Did You Stay on Green Today?

Posted by Jen on October 8, 2008 in Education, Mommyhood |

As I may have mentioned earlier (I am NOT Ready for Kindergarten!), Little Man is moving out of the traditional day care situation and is now in the magical world of pre-K. His wonderful teachers are getting him ready for Kindergarten and the world of formal education. This is a challenge. No doubt about it.

One of the things they have implemented is a spotlight behavior management system (Mrs. Murphy uses it in her Kindergarten class and was kind enough to explain it on her webpage. I have no idea who Mrs. Murphy is, but I’m really glad she has a website right now!)

The cool thing about the whole thing is that Little Man is crazy about responsibilities and making good choices. OK, not as crazy about is as he is about “makin’ smoke” but it’s a regular topic of conversation!

But, as with all rainbows, there is some rain!

Every morning, Little Man reminds us all to stay on green all day.

Make good choices, Mom! Stay on green!

And off we go to our respective places of work.

Have I mentioned that Little Man does not forget anything? Yeh, well, he’s got a mind like a steel trap – unless it’s about being told that he absolutely cannot have candy for dinner!

So, every evening, Little Man asks us if we stayed on green all day. It usually goes something like this.

Little Man: Mom? Did you stay on green today?

Me: Hmm … let me see. Uhh … nope, I think I was on yellow today.

Little Man: What did you do?

Me: Well, I got angry at someone and had to say I was sorry.

Little Man: Dad, Mom did not stay on green today. She does not get a sticker.

Now, I have a great many days that I do earn a sticker. I manage to stay on green more often than not. And, Little Man does not always stay on green … it’s almost always the no running in the classroom rule! I could always just tell him that I stayed on green, but what exactly does that teach him. He’s a smart kid and he pays attention. He’s under no delusions that his mother is well-behaved all the time. Nor, I think, would I want him to. If he thought that, how would he ever learn how to deal with moments where he’s made a bad choice!

However, I must tell you that the simple fact that I have to face the music each night makes me think about my choices. I absolutely do not want Little Man to think that his Mom cannot stay on green! And … I don’t think I want my colleagues to think that I can’t either! I really don’t want to be “that kid” … been there, done that, have the report card to prove it!

So, it gets simple. Did you make good choices today? Did you stay on green?

PS. The cool thing about choices that you always get a fresh “green” start every day … for the ornery among us, that’s a real blessing!

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