As I’ve said before, Caiden is a rather bright child. He learns at an accelerated rate and, at times, it is hard keeping up with him. He is attending a private school and they have the ability to keep up with him, challenge him and give him goals to work towards and concrete discipline when he deliberately falls short.
There are two views on corporal punishment: those that disagree with any form of spanking and those that feel it is, when properly used, in the best interests of the child. Caiden attends a Christian private school and they believe as the Bible states and administer spankings in accordance with the scriptures.
I agree that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can go too far and harm a child. I agree that teaching a child to fear a parent via violent spankings or whatnot is not a healthy upbringing.
I also believe in a child learning the consequences of his actions. He must learn that he has to face punishment for failing to do as directed or deliberately harming another in any form.
We may not all agree on this view and I’d rather not get into an argument so we’ll agree to disagree and get back to the point of this post. I respect your right to raise your child the way you see fit; I will raise mine to the best of my abilities. Just as each child is different, so is each parent and their parenting choices.
That disclaimer aside, I had to take Caiden to school this morning and authorize his teacher to deliver him to the dreaded Coach. During class yesterday, he refused to do his class work. His teacher gave him several chances and used different methods in an attempt to engage him. He just couldn’t stay focused.
I blamed Jen for her all-carb breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes but the truth is, some days are just not as good as others. Children start to feel cooped up in the winter; they don’t get outside as much during school hours and when home, moms don’t typically like to go out in the snow and freeze in an effort to get their energies out. There is a lot we can do during the day and evening to get their energy out and, as with children having bad days, so do nannies and moms.
When the young get to the point of no return – they have to release it. It’s like an over-tired young’un that is bouncing off the walls of your home, refusing to go to sleep. Their bodies can’t handle any more and it’s fighting so hard to try and fix a problem it doesn’t understand. As adults, we typically figure out we’re over-tired and take steps to correct it. Those small minds don’t grasp the concept like we do.
Releasing of pent-up energy causes many problems and I applaud Caiden’s teacher her patience the entire day, yesterday. She gave him several warnings and even mentioned to him that, if he didn’t go home and get it done right away and gave mom/nanny fits getting it done, he’d have to go see the Coach today.
When he came home from school yesterday, it took him over 2 and a half hours to get his homework done. He fought doing it. He played. He scribbled on his papers. He did everything except get it done. He had a lot to do – the teacher sent all of the days’ work home with him.
Finally, when enough was enough, I told him it was over. He was going to see Coach today when he got to school.
The tears and compliance were immediate and intense. He didn’t want to go see Coach. He didn’t want a spanking and, “MOM! He has two kinds of paddles! Wood and Plastic! I don’t want them!” His homework was done in less than 20 minutes and it didn’t look all that bad. Typically, we have to have him redo his handwriting a few times to get it acceptable. He rushes and doesn’t get it legible.
I told him, “I’m sorry. You were warned. You were told that you needed to get it done. You played, you ate the cookie that wasn’t yours. You are deliberately disobeying and have been all day. You will go see Coach in the morning.”
He said, “Ok, mom.”
That was the end of it. I’m quite sure he was hoping I would forget or maybe forget to tell Jen about it so she could pass it on to his teacher. He was wrong. I took the boys to school this morning and had a talk with his teacher. I let her know that I was in agreement with her taking my son to Coach.
The school rules state that the child can be taken to Coach without parental approval. We sign this release at the beginning of the year. We are asked if we want to be there or if we want a phone call before Coach deals with the problem. I signed a release saying that I would like to know when he goes to see the Coach but that’s it. I figure, if the Coach is talking to him, I don’t want to be there as a distraction.
Now, here’s what is happening to my child this morning. These are the policies set in place and he has been to Coach 2 other times in the 18 months he’s attended this school.
- Coach talks to him about why he had to visit with Caiden. They discuss disobeying and how it is contrary to what the Bible sets down as standards. They discuss why Caiden felt he didn’t have to do the work he was doing. The conversation can last up to 30 minutes (or more, if necessary).
- Coach will get another teacher or school administrator to come into the room as a “witness” and when that is in place, he’ll remind Caiden of why he is getting a spanking. After doing that, he gets swatted. I believe he only swats one time but, since it is wood, I’m quite sure that is sufficient.
- Coach will gather the child into his arms and console him after the swat. The tears will be wiped away while there is additional talk about why a swat was administered to his backside.
- Caiden will be returned to class; however, that’s not the end of the duty as far as Coach is concerned. Throughout the rest of the day, Coach will pop into Caiden’s class to check on him. He’ll give him hugs and loves, letting Caiden know that he still loves him and doesn’t feel any upset at Caiden. This is to reassure the child that, while they might get in trouble, they are still loved and valued. This will happen several times throughout the rest of today.
And, if it worked the way it is intended, Caiden will come home knowing that he did wrong and he was punished, but he is still very much loved by teachers and Coach. Mom will hug and kiss him when he gets home and life moves on from there.
I read somewhere, long ago, that it doesn’t matter what your child does to get in trouble. If you punish them and then love on them, you are teaching them that it is ok to screw up. It doesn’t change the feelings someone has for you. I was happy to find out that his school is the same way and I applaud their efforts.
Of course, my eyes are still tearing up as I write this. I am sad for him and hope the rest of his day goes well.