Disclaimer, this is a two-part blog post, to fully get this part, you should read the first one.
Now, this is a continuation of what I was saying previously about responsibility and the chore chart I made with my partner through research and asking other parents for advice. My son was dodging any responsibility for anything. He would say, “Why do I have to do this”. “I didn’t know”. “It’s not fair”. You name it. But now I feel that because I have made stricter rules and made them clear, he knows what I expect of him. (He does well with rules/boundaries/plans).
Fast-forward to today’s call. He got in trouble because la maestra called me to tell me he was not listening to her requests. In the scheme of things this is not a huge deal, but I made a point to bring it up to him in conversation because I don’t want to let it slide. So, I should preface this by saying that my son is learning about what it means to take responsibility for what you say or do. Meaning, do not place blame on someone or something because you messed up, or you made a mistake. In addition to teaching him to handle his responsibilities, I’m trying to teach him to think about his actions and what he can do to shape his life. Back to this conversation. The first thing he says when I question him about why I got a call is “these other kids weren’t paying attention during my presentation”. “And?” I asked. “And, I decided to read during their presentations”. So we started to talk about revenge and how the world is in a fucked up place because people keep seeking revenge, or better yet; people keep trying to communicate how bad they feel by making others feel worse. We agreed that this was true, and he named some aspects of WW2 that would not have happened if the adults simply apologized.
The next question I asked was how he could have used his voice to tell the kids how he felt. We agreed that he had the ability to excuse himself and command the floor by asking for every ones attention. I told him that in addition he could ask his teacher for assistance by making it known that others were not paying attention, thereby expressing himself and communicating his needs. I think this part of the conversation was great because for once he didn’t resort to the “it’s not fair” argument and simply said he would try next time. Then we started to talk about his responsibility in listening. He told me he wasn’t trying to disrespect his maestra; that he had been the one feeling disrespected. But when I explained how hard it is to be a teacher and get the attention of 20-25 students he empathized and understood how his actions (ignoring her requests to stop reading) made her feel, and why she called me.
After this, we talked about what he could do on his own behalf and what consequence there would be for his actions. I didn’t suggest a consequence, but rather asked him what he thought was fair. In the end he knew what I was thinking, and we both agreed that no TV or computer was to be watched the next time it was my weekend. Ok, so this right here. Right here, this shit! This was #$%^&* amazing! Not only did we come to an understanding together, but also while dealing out a consequence I praised him for his honesty and maturity for taking responsibility for his actions. And that felt great. No fighting, no argument, no crying. We got up, I made dinner with my partner Joy, and he sorted his Pokémon cards. Nice.