Denzell has been talking to me a lot lately about what he thinks. I LOVE THAT!
You always wonder as a parent which things make a positive difference or if you are just spitting in the wind so to speak. I've been quite encouraged that he is far enough removed from past difficulties to bring up those type of subjects with me. I love that he feels he can talk to me and is mature enough to think about the things that he is telling me. Also I guess if I was to be truly honest, it is nice to get a pat on the back from your kids when it comes to how you are doing with raising them.
He let me know recently that some major decisions that we made for him are things that he believes really helped him. We made him room with Andrew where there was a door alarm several years ago after some dishonesty and food issues both came up. The door alarm would stop the sneaking food to a degree and would also make it to where any further dishonesty would be less likely. We gave him the choice of telling us the truth about where some of his money went or move to that room and he packed his stuff and went. The food issue was a bigger problem as well because of his high blood pressure and the specific foods that he was hiding. He let me know that rooming with Andrew stopped him in his tracks and also really made him think about the choices that he was making as well as their effects on his life.
I am big into "writing" for discipline. I have been known to make children write reports every time that they have a behavior while upping the number of pages each time. I require that they write about what they did, why they did it, how they could have dealt with the situation better, and often what the Bible says about their behavior as well. Denzell said that those reports really did help him to see the choices he was making and change them.
Denzell was the first child that I pulled out of school this time. He was hanging out with a group of kids that didn't have the same values and allowing them to download songs onto his mp3 player that made my ears turn inside out. Shortly after that he thanked me because he said it had kept him out of a lot of trouble. He has since told me reasons why he thinks it is best for everyone when I was pondering pulling the rest out. He says that he has learned lots more at home and is glad to not be exposed to some of the things that children in public school are exposed to as well.
I must say that he has really turned into a great young man that I am so proud to have call me "mom". He is mature, helpful, insightful, and someone who wants to do the right thing. I am so glad that he can see that the limitations, structure, and report writing weren't just me trying to be "mean". I am even more glad that he used those things to help him get through a rough spell and turn things to "great". Having your child tell you what he learned from the discipline and behavioral management you used is such a blessing and seeing the results is a blessing that I can't even describe. I am so blessed to be the mom to the crew.