It’s Sunday, so this really shouldn’t be the title of my post, but it fits so well. I thought of the title as I sat, in all places, in a church in Boston. I recently read an article about that children’s book, “Go the F*** to Sleep”, and I think it left an impression on me. 🙂
What would make me think of “Sit your a** down!”, in the middle of the service? A little girl. The priest asked the children to sit in the front while he preached. Her mom allowed her go to the front of the church with her brother. The first time I saw her, she was running a lap around the church. “Thump, thump, thump!” Running, not skipping, jogging, a light trot, running around the church! Her mother sat in the pew, watching, along with the other distracted parishioners. Her mother grabbed her the first time around and attempted to keep her in the pew. The girl resisted and her mom gave her an incentive (bribe?) to encourage her to sit down.
After thirty seconds of kicking and screaming, the child was off again, this time with goldfish crackers in hand. Thump,thump, thump!, another lap until she reached the front of the church, where she plopped her body down in front of the priest. She didn’t sit long, and did another lap until she reached her mother. The mom tried again, this time, giving her a bottle, and then she took off to complete another lap around the church. For the next 15 minutes, the little girl ran around, only to stop at her mother’s pew, deceiving her into believing that this time she would sit down.
I was able to tune them out eventually, but this scene resonated in my head as I left the church. What is going to happen to this little girl when it is time for her to attend school? Is this why the education system has become a “If you do this, I will give you…?” The sad part is that even with the bribes, the little girl did not sit down. She kicked, and screamed, and went on her merry way, the mother making no effort to stop her once she left the pew.
Is it a wonder that our students come to school with little respect for authority? What a huge shock to the system when a child enters a school, and they have no choice but to follow the rules. I’m sure we have all encountered students like this. And yes, I know from experience, how difficult it is to keep a child still, or to get them to do what we want, whether it’s in the church or in the classroom. But we have to do it, we have to prepare our children to go outside of the home, or the classroom, and follow the rules. Teachers can’t compound the problem by throwing candy, or the latest incentive or bribe, at them to get the response we want.
Of course, I would not use those words at any child, there are certainly alternatives. But if someone wrote a satirical children’s book about children who run around when they’re not supposed to, , I think “Sit Your A** Down!” would be an excellent title!:)