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After-school club punishment- too harsh?

(66 Posts)
ScummyMummy Mon 27-Jun-05 20:47:28

Hi.

I'm cross and would be grateful for soothing words from mumsnetters. Alternatively a gentle nudge to say I'm overreacting would be ok!

Basically my 6 year old twins are at after school play club 3 afternoons a week while their daddy and I get our noses to respective grindstones. Their Dad picked them up on Friday and found them doing lines. Apparently they had been swinging from a door frame and had been ticked off thoroughly and this was their punishment. Though we're not big lines fans, especially for younger children for whom penmanship doesn't come easily, the boys had clearly been out of order and rules is rules and all that, so my partner told them off too, there were apologies from chagrined boys to all concerned and home they all went. Matter over- and so trivial that neither my partner or the boys even mentioned it to me.

Until today. When he went to pick them up and found that they were writing lines again. He went over thinking they had been misbehaving again and therefore preparing to do a very cross/disappointed daddy act, only to find that they were redoing Friday's lines "because they weren't neat enough and the writing was too big." Not only that, they had spent the entire play session (over two hours) writing lines. He was shocked but when he challenged the playleader (out of the boys' earshot) she claimed this was a reasonable application of the club's discipline policy.

Am I wrong to be v peeved? I send my kids to this club because it's a PLAY club ffs. Clearly they need to behave themselves but shouldn't each day be a fresh start? And isn't 2 hours worth of lines a tad excessive? And isn't expecting neat writing from a 6 year old just, er, barking mad?

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jun-05 20:48:20

Sounds mental to me.

starlover Mon 27-Jun-05 20:49:56

i think you're right to be cross... i would be too.

bad behaviour is dealt with at the time. their punishment was probably slightly unsuitable for such young children.
and to make them re-do a punishment that happened last week is totally out of order!

unicorn Mon 27-Jun-05 20:50:08

no scumster, I would be bloody furious,and make as much noise as possible to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Who the hell do they think they are?

Very on your behalf

KBear Mon 27-Jun-05 20:52:47

I agree with you and everyone else - completely OTT punishment that does not fit the "crime" so to speak. And I agree that each day should be a new day and not still harping on about yesterdays problems and wrong-doings.

Is this a school-run club or independent of the school?

Posey Mon 27-Jun-05 20:55:33

Totally over-the-top if you ask me.
What do they expect them to learn bydoing lines?
Is playcentre attached to school, governed by them or the council or what? I think I would take it further, in a calm manner, but ask for a better explanation as to why this was deemed suitable punishment and especially the repeat on Monday. Surely that is dragging things on. In our house, a punishment or telling off happens instantly and is then forgotten, not to be dragged up again days later.

coppertop Mon 27-Jun-05 20:56:33

It's complete madness! Who on earth decided that this was a suitable punishment for a 6yr-old FFS??

Mum2girls Mon 27-Jun-05 21:00:03

They're nutters - thats not an after-school club, thats a youth para-military group.

ScummyMummy Mon 27-Jun-05 21:01:06

Oh thank you, everyone. I'm so glad it's not just me who thinks this is rubbish.

It's run by the local authority play service on school property but is not run by the school, btw.

Blu Mon 27-Jun-05 21:03:34

How horrible. I would feel very upset by this. To force them to sit writing lines for over 2 hours? It's completely Victorian. Poor you, poor them.

Don't know what I would do next, but I think you are right to be cross.

Swinging from a door frame doesn't sound THAT bad either - I would have thought 'don't do that again, please' ...actually, the more I think about it the crosser I'm getting - it's outrageous to use sitting down and writing as a punishment at an age where children are supposed to be learning to write because they enjoy it. And as for making them do it again 'neatly', ffs - that sounds like some horrible attempt to break their spirit. shudder. I think they need a serious re-think of what 'discipline' is.

starrynight Mon 27-Jun-05 21:13:36

Sorry, thought i'd been transported back to 1906 in that post! My god i'd be furious!! Have you agreed to this kind of punishment before your children went there? If not, I would campaign for change or get the kids the hell out of there.

Its not normal for 6 year olds to sit for 2 hrs under any occasion. And in this weather - its bloody torture! They'll be sending them up the chimneys or down the mines next! (too much simpsons-watching on behalf of the supervisor methinks)

starrynight Mon 27-Jun-05 21:14:43

FFS do you think your handwriting would be neat after 2 hours of writing the same line? Mind sure as hell wouldn't!! (mind you, i'm virtually illiterate since email and the internet came about)

Cam Mon 27-Jun-05 21:32:55

Hello Scummymummy, no this is not right and no you are not overreacting. I have never heard of 6 year olds "doing lines" at school in this generation let alone at an after-school club (not run by teachers I presume).

I would complain about the unacceptability of this punishment and make it clear that I would not my children being treated in this way ever again.

Do after school clubs have a discipline policy?

ScummyMummy Mon 27-Jun-05 22:21:47

Thank you thank you thank you everyone. I'm going to complain properly tomorrow. I was livid about the repeat punishment and that they spent the whole of today's session writing "I must not swing on the door" and pretty sure that I was right to be. Pleased to see that others think the whole lines idea is pants though. So do I and I shall say so tomorrow as diplomatically as possible. Has anyone else had a six yo given this as a punishment? I know their school has never done this.

Caligula Mon 27-Jun-05 22:28:10

Blimey, I bet the Daily Mail would love this story. It would be perfect as part of their propaganda against after school clubs.

You are not at all wrong to be peeved. The playleader's a loon.

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 22:32:04

Absolutely shocking. Really- it's like something Wackford Squeers would have done. I think the first lot was really bad, but to make them re-write because of their handwriting, and when it's meant to be play, words fail me .

Give 'em hell!

unicorn Mon 27-Jun-05 22:32:07

ahh no doubt, but I'm sure scummy doesn't want it closed down..just perhaps a change of management.. or at least of their attitude.

scummy.. why don't you punish them... get them to write down
'I must not ask 6yr olds to do ridiculous things'

for 2 hours.. and see how they like it!

soapbox Mon 27-Jun-05 22:32:17

Scummy - do afterschool clubs have to be Ofsted registered?? If so report them.

That really is an absolute disgrace, I would be livid in the circumstances.

At 6YO who the f*ck are they to tell your children that their handwriting wasn't neat enough. 2 hours of lines, its sick isn;t it.

I would seriously not let this rest, goodness only knows what other weird ideas these folks have of how to treat children in their care!

blodwen Mon 27-Jun-05 22:34:31

As a childminder I would agree that this is a completely inappropriate punishment . Good luck with getting it sorted out.

Blu Mon 27-Jun-05 22:35:03

Suggest she writes out 'I must not give lines to 6 year-olds' for 2 hours!

I think I would definitely have a word with this Dotheboys Hall throwback, and put it in writing, too - 'so that we can be clear about why, on reflection, we are not happy with what happened'.

I have done projects in numerous primary schools round London, and I have never come across young children being made to write lines - in all honesty, I thought it only happened in The Beano or Jennings and Darbyshire Books - or what was that other series apparantly written by an illiterate 13 year old boy with spelllings like 'skool'?

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 22:35:46

How to be Topp, with Nigel Molesworth. Ah, there's a classic

Blu Mon 27-Jun-05 22:36:36

oh, x-posted with tamum - my slow typing. great minds....

Blu Mon 27-Jun-05 22:36:59

That's it, thank you tamum!

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 22:37:07

Absolutely Blu

Aero Mon 27-Jun-05 22:37:10

How ridiculous!! Presumably you have to pay a fee for this after school play club too? Lines is way OTT and for two hours - I've never heard the like - this is unbelievable. I would definitely be compliainig about this.

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