I met a mom and her kid this week, a wiry nine year old giving the teacher the usual amount of stuff typically attributed to ADHD. You know, calling out when he is not supposed to; talking too much; rushing through his work – those sorts of things.
It sounded like the teacher was getting more and more frustrated and starting to reevaluate her career decisions.
As the kid (we’ll call him Larry) was busily building some Lego figure while his mom talked to me, I could see he had a certain gleam in his eyes, laughing at some of the jokes I was making with the mom as we talked.
The mom explained, “Well, Larry is doing better now that he is on a weekly behavior report card.”
I said to the mom (to make Larry laugh), “You know, I bet my wife would like to put me on a weekly behavior report card. There would be lots of ‘needs improvements’ if I were being watched closely. I think I would be getting weak marks for things like, “not hanging clothes consistently…didn’t put the dishes away in a timely manner…forgot to shut the lights off at night…tracked snow in the house…not meeting potential.”
“It’s tough being a kid,” I continued. “They watch your every move, right Larry? Good thing I don’t have one of those weekly behavior charts. ”
Larry laughed enthusiastically, nodding in agreement.
I was just trying to normalize things for Larry, make him not feel so bad.
I think it worked since he was cracking up while engaged with the Legos.
I was hoping that the mom didn’t think I was undermining Larry and his weekly behavior chart.
She didn’t. She got it. She knew I would be getting a bad report card too!