Monday, December 8, 2008

Material for the eventual therapy he'll need

Last week, I received a call from Chad's English teacher, letting me know he'd had four "referrals" and, as a result, would be getting an after-school detention. She said he had not been mean-spirited or rude, per se, but rather disruptive. We seem to be having a little of the Class Clown stage going on this year. Lots of talking out of turn and showing off, all (I presume) to earn the approval of friends.
I was horrified, of course, and apologized up and down. After we hung up, I had an idea: If Chad couldn't behave in the classroom (this isn't the first time I've gotten one of these phone calls, incidentally)--maybe he needed a babysitter. Gee, maybe that babysitter could be ME!
Isn't that every middle schooler's worst nightmare--to have his/her mother appear in the classroom?
I quickly called back. The teacher agreed it was a fabulous idea, and we made plans for my little visit to take place.
Thursday finally came. Class started at 12:50, so I nonchalantly walked into his classroom at 12:55. The teacher gave me a cheerful, "Hello!" and went about her business. I took a seat at a nearby table. A few of his friends waved to me; others just stared. I realized Chad was on the outside row closest to me, just several feet away.
"MOM," he half-mouthed, half-whispered, "What are you DOING HERE?" Loud enough for a few of his nearby classmates to hear, I cheerfully whispered, "Well, I thought I'd stop by to observe your behavior!" Sugar couldn't have melted in my mouth. I was taking great pleasure in all of this.
Chad looked at me, and then I watched the life drain out of him as he slumped into his chair. I almost felt a little sorry for him, for a moment or two. Notice I said almost.
A few minutes later, though, he'd somewhat recovered, and he was able to give me a quick smile here or there, in between listening quite intently to the teacher. Of course, he behaved like a complete angel. The same angel I know who lives in my home. I have such a hard time envisioning his being disrespectful, because he knows he could never get away with it at our house. My heart hurts knowing he somehow thinks it's okay to act like that anywhere. I have to wonder where I went wrong; when did I ever let him think it's okay to not completely respect authority and rules? I thought I had instilled that over and over again. I've even said, "Be the child who really makes teaching seem worthwhile." What more can I do? I guess, no matter how hard we try, our kids have minds--and consciences--of their own.
All in all, the visit went well. The teacher was grateful I'd come; she said she'd called four of the other parents, and two seemed like they hardly cared and the other two never even returned her call. Says a lot about why kids are the way they are today. (SELF-CENTERED. But that's a rant for another day. I have lots of rants; have you noticed?)
I promised Chad that if I ever got another phone call, or any indication that his behavior was less than stellar, I would most definitely return. In fact, I could even eat lunch with him and his friends! I could wear a miniskirt and bring my boom box, and we could hang out on the quad! Just like my friends and I did in the 1980's! How bitchen would that be?! Like, ohmagawd, TOTALLY rad!
Somehow, I think this is going to work more effectively than all of the lectures, privileges taken away, and everything else tried in the past.
Somehow, I think, this time is going to stick.


Kira said...

LOL that is hysterical! I hope for both yours and chad's sake that his attitude changes from here on out. My guess is he learned a VERY valuable lesson =)

You probably did a wonderful job in raising him, but he seems to be at that age where the kids start taking on personalities of their own that have nothing to do with the way their parents raised them. I see this on a daily basis with the girls on my team. Try not to be too hard on yourself and remember he will grow out of it....eventually ;)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...


Busy Bee Suz said...

This is the perfect punnishement. Really. What could be worse?
I threaten to take my kids to school w/ my bathrobe on if they don't get ready quick enough....that gets the wheels moving. Funny how we can have the upper hand.....
take care,

Suz Broughton said...

This is an excellent idea! It is sad when the "punishment" is us. hahahah

big hair envy said...

What a GREAT idea!! I'm sure that all teachers wish they had more parents like you:)

My daughter is 16, and the kids in her class that act up the most seem to be the same ones with the least amount of supervision. Go figure!

Thanks for stopping by my site! I hope you will be back to visit soon:)

Life with Kaishon said...

You are such a good mom. Kaish is having a hard time this year...AGAIN! I just want one year to be easy and stress free. I get very frustrated with him and with the teachers. I don't want him to turn out wrong. I hope your punishment worked perfectly.

Lakeland Jo said...

sigh. Would never be allowed here in UK. By the time the health and safety team, child psychologists and child protection officers had been consulted, your son would be twenty one.

Cherri said...

Susan, that made me laugh so hard I cried! That sounds like something your mother would actually do, not that we were EVER disruptive! Maybe you need to keep a "Frankie says Relax" shirt and a pair of neon lace fingerless gloves hand, just in case....