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  1. #1
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    Default DS (5.5 yrs) mentioned a violent word at school

    A couple of week ago, I was told a couple of times by DS' teacher that DS was not on his good behaviour twice within two weeks (not sitting down when he was told to, he got distracted during story time and other school work, at recess he showed he was unpleasant after being told off by his teacher by throwing his hat around the playground and in the end he was not allowed to play and he got his reward chart suspended from the list.

    This lasted for week, I think around the time before he got the his reward chart reinstated he was still upset knowing that he didn't have his reward chart, he told his classroom teacher that if she didn't put his reward chart back up he'd bring his toy gun (meaning he wants to show he is brave enough to threaten her to put it back up now or else). Well the mention of the gun probably shocked the entire staff and was brought up to the principal last week which was followed up by a call from the principal to myself today.

    I already KNEW DS said that 'gun' word because DS told me the story himself one day after school. He said "i told mrs xx that if u didnt put my name back in the chart i'd bring my toy gun". To my horror, i replied" What did your teacher say then???".... he said to me "she said nothing".
    DS always tells me his daily stories at school and he is good at recapping his school activities. So I said that to the principal that I was already aware and it was DS himself who told me that! I told him DS was actually referring it to his toy gun but the meaning behind it is still scary and I'm afraid that might happen again considering that who knows how many times he'd get upset over things like that throughout his life and might do it for real!!

    DS isn't particularly a polite, shy or naive boy. He is quite active with a stubborn personality but he is never rude, doesn't know any swear words, and doesn't watch any violence (he hates bloody scenes if that happens to come out on TV for a sec). It is so unfortunate that he knows that guns can hurt and threaten people. We hardly watch TV at home and his favourite in ipad is watching lego reviews and this annoying US youtube channel that the whole family review unnecessarily many toys which DS always requests me to buy those toys for him (I ignore him lol).

    I feel bad for his school now that we seem like a bad family. I know they are very understanding and he is only in Kindy. To be honest, he is a better boy at school because he thrives in the routine at school. At home he only has little routines, because it's mostly our fault that we never implement good routines inside the house and thus I always have troubles directing him at home (initially I wanted to give him lots of freedom at home, but I didnt realise that young kids thrive better in good routines). I think it's because of our lack of routines and discipline that occasionally DS does silly thing at school thinking he could get away with it.

    Anyway, whilst I can handle DS not to repeat the same mistake again, but I just want to know how many parents out there who in their lives have dealt with serious concerns at school? Never in my wildest dreams that one day I'd get summoned to the school seeing my own child branded as violent.

    Feel like want to dig a hole and hide, but life must go on and learn from our past mistakes. . Just want to add, the school we go to actually have great parent-teacher communication system, so I really appreciate that they got in touch with me in regards to DS's situation. It's better to know something than not knowing at all. I take this as a chance to work together to educate my kid together. However, I think I should still be worried though that a 5 year old can casually 'threaten' someone
    Last edited by bunnymum; 14-03-2016 at 20:18.

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    Default DS (5.5 yrs) mentioned a violent word at school

    With my teacher hat on, I think this situation has been mishandled tbh.

    First of all, for young boys in particular, reward charts can be very effective motivational tools (as long as the rewards are regular enough to be worthwhile). Removing it altogether for something that I as a teacher would call a secondary behaviour (throwing his hat) for a kindy child seems like overkill to me.

    I think yard misbehaviour should be dealt with at playtime and not carried over into class (not counting physical violence of course).

    Secondly, I can see why you'd feel alarmed at the gun comment, but what your son was trying to express that he was angry and felt that the teacher had done the wrong thing. He just didn't have the right language. Instead of saying nothing and taking it as far as the principal, I believe the teacher should have

    A) strongly stated there is to be no gun talk in the classroom
    B) acknowledged that he must be feeling angry or upset about something and tried to elicit a response
    C) role-played some ways that he could have expressed his feelings and affirmed that he has a voice in his classroom and a right to express how he feels but it has to be in an appropriate way
    D) given him an opportunity to persuade her to reinstate his rewards chart.

    Honestly, from his point of view he has nothing now to justify bothering to try to behave, and a week is a long time for a little boy.

    Please don't feel embarrassed or upset. This is a learning opportunity for your son that hasn't been taken up by his teacher. Perhaps you could have some of these conversations at home with him, and help him find some other words to use when he is angry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    With my teacher hat on, I think this situation has been mishandled tbh.

    First of all, for young boys in particular, reward charts can be very effective motivational tools (as long as the rewards are regular enough to be worthwhile). Removing it altogether for something that I as a teacher would call a secondary behaviour (throwing his hat) for a kindy child seems like overkill to me.

    I think yard misbehaviour should be dealt with at playtime and not carried over into class (not counting physical violence of course).

    Secondly, I can see why you'd feel alarmed at the gun comment, but what your son was trying to express that he was angry and felt that the teacher had done the wrong thing. He just didn't have the right language. Instead of saying nothing and taking it as far as the principal, I believe the teacher should have

    A) strongly stated there is to be no gun talk in the classroom
    B) acknowledged that he must be feeling angry or upset about something and tried to elicit a response
    C) role-played some ways that he could have expressed his feelings and affirmed that he has a voice in his classroom and a right to express how he feels but it has to be in an appropriate way
    D) given him an opportunity to persuade her to reinstate his rewards chart.

    Honestly, from his point of view he has nothing now to justify bothering to try to behave, and a week is a long time for a little boy.

    Please don't feel embarrassed or upset. This is a learning opportunity for your son that hasn't been taken up by his teacher. Perhaps you could have some of these conversations at home with him, and help him find some other words to use when he is angry.
    This.

    Brilliant as usual, @harvs.

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    Yep, my response would be pretty much the same as Harvs. Complete overkill for that kind of behaviour from a 5 year old. He's 5. The teacher/school should be reaffirming boundaries and appropriate behaviour, but also assuring your son that they're aware of and value his feelings. A 5 year old doesn't need to be punished for being a kid, but guided in how to behave appropriately.

    Kids are going to make mistakes, and that's fine...that's how they learn. The response is what matters. This seems more like a punitive rather than a productive response.

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    OP what did you do when your son told you what he did? If you were stuck for ideas I think some of Harv's suggestions could be partially applicable at home. As a minimum I would get rid of toy weapons from your house.

    As for the school I would be asking them to put their money where their mouth is. Don't just tell you the problems - document your DS's triggers and work with you on real solutions.

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    Hi Harvs, thanks for your encouragement. During the week DS was still waiting for his reward charts to be back up in the "smiley' board, he kept reporting me back after school that "my name isn't back in that smiley face yet" (the wallpaper where they stick up everyone's reward charts). Now I can imagine how devastated he must have felt. I must admit though that the disciplined worked on him that he didn't really do his silly behaviour anymore. He did a silly thing once more after that, but was given a warning instead. However, I did talk to him again that he needed to follow rules and instructions if he didn't want to see his teacher got upset and his reward charts taken down. I have not had the courage to mention about the "gun" word incident yet to DS in case I've reminded him again the "gun" word and he'd use it casually. The only thing I said to him is whenever he feels upset he should say things in nice way... I will find an opportunity to see whether DS still uses the gun word as he pleases or not then have a talk with him to use nicer words. It's good though that I'm on top of things of DS school situation as DS is so great in reporting things back at me . Maybe one thing I should have done is that I should have come up to his teacher after knowing DS mentioned the word "gun" and told her I , too, was concerned with his choice of word and to see what his teacher's reactions and solutions would have been.

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    Vicpark, I quickly said to DS, "what did your teacher say then?" with a disbelief in my face that a 5 yo can threaten someone using the gun word. When he said his teacher said 'nothing' then I just somehow let it go, or or it just didn't occur in my mind what I should have done! I didn't know what to do basically.

    But as I just mentioned in earlier reply to harvs, I regretted I didn't act sooner. I should have come up to his teacher and said did you notice my son said 'gun' to you.

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    Default DS (5.5 yrs) mentioned a violent word at school

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing - yes you absolutely should have proactively approached the teacher about this - especially if you thought the punishment system was unfair.
    And spoken to your DS at the time of disclosure about the inappropriateness of his behavior. And removed any toy weapons from the house.
    Last edited by VicPark; 15-03-2016 at 04:52.

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    I don't have any practical advice but wanted you to know that you're not alone. My 7 yo DSS has done some horrendous things at school. I used to think only children from 'bad families' (in my pre-child thinking!) behaved this way but DF and his ex are great parents and have been proactively trying to manage DSS's with the school for a while.

    Anyway no tips here but your son definitely isn't the first and won't be the last child from a loving home who acts up at school. Please try not to feel ashamed!

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    Thank for the advice everyone. It would have been better if I was the one who came up to the teacher if I had been aware of that gun word that day (which I did realise, but didn't sink into me soon enough), not that I would ask her to reinstate his reward chart ( I will not try to tell someone to do their job properly), but funny how she didn't even come up to me personally and tell me about the 'gun' word.

    I don't mind having a chat with the principal if things like this re-occuring, but i just feel bad for the principal that he gets to close the deal, just like your salesperson cannot sell anything, yet you have to go down to the floor and do the sales yourself (and you have 101 million things to manage at the school) - nothing wrong with principal proactively caring about us.... but still, from this day forward, what am I gonna say to the teacher if I see her everyday, should I bring up that 'gun' topic anymore whilst both of us know "we've been to the principal" lol


 

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