Thursday, 11 April 2013

Discipline - part 2!


I hate holidays!

Well, that's not entirely true. I love beaches and nice hotels and good looking staff who come and spritz your face with evian while getting you your favourite tipple and the only problem is what to order for dinner  - those sorts of holidays I love.. school holidays spent at home are a nightmare - especially after the first week or so!

Today it is TJ's turn to require the firm hand.

To be honest, he has been lovely all morning. Lea had a drama workshop for three days and whilst Lea is out TJ tends to be a lovely angel of a child - today he did all his homework (yes, at 7 he gets Easter homework, Mr Gove would be happy) and learned his 2, 5 and 10 times tables - he even asked me to test him. As a reward he got to play on the wii for an hour.

There was an ulterior motive on my part, as TJ played quietly in the play room I could get on with writing the speech I am giving at my sister's wedding next week. But all was ok. I wrote the first draft, TJ had fun and then we went and collected Lea from her drama group before coming home for lunch and then taking the dog for a walk along the river... all good... until we came back and I went into the playroom to discover that whilst playing his game TJ had also been quietly unravelling the rug.... bits of wool were everywhere...

He is younger than Lea and has his own learning difficulties, so I do tend to be a little more patient with him. 'What happened here?' I asked him...

He was silent... I looked in the doorway where Lea was eagerly waiting to see her brother get punished (don't you just love sibling rivalry). 'Go and find something to do,' I told her. "I'm ok watching." came the smart Alec reply. I put on my stern voice, 'Now!' I said and off she dutifully went. Although I knew she was listening around the corner.

Turning back to TJ I said, 'Ok, tell me what happened here....'

And now the fun begins. Story after story came out of the little mouth. 'It did it all by itself when we went for a walk." 'I think one of the DVD's got caught in it." "It got a bit unpicked and then fell apart - it is old."

I listened patiently and then became all Captain Von Trapp with the strawberries that turned blue... 'Maybe, ' I said, "Maybe, you were sitting there doing nothing at all when suddenly the rug started to unravel and the dog came in and she started to pull at the string and then the dog saw the fun game on the TV and got excited and pulled even more...and my rug then fell apart?"

I could see TJ's brain processing this. "Yes,' he finally said, "Yes, I think that is what happened."

'Well, in that case," I replied, now fully in role, "We had better stop playing exciting computer games in case you or the dog get over excited again. I think now we should only do quiet things in the playroom like reading or stamp collecting." (I don't know where the latter came from.)

TJ immediately started to cry - practically on cue and much more realistic than snotty little Gretle in the movie. 'Ok,' I said calmly, 'You have 10 seconds to tell me the truth or you will be in big trouble."

To be honest its an old rug and I'm not overly concerned but the point is that I was being blatantly lied to. Unfortunately the lies continued, 'The corner of the rug came undone by itself." 'Perhaps my guinea pig got out" and my personal favourite, 'Maybe we have a ghost."

So now TJ is sitting behind me on the bed having a 'time in' whilst I write my blog and he thinks about what he has done... What child ever truly 'thinks about what they have done'?


But now I have finally had the truth out of him. 'Yes, I did it Daddy,' he said, 'I just started to pull and then it just kept on coming and splitting up.'

'Thank you for telling me the truth, now what should your consequence be - as well as no more ii for the rest of today?" I then went onto explain that his consequence was actually for the lying, the no wii is for the rug... He thought about it, "I think I shall help with dinner and help you wash up." he said. Their therapist would be thrilled - they are suggesting their own reparation, where they have to do something good to make up for the damage they have done.

Of course, he may just be playing the game in order to watch Spiderman on tv - but to be honest I don't care - I think its a step in the right direction.....

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