Was DD punished appropriately?

(59 Posts)
IvyFoy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:34:26

My DD is in Yr2, and yesterday, she and other pupil were awarded with (much desired) Headteacher Awards in assembly. However, on the way, my DD had spied the names on the certificates and tipped the other recipicent off that he was to receive an award. This boy told teacher that my DD had pre-warned him so Teacher called her over before home time and told her that her certificate would be withdrawn until tomorrow as punishment.

DD is as good as gold and never gets told off. It took me until the early hours to prize out the story amidst inconsolable tears and nightmares. To make matters worse, it was her party after school and it was basically ruined by the days events. It's not so much about not having the award, more about the severity of the punishment that has hit her badly. She's a very sensitive child.

Spoke to TA first thing as Teacher was in meeting. Do you think I should speak to Teacher about the incident? Any teachers out there who can help?

drinkyourmilk Fri 01-Feb-13 12:35:39

I think that's harsh. She didn't do anything wrong as far as I can see.

Feenie Fri 01-Feb-13 12:39:00

(Teacher here) Awwww, that's mean. Yes, I would talk to the class teacher, that's not fair at all.

FelicityWasCold Fri 01-Feb-13 12:39:25

It took me until the early hours to prize out the story amidst inconsolable tears and nightmares.

Really? Nightmares? Because a teacher said she had to wait a day before taking her certificate home? really hmm

To make matters worse, it was her party after school and it was basically ruined by the days events.

If your daughters party was ruined by a quick telling off and not being allowed to take a certificate home (which btw is not a days worth of events, it's less than ten minutes...). Well. I'm baffled really.

Also you cannot expect school to allow her to behave however she wants just because of her after school plans- that way anarchy lies.

It's not so much about not having the award, more about the severity of the punishment that has hit her badly.

Am I missing something severity ? She'll be bringing it home tomorrow...

She's a very sensitive child.

If this is true she certainly is. How are you helping her get over this?

Catsdontcare Fri 01-Feb-13 12:39:53

Can see why the teacher was annoyed, but tbh it's the sort of thing you'd expect from a 6/7 year old. I think the teacher could have had a stern word about spoiling surprises and left it at that. She may want to consider keeping the certificates out of sight in future. There was a mistake on her part too.

Catsdontcare Fri 01-Feb-13 12:41:19

I do agree with felicity though that it's not something to ruin a party over and I think I would leave it now as speaking to the teacher over dramatises it more.

perceptionreality Fri 01-Feb-13 12:43:07

I also think this is harsh. Why should anyone be punished for this? She did nothing wrong as far as I can see.

DeWe Fri 01-Feb-13 12:43:52

I would say that it's more the problem of the teacher who left it where a child can read it.

But I wouldn't call it an especially severe punishment. If they'd said she wasn't going to get it after all, yes, complain, but to hold it to tomorrow isn't that bad.
For what it's worth, the other little boy might have been upset to be told before. For one of mine, it was the anticipation and the surprise when she got it was at least part of the excitement of receiving it. The other one would have been the one telling wink

I might point out that if they want to keep things like that a secret then they do need to keep them in an envelope or something.
One of mine was renowned for reading stuff off teacher's desks and stuff, occasionally confidential. blush Luckily she's quite a descrete child and didn't usually tell anyone except me.
And yesterday ds came out in tears, and the TA came and told me rather embarrassed that he'd read something he shouldn't have seen, and discovered that something he was looking forward to was cancelled. In these things it was definitely seen as the issue was with the school, not with him for reading them.

Pancakeflipper Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:32

I think the punishment was a little OTT and your DD's reaction was rather OTT. I know she is sensitive but I think you might need to help her to learn to brush somethings off in life.

evertonmint Fri 01-Feb-13 12:50:45

Felicity - I would have probably reacted like that as a 7yo. I hated being told off more than anything, esp when I was in the wrong so knew i'd messed up, and would be inconsolable. I'm better as an adult but still feel sick when I do something minor like that! A big part of it for me was very high expectations of behaviour and standards from my dad. He wouldn't punish me but his disappointment would be clear and I hated disappointing him. It's taken me a long time to understand that, and I still struggle with disappointing people now over minor things.

OP - teacher might have been a bit harsh, but I don't think any good comes of asking about this. The certificate will still be awarded to your DD. Celebrate that with her and move on. If you dwell on it you will probably make her more upset. She needs to just move on. You might also want to consider why she is so sensitive about telling off, in case it's something about how you handle it. She may just be sensitive, but maybe she hates disappointing her parents like I did, maybe she is picking up on the standards you set for her? In which case definitely don't dwell or make a big deal of it as that will make it worse for her. I'm not saying that is it, but I now know that is why I reacted so badly to being told off and why I was sensitive.

AmberSocks Fri 01-Feb-13 13:00:04

bastards

she is what,6 or 7?

I would be asking them to apologize to her actually.Its their own bloody fault they should of made sure no one could see.

wheresthebeach Fri 01-Feb-13 13:14:00

I think its mean of the teacher. At the same time teaching your DD to move on and enjoy an event rather than let a telling off ruin everything sounds like a priority to me!

Floggingmolly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:32:28

The teacher was just making a point, fgs! Inconsolable tears and nightmares, plus her party being "ruined" because she had to wait a day for her certificate makes her sound like a right prima donna, tbh.

plainjayne123 Fri 01-Feb-13 13:54:53

These things are very important to young children, my dd would also have been devastated and the punishment was mean and vindictive

Startail Fri 01-Feb-13 13:55:25

She's a year two
In my experience getting very upset at perceived unfairness by adults or other DCs is very common at that age.

Y1 and Y2s have a very black and white view of the world and a very clear interpretation of the rules.

They also find accepting being told off very difficult, many DCs that age will still lie to get out of trouble, when there is no possibility of success.

OPs DD got an unexpected punishment for a non crime at home time after a nice day, when excited about her party.

My DD2 would have been very upset too!

DD1 would have shrugged and thought Miss is clearly having a bad day, but DD1 was born understanding that adults have feelings and are sometimes just as illogical as children.

Most DCs don't totally get this until Y5 or later.

lljkk Fri 01-Feb-13 13:58:21

It's unfair but as an aside... I do feel so envy envy of people whose DC are that upset by a minor telling off / punishment. They must be so easy to reason with and persuade to cooperate with you

DoctorAnge Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:11

poor girl, that is very harsh, quite spiteful actually.

LadyBigtoes Fri 01-Feb-13 14:08:55

What is wrong with some teachers!? I just don't get why this is seen as bad behaviour of any kind. Yes, the DD sounds sensitive and the punishment is not that bad, but why punish at all? Because of the certificates being visible, she knew about it ahead of time anyway. All she did was tell the other boy, who blabbed to the teacher. If I was that teacher, I would have said "REALLY? She's even cleverer than I thought!" or some such and laughed it off.

And all over an award that presumably is about her achievements and/or good conduct in general. hmm Way to ruin it!

I would probably mention it to the teacher informally and say how very upset DD was and how you're not sure why what she did was wrong. I would try to be gentle and calm about it and hopefully help the teacher to see they don't have to be mean with a child like your DD to get good behaviour from them.

Lostonthemoors Fri 01-Feb-13 14:12:27

I can totally see why she was upset:

Presumably she was bursting with pride at getting the certificate and running out of school with it to show her mum and dad.

She excitedly told her classmate he was getting an award too, seeing nothing wrong in this.

She had a lovely assembly and was so happy.

Then everything crashed down when from feeling appreciated and praised she was unexpectedly told she had done something wrong and wasn't allowed to take her certificate home.

I used to be a brownie leader and would never have done anything like this. Teacher is either mean, or was having a bad day.

I would:

Tell dd you understand why she was upset

Try to explain why teacher was cross - was meant to be a surprise, shouldn't tell surprises or look at things only meant for teacher's eyes

Tell her it doesn't spoil your pride in her getting the certificate and she should be very proud of it

Maybe arrange a call/visit to doting family member who can coo over certificate?

Don't bother speaking to the school unless she's still upset over the weekend or they mention it again

trinity0097 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:38:52

I personally think that this is totally appropriate. Young children have to learn that they have to respect the belongings of adults, and that it is not appropriate to find things out before the time (fast forward a few years, would it be OK for the child to sneak a peek at their GCSE exams before they do them?). Children get told off at school if they do things that are not acceptable. Some children don't do 'bad' things often and get more upset at being told off and having a consequence than the actual event if that makes sense. The child in question was probably upset etc most because they realised that they did something bad and had a consequence and was upset with themselves.

Owzat Fri 01-Feb-13 14:41:11

Agree with lostonthemoors.

Very harsh, and such a shame as she did nothing wrong.

I wouldn't talk to the school, but I would try to encourage your daughter to place less value on rewards / punishments, afterall they say more about the teacher and the school than they do about the children. Being appreciated by loved ones is much more important than being noticed at school. smile

I feel for your DD.

My DS1 (8) is a bit of a goody goody, and on the very rare occasion he has been told off, he does find it incredibly upsetting. eg he went to friend's house and parents' room had just been decorated, and the children got muck on the walls. My friend was cross and got all children out of the bedroom, but didn't overreact....fast forward a couple of weeks and he was invited round again. cue massive paddy...was worried he would get in trouble again.

DS2 (6) wouldn't have been that bothered at all. In fact I think he was there that day too.

I think the teacher overreacted totally. A quiet word afterwards saying that it was meant to be a surprise etc would have ben more appropriate.

Not sure that you shoudl say anything though - I suppose it depends on how your DD calms down.

NutellaNutter Fri 01-Feb-13 14:51:31

I also think the punishment was overly harsh. Something like that would utterly crush a sensitive and anxious child. I can't believe the people here saying she should just 'man up'. She's a little girl FFS. Anxious children need to be treated with kindness. Bully for you if you or your own children aren't anxious. I was a very anxious child and actually lost patches of my hair when I was doing the 11+, and on other occasions wouldn't be able to eat if I was really worried about something.

I'm sure she wouldn't have had any idea that what she was doing could be construed as bad. I definitely think you should have a word with the teacher. The teacher needs to have a reassuring chat with her and tell her she's not in the bad books or anything. Let us know how it goes!

momb Fri 01-Feb-13 14:55:38

I can understand her being upset and keeping it from you if she was ashamed of getting in trouble but how you handle the incident now will go a long way to making her able to handle the next telling off better.
Don't minimise it, just tell her that the teacher has dealt with it and now she has her certtificate you can celebrate and forget all about the upset, as long as she remembers the lesson about not telling secrets/spoiling surprises. Congratulations on her certificate, She must be very pleased.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 01-Feb-13 14:55:43

hmm at 'not appropriate to find things out before the time' - maybe the adult should be punished for 'carelessly revealing information ahead of time'?

Poor kid, unless there is an actual rule that your daughter knew about and broke, that head sounds like he is majorly over-reacting. I would complain.

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