Wednesday, April 25, 2012

End Of A Streak

No, this is not a post about Little Brother running around the house naked (though it could've been).

It happens to them all.

After almost 2 years, Big Brother's streak met it's end yesterday.

He came home with a "yellow" for his behavior, after about 340 consecutive days of "green".

The behavior system at his school works like a stoplight: green = good, yellow = caution, and red = bad.  There's also "blue", which last year meant "angelic" but this year seems to mean "pending expulsion".

Anyway, apparently he and several other boys were throwing mulch at recess.  He wasn't the ringleader.  But part of the problem is that while Big Brother said he was aiming at the roof (and I believe him, not that it makes it any less wrong), because they're 1st graders and can't throw super far/high, the mulch apparently hit a teacher's window.


The ironic part of this is that last year, Big Brother earned a small prize, a new Beyblade, for being on "green" every day for the entire school year.

Just the day before, we were talking about how he would earn a similar "prize" for the same accomplishment this year.

And while in the grand scheme, this incident is no big deal, it WAS a big deal to Big Brother, not just because he wanted a new toy, but because he felt genuinely bad about getting into trouble, as evidenced by a lot of crocodile tears.

While he (naturally) "acts-up" in front of Mom-E and I sometimes, he has never gotten into trouble of any kind when we're not around.

And how I responded to Big Brother is most certainly an even BIGGER deal.  Because perhaps the most important thing to come out of this incident is, "If (I mean when) I make mistakes, I need to know that I can come to Mom-E and Dad-E to talk about them."

Having read (okay read most of), the 5 Love Languages of Children, in addition to "Quality Time", "Words of Affirmation" are also really important to him.

So the first things I did were to assure him that he is a good boy, that Mom-E and Dad-E are not angry with him, that we ALL make mistakes, and that he still had an opportunity to earn his "end of the year" reward (probably his most immediate concern).

Then I told him a story about how I apparently got into some kind of scuffle/fight on the playground with a friend when I was in the 2nd grade.  I honestly don't remember it happening - my parents told me about it years later - and otherwise have never been in a physical fight.  (Good thing it happened long ago, or by today's standards I'd've been on "blue".)

After that, I think Big Brother felt much better.  Although he was still obviously concerned, because the rest of the evening, he would make periodic comments like "If I was a bad boy, I would've thrown the mulch at a person, not at the roof."

Hopefully a good learning experience for us all.

And the nice thing about streaks is that after one ends, there's always a chance to start a new one.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

1 comment:

  1. We all learn from our mistakes and we all make them. I'm glad Big Brother feels concern over a mistake and strives to always be in the green at school. can always start a new "streak".
    BTW: I know they shouldn't throw mulch, but it does seem like a pretty minor infraction and something that would appeal to first grade boys.