Tag Archives: discipline

Raising Carmen Miranda

Carmen MirandaMy first conversation upon returning home Monday afternoon:

“Hey, Vivi.  How was your day?”

She looked up from the couch where she was engrossed in a Hardy Boys mystery.  Her pink sneakers lay on the floor beside a pile of dirty socks.

“Um…it was pretty good…but I got a red.”  That’s the system in her class–everyone starts the day on green then moves to orange or blue for good choices or yellow then red for bad choices.

I’ve given up on making a big deal about the color of the day, because most days she’s on green.  Last Friday was an orange day.  Today, red–tomorrow, who knows?  We focus instead on the chain of events that led to the result and recognizing the moments when she has the chance to determine which way it will go.

“So how did that happen?”  I asked her, while rubbing her back.  G came in the room and listened in.

“Well………” she popped her finger out of her mouth–she still sucks on her finger when she’s tired or lost in a book.  “I was on yellow then I went red.”

“I understand that, but usually red happens after several bad choices.  Can you remember what happened before you went to red?”

“Um….I got too rambunctious doing the conga.”


G’s shoulders were shaking at this point.  I tried to keep a straight face but I turned to him in all seriousness and said, “This is ALL on you.  That’s your half of the genes, Senor.  No one in my family has ever been chastised for excessively exuberant conga dancing.”

Now, if she ever gets sent home on red for unbridled square dancing…that will be my half of the genes.   

There are some days when parenting makes me want to throw my hands in the air and shake my body like I just don’t care.  



P.S.:  I know that Carmen Miranda was more famous for her samba, the Brasilian dance.  The conga originates from Cuba.  But first graders don’t samba.  It’s not on the CRCT until third grade.