One of my favorite shows growing up was The Cosby Show. It was fresh and funny. And if you have never seen BILL COSBY HIMSELF, I highly recommend it. Because like his show, this concert can make kids, adults, and just about anybody laugh their heads off. One of the things I really loved(and still do) about The Cosby Show was the unique way they got their message across to their children. A few examples include: Denise comes home from college to visit her family and really she visits her friends instead. To make their point, the family ignores her when she is ready to leave. Message was loud and clear. Theo believes he can make it in "the real world" as most kids do. Family puts on an elaborate scheme of the "real world" where Theo must buy his food, furniture, rent his room etc. Lesson learned. The real world is harsh. Vanessa spends an evening with friends. They get drunk. Next day she is sent to school completely hungover. If that isn't punishment enough, again the folks plan an elaborate scheme. They invite her to play the same game she did the night before and do shots of brandy. Not only were they doing it, but Rudy was invited as well. Turns out the "brandy' in question was tea.
I know I don't write for a television show, and I know that they were actors in a show. But come on, those are some awesome messages!! They make the kid think. I have only managed to dish out one such message.
Emily had this nasty habit of leaving her dirty smelly socks on the table. Why she put them there I will never know. I certainly don't put MY socks there, nor does Rich. I would normally just toss them on the floor and grumble about it. But really what good is that? Sometimes if she was in the room, I would tell her not to do that. Finally, I was fed up. It was time to change things.
One night as I was clearing the table for dinner, I found her nasty socks yet again. Grrrr! child, I do not want your nasty socks on my table! Then it hit me. I need to get the message across to her that this is not where socks go. I put them on a plate and set it neatly at her usual spot. Then I called everyone to dinner. Emily was last to come to the table, which is pretty normal. She looked down at her "socks for dinner" and then gave me a very blank stare. She simply didn't know what to make of it.
"Why are there socks on my plate?" she asked.
"Well since you put them on the table, I just figured that is what you wanted to eat."I said calmly. Shock and awe.
"No." she said.
"Then please do not leave your socks on the table." And guess what? She has never done it again. I had forgotten about that day until Mama Kat's writing prompt for today brought it straight to the surface. Maybe I need to turn the tables more often. It seems a far more effective method of getting the point across. Of course, logic doesn't always work on a 4 year old!
If you would like to participate in Mama Kat's weekly prompt, go here to her site.