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To think it's wrong you get punished more for being naughty?

(49 Posts)
Timri Thu 07-Jan-16 14:16:17

I have 2 DC, DS is very kind and loving, a gentle, good little boy. DD is what is referred to as a character she is a good girl, she can be kind and thoughtful, but she can also be bossy, demanding, basically a little madam at times.
She hit another DC at school, for not moving out of her way when she asked them to. The teacher punished her by putting her on Red (traffic light system) and I took her screen time away for a week (she is in reception) and talked with her about being kind etc... So she went back to school, and for the next week teacher said she was a model student. Teacher said she was actually quite funny, how she strained to sit as straight as humanly possible etc. So teacher put her on gold.
Now, here's my thing.
I understand she has been rewarded for good behaviour, I understand that the teacher has done it to show her that being well behaved is better than being naughty, and has done it to encourage her to keep behaving well, fine.
But DS has never been on Gold. And he's such a good boy all year round (he burst into tears 'confessing' to me he'd been given a warning for breaking a pencil just before parents evening. That's the worst thing he's ever done in school)
I used to see it at school myself, the children who were good all the time were left to it, the disruptive kids were punished for being good for an hour (or so it seemed).
I am a bit put out on DS' behalf. He seemed really happy for DD, and kept telling me, quite excitedly 'DD must have been sooo good to get on gold' and then, a little wistfully, ' I'venever been on gold'
I don't know if I'm over reacting or not, and DD was so pleased to be put on gold, and it really did reinforce to her that good behaviour is better, but just seem to be showing the opposite to me

Timri Thu 07-Jan-16 14:16:58

OP is supposed to say rewarded more, not punished more!!!!

Hihohoho1 Thu 07-Jan-16 14:20:41

When I was a TA we had the 'always good' zone and the kids put there, always the same kids, had treats on a Friday just like the gold zone kids.

It's pretty standard in schools now so go in and have a word with the teacher.

Totally agree with you.

Gisla Thu 07-Jan-16 14:20:45

Yes this is how it was when I was in school too. My ds is generally good but can lose focus occasionally and do silly things. He's mortified every time he gets told off or put on red, he really sobs his heart out over it. But he has never been star of the week. I tell him it doesn't matter but he has noticed and thinks it's unfair and he isn't good enough.

Penfold007 Thu 07-Jan-16 14:23:36

At my DC's school the children who struggle to engage, behave, attend etc are rewarded with various incentives including trips to theme parks. The children who follow the rules, turn up and so get diddly squat.

I understand what the school are trying to achieve but yes many 'good' children feel quite bitter about it.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Thu 07-Jan-16 14:30:47

DS1 is in Yr 1 and has already noticed this. He is consistently well behaved at school and is largely overlooked.

He has come home a bit disgruntled on a few occasions because one of the other boys in his class has been rewarded for not hitting at playtime. DS has never hit anyone at school and has questioned why he has not been rewarded for this.

GeneralGrevious Thu 07-Jan-16 14:38:55

I often feel like my middle of the road, not interested in writing or anything unless its football in the playground DS is completely forgotten at school.

He will never get the 'you did an amazing piece of work' award as he isn't bad enough to be noticed or bothered enough to try harder.

Last year he didn't get a reward for ANYTHING all year, i ended up ringing the Head as I thought it was really demotivating.

expatinscotland Thu 07-Jan-16 14:44:15

I just had to move my kids' schools due to my DD being assaulted by another pupil. I'm pretty fucking fed up with the softly, softly, hand-wringing approach to kids whose behaviour is horrific at school and their irresponsible parents who CBA'd to police their kids at home. And yes, I say this as a parent to a son who has ASD and is a real handful to parent.

absolutelynotfabulous Thu 07-Jan-16 14:52:39

I've noticed this in adult life too. I was trying to explain my theory to dd the other day....

At work, there were always those who were constantly taking the piss. Then there were the conscientious ones, always reliable, always punctual etc. Like megrin.

If a piss-taker did something "good", it was remarked upon in a positive way. If, however, a normally conscientious person did something "bad", like making an uncharacteristic error, it was regarded as something really heinous. I think it's something about expectation. A "good" child is expected to be good at all times, because the expectation of that child is driven by his or her normal behaviour.

Same with adults. I once took an unprecedented day off work due to a perfectly legitimate dose of the trots. I was viewed with suspicion by my manager when I went in next day. A colleague, who was always taking time off with a variety of spurious complaints, got tea and sympathygrin.

Same with families. I was always the "good" child. My cousin, who was always the needy, demanding, entitled one, got all the praise, when I got nonesad.

plantsitter Thu 07-Jan-16 14:52:46

I think I disagree actually. I'm guessing it takes more effort for your daughter to behave well than it does for your son, and frankly he will probably find the rest of his school career easier than she does as a result.

If being 'on gold' means extra treats etc, well maybe then I see your point more.

ppeatfruit Thu 07-Jan-16 14:53:04

I noticed this as a supply and there are ways to encourage the "always good'" ones , it helps them all to recognise and acknowledge the consistently 'good' ones.

Thingywotzit Thu 07-Jan-16 14:53:37

This used to get on my nerves at school. I was always 'good' and tried my best to be 'better' but the cheeky destruction little sods like Alan or Ashley got more rewarded for good behaviour than I did. I still remember certain instances from primary school, and it still irritates.

But, seeing it through adult eyes now.... it's not so simple, is it.

EponasWildDaughter Thu 07-Jan-16 14:54:53

It spills over into adult life as well i think.

DH knows so many people who sneakily slip through life and generally get away with murder. Kind of on the fringes. Oh - we didn't ever finish paying for this. Didn't have our name on that. You payed them!? Fools, we ignored them. Got it free on the insurance, etc. Never lose a wink of sleep.

Us: Do our best, pay our bills, accountable and traceable for every bloody last thing, car insured and taxed, house insured, obey the law. Start to struggle a bit? Miss a payment? Need to claim something? God help us. 'We know where you are. We'll take you to court. Send round the bailiffs for this 50p. We'll cut you off. Chuck you out. Find you. Fine you. Fuck you up forever.'

I never get away with anything.


Thingywotzit Thu 07-Jan-16 14:55:03


m0therofdragons Thu 07-Jan-16 14:57:29

This drives me nuts. Dd1 is top of the class and brilliantly behaved yet never gets bloody certificates etc because she's consistently good. Luckily she's not bothered but it's hard when her more lively younger sister gets things in assembly.

AmysTiara Thu 07-Jan-16 15:00:04

Yes I notice this too. Ds is 12 and now in secondary school where they acknowledge " children who just carry on in their quiet way working hard and not making a fuss". DS has now loads of awards. It's lovely to see how pleased he is with recognition.

PurpleAlerts Thu 07-Jan-16 15:01:09

We had an "Always Good" reward system at one school I worked at. All pupils who worked hard and behaved well were automaticallyu given the treat (choice of loads of different clubs for 30 mins on Friday afternoon.) Pupils who behaved inappropriately would be given a report card where they had to earn back the reward by getting 4 perfect behaviour marks before the reward.

Of course misbehaving on a Friday morning was always a bad thing as they wouldn't have enough time to win back their reward! grin

It generally worked well and seemed fairer to all children.

Letustryagain Thu 07-Jan-16 15:03:15

Yes we have the same problem so it's not just you OP.

There is a point system at DD's school. DD is very well behaved, quiet, never misbehaves but due to a lack of confidence, will rarely offer answers to questions unless she's asked specifically (she always gets them right when she is asked by the way - she just isn't confident enough in her abilities to give it a go).

I told the teachers that we were working on her confidence, hoping that would encourage her to receive more points for at least giving things a go, but nope. The same child (also well behaved and not naughty) has been given the top points award every term because he's full of confidence and gives out all the answers before anyone else gets a chance to.

It drives me up the bloody wall. I've since told DD not to worry about achieving in regards the point system because it's always given to the same child regardless, in fact we laugh about it now. Instead I told her to continue to be kind to her friends, well-behaved and to continue to try hard with her work and that we will reward her at home instead. Schools should stop these things altogether if children are going to be consistently over-looked. A number of other parents all have the same view. We know of course that it's not the boy's fault but he is the only one who gets this award every term and has done since Reception.

Hihohoho1 Thu 07-Jan-16 15:06:24

I think it's fine to go into school and suggest the 'always good' system.

That's how it started at our school.

starry0ne Thu 07-Jan-16 15:09:22

I can see the point of motivating children to behave well, try hard... I just also agree the normally well behaved kids get missed..

allthatissolidmeltsintoair Thu 07-Jan-16 15:13:36

In the long term, I wonder if it isn't actually a positive thing for children to experience the arbitrariness of these rewards? I don't just mean in that awful, brutal sense of 'Oh, life's unfair, get used to it', but in a more subtle way. Rewards don't always come to those who deserve them therefore, it's good to have a standard of goodness inside yourself, that doesn't depend on being patted on the head by anyone else. There are some occasions in life - few and far between, thank goodness - where you have to choose to do what's right, not what's popular or easy or likely to make a big splash.

I guess this is an argument against the whole system, though!!! grin

Paperthin Thu 07-Jan-16 15:19:17

Hi OP. In my DC school if you misbehave a lot you get to have Friday afternoon off to do teambuilding activities ! Including in one term last year canoeing!
These are a particular group of pupils in one year (now year 8) so its not lost on all the other DC that this group are in effect excused from lessons on a Friday for a jolly.
I find it hard to explain to my DC when asked why they cannot have the chance to go canoeing etc. To my mind they are being rewarded for their poor behaviour.

LaurieLemons Thu 07-Jan-16 15:21:09

Completely agree with you. If you are well behaved and are doing ok academically no one notices!

I would definitely have a word, it will mean a lot coming from someone who has experience with both types of children.

LaurieLemons Thu 07-Jan-16 15:23:11

allthatissolid - I completely see your point! I think that would possibly make a good system but it needs to apply to the naughty kids as well!

Eastpoint Thu 07-Jan-16 15:23:34

DS thought this through at a very young stage - he says that if you generally get 18/20 you get told off if you get 13/20. If you consistently get 13/20 and have one test a term at 18/20 you are heavily praised. Guess which route he's taking? He also worked out that if you were good at swimming you had to swim further so pretended he couldn't swim, the beginners had time to play at the end of the lesson with rings etc. It was quite entertaining getting reports from school saying his swimming was improving when I knew that at his club he was swimming 1000 meters each week.

He really hasn't bought into the competitive system.

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