Thursday, August 25, 2011

Card Language

Like 'sign language,' only different.  More literal.  As in pieces of paper that signify something.

Please Understand Me II
When it comes to relationships, including discipline, I am a doormat softy.  According to the personality test and additional pin-pointing surveys in the very interesting and in-depth book, Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey, with the rest of 1% of the world's population, I have the personality type referred to as a "Therapist."  I am a romantic who sees possibilities. I am a listener and encourager.  I am empathetic to a fault.   And, I HATE conflict.  Hate to be in it, hate to have it around me, and will avoid it like the plague. (I may also worry about getting the plague...)  So keeping everyone happy is my goal, and it's a pretty impossible task.  

It's also impossible to keep from making people unhappy, while also adequately disciplining sometimes argumentative or distracted children.  In the attempt to keep the peace between each child and myself, I was allowing some behaviors to get out of hand, resulting in an unpeaceful home, in general, with less respect among the members, and less cooperation with rules, chores, etc.

Thankfully, a new interest around our home and amongst most of the children opened my eyes to a new approach. The kids recently learned and developed a strong passion for soccer.  They discuss the play, the skills, the rules...and the penalties.  Since soccer has discipline they apparently respect,  I decided to take a cue from that activity and make sporting discipline of our lives in the home.

Soccer Referee Kit
Maybe I need the whistle, too!
The referee in a game of soccer hands out yellow and red cards to players guilty of infractions.  Which color they get depends on the level of the broken rule...Yellow is a warning card, and red is more serious. 

Prince Inventive said he was tempted to buy me an official referee's set of cards.  This showed me the kids were having a little fun with this new system, and 'getting into it.'  That definitely helps with willing cooperation and good attitudes about abiding to the rules.

I do think having an actual set of cards would help me.  After a few weeks, I find myself too readily slipping back into coercion and multiple reminders.  Flashing a card will eliminate the need for discussion, and will help limit my temptation to 'soften the blow' with warnings, when it's time for action instead.

This is a copy of what I gave the kids in explanation.  The black writing is the actual soccer rule, and the purple is the extra clarification for application to home life:

Red Cards – 3 days no computer, limited activities
1.                 Serious foul play (a violent foul) – Blatant disobedience
2.                 Violent conduct (any act of physical violence)
3.                 Spitting at anyone – Disrespecting parents
4.                 A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area – Not doing a job so others are kept from doing theirs.
5.                 Committing an offence that denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (informally known as a professional foul)   Preventing someone from being successful at a task or accomplishment
6.                 Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures, including but not limited to certain distasteful words, but also name-calling, trash-talking, mean sarcasm directed at person/people  Anything that’s anti- Ephesians 4: 29
7.                 Receiving a second caution (yellow card) in one game – For one instance or one day.  Also, forgetting card restrictions.

Yellow Cards - 1 day no computer and limited activities
8.              Unsporting behaviour – Anti family support statements or behavior
9.              Dissent by word or action – Being asked more than once to do a job
10.          Persistently infringing the laws of the game – Questioning, arguing
11.          Delaying the restart of play – Skipping or delaying chores
12.          Failing to respect the required distance of a corner kick or free kick – Making more work for others
13.          Entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission – Forgetting rules/penalties regarding TV and computer use the first time
14.          Deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission Not finishing a task as assigned, or wandering away in the midst of a job

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