My 6-year-old son is many things… funny, sweet, silly, loving, smart. He is also recently becoming a world-class liar. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or proud of his gumption, honestly.
His school utilizes a color-coded behavior chart each day that communicates with parents how their child’s overall day has unfolded. It’s pretty cut and dry. Red means poor choices throughout the day, yellow means so-so choices, and green means a good day. There is also a blue for an excellent day and wonderful behavior. The children can clip up or down throughout the day, so a few poor decisions during the day don’t necessarily mean impending doom. In fact, when I have helped out in his class I see the teacher looking actively for ways to support and encourage those struggling to improve. A student caught in a random act of kindness or trying to turn their day around usually has the ability to do so. Get a majority of days on green or above and the students get to enjoy a special reward theme day at the end of the month… “Wheely Day” in the gym, glow in the dark stuff, or ice cream. Simple, but it works.
As I have previously written in a few of my older articles Ritalin, Watching the Game, and Stabby McStabberson , my son struggles with and has been diagnosed with ADHD. It was not unusual throughout preschool and kindergarten to be inconsistent between days… red here, yellow there, few greens and blues, yellow, red, green, etc. Meds and time have proven to be super helpful for us (to each his own, no judgement here) in addressing my big guy’s challenges. However, we are realists and do not expect perfection from our kids, challenges or not. We are not perfect and we all have bad days, kids and adults alike. So imagine my surprise that every single day of first grade so far have been green or above.
A miracle! He is cured! He is suddenly a super smart, well-disciplined child in love with learning! Ha.
I happened to notice that one day this week, his sheet was yellow and then colored over with a green. When I questioned him about it, he convincingly exclaimed, “Mom! I was having a rough day but I turned it around. I ended on green today.” Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I nodded and reminded him about the reward day at the end of the month. I told him to try his best and to have a better day tomorrow, not giving it another thought.
Then I noticed it again. And then again…once more. Keep in mind, this kid knows that he loses his electronics privileges if he is not on green each day. So what does he do? He lies! And it sure worked on his naive momma until today. Now, I have not confirmed this with his teacher yet, but let’s call it a hunch that I am currently having a fast one pulled on me.
When I questioned him today on the third incident of this type, he confessed that “Okay, Mom. I am gonna tell you the truth, the REAL truth. I ended on yellow. No, green! No, yellow. Okay, it was yellow. I won’t lie.” It took everything I had to not burst out laughing. I was slightly impressed and then extremely terrified at what this kid’s teenage years will hold for us. I vaguely remember a teenage girl I know (cough, cough) changing her geometry grade from a D to a B and getting grounded for a very long time. Thank goodness grades are electronic now.
My kiddo may physically resemble his father, but he surely takes after his momma. I was admittedly a good liar and he is definitely showing promise in this area. I suspect practice will improve his technique.