Tonight was the first meeting in a while that I actually enjoyed!! Twelve of my thirteen girls were there, and for the most part, they behaved. Plus, there were some classic grossed out reactions to our main topic of the evening: worms.
First, though, we started with our behavior/rule/consequences/rewards schpiel. My #1’s mom was there tonight, and I’m fairly sure she caught the drift (which is great). I reiterated behaving appropriately and to not jump on the silly bandwagon even if someone else is.
I went over what rules we came up with at the last meeting and asked if everyone thought they were fair. All agreed. I added that any adult/parent helping is someone who is in a position of authority, and that if they ask you to calm down, you need to listen. One of the girls made a comment along the lines of self-policing, and I ran with that to say that if someone was being silly, that you could ask them (politely) to knock it off. I stressed the importance of politeness and manners during this.
Our rules (I will…):
- …keep my uniform/clothes and shoes on.
- …keep my hands to myself.
- …be quiet when someone else is talking.
- …pay attention to the meeting.
We also talked about consequences. This went mostly how I had hoped it would go, but with one fairly significant change in the third punishment. I wanted to call the girl’s parents and have them take her home, but only half of the girls thought that was fair. There were a few who started to tentatively put their hands up, but that had a “everyone else is doing it, so we should too even if we don’t like it” feel. So, I asked them to come up with some ideas. Several hit upon a time-out, but that is our second consequence. I didn’t call it that, so the girls didn’t make the connection at first.
- Verbal warning.
- A time-out (probably around 5 minutes in length – I phrased it as time away from the group in order to calm down and re-focus).
- Sitting out for the remainder of the meeting.
That last one was decided on by the girls. I am perfectly fine with it, though I will add my own thing to it in that I will speak with the parent about the girl’s behavior and ask that they stay at the next meeting.
And finally – rewards. The girls loved the idea of a sticker chart. We have five meetings left, and at the end they will get a prize. The girls decided on the 4 of 5 stickers in order to get the prize. They’re some tough cookies. I would have been fine with 3 of 5. One thing I did forget to do was to ask them if they want the chart to be where everyone can see it, or if they want it to be more private.
Two of the girls ended up in a time-out tonight (not really surprising to me), so they won’t get any stars for this meeting. The one girl who as absent, I will do a 3 of 4 stars for her since it wouldn’t be fair to hold her accountable for a meeting she wasn’t at.