Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Retraction--Or Not

I hereby rescind my comments on my prior post. Or maybe I don't.

Alexis has, in fact, been ditching class. But I've subsequently been duly informed that I'm not taking it seriously enough. Apparently, common consensus is that I should punish her and leave it at that. The fact that I am concerned with the REASON why she has been ditching, and that I'm hesitant to simply punish her for it is indicative of my obvious inability to effectively parent.

The truth of the matter is, folks, Alexis has never had problems like this before. She went to Kindergarten and Preschool at a private school, and she did well; she was never in trouble, didn't ditch, had a good attitude, and really enjoyed school.

Now, she's gone to a public school for first grade; and school bores her. So she ditches.

I don't argue with the fact that she SHOULD NOT DITCH CLASS. But I DO question the idea that, instead of attempting to understand, I should merely punish her.

Alexis is headstrong, impetuous, and can be downright bratty. But she's also intelligent, and curious, and enjoys learning and being with people. So I'm hesitant to simply accept that this is and indication of her inevitable degeneration into juvenile delinquency.

And so I ask you this: is it possible that she really IS bored? Is it possible that the new school isn't challenging enough? And so she's not quite as connected, and her mind wanders?

It's a question, and if, in asking it, I'm crucified because I'm not authoritarian enough (that is, if in asking, I have the "wrong attitude" as I've been told I do), then so be it. But I, for one, am more interested in understanding the why of the situation (and attempting to rectify it, assuming it's something more than Alexis simply being cut out of some substandard moral cloth), than I am in driving her into submission through punishment.

So, I guess I don't rescind my comments. I simply ask you to accept that, sometimes individuals can degenerate into behaviors that are inappropriate out of pure innocence. And, as a parent, you can take one of two tacts: punish them into submission, or try to understand why the individual is behaving in that manner; and, if possible, correct the circumstance.

3 comments:

e said...

I don't think you should punish her. I found the normal class so boring to. When I was in 6th grade at Sun Empire they were still doing 2+2=4. They had to give me advanced work to keep my mind engaged. Or else I got bored and would just sit there because I already knew how to read and count before I even got into kindergarten. Mom taught me how to read and stuff when I was 3. Maybe they need to test her and have her jump ahead a grade or 2. I didn't ditch though I would just sit there and not do anything. When I was in K because I already knew the stuff they were teaching. A lady used to come and get me and we would go play on the computers stuff like that. Then they thought up the idea of having me do advanced stuff which was to me more exciting than playing all day. So maybe you need to talk to them about doing something like that for Lex.

April said...

P.J.

Teaching the principle that breaking the rules is never ok. That is an important concept that will save you a bunch of headaches when she becomes a teenager and that ditching is wrong and develop a consenquence in the event it happens again. I pray it doesen't. I understand your concern. Both Nannette and Katrina struggled in Merced because they were bored. Katrina however, was the one to get into trouble for talking too much and distubing other classmates, yes, believe it or not. She was bored out of her mind and finished her work before the rest of the class. We had her tested for GATE but for reasons (of which I have my own opinion), she did not make it into GATE. I had to make conseqences for rules broken. Mainly because her teacher I got tired of her teacher calling all the time for the littlest of things. But soon she learned being in trouble with me and her dad was not so fun. Being intellegent is no excuse to "get in trouble". No, I do not feel we will see Alexis's picture in the headlines of the most wanted juvenile delquents! She's too cute and way to smart to get caught! But for your sake as she becomes older and becomes my girls ages, do what I didn't do such a good job at, set limits and enforce them while in the background, confront the school about thier programs and insist Lex be tested and possible moved to an advanced class.
I love Alexis and she a very intellgent kid and she wants to be challanged and since a 6 year old tends not to have the ability to express that, Dad gets to have the fun!!!!!

Nan said...

I have been trying to comment on several different posts over the past week and just realized today that I was doing it wrong. Everybody had to go and change their setup and it threw me off. Anyways what I TRIED to say about this post was. Wow ditching at 6 yrs old. Thats pretty GOOD! I never ditched. I guess I was a chicken.=) No really, being a parent of kiddos in the same age range as Lex I would have to say that you can't let it go unpunished. Otherwise, they will know that they can push their limits with you the next time. I have found that with Taylor- grounding works really well. I ground her for 1 day from something she really enjoys. With Trevin, his punishment is sort of extreme, he doesn't get any dessert after dinner. lol. Well, you know, its not grounding if its not something they really love. Used to, if Trevin was bad we would throw away 1 toy. But it got to where he would laugh, and voluntarily trash it himself. =0 Crazy Kid. Anyway just my opinion. Sorry So Long