Punishment prohibited!

I hate Maths!! My 9 year old declares..

He is a child who is unable to express himself clearly. So when he wails, ’why did you make me a hummus sandwich’ something he otherwise loves, he actually wants to tell me that he is upset that he cannot play with his friends because he is just recovering from a mild throat infection. It takes a mothers keen sense of observation & understanding to get that.

Yesterday, when he got home incomplete maths books with several notes from the teacher, I was very upset. Upset that he doesn’t like maths, a subject that wont leave his side for another 7 years atleast. Worried about how he will cope up for that long as good marks mean a lot. Anxious, to get my point of view across, I did the prohibited.. I told him that his access to the ipad will be denied until the time he completes his notes. I didn’t really mean it, just wanted him to understand.

I found out that he does not understand the system of punishment when he was just about 3 years old. There is no particular incident, but an observation over a period that drew me to the conclusion that punishing him never got me the desired output. As a mother I decided never to try it on him. But sometimes I completely run out of ideas on how to explain something to him. So here I was today convincing him to go to school in the morning & still didn’t get any maths done just because of the little threat I had given him last evening. Reminder to myself to follow the carrot & only carrot approach, surely no stick!

Sometimes I wish parenting would come with some instruction manual.


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