Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brat Factor

When I entered the grocery store last night, I knew I was in for trouble. An ear-piercing shriek emanated from the produce section. Wincing, it didn’t take long to discover the source of the ruckus: two rambunctious children under the age of six were playing tag around the fruit and vegetable bins. A tired looking mom and dad basically ignored their offspring occasionally muttering, “Quiet down.” But due to the lack of follow-through, those two hellions pretty much ran amok.

I love children, on occasion. I like children, usually. Last night, however, I had evil thoughts of tripping them as they ran past my cart. I envisioned hiding around a corner and jumping out as they dashed by to scare the-you-know-what out of them. I was even hoping they would slip and fall.  I wanted to say something to the parents, like, "Do your job!"

Spurred to action by the uproar, I grocery shopped in record time. I couldn’t wait to get out of the store and away from the misbehaving children. But wait, was it misbehaving? Is it unreasonable to expect children to be well-behaved in public?

Recently, on Dr. Phil’s show, there was a discussion on “Brat Ban.” Some restaurants are banning children under six. CLICK HERE  to read more about this topic .

It all boils down to expectations. I do expect children to be well-behaved when necessary. The only way they can do so is to be taught what is expected of them, consistently. There is a time and a place for everything. The grocery store is not a place for tag, in my opinion.

What do you think? What would you have done? Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting Organized

My second grade teacher had a method for dealing with students with messy desks:  dump them on the floor.  You guessed it; my desk was dumped almost on a daily basis.  Quite frankly, it didn’t make me more organized.   Embarrassed, I just picked up all the stuff and crammed it right back into my desk.  I often wonder where I would be today if I had been taught organizational strategies when I was younger.
In my classroom we spend a lot of time during the first few days of school organizing our materials and supplies in our desks.  I give the students zip lock ® bags and plastic trays to corral their belongings.  I even draw a diagram on the board as to how these things should fit into their desks.  But it never fails, every year I always have some students who struggle with organization. 
This year is no different.  Part of the problem is that when I say, for example, to put a math paper in their red math folders, they don’t do it.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps they don’t hear me, they’re not paying attention, or they just don’t care. 
No big deal, you’re probably saying.  It is a big deal when I tell the students to get such and such a paper from their folder and invariably there’s one kid who says, “I can’t find it.”  The whole lesson or activity comes to a screeching halt while I attend to the needs of this one student.  I can tell it frustrates the rest of the class.  It certainly frustrates me.
I try to assign helpers to these less-than-organized kiddos.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’m just not sure what else to do.  

Do you have any suggestions?  I’m willing to try just about anything!  Leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Letting Your Child Stay Home Alone

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Home Alone.”  It’s amazing how an eight-year-old boy, Kevin McCallister (played by Mccaulay Culkin), outsmarts the bad guys!  Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen in real life.

It’s important to stay safe when you’re home alone, no matter how old you are.  People think this is just something to think about for children, but it’s also something we need to keep in mind for our elders, too.

We thought our elderly mom would be safe in her own home.  She has a monitored alarm system, answering machine, and keyed deadbolts.  We told her over and over not to let anyone in.

It took a couple of tries—Mom told us that a man had come over and tried to talk his way into the house but she refused.  But then that one time, she let him in. 

The man said he had to check the water so he sent her into the kitchen and had her turn on the water.  In a flash he was back in the kitchen, told her she was all set, and left. 

It could have been worse—“all” she lost was some money, she could’ve been hurt or killed.  But all of us were robbed that day of our sense of safety and security for Mom in her home. 

Have you ever let anyone in your home and then regretted it?  Has anyone tried to gain entry to your home but you refused?  Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cutting Your Own Hair Can Be a Disaster

I don’t know why but I don’t like going to get my hair cut.  I put it off and put it off until my hair style is shaggy and all grown out with lots of dry ends due to all my pool time. 

One time I was invited to my niece’s baptism and once again I’d put off going to the salon.  I thought I would take matters into my own hands.   How hard could it be? 

My hair was short back then and cutting the bangs wasn’t so bad.  The sides came off next, one side was longer than the other so I kept snipping left and right until they were even, sort of, and really, really short.

I remembered how the stylist used the clippers to layer the hair in the back.  I felt confident that I could do it myself.  I started clipping the back of my head.  Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz.  The hair fell to the floor and when I looked in the mirror—I had shaved all the hair off the back of my head!

What to do?  What to do?  I wore a sequined hat to the event thinking no one would notice.  Hah!  Nothing escapes the eagle eyes of my older sister Cindy.  She noticed immediately and wanted to know what had happened.

After hearing my explanation, she shook her head and said, “Only you, Patti, only you.”  So I am no longer allowed to cut my own hair—my children forbid it.  I’m due for a trim—overdue, actually. 

I meant to get it cut last weekend but there was this hurricane…

Have you ever had a self-haircutting disaster?  Perhaps you cut someone else’s hair?  Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!