Sacred Things: Blue Stripe and Ralphie

"I Hope You Earn It"

Blue StripeJohn has two sacred things these days.

The first is the blue stripe on the taekwondo belt he earns by great behavior choices.

The blue stripe that is lost (ripped off like a bandaid by Mom) for poor behavior choices.

There are other colors of stripes earned, but blue is very special.

Here is the corpse of such a blue stripe, no longer on John’s belt.

It is an intervention of last resort, and hard to earn back.

The second sacred thing is a movie (A Christmas Story),

but he sort of socially stims on the “Daddy is going to kill Ralphie” part, blurting it out in public out of context.

After too many warnings, I hid the movie.

Months later, I found it and brought it out of time-out.

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Eyes of a hawk, John spotted it like the opiate it is, and begged for the movie again.

I said OK, after his list was done.

And then, suddenly, it was past bedtime on a school night.

I said, “turn it off now or I will hide it again.”

Wow.  It worked.

My favorite re-direct when John is nagging (perseverating) about something he wants:

I say, “Earn it”.

Short and sweet works quite well under this roof.

Maybe something here may help you.

Peace be with us,



I am a mom of learning differences, an educator and a former corporate warrior. I help you understand what to do to help your children with learning differences prepare for today so that they can be ready for life. I share with you all that I have learned. We always use a team to have fun and learn together.