Friday, January 21, 2011

All Statistics 100% Accurate

I want to talk about discipline for a minute, primarily because it is the one thing that wears me out the most. I'm going to throw out some very real sounding, possibly believable, statistics here, which are completely based on fact my own observations of others' children. These fact-like statistics refer only to the toddler set because I realize the tables with turn 'round about....3rd grade.

Roughly 3% of boys are born well-behaved. These are the boys who talk in an inside voice, play quietly with toys in the manner in which the manufacturer intended, and will sit and look at books, marveling at the illustrations, perhaps making meaningful connections to other literature they have enjoyed. The other 97% of boys are cave people. Of this 97%, approximately half are forced into civilized behavior via militaristic means of discipline while the other half are left to retreat back down the evolutionary chain with wild abandon. You never see a boy who is just "kind of bad sometimes". They are either cave people, soldiers, or the rare natural born perfection. (I've only met one of these in real life. It was like watching a member of an endangered species at the zoo.)

Then there are kids like mine who are still in the boot camp phase of their military training. This phase means that they are 37%-68% cave people, a range depending on variables such as the phase of the moon, the proximity to the witching hour (4-6pm, coincides with Happy Hour. Coincidence? I think not.), and the amount of appropriately scheduled sleep the caveman has received.

Personally, my goal is to have the well-trained soldier, but getting there is an uphill battle during the toddler years. Those wise folks with older children tell me that the final result is worth it if you can survive living in sergeant mode for 4-5 years, and I have to admit that those trained soldiers were always, always the ones I coveted on my homeroom roster.

And so, this is how I spend my days. Training, training, training. Redo, fix, try again. Do it until you get it right. Use a napkin! Say please! Are you going to miss that privilege? Wipe that up! Slow down! Mouth closed! Hands where I can see them! Not for climbing! We DO NOT wipe that on there! Walking feet! Hospital corners! Okay, just kidding about that one. Mostly. I do fancy a nicely-made bed.

What about those other kids?

Well, I didn't mention the girls, but 92% of toddler girls are born gentle creatures, playing with toys as the manufacturer intended, and traveling in a socially appropriate manner from one destination to the next. Sadly, for those parents, their time is coming. Later on, when our cave people are properly militarized, their girls are going to start with the attitude, the drama, and the friend-slaying. Pray for them.

In case you wanted an overview of the remainder of the decades-long follow up studies, here's how it breaks down. The half of the 97% of cave people who are left untrained become the kids I don't want in my classroom, to say the least. As for their effect on society, it varies. Roughly 25% of that crowd become the bad boys that girls love. 9% become class clowns, 31.61% become various forms of hooligan, criminal, or social misfit. My extensive and detailed research has indicated that the aforementioned original 3% of boys who were born well-behaved is probably going to get beat up by the 31.61% of trouble I just mentioned.

Nine plus one....carry the the five...that adds to.... bygones. These stats are sound. I've got a whip to crack.


Carrie said...

You'll like 5.  It is so nice to have a well trained child.  Well worth it.  Your time is coming!  I'd say mine is perfectly civilized 94% of the time.

Betty Welch said...

I agree with your statistics. Except I have a daughter that fits into the caveman group. I actually think she fits into the hooligan, criminal, or social misfit group. Developed the bipolar disorder which she now uses as her excuse for everything she does - fights, steals from mom but never dad, burns through friends like a hot flame burns through wood. My other two children are well behaved, outstanding citizens.