As I’m sure I’ve posted before, manners are important to me. I was raised to show respect and behave with manners in all situations. You say “sir” and “ma’am” and “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” You ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS address people with respect. My husband and I are doing our best to instill this in our children. They have lapses: responding with “what?” when called; answering “yeah” when asked a question; but generally, they behave well — especially when they are AWAY from us.
(Why do kids behave better away from parents? But, if they are going to act up, I would rather it be with me, than with other people! Anyway, I stray)
Which is why I was stunned when Z came home from school yesterday on Orange for being “disrespectful to another teacher.” What? Z? Oh, no! I never did get the details, but I know he disobeyed a teacher, and continued to ignore instructions from said teacher. Now I cannot allow this behavior.
Z got four licks with the paint stick. Good licks. Attention-getting licks. I also made him write sentences since he said he didn’t know the teacher’s name and couldn’t write an apology letter. (He disrespected a teacher he doesn’t even know?!?!? The news just gets worse!) I told him to write “I’m sorry I was disrespectful to you.” on every other line of the front page of a piece of paper. (The funny part is he evidently didn’t know what “every other” meant, so he wrote the sentence down two-thirds of the page, but that’s okay with me. It helped send the message home. ) I also told him if he saw that teacher today, to apologize to her in person. Maybe a little humility will help, too.
And then I wrote a note to his teacher detailing his punishment. I want to make sure she know that this behavior will NOT be tolerated. Not by me or my husband. He is taught better. He knows better.
All of the above was fine, right? Necessary, right? I am responsible for teaching my children right from wrong. I am responsible for doling out punishment when they misbehave so that they know their actions have consequences. Rewards and Punishments are part of teaching. Right?
So why did I spend the next two hours trying not to cry because I had to spank my child? Why did it upset me so much? Part of it was disappointment, I know. I thought we were past this part with Z. I thought he had already learned this lesson. Actually, I know he has. So why did he behave so badly? Why was he disrespectful toward an adult? A teacher? And why did I fight back tears? I guess because I don’t like punishing him. He is a good boy. He is a fine young man. Most of the time.
Well, he got his reminder to behave himself, be polite, show respect. And Mom got a reminder on what it’s like to punish the kids since Dad’s out of town and he normally does that. I didn’t much like it. But I’m pretty sure Z didn’t like it much either. So we both learned something. At least, I did. I hope Z did, because I really don’t want to do that again.
*sigh* Being a responsible parent really stinks sometimes!