The Learning Party

Both boys got their ‘card’  pulled at school, on the same day, for getting in trouble.  Ryan — for not finishing journal.  Owen — MORE serious:  tripping a kid “because he felt like it”, and not doing his best work.  NICE.  And Owen was COVERED from head to toe in dirt, grime and filth.

So…I’m about to yell…loudly.  BUT I have an epiphany…what if I take a DIFFERENT approach to being trouble?  Because apparently me yelling, taking crap away and flipping out ain’t working.

SOOOO, I said, “When we get home, Owen Garrett — you are to go STRAIGHT to the bathroom and wash off that dirt.  Then come to the kitchen table.  Ryan Connor — you are to go STRAIGHT to the kitchen table and await instructions.”  I said it calmly and nicely.  They smiled….looked at each other and thought ‘ha, we got her!  she won’t kill us for the card thing’.  WRONG.

So….we come in…they follow my instructions to the damn LETTER.  I continue, once everyone at the table:  “Boys…..we are going to have a ‘Learning Party’.  We shall sit at this table, as long as mommy says, and do some fun learning STUFF”.

What happens?  THEY CHEEEEER, ‘A LEARNING PARTY!!!!  A LEARNING PARTY!!!  WE’VE NEVER HAD A LEARNING PARTY’

I make them Dr. Pepper slushies and say, “Get out your work folders and books!  Learning Party is starting!”  They scramble!  They cheer…and you know what?  WE DID ALL THE HOMEWORK…AND READING….AND MATH….AND PAPERS.  They worked together.  Owen helped Ryan….Ryan helped Owen.  For one full hour of our Learning Party.  No TV.  No iPads.  No Xbox.  Nothing but Learning Party. 

In essence, they LOST their fun of electronics or playing outside to an HOUR of homework at the ‘LEARNING PARTY’.  Brilliant?  Why yes, if I do say so myself!  I didn’t yell and actually I was full of happiness for my SUPERIOR schemeing and undermining.  Mother of the Year?  No.  Genius to get my kids to think they tricked me when I tricked them?  SCORE.

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