Matthew has been having another very successful school year. He is once again paired with the TA he had last year and in grade 3. She’s fantastic! Her and I share a similar philosophy when it comes to dealing with Matthew (which annoys him at times) but it makes life a whole lot easier that we are not only on the same page, but at times also on the same LINE! LOL
About two months ago Matthew really started to complain – about everything! He would whine and complain even if there was nothing to whine and complain about. I think he was doing it just to hear himself talk. I have no doubt that teenage hormones have kicked in somewhat and he’s been behaving like this “just because”. Well I guess his TA and his teacher had enough of it and decided to take matters into their own hands!
Matt’s teacher this year is a younger guy who is currently in his first year of full-time teaching. He is a professional boxer and an all-round athlete. Many times since September he has incorporated self-discipline and control into his teachings in the classroom. He is very much for his students and does what has to be done – he teaches outside the box which I think is awesome! He has tried to “toughen up” Matt and get him more involved in social “horseplay” and teaching him how to carry-on within his peer groups. When they would attend school skating, his teacher would start chasing Matt around the rink and “check” him into the boards – just hard enough to get Matt’s juices flowing. So now Matthew is on a mission!! He WILL catch Mr. McCarthy and he WILL check him into the boards “if it’s the last thing I do!” At the ski hill Matthew has also worked very hard to advance so he could go to other hills and “show Sir that I can do it!!”
Back to the whining and complaining… Mr. McCarthy decided that Matthew would lose a minute of recess for each time through the day the he complained about something or whined. He told Matt that he really didn’t want that because for each minute that he lost Mr. McCarthy would use him as a punching bag!! LOL (Not literally of course, but he didn’t have to know that and I was made aware of this plan from the get-go…LOL) In addition to this they started some “Positive Attitude Coaching” with him. As an athlete, Mr McCarthy has a discipline that comes in very handy in all aspects of life so he’s been working really hard with Matt over the last week or so to develop this new attitude.
I can’t believe the difference we have seen in such a short time!! Last weekend there wasn’t once that I had to ask Matt twice to do something or get after him about the way he spoke to me, his father or his brother. It was the best weekend!! This new-found positive attitude flowed over into this week as well. Monday morning was a joy in our house! That NEVER happens! Neither Matt or I are morning people but seeing as he was trying soooooooo hard to be positive and not cranky I jumped on board too! Guess what?? It worked!! A positive attitude is quite contagious, actually! When everyone is pleasant life rolls along a whole lot more smoothly!
I made sure that I wrote a note in Matt’s scribbler for his teacher and TA to let them both know just how much of a difference we have seen in him this past week. Whatever they are doing – it’s so totally working!! Matthew has responded in a huge way and the change in attitude has been amazing! Even the other teachers and staff members at the school have noticed a improvement and Matt’s grandparents have commented as well.
To those of you reading this who are directly involved in the life of a child – taking a moment to “connect” with a child can make all the difference in the world! You all have such a lasting impression on young minds and something as simple as “positive attitude coaching” can make a dramatic influence with how a child reacts to life in general.
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it – we have been so fortunate with the team we have working with Matthew! There have been so many people who have gone over and above the call of duty to assist him it’s unbelieveable.
Even though I am getting anxious about his journey to junior high school come September and the introduction of new team members I am becoming more confident that everything will be ok. Of course we’ll continue to have bumps but the foundation is strong. Matthew has been doing a fantastic job and continues to make me proud.
As always, he’s my hero.
Until next time…