Further words on the discipline of children

February 10, 2011

Recently at Cubs we had an aerobics lesson. It was great fun and (most of) the kids really enjoyed it.

At the end of the class we handed out some leaflets from the instructor advertising her kids classes. She'd done the session for nothing so it was the least we could do. Just as Cubs was coming to a close, I overheard a couple of the boys giggling and whispering. They were saying that one of the boys, let's call him Jimmy, had flushed his leaflet down the toilet. Jimmy is well-known to be a handful, so I turned to him and asked him straight if he'd done it.

He looked at me, laughing, and said, "Yeah!" in that 'what are you going to do about it?' tone of voice. Seconds later, the Cubs were dismissed and Jimmy made a bee-line for the door.

I strode after him and waited until he'd gone up to his Mum before starting a conversation with him.

Me: Jimmy, I'd just like to have a quick word with you about your behaviour.
Jimmy:(looking subdued, glancing furtively at his mum) Er, ok.
Me: You know that the aerobics instructor very kindly gave up her time for free for your benefit? And we expect all the Cubs to behave respectfully.
Jimmy: Yeah.
Me: (raising my voice slightly) Do you think tearing up your leaflet and flushing it down the toilet is respectful?
Jimmy: (laughing)
Jimmy's mum: Why are you laughing? It's not FUNNY. I'm not laughing. Say you're sorry!
Jimmy: Sorry.
Me: Thanks. See you next week.
Jimmy: OK.
Jimmy's mum: (leading him out of the door) Why do you do things like that? Just wait till I tell your father!

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