Saturday, March 16, 2013

Is it Punishment if You Enjoy it?

Imagination Boy can be difficult to discipline.

Wesley Fryer via photopin cc/td>
When he was in 1st grade his teacher told me she was trying to find the right combination of incentives and punishments to get him to follow the rules.  I told her if she found something that worked to please let me know as I had been trying to answer that question his entire life.

Imagination Boy was born very happy and self sufficient.  Where his older sisters genuinely desired to please their teachers, Imagination Boy was perfectly happy to tolerate his teachers as long as they didn't interfere too much with his agenda.

He came home from 3rd grade one day and told me he had gotten in trouble at lunch and had to sit alone at the naughty table.

"How did you feel about that?" I asked.

He shrugged his shoulders.  "It was kind of nice.  There was no one to interrupt me while I made stories in my head."

Another time he had to stay after school for a minor infraction.

He was all smiles as he got in the car carrying a paper mache shark almost the same size as him.

"It was really lucky I had to stay after school. Some people didn't bring their sharks home and today was the last day to bring them home and the teacher was just going to throw them out so I got to bring this home with me."

Punishment is all in the mind of the one being punished.  How often do you reward someone you mean to punish?  "If you are going to ignore me, I'll just stop talking to you."  To punish, as in so many other things, you have to truly put yourselves in the other person's shoes and see from his perspective.  And sometimes, once you truly do that.  You lose the desire to punish.

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