Ella had a really bad afternoon last Friday. I don't know what got into her, but she was just awful. She was rude to me, mean to her sister - just all around awful. I ended up confining her to her room for an hour and, I'm ashamed to admit this, spanking her - just one swat on her rear to get her attention after she turned her back on me while I was talking to her.
As an aside, if I had EVER done that with my mother, life as I knew it would have ended.
So after I confined her to quarters, I called Lisa R, pretty much in tears. She assured me I wasn't a horrible mother. She also gave me some good advice, courtesy of Luke's teacher. His teacher suggested that if Luke was ever terrible, Lisa threaten to tell on him to his teacher. Mrs. Fisher said that kids that age really don't like their teachers to know that the don't behave at home.
After dinner, I decided to put it to the test. Ella was being rude, again, and I told her that I knew she would never behave that way with Mrs. Spears. She gave me a very teen-agerish eye roll. I said, "Maybe I should talk to Mrs. Spears about your behavior, to see if she has any ideas on how I can get you to be respectful at home." THAT got her attention. The look on her face was almost worth the whole afternoon of trouble. She said, "NO!" in a very high-pitched voice. So then I suggested that she pretend I was Mrs. Spears and behave like she would at school. She fled the room at that point, muttering, "Mama is mama. Mama is NOT Mrs. Spears."
Then she flew a paper airplane out of her room that said (sic all):
Werst mom ever.
Werst mom ever!
I dont love you and I am crise (it took me a while to realise she meant serious)
You are the werst mom in the yeryod! (world)
It's a good thing I have pretty thick skin these days.
I told her teacher and Luke's teacher about the threat and her response, and they both laughed. Luke's teacher cautioned me to only use it in dire circumstances or it would lose its effect. I promised her that Friday had been that dire.
But as bad as Friday was, Ella's behavior has been better since then. I hope it lasts at least a little while. I know better than to expect a permanent change.