Sunday, August 27, 2006


A lot of times, I talk about how wonderful the kids are and not so much about all the times that they aren't so wonderful. The problem with being the temporary guardian to teens is that when it comes to discipline, it's a touchy subject. What's acceptable and what's not? How do you let the child (or in this case, teen) know that their behaviour is not acceptable?

In the past two weeks, one of our boys has broken our patio table, a bedroom fan, towel hangers in the bathroom, damaged my gorgeous dining table (and those are just the starters). Certainly, I don't think he purposefully meant to damage our belongings, but seriously...have some respect with other people's things. I would only ask that he be careful with our things. The other boy hasn't broken a thing and is very careful and respectful to other people's belongings.

Now here's where I'm the 'bad cop'. I always seem to be the one to reprimand or bestow chores or whatever. I am the wicked witch. In the way of punishment, I have told said person that he must pile firewood (which wasn't THAT much) and write 150 lines of "I will respect other people's belongings". Do you think this is too much to ask? Noooooo...I get the huffing and puffing and crying and feet stomping. When I was a kid, I was always taught that when in someone else's house, you be on your very best behaviour.

Is helping with the chores and writing lines being too mean??? I can think of way worse punishment! (that does not involve spanking, because A)I am severely anti-spanking and B) Even if I did believe in spanking, I wouldn't ever spank anyone else's child )

IMO, parents should be responsible for the disciplining of their children, but when entrusted in another adult's care (ie: teacher) then the teacher or other adult should use their own discretion, provided that it is fair, in the best interest of the child, and does not inflict harm (pyschologically, physically, etc). Most of my friends who have kids do a wonderful job with discipline. What bugs me is when I get kids/students who are able to have free reign at their homes and are able to get away with everything. Bad manners, lack of respect, horrible attitudes...those are just a few of my pet peeves.

The kids I get are with us 24/7 for two months at a time. They're involved in all aspects of the home while they're here. If I'm doing laundry then they help put away their things. They clean their own rooms and help with dishes. They even help with preparing meals. If they're disrespectful to other students or adults or if they don't behave, they are encouraged to use their words to voice out what is bothering them. Sometimes positive reinforcement or using words don't always work. This is when they get extra chores or extra homework. Is this tooooo much to ask for????

Parents out there...what do you do?


ian said...

I worked many years ago, in a teenage drug rehab, live in environment. The teenagers had to keep house extra along side the adults. I used to teach 11-16 and now teach 16-18, the only advice I can give is , 'be yourself' you have your own standards of what is acceptable to you, I've found that teenagers/students will adapt their behaviour to the individual they are dealing with, and it's easy if they know you are being you and what you expect, rather than you trying to remember what you should expect. trust yourself you are a good role model, believe it and they will to.

Chrissy121875 said...

Thank you so much, Ian, for your comment :) Very reassuring when sometimes things seem overwhelming.

PS. Thanks for popping by my blog (as uninteresting as it may be!)

Ms. Mamma said...

Alas I haven't made it to the teen years yet. So this boy said it was an accident and you think it wasn't? Is that why you are telling him to write the lines regarding other's belongings? Maybe the kid is really just a giant klutz. Does he disrespect you in any other ways?

Chrissy121875 said...

You're probably right, Ms. Mamma :) He probably broke the patio table by accident, but the looked like he stuck something in it because it was completely totalled! A zillion pieces all over the room and a suspicious looking pencil laying on the ground not too far from the debris :) He's a good kid...just very careless and doesn't think before doing things. Hmm..maybe he's just being a teenager and maybe I'm getting hormonal! lol

PS. Well, for disrespecting...he's not extremely disrespectful...he is impossible to get out of bed in the morning, he doesn't listen, he's stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. Okay...maybe he's just being a teenager! :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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