Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Rude Boy

For the most part the minions are good, polite little pre-schoolers. Most bad habits are picked up from other kids at daycare or mom and dad. Jack says, "Oh my god" in a mocking valley girl voice that was inspired by my reaction to a driver who kept cutting me off.  Thankfully he only repeats it to make fun of me. 

Recently our darling boy picked up something that didn't come from mom or dad. One evening a week or two ago Chris was asking Jack to come downstairs for dinner and he wasn't listening. When Chris came upstairs to remind him that it was dinner time, Jack got angry and screamed "Go away idiot boy!"  Chris was simultaneously livid and concerned. Was Jack saying this to other kids at daycare?  Jack refused to answer where he had learned this.   Had someone else called him idiot boy?  In the days that followed, whenever Jack was angry at Chris he'd angrily call him “idiot boy” and then be sent for a time out (or to jail as Jack likes to call it). One night during bath Jack turned to me with a smile and asked "What's idiot boy doing right now?" It was clear that Jack loved the rise he was getting out of Chris and time outs weren't curing him of this new catch phrase. When I reminded him that he wasn't allowed to call dad (or anyone) Idiot boy he just laughed maniacally to himself.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

On Saturday afternoon while Jack was in ANOTHER time out for calling dad Idiot Boy, I was talking to Molly and asked her if she knew where he learned it. "SpongeBob SquarePants" she said simply. I Googled it and immediately found my answer. “Idiot boy” is what Mr. Crab calls our square yellow friend whenever he gets angry at him. Once Jack was "out of jail", I sat him down and talked to him about SpongeBob and explained to him that if he keeps repeating bad things he learns on a particular show that he won't be allowed to watch it anymore. I am happy to say that it seems that idiot boy has been retired (although much of my family is calling Chris "IB" when Jack isn't within earshot). 

This exercised has reminded me that we need to test and adjust consequences dependent on the offence and the child. I think we may also be retiring timeouts for Jack for a little while since it seems that a world without SpongeBob is apparently far worse than time in the big house.

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