We are now nearing TWO MONTHS into the school year! I can't believe how fast it's flying by. If you've been reading my Surviving Kindergarten blogs, you know that Cooper's first few weeks of “big boy school” hasn't all been sunshine and butterflies.
At his school, their daily behavior is measured by a color chart: green=great, yellow=warning, orange=time out, red=no recess, and black=a trip to see the principal or corporal punishment. During those first two weeks, Cooper's behavior sheet looked like a rainbow, until the day he got the dreaded BLACK.
Yep, he received a spanking at school
Which was a surprise to me because I honestly didn't think they did that anymore. His teacher contacted me by phone to inform me of Cooper's punishment, which she said she popped his behind with a ruler one time. Needless to say, that didn't make for a good day in our house.
However, after this wretched day (yes, that's me, using and spelling the word, wretched correctly), Cooper finally got his act together. Just when I was beginning to think we were in for a seriously long, miserable year, things got better. It's been about a month since the black day and we've been green all the way ever since. I contacted Cooper's teacher, as well as his special education teacher and speech therapist and asked them to work with me on getting Coop on the right track. I shared with them the ideas my husband and I came up with for a behavior plan and they shared their own ideas with me as well.
Luckily, none of us actually liked the notion of spanking Cooper ever again.
We agreed to try out a rewards system, in which Cooper is rewarded for green days by being allowed to do fun things like go next door and play with his cousins after school or have his beloved Papa pick him sometimes and take him to the park. My husband and I also decided to start an allowance each week based on his behavior both at school and home that we put into his piggy bank. If he has a particular toy in mind he wants, he knows he has to earn enough allowance money to get it.
Since his teachers know about our home reward system, they can encourage Cooper's behavior at school by reminding him of his rewards. Cooper's general education teachers have also finally grasped the seriousness of his delays, especially in language and cognition. Now that they get that he's not ignoring their instructions but rather doesn't understand them, they are giving him the extra attention he needs and working more closely with his special education teacher, as well as his speech and occupational therapists. We'll talk more about that in my next Surviving Kindergarten blog.
Do you successfully balance your career with your caring responsibilities?