Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pickles in the Bathroom

On New Year's Eve we allowed "The Girls" to go to a Lock-In hosted by one of the Missionettes teachers at church. They had been grounded prior to this for not respecting other people's things, something they both struggle with, but we thought we'd make an exception because of my birthday and give them a chance to redeem themselves.

Apparently, they like being grounded.

This is what we heard when we picked them up the next day.
  1. They were part of a FOOD Fight
  2. When asked to stop with the food fighting they were the only ones who did not.
  3. Then they took pickles into the bathroom and began throwing them at each other.
  4. They were just generally disrespectful and disobedient.

The sweet lady who teaches this age group said that if it hadn't been my birthday she would have called us to come and pick them up. Needless to say Rick and I were both mortified. And, of course, they have no idea why they acted the way they did. The thing that gets me is they love Ms. P also and when we made them write letters of apology they were both near tears when they gave them to her. So, WHY did they act this way in the first place? I don't get it.

Well, actually, on some level I kind of do get it. I think that maybe it was too much freedom for them and they just couldn't handle it. It's no excuse, but it's the only explanation that I can think of. We have told them that they are on severe lockdown mode. They have to be within sight of Rick or I at any public place we go to. Which S has already tested by trying to saunter over to the other building after church on Sunday to pick up one of our other kids. I had to call her back and asked her where she was going. Her answer was the standard, "I don't know". They are also grounded to their room and pretty much have to ask permission for everything.

It will probably be a long time before we allow them to do anything else like this. I'm wondering if we should discontinue all field trips and such since we don't know if we can trust them to behave if we aren't there. Anybody have suggestions?

Pickles in the bathroom. It's almost funny!


Melissa :) said...

Ahhhhhhh. Completely frustrating & as you said "mortified".

Why do all kids give the typical "I don't know" answer? Ugh! Mine do it too!

I think you're doing awesome. Keep up the discipline & before long, they're going to know you mean business. If you didn't give a flyin' flip you wouldn't punish them at all. And you must (punish), because that is responsibility. :)

Jill said...

Melissa - I'm so sorry that you had to find this out on your birthday.

Just some ideas of what we do:

The best plan is for them to be part of cleaning up the mess they make, buying new things when they break something and working towards fixing whatever it is they disrespected.

If it is something internal like feelings they hurt then they need to write an apology letter, and work towards rebuilding that level of trust and friendship back...doing something nice for the person with a right heart and intention. Like drawing pictures, making something special they know the person would like, etc. Making cookies or brownies - something like that.

Two things God asks of us to be KIND and TRUTHFUL in all we do. This will bring honor and glory to His name. I think about these two things for myself - it is all about 1st time obedience with God. He expected nothing less from Jesus and requires the same of us as their parents who are training them in the way they should go - all empowered by His Son and the Holy Spirit. God doing the work in us and through us - our simple obedience and faith that He will do His will!

Hugs and blessings,