Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 Days of Blasphemy - Day 21 - Blasphemous Parenting III

School is in session.

Do you know how I know?

I got my first phone call from my boy's teacher. When you get a call from your kid's teacher it isn't a, "I just called to tell you that Will is a wonderful student and gosh darn it you must be a fantastic father!" Maybe some parents do get that kind of phone call. Maybe.

On the plus side Will hasn't gotten into any fights. There was only one incident last year when he mixed it up with another kid. It was during Wellness (that's Gym in English) when his archenemy hoarded a treasure trove of kick balls and wasn't sharing. There was a substitute teacher on who wasn't aware of the drama going on in the corner. Will asked the other kid several times and the kid gave Will the rated G version of go f#ck yourself at which point my boy physically made the Hoarder of the Orbs relinquish said orbs. How did he do it? The vice-Principal called and informed me that Will stuck his fingers in the kid's mouth.

Now, what happens next isn't going to put me in a good light.

I laughed... a lot. I could only imagine Curly (ala 3 Stooges) putting his hand down Moe's mouth for some ridiculous reason.

Once I was done laughing I realized that the person on the other end did not find the affair funny at all. I apologized for my cackling and stated I would talk to Will about the incident when he returned home - sans laughter. I did, consequences (that's punishments in English) were given and Will hasn't had an incident afterwards.

But that was last year's phone call - onto today's.

The teacher informed me that Will likes to read a lot. I agreed. Will has an autistic like lasery focus when it comes to reading. However, it seems Will reads in class when he should be doing his written work. When confronted by the teacher he replied, "I'm just lazy." Now, Will has hypotonia - a muscle condition which I have - that makes writing a very labored affair. When I was in school I was able to avoid quite a bit of work because I was smart, the schools I went to weren't that good (thank you Brockton), and my parents were incompetent/negligent (and those were the good days). Unfortunatley for Will (or fortunately depending on your point of view) he is in a decent school system and I am neither incompetent or negligent.

What does this have to do with blasphemy?

I'm glad you asked.

Though I'm very liberal socially (a bit of a social libertarian) I am not a laissez-faire let your kid do what they want parent. A buddy of mine told me once, "The problem with a lot of parents is that no one wants to be the bad guy." No problem here. I've got it covered. I'm willing to blaspheme against the stereotype liberal parent (don't worry I blaspheme God later on, too). Some kids don't need too much structure to thrive, Will does.

My plan is to continue to state the high expectations that his mother and I have for him and discuss the consequences of his actions, No School Work Done In School = No TV. We'll test drive the policy for a week and see if he responds. If not then we'll add some kind of reward (cookie or some other treat) daily and see if that works. If the cookie system is successful then we will gradually fade it out. We have had minor issues with Will before in school (especially at the beginning of the year) and this process works: Observe the problem - Hypothesize Causes - Enact Plan - Observe/Analyze Results.  Wow, who says the scientific method doesn't have real world, everyday utility?

Oh yeah, I don't plan to pray on this.

I'm not in the useless hope business because...

this is Purgatory.

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