Discipine in reception: is sitting facing the wall a bit harsh?

(25 Posts)
herbaceous Mon 30-Sep-13 10:58:06

Hello

My PFB DS started reception three weeks ago. He seems to be enjoying it, has gained in confidence and made friends, and he loves his teachers.

Most days when I pick him up he's all smiles, though as seems typical doesn't really want to tell me what he's been doing, so I don't push it.

Last Thursday, however, he was in a right old strop, being very moody and 'challenging' all the way home, which isn't like him at all. He later told me that he'd been 'naughty', and had been made to sit in silence facing the wall by his teacher.

Obviously these things have to be taken with a pinch of salt, but from what I could gather his misdemeanour was merely not sitting down quickly enough for carpet time, and making a whooping noise.

I realise the teachers do need some form of discipline structure to keep order, but 'sitting facing the wall' seems rather harsh, and reminds me of the bad old days of dunces caps.

Before I have a gentle word with the teacher this afternoon, AIBU to think the punishment was a bit harsh for an only-just-four-year-old?

IslaValargeone Mon 30-Sep-13 11:01:11

The dunce cap was my first thought on reading your post too herbaceous.
I would probably make a 'gentle' enquiry, I don't like that as a punishment.

noblegiraffe Mon 30-Sep-13 11:03:37

Not great, although I would definitely query the truth of it with the teacher first. Maybe it was more of a time out to calm down than sitting facing the wall?

herbaceous Mon 30-Sep-13 11:05:33

Oh yes, NG, my 'word' with the teacher this afternoon is going to be more finding out what happened, than anything else. But just getting my moral stance in place!

IslaValargeone Mon 30-Sep-13 11:06:52

If you do it as a 'is there anything we need to address at home with his behaviour?' type of enquiry, then you can maybe get to the bottom of what happened.
If he did end up facing the wall you can then kick her in the foof address it appropriately.

Delayingtactic Mon 30-Sep-13 11:07:12

Hmm I'm in two minds. I would want to know the teacher's side first as it may be that your DS (naturally) has forgotten what was happening before and warnings given. It may be that it was for a brief period (which can seem like forever to a 4 yr old) as a chance for him to cool down.

I'm not much help as DS (2.5) takes himself off to either sit on the stairs or in the corner if he has a strop!

Delayingtactic Mon 30-Sep-13 11:08:36

Kick her in the foof?! Jesus she (maybe) made a kid sit facing the wall, not made the other DC point and laugh!

IslaValargeone Mon 30-Sep-13 11:09:46

I was kidding ffs!

IdreamofFairies Mon 30-Sep-13 11:11:51

i thought that facing the wall and being put in the corner was stopped in school as it can seriously damage self esteem.

definitely ask what exactly happened and if he was made to face the wall i would complain. there are plenty of more effective ways to deal with bad behavior .

WowOoo Mon 30-Sep-13 11:21:08

I've spoken with a friend of mine who has used this kind of thing in primary.
She said it was to stop the child disrupting others and to stop other children from being able to make eye contact with them, IYSWIM.

Our other friend had a 'quiet corner' where a child could calm down, have a think and also be removed from eye contact and disrupting for a minute.
It sounds nicer - but first friend had no furniture in classroom to create this physical barrier.

I don't know if it was too harsh. I know my 4 year old would be very upset at this, but it might teach him to behave and sit down as soon as he's asked. Hope your chat goes well!

herbaceous Mon 30-Sep-13 11:21:46

Well yes. If sitting facing the wall was a brief calming down measure after repeated warnings, that's one thing. If it was an instant punishment for a minor misdemeanour, that's something else.

And, I know I would say this, but he's generally very well behaved, and likely to have behaved himself on a first warning. I asked the teaching assistant on Friday what happened, and she was a bit taken aback and said she couldn't remember him going 'on the blue chair' (must be where they put the 'naughty' children), but said that sometimes the teacher will make them turn away from whatever exciting thing she's doing on the whiteboard as an extra punishment while on the chair.

So, conflicting stories all round...

herbaceous Mon 30-Sep-13 11:24:24

x-post with WowOoo. What you've described sounds like a fairly likely scenario. I'll still try and clear it up with teach, though.

I'm still finding it an odd feeling, not knowing anything about what he does for six hours a day, and how he's being treated. So much has to be left to trust...

Norudeshitrequired Mon 30-Sep-13 11:25:04

Is sitting facing the wall for a specified short period of time really much different from a parent putting a child on the naughty step?

Adikia Mon 30-Sep-13 11:27:17

Hopefully DS was just told to sit down away from the other children and be quiet because he was disrupting carpet time/messing around with another child (which being 4, hes forgotten by the time he got home) and he got stroppy so faced the wall rather than being told he had to face the wall, I'd definately check what the teachers says happened first, but if he was told to sit in silence facing the wall just because he was slow sitting down then yes that is too harsh.

DDs versions of what happened are different to what actuay happened half the time, like friday when the mean dinner lady 'stole' her pasta when actually the dinner lady cleaned it up after DD dropped it all over the floor.

fleacircus Mon 30-Sep-13 11:29:31

I'm a bit surprised that the teacher didn't mention it when you picked him up? DD was once rude to a TA while in reception, and was very upset about the incident, and TA told me about it at the end of the day - more concerned about her being upset than about her naughtiness, though. But would expect at that age to have been told straight away (or via CM if she's picking up) if behaviour was a problem.

Adikia Mon 30-Sep-13 11:33:08

sorry, cross-posted Herby, I'd be a bit worried the teacher doesn't remember it.

My DC school use cushions in a corner which they put children 'to think' about what ever happen rather a punishment, in nursery and reception.

DS was put on the thinking cushions the 2nd at nursery as he refused to wash his hands after going to the toilet. It only happened once. And normally a teacher will talk about what has happened and why they are asking said child to do something.

He was also put on them last Friday afternoon when he would put his lunch tray back. He feel asleep so they left him for 30mins then woke him up. So he was must have been tired. Mind you I bet they won't wake him again as he a right grump if woken up.

herbaceous Mon 30-Sep-13 18:06:49

Well, I asked her, and she said that yes, he had been told to sit on the carpet facing the wall to think about why he shouldn't be making loud and annoying noises during carpet time. It was for about 30 seconds. I suppose it's ok, but might ask for a rundown of their discipline techniques at the parents evening. Whenever that is.

Delayingtactic Mon 30-Sep-13 21:34:02

Isla apologies. Sense of humour failure on my part.

WowOoo Tue 01-Oct-13 11:02:47

I was wondering what she said.

Sounds fine to me. I'm sure my Ds2 will have been asked to do similar!

I made an appointment with mine and asked to have a 5 minute chat last week.
Parents evenings are always a bit rushed and in our school... Or I feel the pressure of a gathering of parents waiting outside !

kilmuir Tue 01-Oct-13 11:06:07

Not quite standing in corner with dunce hat on is it?
Sounds fine. What would you prefer her to do? Just asking as i have a DS who is 5, and time out works for him

Not sure what the problem is. Child was naughty, child was put in a "time out" situation but faced wall so not to be egged on by others or encourage others to do the same, job done. It was dealt with no need for teacher to tell you.

Lucyadams184 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:29:00

I'm not sure what I think of this, especially when you think there could be 29 other children in the class and not much space. I would just ask the teacher and see what they say.

Quangle Tue 01-Oct-13 11:36:19

sounds fine to me. Same as naughty step, isn't it?

herbaceous Tue 01-Oct-13 12:27:40

Well yes, it is the same as the naughty step, but I suppose as I'd only used that as a punishment of last resort, for hitting or some such serious 'crime', he was probably shocked at what he saw as a serious punishment for his relatively mild naughtiness.

But I guess he has to learn school has its own rules. As long as he knows what they are, and what the consequences of breaking them are, it's fine. I'd like to know too!

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