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To punish DS who is only 4.5?

(177 Posts)
andypandydulterdandy Tue 20-Sep-11 09:56:18

Ds has just started primary school, he loves it and is getting on well. He really is a lovely well behaved boy and I rarely have to tell him off, he is kind and affectionate and gets on well with his teachers and his peers.
The problem is, every day when I pick him up from school he has this small plastic toy (like a toy solider), worth nothing really, but he keeps asking can he bring it home, I have told him, "no because that does not belong to you, it belongs to the school"
Yesterday when I checked his lunch box I found the toy inside, I called him and asked him how he got there to which he replied " I don’t know, it must have got in by itself". Eventually he admitted to putting it in his lunch box because he wanted it. I explained that was stealing, which he knew full well that it was, and I told him I was also cross at him for lying to me.
He went to bed with no story last night and I took one of his Ben Ten figures off him and he won’t get it back for a week. Is this too severe? He is really sorry and we took the toy back to school today and he keeps on saying he is will be a good boy and never do it again.
Am I not giving enough, or too much punishment? I really want him to understand that stealing, no matter how small the object and lying are very wrong.

MunchkinsMumof2 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:58:50

He's 4.5 for heaven's sake, give the little lad a break! He's not going to end up a burglar because he couldn't bare to be parted from the toy soldier. I think you should pick your battles and YABU.

andypandydulterdandy Tue 20-Sep-11 10:05:41

maybe I should give the Ben ten toy back then? I really just dont want him to think that taking anything that is not your's is ok. I also want him to know that lying is wrong too. What age do i teach these lessons if not now? Maybe I am being far too harsh.

MrsPresley Tue 20-Sep-11 10:07:23

I dont you are BU. A small punishement is fine (but I feel you gave 2, no story and no toy).

Personally I would just have explained that he cant take toys, (no matter how small) that dont belong to him.

If it's something he;s really taken with, how about if he goes a whole week without taking one from school the you buy him a small bag of soldiers, you can get them for about a pound a bag.

RedOnion Tue 20-Sep-11 10:07:27

I don't think your being too harsh. 4.5 not 2.5. At school you say. Plenty old enough to start learning that actions have consequences and stealing is never acceptable. IMO if you give the toy back you are completely undermining yourself as the authority figure.

niceguy2 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:08:08

Lying & stealing is wrong and must be dealt with but perhaps a week is too harsh. But punishing him, no. You warned him, he still did it.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 20-Sep-11 10:11:54

She wasn't too harsh, she had already explained that he couldn't take the toy once, and the DC went and took it anyway, and lied about it.

YANBU, he is at school, old enough to learn!

andypandydulterdandy Tue 20-Sep-11 10:13:54

Thanks, its just the fact the he knew it was wrong and still did it and then lied about it for a good ten minutes before he admitted he put in there becasue "he wanted it"
Its not like him at all, this really is the frist time I have had to punish him he really is so good and I want to make sure im doing the right thing as he is my eldest so I am a little unsure.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 20-Sep-11 10:15:41

The only thing I'd say about a week is he might have forgotten why by the end of a week if yswim.

Nowtspecial Tue 20-Sep-11 10:15:56

Yanbu, that seems perfectly fine and age appropriate.

SenoritaViva Tue 20-Sep-11 10:16:55

I think taking away his Ben 10 figures was probably a fair punishment but I don't think it warranted not having a bedtime story either.

Aitcherella Tue 20-Sep-11 10:18:56

YANBU, you have already told him that he couldn't bring the toy home and he did so anyway. I also agree with the no story and taking the toy away; that is how I would have dealt with it here.

I think now you have told him what his punishment will be you need to stick to that, changing it will send the wrong message to him about future punishments.

Ragwort Tue 20-Sep-11 10:19:47

Agree with Nowt - and you can't backtrack now; presumably he will have a story tonight and then the Ben10 toy can be returned in a week. He stole and he lied to you; much better to deal with it strictly now and hopefully he will learn a lesson.

Hardgoing Tue 20-Sep-11 10:20:19

I think this is ok. I do think you have to come down quite hard the first time with something like stealing from school, even though they don't really think of it in those terms. I had one dd who has found it difficult to understand both taking things and telling fibs, and at around 5, I just spelt it out very firmly and it has been 100% better since then.

Ok, in hindsight maybe taking the toy for a week is a bit long, but you have said it now. He's taken the toy back to school and said sorry. Roll on the end of the week and hopefully you won't have a repeat (and it's not mean to clamp down on this now, if you don't, they will still be taking stuff or telling lies when older when it really isn't ok).

MurunBuchstansangur Tue 20-Sep-11 10:24:40

Yanbu I would have done that. The story for the lying and the toy for taking schools toy when you already told him no.

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Sep-11 10:28:12

i think it's a bit OTT actually.
i would just have made him take the figure back in and give it to the teacher.

ChristinedePizan Tue 20-Sep-11 10:32:41

I think it's OTT too. My DS went through a phase of this - I had to pat him down every time he left pre-school. I spoke to the pre-school about it and they said it was part of a transport schema rather than stealing (he would quite often bring home weird things like a bead or a domino, so not something he really wanted).

He just stopped doing it after a month or so, I think once he felt a bit more settled.

I don't believe children that age understand the concepts of stealing or lying tbh.

its done now and he sounds as if it has made an impression on him, don't mention it again but you have to follow through on keeping the figure for the week as this is what the punishment was. agree one punishment would have been enough and to be honest at that age just having to take it back and knowing mummy is disappointed was probably enough. no harm done though but think it trhough for next time something happens, I too used to overreact still do and keep the issue going far longer than it was needed, hence having grumpy teenagers who think I am a nag sad

DeWe Tue 20-Sep-11 11:04:44

You knows, lots of the children do that in year R. I'd have got him to give it back to the teacher and appologise for taking it home.

Springyknickersohnovicars Tue 20-Sep-11 11:08:43

I think you were absolutely right, can't believe you are getting YABU's. You gave him consequences and talked to him. It's not like you've stripped his room bare for a week, you took one favourite toy for a week. There was an immediate consequence, no story and you've had a talk with him to explain what he did was wrong.

All seems perfectly reasonable to me.

JIRkids Tue 20-Sep-11 11:09:02

I think you have done exactly the right thing. He won't do it again and he is sorry. Don't think about it anymore!

itisnearlysummer Tue 20-Sep-11 11:09:34

I'd also have taken it back to school and explained to the teacher (if he couldn't) what had happened and that you have talked to him about stealing.

It's often an issue with children in Reception. Both of mine did it in YR. I know that DD's teacher did a circle time on stealing and it was only an issue once.

itisnearlysummer Tue 20-Sep-11 11:10:15

Although we used the language of taking something that isn't yours rather than stealing as it means nothing to the children and is quite emotive for adults!

squeakytoy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:11:06

I think it was a fair punishment. He is old enough to know that you do not take things which do not belong to you without there being consequences. Hopefully this will be enough for him to think twice before doing it again.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 20-Sep-11 11:11:30

I would have given one punishment myself, but now that you've given 2 you shouldn't go back and give him the Ben 10 figure beck early.

These are important values to learn, and as you say if you don't teach them when the opportunity first arises when do you?


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