A school age boy...

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1 year ago

This is the story of a school-age boy who recently learned a valuable lesson in the hardest of ways.

At their most recent conference, the boy's teacher told his parents that he was talking excessively in class and not following her directions. The parents sat him down and told him that his participation in an upcoming field trip depended on his completely solving those problems. They made it clear that they were not willing to accept a partial solution.

Several days later, the teacher reported an incident. Two days later, she reported yet another. That evening, the parents told him he wasn't going on the field trip, which was still 10 days away. As one might expect, he had a major meltdown. They stood their ground.

"For the next 10 days, " wrote his mother, "we had the best-behaved son. The teacher even asked us to change our minds, calling our attention to his greatly improved classroom behavior."

But they followed through as promised, telling me that if they hadn't, the whole exercise would have been "a joke."

The mother writes, "The respect we saw after this one hard lesson was huge. He now knows that his dad and I are on the same page and that we don't say one thing and then do something else entirely."

These parents invoked what I call the Agony Principle: Parents and teachers should not agonize over a child's misbehavior if the child is perfectly capable of agonizing over it himself.

The Agony Principle embodies the fact that children have to learn some lessons the hard way. For this little boy, this was one such lesson. Had his parents let him go on the field trip, he would have learned nothing of value. He would have learned that when he gets himself in trouble, he can get himself out of it by playing contrite. He would have learned, in short, to be manipulative, to play games. Instead, he learned that when his parents lay down the law, he needs to pay close attention.

as socrates example qouted here

Socrates says:

When I was young I did not like to get up early, and my mother hated this behavior of me because she dreamed of seeing me one day as a rich merchant.

And one day my mother went with me to the teacher to tell me the benefits of getting up early.

• Teacher: Socrates, I will tell you a beautiful story, and you will tell me what did you gain from it, okay?

Socrates: All right!

• The teacher: There were two birds, one of which woke up early and ate insects and fed his young, and the second woke up late and could not find anything to eat... What did you learn from the story, Socrates?!

Socrates:

Insects that get up early are eaten by birds."

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