Saturday, January 29, 2011

pedro and the mule drivers

That poor Pedro was really down on his luck -- he ran into those same angry mule drivers that he tricked. They grabbed him and stuffed him in a barrel, with the intention of pushing him into the river and letting him float down over the waterfall in the morning. But during the night, Pedro escaped and put all the mule drivers' gear into the barrel instead (except for their coins, which Pedro kept for himself of course), so in the morning, the only thing the mule drivers sent over the waterfall was everything they needed. Tricky, tricky Pedro!

Above is J's depiction of Pedro loading the barrel while the mule drivers all slept. Below is yet another half-hearted drawing from Zoo Boy, of a barrel with Pedro's arm coming out of it.

Ok, so obviously I'm having issues with Zoo Boy's lack of effort. He's doing the work willingly, but it's because he knows he can get something just adequate done, then go play for an hour while J is working away on his drawing. Yet, I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have said anything, but I just couldn't help myself. I told him that I wished he'd put a little more effort into his drawings, and he said "I don't want to." So then I said that I'd give him another week to put in a bit more effort into it, and then maybe we'd do a couple of led drawings to help him get back on track. He, of course, didn't like the sound of that, and I reminded him that he had another week to get back in the swing of things first before I stepped in.

I don't like that I threatened him. I suppose I really could have just stepped in and done a couple of led-drawings with him, but I dread the resistance I'm going to meet by doing that. I really like that he's willingly sitting down to school work now. But I don't like that he's finding a way "around" actually spending some time on it. Yet, that in itself is a pretty good coping mechanism. Maybe I just need to come up with something else for him to work on during the time that J is busy doing his work so that he's not such a distraction to his brother.

Clearly, I need to sit with this whole thing a bit more to work through my own feelings about it! I've been giving the Boy a lot of thought lately, and I have some ideas of how to approach his resistance. But it's forcing me to step outside my comfort zone and compromise my educational/child rearing ideals (which is the real challenge and "art" of parenting, isn't it?!), and I need to come to a place of peace with that before I can proceed. I'll post more on that as my ideas begin to gel.

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