Plagiarism - Now for HomeSchoolers, too.
Sometimes I think my kids must think I'm dumb as a box of rocks. To illustrate:
"It wasn't me."
"I SAW you."
"Oh, well, I was only trying to... (insert lame-o excuse here)"
Take, for example, my son's new found desire to be cool by not wearing his shin guards to soccer practice... just like the other pre-teen boys. I made sure he had his shin guards with him for practice last night, but like the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but cannot make him drink." Lee took the kids to practice, and the 1st thing I hear when I get home is from the narc, AKA: little sister.
"Habtamu forgot his shin guards."
"No he didn't, he had them with him... they're not here."
"No, he LEFT them at practice."
At which point I turn on my son, who is already raining down brimstone on his own head, and I ask calmly (No, really! I did!) "Why were you not wearing them?"
"I KNOW, I KNOW, I'm stupid and I don't listen well!" This, as you may well know, is a classic defense mechanism. It's short hand for I-messed-up-everyone-hates-me-now.
So, this morning I was checking Habtamu's journal entry. I have them write a story for me every day with a picture. It can be about anything, but has to be their own story. I pick up Habtamu's. He's got a story that sounds really familiar. I ask, "Did you copy this out of a book?" He says, "No. I used the book to know how to spell the names." I say, "Where is that book?" All the time knowing full well which book and which story he copied. He got defensive and slammed out of the room to shower. Later, after he had calmed down, I talked to him about the shin guards and the copying, and told him I would love him forever and that NOTHING he could do would change that. Then I tickled his side and all was suddenly right in his world.
We're making progress. One of the biggest lessons for ME was not to yell. No matter what. Yelling has exacerbated a problem every. single. time. If I feel yelling coming on, I leave the room and say something like, "I need a time out." The kids don't ever like to feel like I'm angry at them and will act out accordingly (ie: worse) if they see that I am. However, I DO get angry at some of the things they do, and walking away is the best option if I feel I cannot speak rationally at that moment. Ah, for supreme patience to be mine. I've prayed for patience before and gotten lots of practice time. It stinks, but when I think how much MORE patient I am than I was, I'm glad I asked for it.