and the dreaded red card – which means you get a call from the office and they’re screaming at you on the other end of the line that if you don’t come and pick up your demon child right now they’re going to call the cops and have him escorted off the premises in handcuffs).

    And there is nothing — NOTHING — worse than disappointing them when they’re so excited about something (and you are, too, honestly), but, for what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing. We’re trying not to discipline IN ADDITION to what he’s getting at school already, but we’re also not rewarding unless it’s an all-blue-card-week, which we thought we’d never see, but have been pleasantly surprised…twice!

    So, stay strong, sister. Kindergarten sucks!

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement — I felt like such a buzz kill yesterday. The sad look on his little face made me want to cry too. I was talking to my mom about the situation last night, & she said just wait till their teenagers. I fully realize how tough that’s gonna be, but the difference is that at this age, they just get a quivering lip and tear-filled eyes that rip your adult heart right out, whereas when they are older, they scream at you & tell you what a horrible parent you are. As hard as it is to be a kindergarten parent, I’d much rather bottle up this age & preserve it forever.

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