Today the topic of conversation began as “Is it ok for school teachers to whip, slap or grab and twist the ears of our kids? One of our moms came in wrestling with this problem. So i said, lets talk about it. Is this common practice? How do you feel about this form of discipline?
Out came the stories! Parents afraid for their children. Adults with stories of being afraid of school every day, lest they answer a question wrong or forget a homework assignment and get the back of their hand slapped hard with a ruler, or worse, made to bend over in front of the class while a leather belt is used by the teacher or administrator against their back side. This can happen up to the age of 17, 18, 19 male and female. It is not true of every school. Many have more creative ways to keep the class focused and teach.
But, apparently the teacher that was creating problems for the mom that came to work yesterday is known for harsh treatment. Other parents had complained.
We talked about how as parents and teachers we believe that our job is to be in control….and sometimes we believe that the only tools we have to keep control are anger and threat of violence. And sometimes the only way we get free of this misinformation is for someone to take to courage to say, no. That doesn’t work on me anymore.
The conversation morphed from school discipline to parenting. These Monday morning meetings we let the conversation develop. We lean in. We listen.
St. Juste spoke of developing true relationships with your kids, knowing them, asking questions and listening to them. Respecting them as humans.
Rachel brought up the idea of using natural consequences to teach and discipline. So that our kids grow up knowing they have Personal Power and Responsibility over their own lives.
We talked about the law of reaping and sowing. Every thing we choose is a seed planted that will yield fruit. Every single good choice is coming back to you! And how important it is to teach our kids this truth!
And we talked about the reality that What we feed grows. Pay attention to what you want to see more of. If you have two kids arguing and fussing with each other, and a third kid sitting and coloring, choose to give attention to the kid coloring. Because what they want is your attention. If they get it by doing good, you’ll get more good. If they only get it by doing bad…well they’ll do more of that.
We did not solve the issue of corporal punishment in schools. I think that will be an ongoing conversation. But i LOVE that it took us into a discussion about healthy ways to parent!
Again, this single hour we set aside for “Big Question Monday Meeting” is beginning to trademark the culture of our company. Sitting in this big circle where everyone is seen and heard, where stereotypes are challenged and new ideas are birthed is one of the most sacred hours of the week.