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To think you don't give a 6 year old detention for saying "pee"?

(63 Posts)
Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 05-Feb-16 18:19:23

When I picked DS1 (year 2) from school yesterday, one of the other boys in his class told me (in a kind of na na na na na way) that DS "got into lots of trouble today". I asked DS what happened and he told me that he a) said "pee" while in the toilets ("because I didn't know we weren't allowed to say it in the toilet - I mean that's what we're doing in there"); b) said "dead" ("I'm dead meat"...... for saying wee apparently and c) he blew on his recorder when he wasn't meant to in music class. He said for these three things he was told off by his teacher, the head-teacher and the music teacher.

I didn't see any of the teachers to ask either at pick up yesterday or today or at drop off this morning but DS has just told me that he was kept in at break as punishment for his behaviour yesterday.

Now I'm quite prepared to be told that there was more to it than he's telling me - he's not a saint and can be a bit silly (he's very young for his year) but he's generally a really well-behaved child and has never been in trouble - we got a school report a couple of weeks ago and it couldn't have been better.

But AIBU to think that 1. you don't give a 6 year old detention unless its something really bad; and 2. if his behaviour was that bad we should have been told about it?

I'm going to write an email to the head asking if there was more to it than he's told me but I just wanted to know if I was being totally unreasonable in thinking detention is not justified in this situation.

so as not to drip feed, he's been at this school about 9 months and we lived abroad before so totally different school system - plus this school puts an emphasis on being "traditional"..... so it's possible I just don't know how these things work!

RudeElf Fri 05-Feb-16 18:22:15

Well yes, it would be very odd to give detention for those 'crimes'. However, as you say, you dont know the full story yet so reserve your anger for when you hear it is truez

RudeElf Fri 05-Feb-16 18:22:36

Em, just true. No z.

AlwaysHopeful1 Fri 05-Feb-16 18:24:16

Yes find out the facts first before firing off an email. Also point 3 sounds like he deserved the telling off, the other 2 I'm not sure if that's what actually happened.

LindyHemming Fri 05-Feb-16 18:24:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Fri 05-Feb-16 18:26:40

He was probably mucking abour in the loo, then was a bit smart and chippy when he got told off about the loo, then mucked about in another lesson.
Rules are rules and it sounds like he was playing up tbh.
What was your reaction to him?

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 05-Feb-16 18:35:01

I am open minded to there being more to it but to be honest he's usually very very honest (to the point of me wanting to tell him sometimes to be a bit less honest!!) Of course I'm only getting it from his point of view so I' won't go in all guns blazing but I just wanted to check that it wouldn't be a normal thing in a British school to have detention for these "crimes" (sounds like I need to start channelling my inner Miss Marple RudeElf!)

My reaction was probably a little shocked to be honest! I quizzed him quite hard yesterday on what actually happened because I was trying to gauge whether I needed to speak with his teacher asap or if I should just let it go - I decided it wasn't serious and would let it go (having told him that he shouldn't say those words at school and that he definitely needs to behave in music as he'd never get to play if everyone blew when they weren't supposed to.

It is perfectly possible that he's being a bit of a smart ass as he's struggled a little socially recently when his best friend was off school for quite some time and the others do treat him as younger (he's not much but enough to make a difference at this age). He could have been trying to impress them (which of course is entirely unacceptable!)

Would it change anything if the teachers didn't actually hear him say any of the words? And he was told that the detention was for the words (and the rest of the behaviour wasn't mentioned)?

MrsKCastle Fri 05-Feb-16 18:36:11

A and B very much depend on the context and the tone. 6 year olds do like to wind each other up by saying naughty words in that singsong voice that they have. As for the recorders, one incident of blowing when you shouldn't be is nothing, but if he was persistently not listening or deliberately being silly, then that certainly justifies being in trouble. Did he miss all of his breaktime? I wouldn't usually keep a child in for the whole break, but if it's a short playtime and you hold a child back for a discussion, time goes very quickly.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 05-Feb-16 18:40:38

So, you are calling it a detention.
It could have been five minutes on the carpet watching a sand timer and thinking about the choices he's made and deciding what he coudld do next time the situation occurred.
Then 10 minutes of playtime.
Or not.
Is he Y2? Because three verbal warnings for poor behaviour and then a consequence seems reasonable to me.

MrsKCastle Fri 05-Feb-16 18:41:55

Just seen your post. It's strange to keep him in for just the words (I wouldn't call it a 'detention' by the way, is that the word the school used?) Words like 'pee' would probably get 'don't be so silly' with a teacher look from me, nothing more- unless they were meant unkindly.

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 05-Feb-16 18:45:02

He was kept in all break time with the head and told it was a "punishment for the naughty words. We don't say those kind of words in our school" (of course that's all coming from DS so I can't be sure that's what was said).

it really would be out of character for him to be very silly or deliberately defiant but there was an incident before where he was told off for saying "oh my goodness" and I had no idea that was even a problem! so I'm willing to be told that it's a cultural thing that we don't understand because we've been abroad for so long!

I guess I'm mostly surprised that they haven't communicated to us that there was even an issue at this stage yet he's been punished already. It's a very small school and apparently DH saw his teacher at pick up and she didn't mention it and neither did he grrrrrrr!

ArmchairTraveller Fri 05-Feb-16 18:45:25

6 year old boys in the school loos.
So many possibilities! grin

ArmchairTraveller Fri 05-Feb-16 18:49:36

Then go and ask what happened and how you can support him.
Surprisingly, sometimes teachers and TAs don't always tell parents everything that has happened in the school day, and children often behave differently in a group of friends to the way they behave at home, being quizzed hard by mummy on exactly what happened when they already know that other adults haven't found it funny.
if he's being low-level disruptive, then it's a drain on time and focus for all the other children in a class.

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 05-Feb-16 18:51:48

thanks MrsKcastle -it's really helpful to have a teacher perspective when it's friday evening and I can't ask the teacher herself! I would have expected a "don't be silly" too and if there was too much "silliness" in general I'd have expected a quiet word with me or DH to have a work at home.

Sorry detention was my word - I think thats what it was surely? That's what we'd have called it to miss break as a punishment when I was a school.

Apparently he was told to sit in the classroom and read a book which is a ridiculous punishment for the child who would choose reading over pretty much anything else and could actually give him an incentive to misbehave so he can finish the next chapter of his book!!

I'll admit to feeling silently outraged for him as it just seems a total over reaction to me

ArmchairTraveller Fri 05-Feb-16 18:56:29

'I'll admit to feeling silently outraged for him as it just seems a total over reaction to me'

So perhaps he's struggling with the different expectations in school.
It's traditional (Church?) he's a young Y2 and possibly he's finding that the boundaries are closer than at home.
To be told off by three different adults should tell you something though, are you sure that this school is the right one for you both?

hefzi Fri 05-Feb-16 18:57:23

Sitting in at break time is different from detention - detention is an after-school thing, usually (or it was, back in the day - so I'm told, anyway: I am so f'ing smug I never had one grin) - and usually a punishment for a minor infraction: like buggering about (not saying your DS was) when you've been told not to. Detention is more serious, and imposed for more serious crimes - not doing homework, being cheeky to teachers, skiving class etc

Is it a private school, by any chance?

1manwent2mowWent2mowameadow Fri 05-Feb-16 18:58:31

My ds has had detention for repeated shouting out, I didn't know about it, he's 6 and apparently an accomplished liar. I found out about it via a letter from the deputy about 4 days later. Am friendly with his teacher too and she didn't mention it to us, I think they have systems when it comes to discipline. But it is a bit ott if that's all he did!

CointreauVersial Fri 05-Feb-16 19:04:40

It doesn't sound like an over-reaction. He's obviously behaved in a way the school aren't happy with, they've dealt with it, and haven't felt the need to involve you.

Worth having a quick word with the teacher if it's bothering you, but I would stop trying to second-guess what actually happened - your DC is usually the least reliable witness!!

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 05-Feb-16 19:06:24

Maybe the 'punishment' was a result of the accumulative effect of him saying 'oh my goodness' 'pee' and 'dead meat'. Possibly they thought they'd be harsher this time because they've had to give him into trouble before and they want to stamp on it before it becomes a real problem. If that was the case, then there was no point in mentioning it to you because (a) you can't control what he says in school (b) they were being almost disproportionately harsh to have an impact on him but not because it was the crime of the century iyswim

Butterfliesprettybutterflies Fri 05-Feb-16 19:10:37

he could very well be struggling with different expectations - we're pretty relaxed about silliness at home (he has two younger potty-training siblings so talking about wee and poo is reasonably common place!) but I guess he does need to learn what is appropriate in what context.

it is a little bit of a churchy school (and we are not churchy) and yes it is private and very proud of the fact - and I wasn't entirely sure of sending him there when he started but I've been pretty happy with most of it until now and maybe I need to learn what is appropriate in their school too apparently questioning the head of the pta as to what the point of the PTA was if the teachers ended up doing everything is not appropriate - who knew?? Though DH is from here and he agrees that it sounds overly strict and has now been volunteered for the PTA as it seems I am too militant!

the three different adults thing though.... it sounded (again from DS so questionable) like one told the other who told the head about the words, not that he was told off for several different things if that makes sense.

ok - thank you all - I'll phrase my email (that is how we are encouraged to communicate with the school) as "what else happens as I can't imagine he would be kept in at break must not use the word detention just for what he's told me he did"

Sunnyshores Fri 05-Feb-16 19:11:16

Perhaps he was upset at the telling off, or perhaps annoyed with the other boys, so teacher thought it best to let him have time out at breaktime?

Im suprised the Head was involved if it was so minor though and they certainly should have told you it happened and why.

Ain626 Fri 05-Feb-16 19:16:53

Not quite related to the OP... but what school uses reading as punishment??? Thankfully it seems your DS enjoys reading anyway, but for kids that aren't in to reading using it as a punishment is just going to make them hate it more!!!

I would say by your DS's explanations of the events that being kept in for a whole break time and the head being involved is a tad OTT.

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 05-Feb-16 19:18:15

In our school (also churchy and private) then if a DC misbehaved in music, for example, and the music teacher considered it suitably serious then the music teacher would report back to the class teacher. The class teacher would then decide if it was escalated to the HT so yy the DC would get into trouble from 3 different teachers for the same incident.

Funnily enough our DS got into trouble once for saying 'oh my goodness'. He was completely bemused (as was I) but I came to the conclusion that they had anticipated he was going to say omg and it was easier to ban all exclamations that start with 'oh my . . .' than wait for the third word before giving the DCs into trouble. grin

hefzi Fri 05-Feb-16 19:19:48

FWIW, OP, when I was at Prep school (again, this is 30 years ago) I wasn't allowed to go out for morning break for asking if I could "please go to the loo" instead of saying "please may I be excused?" hmm From what I hear about the school since, I doubt enormously it's changed much - don't under-estimate the strangeness of C of E (if it is C of E, of course!) independent schools! And in those days, parents were never informed of minor infringements like that, up to and including being sent to the head mistress.

I wouldn't actually be snidey in your email: I know my DM had huge kudos from a head master once when one of my DBs had actually done something very bad was caught at school for something, because she apologised for his bad behaviour - the head man commented how pleased he was that a parent wasn't making excuses for their child, and wasn't minimising their behaviour (and then told my mother to calm down and that it was really OK, and not to worry etc etc...). He was considerably older than your DS, and it was not good - but the parents of the other DC involved had brushed it off.

I'm not saying it's at all the same- but it's well worth not being one of those parents. And in all honesty, "pee" and "dead meat" would definitely not have been acceptable at my (or my brothers') prep schools - I appreciate you're relaxed about silliness at home, but that doesn't necessarily make it OK for school/public.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 05-Feb-16 19:20:36

They probably would say that it was 'an opportunity for quiet reflection' and a way of calming him down before the next session.
Sone of the selling points for many private schools in this country is the higher standards of behaviour, the smaller classes and the more formal approach to learning from a young age. They pride themselves on it.
So perhaps this school isn't the best match for you all.

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