Thursday, September 3, 2009

What a kick in the backside.

Aargh! Yesterday, Graham came home with yet another yellow sticker. That makes 2. I was in complete and utter disbelief. Sure enough, the boy kicked another kindergartner in the hiney. Not hard, mind you, just enough to gain the attention of the teacher. This is a tough one for me. I really don't exactly know how to handle this situation. Here is my conundrum.

First, you should know, Graham is not doing this maliciously. That is not Graham style. These episodes are in jest - not anger. He is trying to be funny and, if he is anything like his dad, these are the first episodes in a lifetime journey of trying to identify what is funny and what is not. There is not a mean bone in Graham's body. This is simply a way for him to grab a little acceptance and to be cool in a world full of 5 year olds. He is trying to figure out how to fit in.

I have insight into this. I was exactly the same way. To tell you the truth, I think part of me struggles with this to this very day. There is something special about making people laugh. It is like a drug and there is no high better. I am serious. There is no greater gift than making one of the kiddos laugh in one of those deep guttural uncontrollable laughs. It is what life is all about. Humor is an incredible tool. Not only can it bring joy and laughter but it can also disarm tense situations, bring perspective and comfort, and even curb pain. Furthermore, I learned early on that acceptance amongst my peers could be achieved through making people laugh. It has been in the learning of what is and what is not appropriate that has been the challenge.

Graham is doing the exact same thing. He is trying to gain acceptance my making others laugh.

The question is how do I help him learn? I don't want him kicking or slapping other children in the hiney. However, I also don't want him to stop experimenting with humor. In this case, it is a fine line and I have to give him the tools to differentiate.

I have been very stern with him regarding these two incidents. He has been punished significantly. He knows that it is not appropriate behavior. I have also sat down and began to talk to him about his humor and what he is trying to achieve. I have been about as effective as I can be in talking to a 5 year old about the subtleties of a sense humor. It is no easy task. Let's be honest, at that age, comedy isn't subtle. We are on different levels. He is young. He still buys into the silliness of passing gas. I, on the other hand, gave that up weeks ago. (Please know that I am kidding. I don't do fart humor. I am married to Lynley. Do you think I could get away with that - and live?)

Bottom line, I want to help Graham through this learning experience. I don't want him doing what he is doing but I do want him to experiment. That is how you learn. I just have to figure out how to help him drawn the line between what could be funny and what is absolutely unacceptable.

Sometimes purpose is a kick in the behind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe he is just practicing what he has learned at TekuanDo (ms)!!!! Also he has seen you and Lynley do it to people in class---maybe he doesn't know that it is strictly to be done in class or competition!!!