I Know What You're Thinking...

Yes, I know what you're thinking.  You, the behavior purist who believes that giving candy to children to make them behave is the worst discipline technique ever.  You, who  shudders violently at the thought of using even stickers or small, cheap toys as incentives, stating that a "token" behaviour system is no system at all.  You would rather talk the children through their misbehavior by way of gentle, yet firm discipline.  You think that all children need are concise, careful explanations, and the intrinsic reward of knowing that they've done a good job. 

Yes, I hear you, you candy-shunning naysayer.  And I say to you that you are more than welcome to come and show me how to do just that with my 24 little people.  You can deal with Little Miss Dress-Up-Clothes Hoarder, who immediately swoops every stitch of dress up clothing into her arms the minute she hits the Home Center.  She is too busy keeping them from everyone else to actually try them on, but she has them all, and that's what's important. 

Or Mr. "I'm Watching You", who turns around the person sitting behind him on the carpet, and using two fingers, points to his eyes and then toward the other boy's eyes, in the classic "I'm Watching You, Buddy" gesture.  Only this guy actually pokes the second little boy in the eyes with his fingers.  He's watching you, indeed.  And now you're watching - no one.

Or Mr. "I'm Going to Look at You to Make Sure You Are Watching Me and Then I'm Going to Get Up and Walk Across the Cafeteria Where I'm Not Supposed to Be".  Yes, you can talk gently and kindly with that one, too.

Or Miss. "Mrs. Locke Won't Let Me Lie on the Carpet and Smell What's in the Little Jars At The Same Time, So I'm Going to Lie Here are Pretend to Cry."  Um hmm.  She's all yours.

Or Mr. "I'm Going to Talk About Whatever Pops Into My Head At Any Given Time".  Unfortunately, he seems to have no sense of when is an appropriate time to share this internal thoughts, or what is at all relevant to talk about.  If it's in his head, it's coming right out.

Lastly, you can have all the twirlers, the table kickers, the karate choppers,  the scratchers, those unable to walk in line without repeatedly turning around to see what the people are doing behind them.  The cafeteria howlers, the spitters, the squirrel-noise makers.  The body slammers, the wood chip throwers, and last but not least, the children who run out of the bathroom with no clothes on.

Yes, take them all.

I, in the meantime, will listen to my mother, who suggested this method of positive incentives, and my husband, who upon seeing the M&M bag, said nonchalantly, "Oh, I see you've moved into the bribing stage now."

Plus, if all else fails, I can always just eat the chocolate myself, which is a little light at at the end of the Classroom Discipline Tunnel.

And don't we all need that.

AnneS –   – (21 September 2010 at 17:43)  

Go for it, Julie! I completly understand---and if we didn't have our wonderful "healthy snacks policy" (as mandated by the state)---I'd be right there with you!!!

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