Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Alone Can Be

Reading other poets often inspires me, for in their poetic self-revelation I often find threads or remnants of myself. And while in that place I often find their words imbue my creativity. Jean's poem inspired me to write the words below:

Alone can be
deafening and

That is, 
until you find 
and create 
a space for 
nurturing and  

Alone can be 
a time for: 
exploration and

It’s an adventure
to see 
how far 
this me 
can stretch

Its a time 
for me 
to explore 
and expand 
my soul
spiritually and  

Its always 
a time 
changing and

is simply
the best time 
for me 
to become 
the best ME
I can possibly 

~ me ~

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Me, a Barbarian

Yes, that’s me according to a childless/single co-worker. It seems that I’m barbaric for telling an 8y.o. his behavior (temper tantrum really) was so out of control that I would tell the Pgm Director and his mother that they needed to pull down his pants and use my thick grommeted leather belt to tan his bottom, so he could understand the pain he was inflicting publicly on others by throwing his books around. You see, this kid threw such a temper tantrum outside the facility that when he threw his books he accidentally hurt a smaller child passing by.

I know this child. I actually taught him for 6 months when he was in Kindergarten with my son. He had issues with the teacher before me because whenever he threw a temper tantrum they would do anything to quiet him down – she eventually quit because she couldn’t deal with his behavior (he hit the teacher a couple of times). He had temper tantrums with me only twice. Both times I carefully picked him up and placed him outside in a fenced in empty storage area in the school’s play area. Why? Because he was a danger to himself and others. Whenever he got angry (for not getting his way) he would start throwing things and hitting people. The first time he had a tantrum with me while teaching him I picked him up in the middle of the tantrum and he was in a time-out in that empty fenced in storage area for 15 min. I immediately called the mother and explained what had happened and what I did. After she said she was okay with it I invited her to sit with me and the child after school so we could discuss some discipline strategies. The second time it took only 5 minutes before he calmed down and apologized. According to his mother, he didn’t have another tantrum again. That worked well till recently, when his father and mother began the process of separation.

So last night, while in the middle of the tantrum I stopped and held onto the boys hands and asked him calmly to step inside the facility (along with the child he hurt) I got someone with first aid training to take care of the little girl and escorted the boy to the Lobby/Waiting area and spoke to him in front of my son and other parents. He was still a bit wild and yelling and that’s when I told him if he didn’t calm down and stop kicking and throwing things I would take off my belt and offer it to his mother so that she could pull down his pants and use it to tan his bottom. Looking around and seeing his school friends and the parents staring at him he began to calm himself down. His mother just stood there speechless and in shock not knowing what to do.

This morning in discussing what happened with the childless/single co-worker, I told her how things ended and she asked me to stop and said, “I can’t talk to you any longer, your disciplining methods are simply barbaric.” So there you have it folks, I’m a barbarian. When I asked what she would have done? She said she simply would have talked to the kid. My response, “Oh, just like his mother. And that’s working out so well for her!” I said in a very sarcastic voice as I rolled my eyes and walked away. This from a woman who yells and throws things at her pets, and whose puppy I had to train so he would stop pooping all over the house. Yeah, she’s a roll model.

For the record, I’'ve never had to use the belt with my son, I have taken it out only twice in my son’s lifetime, but my stare is intimidating enough for him to immediately stop his bad behavior and apologize as he goes to the corner to put himself in time-out. The most severe punishment I'’ve ever had to inflict in his 7 years, is to have him kneel during a 5 min. time-out. Since then the threat of time-outs is enough to curb all wayward behavior.

That's how we do things in our household. Please feel free to share any effective discipline method with us in the comments below. 
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