A creative consequence.

On a field trip today, Honey, the girl who asked if she could call me Mom, was apparently unaware that I was walking nearby as we were trudging up a hill to join a group. We're having beautiful weather here, but that meant that we were all baking in the sun as we went. One of her friends called back to her to hurry up; she responded with, "F---, n---a, I don't wanna f---in' run," as she flounced along the road.

I was, like, ten feet away.

I promptly called her out on her choice of phrasing. She was appropriately horrified that I'd heard her and quite apologetic, but that didn't seem sufficient to me in this particular case. I'm not big on detentions or referrals with cursing; they just don't usually seem effective. So I decided a language consequence would match a language infraction quite nicely. "If you're going to use language like that when we're out in public, I don't want you calling me Mom anymore. You're done with it."

"But ---"

"Nope. Done."

She tried to argue again and I told her that I wasn't discussing this then and we needed to get with the group. I figured later I'd catch her and we'd have a conversation about appropriate language for public and how it might offend others and how it makes her look bad....but I never got a chance. Honey found me.

"Ms. Teachin', I want to apologize for what I said before. It was rude and inappropriate and I shouldn't have said it, and I'm really sorry. And I won't do it again." She stood with her head hanging contritely.

"Thank you, Honey. I appreciate that."

"You're welcome. So......" She glanced up from under the curtain of hair shielding her face. ".....does that mean I can call you Mom again?"

I laughed and said that she could, as long as she kept the rest of her language within my expectations for decorum.

I don't know if it will last, but I like it as a new consequence for now....

(Image credit to circo de invierno)


Sarah said...

That's certainly the most creative consequence I've heard of.... But whatever works, right?

teachin' said...

Yeah, it was weird...but she seems into it. Now she's researching why people use curse words. :)

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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