At a loss re: sons behaviour and how to proceed

(65 Posts)
thewayoftheplatypus Wed 19-Sep-18 19:44:53

My son is 5 and has just entered year 1. For 2 days this week he has been on the red traffic light. On the first day he went onto the red traffic light for saying ‘yay’ and cheering when the teacher was explaining the schools new punishment code. (Two red warnings led to behavioural report. Two behavioural report led to suspension) and he cheered at the idea of the day off. The teacher called this ‘blantent disregard for and lack of respect for authority’.

We supported the school, of course, and at home he lost his TV/screen time privaleges for this.

Today he went on the red spot again because whilst playing a war game at lunch time he told one of the boys on ‘his team’ to hit a child on the other team and the boy did. Obviously this was unacceptable, but I think it was important that it was within the context of a game, rather than bullying etc

2 red spots leads to a behavioural report. This means he has to report to the headmaster everyday and spend all of his lunch and break times sitting outside of his office for a week. Whilst I support the school and agree that he should be punished, this seems excessive.

He is only 5 years old and a very active boy. I can’t see how not letting him run around/run his energy off is going to improve his behaviour in the classroom.

But I’m not really sure how to proceed. I don’t want to be ‘that mum’ who runs up to school to defend bad behaviour. But equally I know my son, and I know sitting in all week is only going to make his classroom behaviour worse.

Of course we have talked about classroom behaviour at home a lot, and he is being punished at home for his behaviour too. (No screen time or extra curricular activities for the week that the behavioural report lasts)

Should I tell the school I think the punishment is excessive and unhelpful? Will this achieve anything? Or shall I just suck it up? He is my first born and it’s the first time he’s been in any real trouble, so I’m at a loss really!

OP’s posts: |
JimmyGrimble Wed 19-Sep-18 20:06:39

Telling a child to hit another child, even in the context of a game, can be bullying or a precursor to bullying. Calling out ‘yay’ when behaviour sanctions are being discussed sounds like he sees himself as a leader ... I would be concerned about this from a child who is only 5. From the school’s perspective I think they’re trying to nip it in the bud quickly. I think you should support them in this. I’ve seen this kind of behaviour escalate quite quickly.

JimmyGrimble Wed 19-Sep-18 20:07:43

Perhaps you could ask for him to have some exercise time when the other children have come in?

thewayoftheplatypus Wed 19-Sep-18 20:26:38

Thanks @jimmygrimble that’s really useful to hear. And a great practical solution too.

It’s awful to think of your child doing something to upset another child at school, and I certainly don’t want to minimise his behaviour, or make it worse.

OP’s posts: |
JimmyGrimble Wed 19-Sep-18 20:48:37

You’re doing the right thing. Co - ordination between home and school is key. He’ll soon change his behaviour when he realises that there’s nothing in it for him.

Starlight345 Wed 19-Sep-18 20:58:46

Moving into year one is a difficult transition.

I realise not possible but does he walk to school ?

It might seem severe but I would leave it at this point your Ds discovering you don’t support the school will make it worse.

LargeGlassOfPepsi Wed 19-Sep-18 20:58:53

He's 5 years old for goodness sake! Does the school actually suspend 5 year olds for 2 red reports? I'm astounded the school expect a 5 year old to miss out on breaks and report to the HT for a week! Jeez is it a prison or a school he's attending?

There is no way in hell I'd be allowing my 5 year old to be treated like this at school nor would I treat any child in my class this way. Your little boy I still adjusting to school and imo the school are being overly harsh.


JimmyGrimble Wed 19-Sep-18 21:20:08

He’s not just adjusting to school. He’s entered year one. He needs to know that actions have consequences.

DewDropsonKittens Wed 19-Sep-18 21:32:35

How does your son behave at home?
Do you see the same behaviour?

GoodStuffAnnie Wed 19-Sep-18 21:40:52

This is appalling. This is draconian. Is this 2018?

I am training to be a teacher and mum of 3. This has never happened at my children’s school or anything close. Please don’t bandy around the bully word. He is 5. He is not a bully.

So, what to do. Are you happy with the school generally? Do you have a relationship with the teacher or head? I think I would probably talk to teacher and say you’ve reinforced what they’ve said, but is there any chance he doesn’t go to heads office every day as it might be counter productive. Be v nice. Depending on how it went and depending on your view of how school is generally, I would look at other schools. Also, don’t punish your little boy again. He’s had a punishment already. Just have a breezy 2 minute chat. That was silly don’t do it again.

thewayoftheplatypus Wed 19-Sep-18 21:42:10

His behaviour at home is good, on the whole! He is loud, chatty and boisterous (all the same behaviours that have been observed at school) but he listens,loves to tell jokes , is kind to his younger brother etc
He does have the occasional temper tantrum and can be emotional when he’s tired, but nothing that is abnormal for a child his age (I don’t think!!)

OP’s posts: |
bananakorma Wed 19-Sep-18 21:45:04

I agree with goodstuffannie. He's been punished at school already. Most teachers would be able to deal with the behaviour that you have described without reporting to the Headteacher.

Isadora2007 Wed 19-Sep-18 21:47:16

Hmmmmm. I agree that supporting the school and seeming to your son to show a united front is important. But the school are being very negative about stuff and harsh as well. What happened to the other colours on the traffic lights system? Why right to red?
Ask the school about reparative justice/consequences... this is where they try to link outcomes to actions. So for shouting out “yay” he might have to write a letter of apology to the teacher and explain why discipline is important in the school. For the hitting incident he might have to say sorry to the boy who was hit and also maybe chat with the boy he told to hit and explain why that was both wrong to ask but also wrong for him to do what he’d told him to (alongside a teacher to help).
These types of lessons teach kids much more than stupid loss of exercise time which it sounds like he needs.
Spend time trying to work on his empathy skills and emotional intelligence. He sounds like a smart wee boy but also like he wants to be the class clown or leader but doesn’t think of other people much. Yet- as he is 5!!!!!

GoodStuffAnnie Wed 19-Sep-18 21:49:18

Yes I agree banana this is straightforward behaviour a teacher should deal with. I would argue that the school are hindering your child’s access to an education by creating a v bad environment for him. (Giving him a label, making him stay in).

parrotonmyshoulder Wed 19-Sep-18 21:54:55

This makes me so incredibly sad. To think of a little 5 year old in class, probably squirming about and trying to listen to his new teacher instead of daydreaming about his lovely long holiday. Perhaps a bit anxious or unsure of himself (you know, being only 5), he makes what he thinks is a bit of a joke. It would have been funny a few weeks ago, on holiday with his cousins or Grandad, or whoever. But punishable today, and ‘a blatant disregard for authority’.

Poor little boy.

Cuddle him.

Bootsuit Wed 19-Sep-18 22:10:45

Oh your little boy.

What kind of victorian values is this school trying to instill?

To the first incident of him trying to make a joke, why couldn't the teacher just tell him there and then that he's not to call out when she is talking? And if he continues to shout 'yay' or show off then give him a warning?

If parents hear of him being in the headteachers office they might tell their kids not to play with him because he's 'naughty' further isolating him from his peers.

He's only 5 years old!

Nubbin Wed 19-Sep-18 22:55:45

He is year 1 not foundation or reception - there are prob a % other kids who are behaving appropriately- trying to justify re a game is rubbish. No child with boundaries should advocate hitting another without a severe sanction. If he has SN fair enough it needs a different approach - otherwise not on - there are 29 other children and he needs to know this is seriously unacceptable behaviour.

BlueAnemone Wed 19-Sep-18 23:08:58

I'm really sad to hear the school behave like this. Five year olds are still learning so much - do they also put children in the red zone for poor letter formation or for spelling mistakes? Of course not, because five year olds are still learning all this stuff (presumably he's been practicing writing letters for as long as he's been practicing sitting quietly in class?) So give him a chance to correct his mistakes with listening and social skills without the heavy-handed approach. This approach could take a keen, curious child and turn them right off school. I can't imagine it's warranted or effective.

Yura Thu 20-Sep-18 07:58:25

You say he is very active - what dobyou do outside school? my boys are very active, so we make sure they burn loads of energy before and after school (scooter, walk, swim, judo, parkrun, bike, ...). they would be in trouble in seconds if we didn't. i think its really on you to make sure he gets exercise (we botg work full time with long commutes - its possible !)

Yura Thu 20-Sep-18 07:59:28

And to a previous poster - a 5 year old should have learned a long time ago tgat hitting isn't ok!

Devilishpyjamas Thu 20-Sep-18 08:06:10

God no wonder some kids end up hating school. (And I work with severe challenging behaviour).

TBH I’d keep a very close eye and just start to look for a different school in case things start to escalate. No telling someone to hit someone else isn’t acceptable but he’s 5 and I wouldn’t respond in this way when he’s 5. You are right to be concerned about loss of exercise making the situation worse. Bootcamp schools will never understand the alternative ways or that managing behaviour effectively doesn’t have to be about control though, so there is no point even trying.

Keep a close eye, - he may settle quickly, but if he doesn’t I’d honestly look elsewhere.

CherryPavlova Thu 20-Sep-18 08:12:43

It feels like you’re undermining the school a little whilst thinking you’re cooperating.
He doesn’t need further punishment at home for what happens at schoool in Y1. He needs reminding that it’s the schools expectation that he’ll show respect to his teacher and not make ‘witty or amusin’ Ie rude ripostes when something is being explained.
His poor behaviour needs not to be dismissed as boisterous, loud, funny and chatty at home. You may find him amusing but it might well come across as precocious and attention seeking to others. It’s certainly out school behaviour and he needs to understand the difference quite quickly.
It’s unfortunate you believe the sanctions are harsh and damaging to your badly behaved child. If you think he needs to let off steam rather than learn to behave, take him for a run before school. Don’t undermine the schools attempts to teach him right from wrong but letting him believe it’s the school that is in the wrong. You might not have said that explicitly it he’ll hear that message if you interfere.
Perhaps slightly better would be to take him yourself to apologise to the teacher and the child who was hit?

VillageCats Thu 20-Sep-18 08:18:07

He's 5 and either you've minimised his behaviour or the teacher isn't coping with normal behaviour. Being sent to the head is fairly extreme for such a young child. I'd be looking for a different school.

DesertCactus Thu 20-Sep-18 08:23:31

Poor lad, is it 2018 or 1918?

Bootsuit Thu 20-Sep-18 09:36:01

I'd understand the more heavy handed approach if it was later in the school year, but it's only the 3rd? week.

It's a school, not a borstal.

I'm not saying his behaviour was ok or acceptable but the way the school have handled it seems incredibly harsh. For the playground incident, why not a firm telling why that behaviour won't be tolerated and sent indoors for the rest of breaktime? That would be enough of a shock to a 5 year old so he gets the message it's not ok. A whole week in the headteachers office, a long time after the original incident so he's likely to forget why he's in there unless he's being told every day that he is naughty? Telling a five year old he's in trouble every day for a week? That's acceptable now is it?

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