Writing

He Did WHAT? How To Hurt Your Author Mommy

I’m learning that the end of the school year marks some behavior issues. I remember my own experiences in Kindergarten, but I don’t remember the last few weeks of it or how it felt if I understood that I was going to spend the summer without going to school every morning.

I honestly would have been pleased as punch to continue attending Kindergarten.

Can someone please pass me the purple glitter?

Maybe it’s in the air. Maybe it’s because he’s a boy. But William seems to realize that he’s got the full summer ahead and he’s already acting out on it like a high school kid – except with a Kindergarten brain.

Wait. There’s a difference?

William usually is a pretty well-behaved kid. He is generally in the “green light” most of the time, though sometimes he nudges his way into the “yellow light.” But we all have off days now and then. Imagine my horror, when I picked William up from school and he said, “I had a bad day.”

“What happened?” Did I really want to know?

“I was in the ‘red light.’”

Disappointment washed over me. So much for Little Hands play café tonight. “Why?”

“I ripped up my teacher’s book.”

I instantly remembered a little girl I used to play with when I was about William’s age. For fun, she would pull all the books from her bookshelves and roughly toss them on the floor. I remember being horrified even at the age of five. (I also, in reference to William’s statement, had a fleeting thought of “The Breakfast Club” when a Moliere work was destroyed and telling myself, “It’s just a prop. It’s just a prop.”)

In William’s defense, he is a very sensitive kid. We have a book of watered down Grimm fairy tales that are “too scary” for him. About a week before this incident with his teacher, he had ripped the blank paper from the front of the Grimm book, because he needed something to write on. When I confronted him about it, he said, “But I don’t like that book anyway. It’s too scary.” We spent the next several minutes discussing why you don’t destroy books simply because you don’t like them.

Maybe there was something about his teacher’s book that he just didn’t like.

But that’s no excuse to destroy it.

I would hate to think someone would want to literally destroy a book I wrote simply because they didn’t like it. I was so disappointed in him.

And I told him so.

I told him that I still loved him very much, but that I couldn’t be proud of him because of what he did. And it seriously made me sad. He cried – and I almost cried right along with him.

Instead of going to Little Hands, which is a great treat for the boys once or twice a week, we went to the bookstore to replace his teacher’s book. We couldn’t find the one that he had destroyed, so we looked for something that addressed the behavior. There were several nice books on being responsible and respectful, but most were for older readers. Then we found this little gem.

William is quick to find an excuse for his behavior. So it was nice that “It Wasn’t My Fault” addressed this issue and showed that even if it isn’t really your fault, you can help to fix this situation and turn it into something nice. Though, in this case, he understood that it really was his fault but he was giving his teacher a nice new book to fix the problem.

And he understands that the money spent on the book will not be spent for his upcoming birthday. 😉

In the end, he really enjoyed the book we bought, and I think we’ll be seeing fewer books destroyed from here on out. At least from William anyway.

*sigh* Here’s to more “green lights” and reasons to be proud of him in the future.

In other news, for those who haven’t yet followed my Facebook page, I got the COVER ART for The Stone of Kings! 😀 They did a fantastic job! I can hardly wait to show it off! 😀

Have your children done something to disappoint you? Do they sometimes seem to work completely against what you work for? How do you handle it?

 

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