"We were also told in many different ways that this will be a challenging year ( I believe the term "wild ride" was used once or twice!). The PTO lady also stressed the importance of making sure you were involved in your child's life. Also to get to know all their friends. And the parents of their friends. This was the most important mission of the PTO.
WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO! What kind of "Wild Ride" lies ahead????"
Fortunately, last year was a pretty smooth ride. This year looks to be a bit bumpier. Not so much at school but more so in our neighborhood. Between a few new faces in the 'hood and the boundaries of nearby playmates expanding, there are lots more boys, pick-up games of ball and noise filling our street. With all this additional testosterone also more skirmishes and incidents of bullying.
The Turning Point
This summer, after a fight broke out in the middle of a "friendly" game of Kick-Ball, the mom of the house took action. She escorted the fight-starter home and told his mother what had happened that day. As well as some other incidents she had heard about but not witnessed.
The mother of the "fight-starter" took disciplinary action. Once the flow of information started, an amazing improvement in behavior was made.
That day, a new policy was started. From now on, if there was an "incident of bad behavior", the rest of the children were responsible for telling a parent and the offending child (children) would be escorted home. There would also be a ban of a week until the child(children) would be allowed back. Any child that does not report, or takes matters into their own hands, will also be punished. Game over.
Meeting of the Moms
As new boys have entered the circle, the process continues. We are continuing to meet new mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers & aunts and exchanging phone numbers. The process works both ways: we also get reports on our children. While it won't completely put a stop to fights and bullying, I have noticed a remarkable improvement.
At first I was a bit apprehensive about meeting parents of the "problem children" but have been pleasantly surprised. We all share similar goals and none of our children are perfect. I love the fact that if there is a problem, I know who to talk to and conversely as well. It really does take a village to raise a child.
I am also finding that our children make better choices when they know they are being watched. And held accountable!
Dateline: Monday.... found a great article related to this topic: