Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Skipping School

Call it sluffing or playing hooky--I actually don't know what the kids today call it--at our house, we call it boredom.

Yesterday #4 took her time getting ready for school. So much so that when I drove away in the van with her siblings, she was still lounging around in her underpants. (Kent was upstairs, in case you wondered where her supervision would come from.)

When I got back from dropping off her sisters, I promptly turned off the TV--which of course was turned on in my absence--and asked her to get dressed. She was happy to learn that she could wear whatever she wanted, i.e. no school uniform. I reminded her that meant that I wasn't going back to the school until the end of the day, and she didn't seem too bothered by an unexpected day off. Then I told her what I do all day at home: clean. I invited her to clean with me, but also gave her the option of sitting in her room. After all, since she wasn't sick, I was going to pretend she was at school and go about my day as usual, which includes not seeing or hearing from her until school is over. Not surprisingly, she chose to stay in her room.

About an hour later, I cracked her door open to find the scene above. I was pleasantly surprised that she had cleaned her own room, though I don't know why she wasn't reading one of the many books in her room. Oh well, I'm glad she didn't think to un-bore herself.

After taking the photo, I again offered the cleaning option, and she went for it. I got a clean dining room floor out of the deal. The consequence faltered a bit while she played with preschoolers during a presidency meeting, but I reinstated the boredom by taking her to two meetings at the school for the rest of the afternoon. She did her homework there, and then sat for over 30 min. watching her friends in the hallway while I met with more boring adults.

The icing on the cake came when her sisters all brought their report cards home and asked to go to Krispy Kreme. (They give up to six glazed doughnuts, one for each A on a student's report card.) That pitched her into a fit, and I just gave her a hug and expressed how sorry I was that she had missed getting her report card. We headed out for our FHE treat, and though we did buy her one doughnut, it really didn't make up for the boxes of doughnuts that her sisters brought home.

Guess who was the first one showered and dressed today? :)


mindy said...

Hooray for natural consequences! I really can't believe that they get a donut for each A!? Good thing your kids are thin...who needs a whole box of doughnuts?

Our family said...

My first grader did the exact same thing yesterday. She even whispered to siblings that she was going to pretend she was still sick so she could skip school. Maybe our girls discussed this? Unfortunately I had to work and didn't do a good job of keeping her bored. Today I had to drag her out of bed to get ready. She tried fake coughing again, but was fine when she got home from school.

Audrey said...

Thank you for letting me read this. Love and logic! She was great in class today : )

Min said...

Ha! You probably couldn't have planned it better - I love it! Great picture of her boredom too.

Jenni said...

That's awesome! Creative parenting!

Charlotte said...

That is an awesome way to teach that lesson. I will remember this next year when Elise starts seminary.