• Michelle

Just a taste and boy trouble

Remember yesterday’s post where I showed you pictures of my aweful living room? Well, that has almost been rectified!

We haven’t quite finished up everything we were hoping to, so I’m not going to show you the big reveal until everything is done; but I did want to show you some of what we’ve accomplished.

These new colors have completely transformed the living room. Once we finish painting the fireplace, I will reveal the rest of the room! Any idea’s on how to paint stucco?

***

I’ve been trying to procrastinate this part of the post because I don’t want to talk about my boy troubles. Actually, I would rather just not have boy troubles but I guess I can’t have everything. It’s boy 2 – Gary.

He is so smart. He learns things quickly, he retains new knowledge better then anybody I know, he tells the best stories, and has an imagination anybody can get lost in. But he’s struggling in school, and I don’t know what to do to help him.

This past Friday when I picked him up, I asked the same sort of questions I do everyday. One is always ‘do you have any homework?’ Now, I was expecting a ‘No’ because it was Friday and his teacher nevery assigns homeword on Friday’s. But this past Friday he said ‘Yes’, I have a lot of homework. He said he had to complete all of his assignments that he was suppose to do in school – all week! When we got home, I pulled out his stack of homework and on top was a note from his teacher that said ‘this is Gary’s school work from this week. Please have Gary finish them over the weekend.’ I.WAS.____________
feel free to insert any unfavorable word that comes to mind in that blank.

I asked him “what were you doing when you weren’t doing your school work?” After many rounds of “I don’t know” he finally said “putting my head down and playing with my desk”.

I asked him “what were you thinking when you decided not to do your school work?” Again, after many rounds of “Nothing” and “I don’t know” he finally admitted, “I just didn’t think it mattered.”

This is the part where you try to imagine the thoughts that were going through my head, because I do try to keep this a family friendly blog and I really just don’t think I should post those thoughts.

So, after the shock of what he said wore off a little I managed to stammer out another question. “If school work doesn’t matter, then what does matter?” “Riding my bike, jumping on the trampoline, watching tv, playing video games…” The list went on and none of them included school work, homework, doing the laundry, his chores, caring for his brother…etc. I figure this list of priorities are typical for a 9 year old boy, but typical 9 year olds also get their school work done!

James and I are the ‘let the punishment fit the crime’ sort of parents, so in order to change his idea of what matters, we took away what mattered to him. Everything he listed that mattered to him more then school work was taken away. He first had to finish all of the school work his teacher sent home. This was no easy task either. He spent all of Friday night, and most of Saturday getting it done. He then had to do some manual labor with dad in the backyard, and when that was finished he had to complete his normal Saturday chores. The rest of the day was spent reading a book or working on some crosswords that James made for him. The only break he was allowed to have was when we celebrated John’s birthday.

By Monday morning, the verdict was in and sentencing was doled out. With the exception of that day, all his privileges were revoked without a set date of restoration. He was able to earn back snatches of time when he was allowed to enjoy a privilege, but they weren’t for very long. If he finished all his school work in school and we got a good report from his teacher that his behavior of satisfactory, he earned 30 min. If he finished all his homework right after school, he earned 30 min. If he finished all his chores for the day without complaint, he earned 30 min; and if he completed any extra tasked assigned by mom or dad without complaint, he earned 30 min. A total of 2 hours a day could be earned back to enjoy any of his privileges he chooses.

Apparently the lessons learned from this past weekend didn’t sink in far enough. When I picked him up from school this afternoon, I called his teacher to find out how his day went. She said he was miserable! He made excuses as to why he couldn’t finish his school work and consequently all his school work was sent home along with his homework. *sigh*

At this point, I’m just frustrated and exhausted. I don’t know what to do to help him, although James and I do have some idea’s up our sleeves. We are going to continue trying this method for a while. We’re praying this works, but there are some extreme idea’s that are being discussed between us and with his teacher.

So, if you are still reading and I have not bored you to death with my boy trouble woe’s – if you have any idea’s or pointers about how we can help him, I am open to suggestions. He’s our first born, so this is all new to us.

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