The teachers were all in the staffroom yesterday afternoon having a snack and a break from parent interviews. We were talking about general classroom behaviour and Nikki Boyens came out with this absolute gem of a mantra that she uses in her class:
If you muck up, own up, put it right and then let it go!
It’s about acknowledging and taking responsibility for your own behaviour. It just so happened that I had read an article by Dr Laura Markham in the latest edition of ‘Teachers Matter’ (Issue 29) entitled ‘Why Punishment Doesn’t Teach Children Accountability’.
It certainly made me think about my parenting, about the time I grounded my 15 year old – well I won’t tell you what for, suffice to say that she knew she had done wrong. She hated me, I was the worst mother in the whole world and I had ruined her social life and nobody else’s mother grounded their daughters and so it went on. At 15, they take unnecessary risks and I just wanted to her to reflect during the time she was grounded, on what she had done. I have no knowledge as to whether she ever did it again but I suspect she became a little more clever in ensuring I didn’t find out.
This is exactly what Dr Markham says in her article. She says that there is a lot of research out there that demonstrates that children who are punished are less likely to make positive moral choices because:
- Punishment focuses a child on the ‘consequences’ he or she are suffering, rather than the consequences of his or her behaviour to someone else.
- Punishment makes a child feel like they are a bad person which is a self fulfilling prophecy.
- The most salient lesson of punishment is to avoid it in future by sneaking or lying to escape detection, so punishment fosters dishonesty.
- Punishment makes a child feel wronged and creates a chip on the shoulder, making him or her less likely to make amends
This challenges thinking, I am sure that the thought going through your mind is, well what is left to us if we shouldn’t punish?
At school we use restorative conversations. We want children to think about the behaviour and the effect on others. We want them to gain an understanding of the consequences of the behaviour. It’s not just about them taking responsibility for the behaviour but also taking responsibility for avoiding that behaviour in the future. These are the questions we ask them:
- Tell the story – What happened? What were you thinking when you…..?
- Explore the harm – Who do you think has been affected? In what ways?
- Repair the harm – What needs to be done to put things right?
- Move forward – How can we make sure this does not happen again? What can I do to help?
The younger children at school get a more structured conversation:
- Tell the story – What happened?
- Explore the harm – When you ……… was that a good choice or a bad choice? How did it make …….. feel when you ………?
- Repair the harm – To fix this up you need to……?
- Move forward – At school it is not ok to….. Next time I want you to ……
Ask yourself, do you seem to be punishing your child time and again for the same thing? How is that working for you and your child?
At the heart of the matter, it’s not about being weak and avoiding confronting the behaviour, which has disastrous consequences longer term. I strongly believe that trying to explain to a young child that their behaviour hurts mummy’s feeling is a total waste of time! They need an immediate consequence for hurtful or inappropriate behaviour, not a lecture on the rights and wrongs of the behaviour.
However, for school age children and beyond, it is very important that we, as the adults in their lives, have challenged the behaviour and have ensured that he or she has taken responsibility, put it right as necessary and made amends. If you muck up, own up, put it right and then let it go!
Great to see so many of you here last night. Feedback was that the interviews went very well. Lots of positive sharing and goal setting. Looking forward to seeing more of you tonight.
Skate board club is back on!
- Monday lunch times 12.30 –1.30 pm on court outside hall.
- Taken by professional skateboard coach Simon Thorpe.
- Cost $50 per term, school will invoice you.
- All abilities welcome, we have plenty of complete beginners.
- Bring Helmet and Skateboard to school.
- For more information or if you would like to be on Parent help roster please contact Jude Eades 021716969 or [email protected]
Do you know of anyone who needs a cleaner, babysitter or a caregiver for the elderly. Please contact Ummu 0275 249050
PUPILS OF THE WEEK
Isobel Pennington, Daisy Molloy and Sam Jancys
- Room 1: Ji Woo Shin
Room 1: Giacomo Church Barnao
Room 2: Timothy Ravi
Room 3: David Lust
Room 4: Zac Riley
Room 5: Yasemin Kalkan
Room 5: Grace Brazendale
Room 6: Zak Weston
Room 6: Dan Brooks
Room 7: Olivia Maire
Room 8: Joshua Want
Room 9: Nicholas Dryden
Room 10: Nicholas Weston
- Room 11: Alona Kotsar
Room 12: William King
Room 13: Sophie Gibb
Room 14: Qian Ti Ooi
Room 15: Solomon Cooper
Room 16: Samuel Spath
Room 17: Anita Burt-Sudrajat
Room 17: Michael Wang
Room 18: Isla Hebblethwaite
Room 18: Violet Richardson
Room 19: Ava Newton
Room 20: Bryn Somervell
Room 21: Poppy Loutit
Congratulations to the Grammar Juniors Under 9 Rugby Team
Congratulations to the Grammar Juniors Under 9 rugby team for winning the annual Ron Williams Invitational Tournament held on the North Shore last weekend.
Grammar won their pool games easily, and managed to keep the other teams scoreless. They then went on to play Takapuna in a tough final. Grammar were down 4 tries to 1 with only a few minutes remaining in the game. However they demonstrated the power of never giving up and managed to come back to tie at 4 all at full time. They then went into extra time to take the win. A great effort!
The team includes the following Victoria Ave boys: Jonty Mackintosh, Sam Jancys, Fred Gilbert and Morgan Tapper.