Parents Imparting  Discipline  &  Heritage

Fairy C. Hayes-Scott, Ph.D., editor
Nora Martin, Ph.D., consultant


Table of Contents

Comments by the Editor i-ii
Structure of Book iii-iv

Part I: Scenarios of Our Children’s Lives:
             A Closer Look at the Scenarios

1-3
Color Me Black! by Jacqui Calloway 4
Overview of Pre-School And Kindergarten 5
Leroy Lafayette Lawton--Pre-K 6

In Sickness and In Health
Lesson Learned: How to Cope with a Sibling’s Serious
          Illness

7-8
The Word
Lesson Learned: How to Refrain from Using Inappro-
         priate Language ("Dirty Words")
8-9
Being Like Big Brother
Lesson Learned: How to Deal with the Frustration of
          Not Being Able to Do As the Older Sibling
10-11
Karena Elise Jones--Pre-K 12
Spock Was Not Working
Lesson Learned: How Not to Disregard Totally House
          Rules
13-14
The "He Woman" of the House
Lesson Learned: How to Curb Aggressive Behavior
14-15
Children Are Not Always Color Blind
Lesson Learned: How to Deal With a Negative Racial
          Comment Made by One’s Peer
15-17
Brione Renee Thompson--Pre-K 18
Pride In One’s African-American Self
Lesson Learned: How to Appreciate One’s Blackness
          As a Multi-Racial Child
19-20
Discipline Away From Home
Lesson Learned: How to Conduct Oneself in the Public--
          No "Cuttin’ The Fool" in Public
20-21
Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed?
Lesson Learned: How to Cease The Desire To Sleep
          in Mommy’s and Daddy’s Bed
21-23
Michael Carlos Stephenson--Pre-K 24
Instilling Pride in Heritage
Lesson Learned: How to Appreciate One’s African-
          American Culture
25-26
Borrowing Without Telling
Lesson Learned: How to Save for what One Wants
          Rather than Steal
26-27
An Ounce of Prevention Is Better
Lesson Learned: How to Overcome One’s Fear of
         New Experiences
27-28
Wailing Wanda by Cheyne R. Scott 29
Overview Of Grade Group 1-3 30
Leroy in Grade Group 1-3
The Forgery
Lesson Learned: How to be Honest Even If One May
          Be Punished
31-32
Karena in Grade Group 1-3 33
The Non-Perfect Hostess
Lesson Learned: How Not to Act Like a Spoiled Brat
          Among One’s Friends
34-35
An Eye For An Eye or Turn the Other Cheek
Lesson Learned: How Not to Respond Violently After
          Being Hit by a Playmate
35-36
Brione in Grade Group 1-3
The Non-Sharing War Must Stop
          Lesson Learned: How to Share
37
Slam It Just One More Time
Lesson Learned: How to Lessen Door Slammin’ and
          Eyes Rollin’ Behavior
38-39
Michael in Grade Group 1-3 40
Morning Madness
Lesson Learned: How to Become More Orderly During
          the Morning Routine
41
Mattie and The Rope by Cheyne R. Scott 42-43
Overview Of Grade Group 4 & 5 44
Leroy in Grade Group 4 & 5
What It Means to Be A Friend
          Lesson Learned: How to Be Loyal To One’s Friends
45-46
The "Village" Teacher and I
Lesson Learned: How to Cease Disruptive Classroom
          Behavior
46-47
Karena In Grade Group 4 & 5 48
I Know I Can!
Lesson Learned: How to Persevere to Achieve a Goal
          In Spite of What an "Authority" May Say
          About One’s Ability
49-50
Give a Person Enough Rope and...
Lesson Learned: How to Wait for What One Wants
          Rather Than Steal It
50-51
Learning About "Curfew"
Lesson Learned: How to Respect Parents’ Designated
          Time for Coming Home
51-53
Brione In Grade Group 4 & 5 54
A Nine-Year-Old "Ms. Queen"
Lesson Learned: How to Assert One’s Independence
          in a Respectful Manner
55-56
Send A Letter to Brione
Lesson Learned: How to Accept with Appropriate
          Behavior and Responses the Fact that One Will
          Not Always Have One’s Way
56-58
Michael In Grade Group 4 & 5
Television Watching--Parent Teaching
Lesson Learned: How to Distinguish the Difference
          Between TV "Heroes" and TV "Morals"
          and The Heroes Who Really Exist and the
          Morals of One’s Home
59-60
Under the Influence
Lesson Learned: How Not to Let the Rude Behavior
           of One’s Friends Be So Influential in One’s Life
60-62
Simone Learns Responsibility by Cheyne R. Scott 63-64
Overview of Grade Group 6, 7, & 8,
EarlyAdolescent
65
Leroy In Grade Group 6, 7, & 8 66
Why Can’t I Hang Out?
Lesson Learned: How to Accept the Rules for Going
          Out As Set by One’s Parents Without A Lot of Protest
67
Hidden Talent
Lesson Learned: How to Discover One’s Hidden Talent
          and Cultivate That Talent
68-69
Karena In Grade Group 6, 7, & 8 70
TLC and Homework
Lesson Learned: How to Recognize the Importance of
          Doing One’s Best in School
71-72
Prevention of the Spoiled Child
Lesson Learned: How to Appreciate the Fact that
          All are Not as Fortunate
72-73
Brione in Grade Group 6, 7, & 8 74
No Work, No Play
Lesson Learned: How Important It Is to Complete
          Chores Before Going Out to any Activity with Friends
75-76
The Story Teller
Lesson Learned: How to Recognize the Importance
          of Not Betraying a Trust--Be Honest
76-78
Michael In Grade Group 6, 7, & 8 79
Community Service and Personal Growth
Lesson Learned: How to Realize One’s Responsibility
          to Participate in Community Service
80-81
Unfashionable Frank by Cheyne R. Scott 82-83
Overview Of Senior Teens--Later Adolescent 84
Mr. Leroy Lafayette Lawton--Senior Teen 85
Mr. Forgetful
Lesson Learned: How to Remember One’s Homework Assignments
86-88
The Missing Jacket
Lesson Learned: How to Put Up One’s Clothes
89-90
Ms. Karena Elise Jones--Senior Teen 91
"Everyone Is Going!"
Lesson Learned: How to Screen Activities Before
          Asking Parents If One Can Attend
92-93
Our Daughter, Ms. AT&T, MCI, & Sprint, Reaching Out
Lesson Learned: How to be More Responsible with the Telephone
93-94
Company Comes; Home Training Leaves
Lesson Learned: How to Behave Properly When
          Friends Visit One’s Home (In other words,"No Acting Out")
94-95
Ms. Brione Renee Thompson--Senior Teen 96
Overcommitted
Lesson Learned: How to Limit One’s Cadre of
           Activities and Honor All Commitments
97
Ms. Personality
Lesson Learned: How to Balance the Need to
          Socialize with the Need to Study
98-99
Two Left Wheels
Lesson Learned: How Always to Depend on the Power of Prayer
99-100
Mr. Michael Carlos Stephenson--Senior Teen 101
At Home and Not Working
Lesson Learned; How to Balance One’s Outside
          Activities with One’s Home Responsibilities
102
Family Conference--A Benevolent Dictatorship
Lesson Learned: How to Recognize Every Action
          Has a Consequence
103-104
A Look At Our Children After Senior Teen 105-106
Part II: Rites of Passage
Overview 108-109
Rites of Passage--The Journey
The Beginning
110-114
Development of Curriculum 114-120
The 1996-97 Participants’ Profile 120-121
Rites of Passage Commitment Ceremony 121-123
Calendar of Events 123-125
A More Detailed Look At Every "Journey Stop" 125-136
Arrival At The Destination Point
          May 18, 1997 Rites of Passage Ceremony
136-145
The Journey Ends: A New One Begins
          History (African-Canadian Heritage Tour)
144-146
Evaluation Of The Journey 147-149
Part III: Activities for Children of All
          Grades Groups
          Goals and Objectives
150-152
Grade Group Activities--1995-1996 152-154
Grade Group Activities by Category--1996-1997 154-155
Grade Group Activities by Individual Grade Groups 156-159
Appendices
Appendix A--Do You Really Know Your Parents? 160-161
Appendix B--Do You Really Know Your Teen? 161-162
Appendix C--Map of African-Canadian Heritage Tour 163
Appendix D--Rites of Passage Evaluation Form 164
"The Artist" by Christine Stewart 165
Our Mission--A Statement by the President
          of the Ann Arbor Chapter
166-167
Ann Arbor Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
          1996-1997 Family Roster
168-170
"Family Is Constant as the Ever-Changing Seasons"
          by Fairy Cesena Hayes-Scott, Ph.D.
171-172

 

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Part I: Scenarios of Our Children’s Lives

A Closer Look at the Scenarios

The scenarios parents shared with me mirrored the behavior of any normal developing child. The incidents may not be the exact replicas of those that you may have experienced with your son/daughter or niece/nephew or grandson/granddaughter. However, they are probably not so different. The personae are so very similar. Thus, after reading these scenarios, I began to see personalities develop. And so, with these personalities four different characters began to take shape--two boys and two girls. They are:

          Leroy Lafayette Lawton--youngest of three children. He has an older sister and brother. He is the mischievous one. He is the product of a single-parent family. His parents divorced when he was one.

          Karena Elise Jones--an only child. She is headstrong, determined, independent, and a "tester of the waters" type. She is the product of a two-parent family.

          Brione Renee Thompson--the oldest of two girls. She is much more subdued than her female counterpart Karena. Still, Brione does have her moments. She is the product of a single-parent family. Her parents divorced when she was eight.

          Michael Carlos Stephenson--an only child. For the most part, he always seems to have direction. He is quiet, yet very sociable. He is the product of a two-parent family.

Their parents will share incidents about their children’s lives. Although the names and some of the circumstances are changed, still, each scenario is about a situation which actually occurred. The method of discipline was actually employed to cope with the situation.

As you see Leroy, Karena, Brione, and Michael, you will probably see your own youngsters. Possibly, you will even see yourself when you were a child. The important feature is that these four youngsters are regular kids. They are not incorrigibles; they are not "poster children" for a TV talk show discussing the doom and gloom of "bad" kids. And their parents are no more gifted in the art of parenting than you. However, it is parents like us, you and those who share their scenarios, that help raise loving, productive citizens. These scenarios and the explanations for why certain disciplinary methods were successful serve as guides for the true "experts," those of us who live, eat, and breathe our children every day of our lives. And for the most part, we do not regret this role as parents. Yet, we are very humbled every day by our "teachers"--our children.

It is very important that readers understand how this book is using the term "discipline". In this work, discipline does not only imply the effort to eliminate negative behavior. These scenarios illustrate that discipline has a dual meaning: 1) action taken by an authority (in this case, mainly the parent/s) to discourage inappropriate behavior and 2) action taken to instill behavior which will develop strong self-esteem and survival strategies to deal with whatever the world presents in the child’s life.

Now, let us begin. First, we will see the experiences of the parents of Leroy Lafayette Lawton as told by his Jack and Jill mom when Leroy was a Pre-K youngster. Then, the Jack and Jill mom of Karena will share her experiences with her young lady at this same age level. Next, the Jack and Jill mom of Brione will impart her words of wisdom. Finally, the Jack and Jill mom of Michael will share her moments coping with Michael as a Pre-K child.

Subsequently, as we change grade groups, the same order of progression for discussion will continue. What should be most apparent is that no matter how overwhelming things may look the parent and child continue to grow and survive. It is consistent firmness and taking into account the personality of the individual child that make each method of discipline effective. And above everything, each child knows s/he is loved--the key ingredient for successful parenting.

There will not be a narrative continuum. Instead, the scenarios are presented as if the moms and, sometimes, dads are sharing them as individual experiences. Thus, the "make-believe" parents will not become the significant characters by having their voices developed in the narratives. The focus is the children--the invented characters which so well reflect the real children of so many parents.

Karena in Grade Group 1-3

The Non-Perfect Hostess
Lesson Learned: How not to Act Like a Spoiled Brat Among One’s Friends

Our daughter was celebrating her seventh birthday with about fifteen of her friends. Thrilled at being the center of attention and feeling that she was the celebrity, she began to treat her guests rudely. When warned that her behavior was inappropriate, she replied, "I guess they’ll have to go home if they don’t like my behavior." However, "bratty" behavior has never been well tolerated in our home. It ranks between cod liver oil and fingernails on a chalkboard. Immediately, I began to strategize a means to modify the behavior.

My wife, in her calm and matter of fact tone, explained to our daughter, "Oh no, sweetheart, the OTHER children have all come to our home as invited guests. They are anticipating ice cream, cake, and Dr. Doolittle, and that is what they will receive. It is unfortunate that you have decided not to be a gracious hostess, and, therefore, you will not be able to participate in the festivities."

After a brief sojourn in her room, where our daughter was able to reflect upon the day’s events, she asked if she could return to the party in progress. We allowed her to return, but with a clear understanding of her responsibilities as hostess. She understood that to have invited guests in her home for a party is a privilege and that privileges require her to behave responsibly toward others.

---
          Sometimes, the seven-year-old is studded with constant reminders as his/her parents see their vision of a lovely, mannerly, thoughtful child disappearing rapidly. In this case, being the center of attention at her own party is the perfect time to be self-centered and insensitive toward her family and friends. This is the perfect occasion for children at this age level to openly demonstrate their resentment of forced participation for sharing and treating their guests with respect. Parents can take advantage of the fact that seven- year-olds have a strong desire to win at games and to excel in any competition.

          The parents in this situation correctly make it clear that the party will go on, with or without the non-perfect hostess. The daughter, during her reflection period, could be given the responsibility of thinking of ways she could share with her guests some positive competitive games they could play.

An Eye For An Eye or Turn the Other Cheek
Lesson Learned: How Not to Respond Violently After Being Hit by a Playmate

It was recess time for the second grade children. Children were happily playing on swings, bars, and with balls. It was my daughter who was playing on the monkey bars. She enjoyed climbing, balancing, and pulling herself up. For awhile she had this apparatus to herself, which suited her just fine. All this changed when another student decided she, too, wanted to play on the monkey bars. Not wanting to stay on one side of the monkey bars, this student decided she wanted to cross. Coming close to my daughter, she shouted for her to move. Seeing no reason why she should, I suppose, my daughter shouted back obstinately, "No!" That’s when it happened. The other little girl slapped my daughter. My daughter was shocked. I was surprised that it happened while I was standing right there. Not knowing quite what to do, Karena came to me.

I knew there were two lines of advice that I had to offer: 1) Tell her to hit her back, and 2) tell her to tell the teacher. I could give her the advice I was given as a child. Another option? I could use this as an opportunity to put into practice some of the thoughts on reducing conflicts and violence that we had discussed earlier that week. When I was a child, the advice was "hit her back, beat her up, and she won’t mess with you again." Such altercations always meant a physical fight. There would be tears, bruises, and ugly words. There would be a crowd that would gather around for the spectacle. There would be a proclaimed winner and loser. The winner would remember this was how one should handle conflict, and the loser would remember not to get beat again. No one predicted the stakes would rise, and weapons would become more deadly. The advice was still considered sound, "it’s just that things have changed." I chose the second alternative.

Fortunately, for her and me, it worked out. No one waited for her when the bell rang or came looking for her with a crowd. The other student lost her recess that day, and it never occurred again. It was over as quickly as it began, just as it should have been. Play resumed.

---
          Many second graders will illustrate at home and school their growing confidence in themselves by their careless disregard of adult requirements for doing what is considered right or wrong. The other student in this case wanted to play on the monkey bars, and, at age seven, felt that it was her right to cross over. After receiving the "no" response, she retaliated by "slapping." For so long Karena had occupied her "space" without interruption and was actually shocked because she did not want to give up ownership of the apparatus that she had for so long claimed as her own.

          It is a difficult thing seeing your child being "slapped." The parent in this situation was rational and positive. The child who initiated physical contact received the appropriate punishment, and the second grader learned how to share school equipment. Most importantly, everyone involved learned the best method for eliminating increased violence.

Brione in Grade Group 1-3

The Non-Sharing War Must Stop
Lesson Learned: How to Share

When our children were young, we often found ourselves caught up in disputes when it came time for them to share. Getting them to share an apple or piece of candy inevitably resulted in one or the other child claiming that her sibling had received the larger piece of cake, more raisins, etc. This bickering even spilled over into playtime, such as when it came time to divide up Lego blocks, crayons, etc. My husband and I found ourselves having to mediate before another world war broke out.

One day, after such an instance, we decided to put this challenge to peace back into our children’s laps. From then on, when it came to share, we would allow one child to do the dividing and the other would have first choice of the divided item. "You cut; I choose" became the rule.

You would be amazed at how precise in measurement and egalitarian our children became. No more rush jobs on breaking a popsicle or an Oreo cookie. And the good thing was, for the most part, it allowed our girls to begin to problem solve and to see the value in being fair.

---
          The inability to share can be a part of sibling rivalry in some instances. It is most prevalent when the children are closer in age. The "ego" involvement dictates, "Sister or brother will not have more than me!" When these feelings are so strong that they carry over into all aspects of the children’s lives, parents must step in and be firm. The choice of "you cut/divide; I choose" is a wonderful rule. It works because it mandates fairness. The ability to share equally and fairly is also necessary for maintaining a balance outside of the immediate family.

Slam It Just One More Time
Lesson Learned: How to Lessen Door Slammin’ and Eyes Rollin’ Behavior

I would be open with my child. I’d prove to the world that all you needed was an education to rear a child. I soon learned that was only partially true. If I could just be as good as my mom. As I got older, she got wiser. My daughter once decided that she had to let me know and everyone else know whenever she was angry. So she would stomp up steps and slam doors. I also got a lot of mumbling and eyes rolling. I thought I would ignore it. I felt she needed to express herself. My mother laughed at me. "Train up a child in the way she should go and when she gets old you can be proud of her," she said. She always had these phrases "just keep a livin’ "or "you’ll understand it by and by." I thought I understood it, then. My little angel would change all by herself. She was only six years old.

My daughter, finally, pushed the button one evening. I really didn’t want to spank her. I felt that spanking would only make an angry child worse. I did realize that this behavior had to go. So I had her slam the door fifty (50) times to get her frustrations out.

Her arm was tired; my ears were shot. Yet, we both learned something. I could be her friend, but I, also, had to be her mother. Later, my mother, daughter, and I had a great debate about creative discipline. I, finally, got it. And I really began to understand what it took to discipline--creativity, guidance, and firmness.

---
          It is so very easy to reject management techniques, for example, spanking, etc., that were so effectively utilized by many African-American parents in the "olden days." Sometimes when young children misbehave, we find ourselves wondering, "What are we doing wrong? We were spanked and we’re okay!" In this approaching 21st century, some parents are finding successful alternatives to spanking, as in this scenario. This six-year-old found out that mom would deal with her negative behavior. After slamming the door fifty times, a true understanding of expected behavior was realized. Just as grandmama’s "licks" came to mind to the mother when she was a child and was tempted to misbehave. A real vision of the "sore arm" would be vivid to the six-year-old if she slammed the door again.

          Parents need not question--to spank or not to spank?--instead ask yourself, "What am I doing that is effective?" All children, especially young children, must see responsive parents/adults "upset" and "angry" at a certain behavior. When creative punishment is necessary, we still love them--not the negative behavior.