The other week, when I was teaching at the computer club I volunteer at, I told one of the children in my computer class to turn the volume on his terminal down.
He turned it down, but less than a minute later, the volume was up again.
I asked again. The volume went down. Then up again a minute later.
“If that volume goes up again,” I said to the boy, “I will turn your computer off.”
The volume went back up. This time I gave no warning. I simply reached across and turned his terminal off at the wall.
Problem solved 😉
The boy – aged 11 – burst into tears and started to howl at the fact that the work he’d been doing had been lost.
For some reason, I had no sympathy.
Ever since, when I’ve told him to turn the volume down, it has stayed down.
Kids learn fast. They know what they can get away with – and what they can’t. I see kids come to class whose parents are virtual slaves, buying their children everything the child desires, and doing everything the child wishes. I see parents who don’t let their children do or say anything, holding such a tight rein it’s only a matter of time before the kids break free. And I see everything in between.
In any relationship with a child we need to ask who is the boss?
If the answer is the child, we’re probably getting things wrong.