Friday, October 1, 2010

Mourning the loss of play for a few days...

I've Decided to Do a Nablopomo Challenge, which I haven't done in AGES, and I feel like being somewhat more productive on this blog as of late.

So on that note, I want to write about my son. He's 6 years old, and loves to play. He's a very bright boy(not just being biased), and he's very extroverted when at school. However. When he gets home, he loves to go into his imaginary world, and prefers to play by himself. He has actually turned down play dates if they are going to be near his room. I know kinda weird, but I want him to know that we can respect his privacy, and that he can learn likewise to everyone else.
My son has a rat, who is very adorable, and very loving, and has certainly turned my position on rodents living in my house. My son agreed to taking on certain responsibilities when he got the rat. Particularly the feeding, caring for, and clean up of the rat. He named it Freddie, and took on those responsibilities quite well, at the start.
But since School has started again, he's shirked on his duties, and it has become a chore in it's own right to remind him to clean up after the thing, since the animal is mostly free-range in his bedroom. (He's potty trained, but slip-ups happen every once in a while)
Last evening in particular. my hubby, fed up with the constant reminding, he gave my son an ultimatum: either he get grounded, or we throw the rat away, since obviously he was done taking care of it, wasn't he?
All sarcasm gets lost on a 6 year old, and as my son thought this was an actual decision he'd have to make, he quickly jumped in with the easy way out; he would throw the rat away, that yes, he was done with the whole thing.
I read somewhat constantly on the selfishness of 6 year olds, how self-preservation tends to rule the roost at that age, but in light of this revelation of my son, I have to admit, I was shocked.

I know he didn't understand that throwing Freddie in the garbage would mean death, couldn't make the connection to that, and probably didn't think much past how you put a toy to the side when you are done playing with it. you can always come back to it later, right?

So after a stern talking to and a slap on the butt  as part of his punishment, he is now grounded for the weekend, foregoing all sports activities, playing, and reading. He is to sit on his chair and think how he can be more compassionate, and he is to help with chores all weekend. He is only to read when reading to his little brother, and he foregos all snacks in his lunch for the rest of the week(which is technically only today, but he doesn't have to know that)

I do that for my son, so he can learn to be a better person, but sometimes I wonder if I'm doing it wrong, taking the wrong route  to his growing up.

But I'm of the mind that just having a conversation with a child isn't enough, you have to make sure they feel properly bad about their choice,  that remorse is there so that they can work to rectify their mistakes...

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