Crime and punishment in the world of kindergarten

Before my 5-year-old son even has a chance to cross the street after he exits the school bus, he gets the question:

“What did you get?”

He knows exactly what I am referring to. No more explanation needed.

I think Walsh got a "green" on field day at school!

I think Walsh got a "green" on field day.

If he’s had a fantastic, well-behaved day at school he gives me the thumbs up (while trying to balance his back pack, lunch bag and jacket) and yells “GREEN!”

Green is the best thing in the world. Green means no worries and lots of treats. He gets to choose a sweet snack like ice cream. He gets to play on the computer or Wii some during the afternoon. It also means he gets a lot of praise!

If he’s had a bad day and gotten into trouble, he drops his head, pouts his mouth and says softly “I’m sorry. I got a red.”

Red used to mean no sweet treat and no computers. Since he’s gotten so many reds, now red means he also has to go to his room for at least 30 minutes before he can play.

And what if it’s a yellow? That’s when my little lawyer begins his negotiations. “Well it wasn’t red. I should at least get some computer time.” I generally don’t give in, unless I feel extra sorry for him. (A yellow means you just received one warning.)

To his kindergarten class and too many classes across the state, the stoplight colors are the most important signals in the world. The colors immediately indicate to parents how their child’s conduct was at school that day and also let the child know how happy his afternoon will be when he gets home from school.

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If a child gets all greens throughout the week, then he gets to go the treasure box at the end of the week. Walsh has only gotten to go once the entire year – and that week had a snow day so he only had to earn four greens.

Walsh isn’t beating anyone up or throwing things in class. He’s reading second-grade books and can add and subtract with ease, but he’s just can’t stop talking. It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s read this column that my child would be loquacious. You can’t shut me up for anything.

We are lucky that Walsh has a loving and understanding kindergarten teacher. She doesn’t think his talking is acceptable, and she lets him know that. But she also understands that he is a young 5 (birthday not until late spring) and is still immature. I appreciate that she doesn’t think he’s a “bad” child. She knows he’s just still growing.

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I talk to his teacher frequently to say the least. And have on occasion joked with her that he is having to work against his DNA to stop talking. He’s got “bad” genes. He’s a very bright boy with just a little too much to say.

Every year, we fill out a questionnaire to help the school select our child’s next teacher. It asks on the form what type of environment does your child learn best in and do you have any special concerns about his education?

This year I wrote on the form that this is a little boy who likes to talk a lot and he needs a teacher with a plan. I don’t want his little personality squashed but we need someone firm who can give him scary enough consequences that he controls himself. I wrote he’s charming and outgoing. He will probably be a governor or president later in life, but for now his friendliness is going to make the next few years hard.

I hope he matures some this summer and will be able to control his talking more in the first grade. I also hope he gets to go to that darn treasure box more often.

How does your school let your know your child’s conduct for the day? Do you like the green, yellow, red system? Are there any behavior issues you’re hoping your child will mature out of?

You can reach Theresa at ajcmomania@gmail.com. Comments, questions and issues for the community are welcome.

95 comments Add your comment

PHR

March 29th, 2009
5:22 pm

OMG! Theresa, welcome to my world. We don’t have traffic signal lights, but we have smiley’s, straight faces, and frownies. I feel so bad for my son when he gets home with a frownie face. He loses all of his privileges. Some of the things that he does to get frownie faces are minor infractions as far as I’m concerned. I think it is really hard for 5, 6, & 7 year old boys to be expected to be in their desks the whole school day with 30 minutes on the playground. At my son’s school they don’t even get to talk the entire lunch. The parapro’s turn on music in the cafeteria which means the kids have to eat in silence. Gimme a break!

fk

March 29th, 2009
6:59 pm

PHR: The kids had mandatory silence during lunch at my son’s elementary school, too…about ten years ago! They piped in classical music, but my opinion was that the kids would come to hate it b/c they would associate it with mandatory silence. I don’t think minor infractions need to draw such negative reaction. Reward those with exemplary behavior, and those with the minor issues will learn that in order to get the privilege, they need to behave appropriately. Save the red lights for those with the serious issues b/c there are those who misbehave almost constantly. My son was a chatterbox at that age…even still at 18. I think he liked to talk to the teachers more than his peers at times, but being in a class with 20 others, he did not get much one on one time. Believe it or not, it was the bus that gave him extra time with the teacher. In 2nd grade, the teacher joked that he would end a conversation on Friday afternoon when the bus announcement came (he was 2nd run) and start it right up again on Monday when the first run bus kids left. At first, I was tempted to drive up to the school and pick him up, rather than he wait almost a 1/2 for the bus in the afternoon. Since kindergarten, his teachers sent him on the errands to the office, other classes, etc. Everyone knew who he was, the principal, the ladies in the front office, the cafeteria staff, the clinic. He liked the attention and learned to talk less in class.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2009
7:18 pm

I was setting up a teacher’s luncheon in our front office a few weeks ago and heard the two teachers talking about lunch duty. They don’t do the music anymore but we’re talking about when they did. They said they didn’t think it helped control the talking. Lunch time is some of their only social time — that and the playground. They need to be able to talk!! I would absolutely blow up if I had to go without talking all day. My friends keep joking about sending me on a silent retreat through our church. I’m sure it would be good for me but I don’t think I could accomplish it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 29th, 2009
7:21 pm

I also want to point out I have new technology — I can post polls!!! Please send me fun (or serious) poll questions you would like to ask the community. I think we can have a lot of fun with them! (They don’t necessarily have to be related to the blog topic.)

AO

March 29th, 2009
10:51 pm

The “discipline system” is one of the reasons why we took our boy out of school and are homeschooling now. Our son was always on green, teacher’s pet, but the whole thing stressed him so much that he lost 10 percent of his body weight within 4 months of public kindergarten. This is not pedagogy, it is dog training. That’s how you treat animals but not humans. The outcome will be many, many people on psycho drugs in the years to come.

deidre_NC

March 30th, 2009
6:46 am

when my youngest was in kindegarten she came home everyday upset because she didnt get play time. that was because she got 3 checks by her name. 3 checks=no outside playtime. she wanted to quit school, just absolutely hated it. this was a child who couldnt wait to start school. after many conferences with her teachers-here was the problem. at our school kindegarten and first grade are in the same class. it seems my daughter was getting in trouble because she continually ‘butted in’ to the first grade work. i asked if she had finished her ‘kindegarten’ work-yes she had and then she wouldnt sit quietly while her class finished theirs. okay-hello??? let her do the first grade work!!! they had this whole plan-the started reading at a set time of the year-my daughter already knew how to read but she wasnt allowed to because it wasnt time yet…well—after many heated conferences i got them to move her into the 1st grade section-had them let her read-and then she skipped first grade the next eyar-it was a huge fight and i didnt get these concessions until i threatened to take her out of the school. i could write a huge post on this ordeal-it really was awful-i finally made them bring in state testers and said i would go with whatever they advised. she tested 4th grade reading and 3rd grade math-this was kindegarten!! she has been at the top of her class all throghout school and will graduate this year with honors. you really have to pay attention to whats going on in the classroom-if i had punished her for the check marks everyday no telling what would have happened. 3 checkmarks almost every single day because she 1.)wanted to read for gods sake and 2.) because she was finished with her work and wanted to do harder work. can you believe it?? it was a terrible year for us both-but it turned out well in the end. she starts college in the fall. if i hadnt paid attention and just let the teachers have their way im sure i would have had a nightmare of a brilliant minded kid being bored to death all through school and in trouble all the time. the teachers really just didnt know what to do with her. i was amazed at the way they handled it all. when i was in shcool teachers loved getting an extra bright kid–

SouthFultonMom

March 30th, 2009
8:02 am

Deidre it sounds to me like you had either an inexperienced teacher or a lazy one. It is quite common to get students that are advanced for the kindergarten curriculum. Both of my kids were reading in pre-k. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher made sure that she and another student were a part of the accelerated reader program. This was in a catholic school. My son was not only reading, but he could easily do even first grade math. His kindergarten teacher always gave him extra work. As a matter of fact, this went on until the 4th grade. He really just had some great teachers that knew how to handle gifted students. He is in the gifted program and has continued to be successful. It’s unfortunate your daughter’s teachers wouldn’t go that extra step.

My kids did the traffic light colors as well. Both of them love to talk, so getting on green regularly was cause for a huge celebration!

JJ

March 30th, 2009
8:05 am

Yea, I’m glad those days are over!!!!

A friend of mine has a kid in 2nd grade, and they get busted for talking at lunch. That is absolutely outrageous. Why can’t they talk at lunch? It’s a social time.

I’m just glad those days are over for me. Two more months, and mine will graduate from high school, and is off to college…..No more public school jail!!!

DB

March 30th, 2009
8:13 am

dierdre, I hear you on the school work! My son’s kindergarten teacher complained that he had trouble sitting still, and I asked if there was a pattern — she said it was usually in math, and thought that maybe he didn’t like math . . . I pointed out that the math worksheets were of the apples and oranges variety, and at 5, my son was doing square roots for fun . . . yeah, he was good in math, and she had overlooked that in my descriptive paragraph, or else she and I weren’t on the same page when I commented that “he was going to need to be challenged in math, due to his aptitude for it.” :-) She was a little puzzled, and I said, “Why don’t you get him some 4th/5th grade worksheets so he can practice the multiplication tables?” Her response was “Oh, we can’t do that . . .” I stared at her and said, “This is a private school — are you telling me I have to go out and BUY a darn 5th grade workbook for him?” Two weeks later, they created a special class for him and two other kids, who were taken out of class for math for “math enrichment”, where they got to do more interesting stuff. The kid was doing intro calculus in 6th grade — he certainly didn’t take after his mother in that!

I would point out, to AO and others — that some kids simply are not emotionally or socially ready for kindergarten. No slam on their brains — but there are a lot of different maturity factors that play into a successful kindergarten year. If a child is significantly behind in one or more, it makes for a tough year. There are a myriad of private kindergartens, half-day programs, etc. that may meet their needs just as well. A kid doesn’t HAVE to go to kindergarten at the local public school. Sometimes that one year can make all the difference. Figure it’s 18-20% of their life, so far — there’s bound to be major changes in a year.

DB

March 30th, 2009
8:18 am

JJ, I was at a birthday party about 10-12 year ago, and most of the kids were from a local parochial school. I was shocked that when the cake and ice cream was served, all these 7 year olds suddenly clammed up and started eating. Not a word out of ‘em! My daughter, who was a neighborhood friend, was perplexed, especially when one of the little girls frowned at her ane “sssshed” her when my daughter asked her a question. I commented on the quiet to one of the parents, and they said that the school had bells — they could talk for the first five minutes and the last five minutes of lunch, but otherwise, it was silent lunch, because “less food got wasted.”

Not my idea of a good time, but it certainly was quiet . . .

motherjanegoose

March 30th, 2009
8:45 am

I have to scoot out soon. I am not a advocate of silent lunch BUT I do know that those children who are incessant talkers ( myself and my children included) will talk all during lunch and not EAT their lunch. Additionally, those who are seated near them will be talking TO them and not eating their own lunches. ( think here….your child is sitting next to a talker and not eating a bite of his/her lunch but enjoying the conversation…would you rather children eat or talk…there is not much time for both) .

Unfortunately, lunchtime for children is NOT like adults….LET’S DO LUNCH SOMETIME…with the idea that we will catch up on things. Children who are talking during lunch and not eating, will be the same ones who are restless later as they have not fueled their bodies and are perhaps cranky because they are hungry.

We need Kathy to check in on this as she KNOWS Kindergarten!

FCM

March 30th, 2009
8:54 am

Theresa, At least your school lets you have input on the teacher. Three times now I have told the school…I don’t think this teacher is right for my kid to be basically be told “We do this for a living. We know best.” Yet all three times my child has proven they cannot behave under these teachers. The consequences got to the point that they severly punished me and my other child (no tv, no movies, no outings, computers etc). Yet when we did get 3 teachers I knew would work WOW! It was like we had a different kid. We still had some issues, but it wasn’t like everyday was red either.

My youngest was so excited over a trip to the treasure box last week. That one is a late spring birthday too. Sometimes maturity (and I do not know Walsh so I am not making a judgement) and intellect do develop at the same speed. Mine has the intellect but not the maturity to get the job done.

Both of my children have issues with following directions. With one child it is a matter of boredom. She is an A – B student whether she studies or not. However since the work comes easy she tends to get bored and then do other things (draw, get up 16 million times, read) than her work. Thus she gets a less than stellar behavior grade. This is not entirely the teacher or the students fault. These days all the rooms are homoginized and there is no “fast reading vs slow reading group’ type structure. We need to go back to segragating classes by ability.

Denise

March 30th, 2009
8:55 am

Deirdre, My brother was your child growing up. My mother taught me to read by age 4 and since it was hot in Mississippi and I didn’t want to play outside every day, we “played school”. That meant, of course, that he learned to read at 4 as well. (I was 8.) Back in the early 80s where we lived, kindergarten was where you learned your alphabet, numbers, and how to write. No “higher learning” requirements for kindergarten in 1982. Needless to say, he was BORED in class. His assigments were to COPY a book. He came home stressed (at 5) talking about having to write a book and my mama went to the school preparing to act a fool. She did but not because he had to WRITE a book but because he spent the whole day copying words that he could already read. And, oh yeah, he could do some simple math, too. I used to teach him the math I was learning in school (4 grades ahead of him) to keep him busy but that meant he was even more advanced than his classmates. His whole academic experience was ruined at age 5.

I was pretty smart too but I had a different experience. Still stressful but hey! In the second grade, I went to 3rd grade math and reading. In the 3rd grade I was tutoring some of my “slower” classmates. 8 years old and tutoring? Yeah, I was stressed when my “students” didn’t do well.

My teachers were less equipped to deal with advanced students back then. Back then we got whipped in class for talking, not paying attention (even when we were finished our work), fidgeting when we were bored, etc. WHIPPED! I’m glad that punishments have changed but I’m sad that the same issues that we say in the 80s are still in the classroom now.

Jesse's Girl

March 30th, 2009
9:01 am

Theresa….it would a riot to get the boys together!!! Just be listen in on what they talk about would kill me!!! The Boy is the same way….once a week he gets yellow. They move clips. I ask him the same thing when he gets in the car…..”Well…how’d you do?” If his clip stayed on green….his sweet face lights up!! If it was moved…he hamge his head and his lip pokes out. Time on his bed is a-comin’. He is then made to write an apology to his teacher. She has many of these…

@AO…maybe your kid is just really high strung. But I think it is a cheap shot to proclaim that our kinders are on their way to psycho drugs. Especially when it sounds like your sweetie-pie is Xanax bound…

Jesse's Girl

March 30th, 2009
9:05 am

Wow….new laptop….that should have read….”just to be able to listen” and “hangs his head”. Srry.

Jesse's Girl

March 30th, 2009
9:06 am

And that should have said SORRY. Stupid new key board…..I love my new laptop. But its going to take a couple of days to get used to!!!!

Meme

March 30th, 2009
9:10 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, I teach 6th grade and here we think that social time is very important. The kids are allowed to talk to each other at lunch as long as they don’t get out of hand. Silent lunch is a punishment. We even take them out of the lunchroom to eat. Needless to say, at this time of year we have very few who must serve silent lunch.

Also, my grandson is in preschool this year and he has had a great experience because his teachers knew what they were doing. They are very patient with the children. I sure do appreciate that.

Michelle

March 30th, 2009
9:11 am

Boy does this ever hit home! My son is in kindergarten as well. It has been a VERY rough year. His school has a “level” system 1-4. He spends most of his time on level 2, sometimes 3. He has not yet, nor will he ever be on a level 4! It is crazy! The thing that is so disconcerting for me is that one of the punishments that they get is to lose their play time! My goodness, they spend a FULL day in school, they can’t talk at lunch, and then they take away RECESS too?! I know their options are limited as to what they can do though. Oh…and I think they have a partially silent lunch too! At our house, supper is when we talk about a lot of things!

When we signed our son up for school, we let them know that he doesn’t do well with change and he does better in smaller groups. He likes stability and continuity. Well…his class has been FULL of change. His teacher has jury duty every other week just for starters (yes, all year long)! They have student teachers come in every semester. They eliminated 1 kindergarten class which added 2 more kids to his class!! I LOVE his teacher and think that she is great. I don’t like the school system though. It has been a struggle from the beginning!

I think the levels and lights can be very detrimental. The kids are quite fragile at this age. I can see my sons self confidence taking a hit when he has a particularly bad week. It is just so hard for him. Once he gets his confidence knocked down, it is just a spiral for him. It is SO hard to get him back on track. Once he has had to deal with a bad day all day, it’s difficult to even get him to talk to me! Let me just say, the administrative staff at his school know him very well!

Gwinnett Parent

March 30th, 2009
9:32 am

My daughter’s kindergarten has behavior levels 1-4, with 4 being the best. At the beginning of the year the teacher sent a letter home letting all of the parents know that a level 4 was almost near impossible and to expect level 3’s as the norm. My daughter is upset everyday because she tries her best and only gets 3’s. Level 3 is still a smiley face, but not perfect. I asked her if anyone in her class gets 4’s and she nodded her head no. I do not object to pushing children as long as the goals are realistic. Also, I am amazed at the work they are expecting out of kindergarteners. My daughter can read on a 2nd grade level, add, and subtract. However, the entire class is expected to do book reports twice a week, word problems, and graphing. One day the teacher sent home a real simple book with pictures and one word underneath each picture, and asked for the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Fortunately, she was also required to state what she liked/disliked about the book and she let the teacher know that it was missing a plot. My daughter was doing fine on the word problems until they changed the format. They want the kids to have different equations for the same problem. If the answer is 10, they want 5 equations showing how to get to 10, which I think is somewhat confusing. Having the correct answer at the end is not good enough. On her work the answers are correct, but the process is not what they want. It seems that the kids chime along doing fine until some “expert” comes in and has a different way of doing the same problem. The kids would do better if the educators would stick to simple math and try not to reinvent the wheel everyday. She will adjust to the format du jour. However, I feel for the children that are average or below average. Some of the kids in her grade have told me that they hate school. One kindergarten parent told me that his daughter wanted to drop out of school. His daughter is one of the brighter ones in my child’s class.

MA

March 30th, 2009
9:38 am

Our school does not have total silent lunch but plays soft music for 6 minutes and then off for 1 or 2 minutes. It does stay quiet in the lunchroom. The school did this because the noise level was extremely loud! Even when the music is off it still gets loud but not as bad. Kids will be kids!

Michelle – if I were you, I would check into the jury duty time off. I have had jury duty 2 times locally(got on a jury panel both times), but, they were 2 1/2 years apart and I finally called the judge directly to say that I had served my time(he took me off the 3rd. time called). I did have Federal Grand Jury Duty, but, it was the first Tuesday of every month for 1 year. I would check into this, something is fishy.

Gwinnett Parent

March 30th, 2009
9:47 am

Michelle-Gwinnett parent also? I think our kids are at the same school, not the same teacher. My daughter’s kindergarten class was split up around Thanksgiving, and she was put into another class. As mentioned above, we also have the impossible level 4 system. My daughter’s new teacher is great, but her curriculum is a product of GPS, which seems to be misguided.

Michelle

March 30th, 2009
11:00 am

Yes, I am! I have been less than thrilled with the curriculum. I’m not sure if we have the same teacher. I don’t think he has to give a weekly book report, but I’m really not sure. He misses out a lot because he doesn’t like to participate on the “schedule”. He is doing “ok” classwise, but it’s behavior that poses a problem for us. He actually has “S” for most of his report card with a “E” for science…however…the behavior is “N or U”. I do not believe (and neither do the counselors, teachers, nor SST clan) that he has ADHD. With the way the new guidelines are to prevent “labeling” it has taken us this long with practically “begging” to get any type of evaluation!

Gwinnett Parent…are you at Harbins?

Kathy

March 30th, 2009
11:09 am

Okay I am prepared for the slamming I might get for my opinions today. I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut today! Hopefully motherjane will back me up! She did request my presence after all!

I could get on my soapbox and stand there all week about how the whole “traffic light” system used by teachers just does not work. I taught Kindergarten for 8 years without it and my students behaved just fine and were performing at or above grade level all year long. A good Kindergarten teacher UNDERSTANDS the brains of 4, 5 and 6 year old children. They are talkers! Kids that age do not have an “inner voice” that adults have. They talk out loud about everything, even when they are not really talking to anyone. Their learning needs to be active….not sitting at a desk or table for long periods of time. They don’t sit still for long. Their attention spans are not incredibly long. However, the potential for learning about anything and everything is phenomenal. Okay back to the traffic lights. First of all, displaying the progress of children’s behavior is HUMILIATING for children and completely unecessary. You can educate children without humiliating them. Children need to learn that there are natural and logical consequences for every choice they make in life. Real life does not involve “changing your clip” or “moving from red to green”. That is not teaching them anything about the choices they make. I used a system of management in my classroom called Discipline with Love and Logic by Jim and Charles Fay (they also have a model for parents). You can look them up on the web. It was a lot of work but it had good results and it allowed me to focus on teaching and learning and not what color every child was on. I think the teachers who use the lights and the clips are lazy and do not want to take the extra time to actually use situations to teach children about their choices and the consequences that follow. OH…..and treasure box!? Why do we have to reward children with trinkets for everything they do?! There is a book that every parent and educator should read called Punished By Reward by Alfie Kohn that talks about how children (and adults)are over rewarded and over praised.

Yes, there are children who have special needs and need behavior modification charts. Yes there are children with extreme behaviors that need to be dealt with. But punishing a young child for talking? Sounds like the teacher needs to rethink her plan.

Sorry to be so wordy. I could go on all day about this. Especially the whole “no talking during lunch” issue. Oh, and the “let’s hold a child out of recess as a consequence” issue. UGH….I could go on but I won’t.

Michelle

March 30th, 2009
11:16 am

Thank you Kathy! I agree that it can be demoralizing for a kid who is “active” to always see themselves being moved from a higher to a lower level. They get labeled as the “bad” kids. No one wants them on their teams, or wants to play with them! It’s very sad that this is the “accepted” behavior model for our school in general (Gwinnett). I think my son’s teacher “gets” the little kid brains/processing, unfortunately her hands are somewhat tied by what the “AKS” system requires!

b

March 30th, 2009
12:48 pm

I read these comments with interest…so many of you have very young kids who are now learning that they cannot just do what they want, when they want, like talking in class. Yes, they may be bored or whatever, but acting out is also causing problems for every other child in the class. At what age are they supposed to know that talking during class is inappropriate? Fifth grade? High school?

My eighth grader receives demerits for behavior which a teacher deems inappropriate (it works throughout all the grades this way). Too many per week and there is detention and wearing of the school uniform on Friday when everyone else is wearing street clothes. It doesn’t take much more than the first week or two of school for new kids to realize that appropriate behavior is rewarded and inappropriate behavior has consequences which are not enjoyable.

Inappropriate behavior can be chewing gum, talking in class, shirt untucked, missing belt, socks too short, skirt too short, homework not completed and handed in, not paying attention in class, etc.

We do not get upset about the demerits unless they result in detention. Then there are consequences at home. To our minds, the demerit was already given at school so unless detention is earned, there is no reason to punish again. Detention involves us driving to school to pick up after detention, so it is a huge deal to us and that does involve loss of priviledges.

We have really liked this system, even if it is subjected to the whims of the teacher (students have to learn how different people, ie teachers react). It teaches consequences for behavior.

Jesse's Girl

March 30th, 2009
1:29 pm

KATHY….. love your ideas!!!! I HATE that my children are rewarded for good behavior. In our house…there are things you do and ways you behave just because its the PROPER way. I hate the system our son’s teacher uses. But in all other ways, she is very effecive. We don’t give allownaces either…..unless of course they go aove and beyond.

DB

March 30th, 2009
1:29 pm

@Kathy: I LOVE “Parenting with Love and Logic” by the Fays. My son picked my copy up when he was 17, and read through it in one evening. I saw him reading it and said, teasingly, “Hey, no fair, you can’t read my secret manual!” He laughed and said, “Yeah, it’s weird reading some of those parts, because they sure did work!”

The biggest thing I took away from the books was determining “Who owns the problem?” Especially as they grow older, it becomes more and more important to put the responsibility for problem-solving and subsequent consequences right back on the child. Parents have enough responsibilities — they don’t need to volunteer for more than their fair share!

JJ

March 30th, 2009
1:35 pm

Hijacking the blog again, I need some advice. I’ll only be a minute :)

My daughter and her best friend swapped cell phones over the weekend. My daughter bought her Blackberry back in October with her own money. It was $80, along with the 2 year contract. Outside of the contract, the phone is about $350. The girl who had my daughter’s phone, dropped it out of her car, and ran over it. She didn’t know what she had done, until another friend saw it.

They are at odds over who should pay for a new phone, and both us moms have gotten involved. The mom of the friend says she should pay for the phone in full. I say, they split the cost, 60-40, as my daughter “loaned” her phone out. The girl who ran over the phone should pay 60%, and my daughter 40%.

What do you all think?

MomsRule

March 30th, 2009
1:41 pm

The girl who broke the phone should replace it.

She needs to take responsiblity for her actions, whether intentional or accidental.

Now, I’m curious. Will your daughter continue to swap cell phones???

Nurse&mother

March 30th, 2009
1:42 pm

AO-sorry your son had such a negative (or should I say stressful) reaction to the behavior system. I do think that your general description of the system (not your son, of course) is a little dramatic (IMHO).

My daughter only got one warning in all of elementary education. Now my son, I fear, will probably be a whole other ballgame. We’ll just wait and see. LOL.

Jesse's Girl

March 30th, 2009
1:48 pm

JJ…you are looking a gift horse in the mouth here. Perfect parenting opportunity. Your daughter showed a lack of responsibility and respect for her own property. She “traded” phones with her for…who knows why? Doesn’t matter. My daughter would be entirely responsible for paying for a replacement phone. She better thank her lucky stars she has a friend who is willing to pay anything! I can hear the count down now….when my children will wish they had a different momma!!!:)

JJ

March 30th, 2009
1:51 pm

Mom’sRule – I HOPE NOT!!!! I hope they BOTH learned a lesson……

Nurse&mother

March 30th, 2009
1:54 pm

Hey JJ. I think that the friend should pay 90% and your daughter 10% (if that much). I guarantee the whole incidence taught your daughter a lesson. Her friend should be more responsible than that!

Becky

March 30th, 2009
2:06 pm

JJ, I agree with you on the 60/40..As others said a while back, we swaped clothes on a regular basis, someitmes to never get them back..

Good luck with whatever they decide to do to make this work out right for both of them..

JJ

March 30th, 2009
2:09 pm

Well, I just found out she can get another Blackberry for $80, plus some $50 fee. So the friend is going to pay $80, and my daughter will pay the $50.

Thanks Ladies!!!!

Lori

March 30th, 2009
2:12 pm

After reading this, I’m scared. My son starts kindergarten next year. He is one of the talkers. It’s just his nature. He asks questions contantly. I don’t want his teachers to squash that out of him, though, becuase it is just him trying to understand his world. He is extremely smart, and asks very intelligent questions. I think he just craves a complete understanding of everything. But in the hands of the wrong teacher, he can seem a little impertenant becuase he has a hard time knowing when to stop asking questions. Luckily I am fortunate enough to be able to send him to private school, but I worry so much about how he’s going to do. This year I’ve been struggling to get any kind of feedback from his preK teachers at all (good ol’ GA prek)!! They don’t have any kind of system, other than to send notes home when your kid asks really bad, but I don’t ever hear about the day to day challenges with my son. I beg for feedback, but I’m not getting anything.

Lori

March 30th, 2009
2:15 pm

To JJ, your daughter should pay for the phone 100%. Accidents can happen to anyone, but it’s your daughters phone and she is the one who lent it out. It’s here responsibility. Hard lesson to learn.

Penguinmom

March 30th, 2009
2:15 pm

My husband had this same problem in early elementary. He got in trouble for talking too much and not finishing his worksheets. Problem was he already knew everything on the worksheets. One time they sat him down in the principal’s office to do a Month’s worth of worksheets. He had them done in 30 Minutes. Duh, he was talking because he was bored!

Also, he is an auditory learner which means he likes to talk through what he is learning. He had to learn to talk to himself in his head instead of talking to others.

Amazingly, he is not a gregarious talker as an adult. He isn’t shy or totally quiet, but he is definitely more reserved than I am.

Nurse&mother

March 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

Hey Lori- What if you borrow a nice cashmire sweater from your best friend. You accidently pick the sweater and a huge hole ensues. Would you simply hand the sweater back and refuse to offer to replace the sweater? Or do you have the mentality that “oh well, she shouldn’t have lent me the sweater.”

Kathy

March 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

WOW! I am shocked that I have some support today! I thougth surely I would get some teachers mad because I called them lazy.

DB….yes, “Who owns the problem?” is one of the most important lessons from that book. So many people today don’t want to own their own problems….the economy is the perfect example of this!!! We need to be teaching our children to accept responsibility for their own actions and to “own their problems.”

Michelle….I agree with you in that teachers are pressured to fit curriculum in during the year (namely those that have to abide by the AKS). Teachers are asked to teach an inch deep and a mile wide. They are given so much to do and none of it is getting taught with any quality or depth. So much is being pushed down into the earlier grades way too soon.

Lori….I must have your child’s twin!! My Little E is VERY talkative and VERY smart. I am nervous as well about her going to Kindergarten. She will not do well with the “traffic light” discipline. I am not as fortunate to be able to afford private school, but I will go back to work when she is 5 and she will go to school wherever I get a job so I will be able to keep tabs on what is going on in her class (and hopefully pick her teachers each year). Hopefully you will get a teacher that is equipped with the skills to recognize and meet the needs of children who need to be challenged. Here’s another problem I am hearing about in the school system I used to work for (I will be kind and not name it!). Teachers are so focused on teaching to the middle and low students that the higher performing students who need more are being left behind…hmmmmmmm…I thought we were not supposed to be leaving anyone behind?!?!?!

motherjanegoose

March 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

Kathy… I never used the red, yellow, green management system either. I was known as a firm teacher but many parents requested me and most often if a sibling was on his/ her way to Kindergarten then the parents wanted that child to have me too. Who knows if it worked.

Guess what? When I was in first grade the teacher had to put tape over my mouth as I talked way too much. She sent a note home to tell my mother. LOL…someone would be fired in a heartbeat today, if they tried it!

Those of you who are worried about putting your child in public school, there are some really great teachers out there but there are also some who have no clue. Please do not ask me how you can guarantee the good ones….I do not know.

FYI…I am in schools that have student teachers in them now. One is doing a super job and I just happen to know her mother from another school. Another one falls asleep each time I am at the school doing their program….if I were the supervising teacher I would be having a serious chat with that girl. I hope none of your kids get her next fall!

Here is my biggest beef: lack of manners and respect for others. There are too few children who are polite and considerate. Way more that are what I call ME MONSTERS. Parents who are wimps just give in to these children rather than arguing and when you have a class of 20 Kinders YOU CANNOT GIVE IN TO EVERYONE! Sometimes life is just NOT fair and we just have to roll with it!

I was in the restroom at the airport yesterday and a little boy was screaming loudly continuously.
I was thinking that if that had been my son, I would have pinched his ear firmly and told him to stop it immediately but today’s parents try to reason with their precious children and teachers do not have time for this. You set the rules and you set the consequences. Children need to see boundaries and those parents who are whimping out ARE NOT DOING THEIR CHILDREN ANY FAVORS.

FCM

March 30th, 2009
2:51 pm

JJ– The court system wouldlook at how much each party contributed to damage (contributing negligence). Then they would assign percentages based on those contributions. In this case the friend assumed the property for a period of time and thus the care of the same item. The friend should be paying for it.

MomsRule

March 30th, 2009
2:52 pm

JJ, I hope they both learned a lesson as well!

But I believe if you damage someone else’s property you are responsible for replacing it.

Nurse&mother

March 30th, 2009
2:54 pm

Kathy the last few sentences of your last post are right on the money. If I could afford private school (and didn’t have to drive 40 minutes away), I would definitely consider changing. We have encountered this problem for many years. I did switch schools within the county and was very pleased. The new school did seem to really care about the individual child. The old school only cared about teaching the below average and average children. What a shame! Shame on all those lazy teachers who only care about teaching the standards!!

That said even at our old school, we did have some excellent teachers with really high standards. Funny, in kindergarten, the teacher always joked “here comes E with her college knowledge”. LOL. Fortunately there are some good teachers out there despite being in a backwards system.

Sorry for the mini rant. Kathy hit a little nerve that I try to repress.:-)

JJ

March 30th, 2009
3:06 pm

MotherJane, with regard to lack of manners, I have a good one for you….

I go to a certain Bakery every Friday, located about 1/2 mile from Weslyan High School. I was walking in one rainy morning, and I saw a Weslyan girl approching the door. I held the door for her, and she just walked right past me, no “thank you”, no acknowledgement at all. I said, “You’re welcome”, and she turned around and glared at me. I said, “What, they aren’t teaching manners at the big expensive private school?” She looked at me like I had three heads, and mumbled something incoherent (rhymns with “rich”), with a scowl on her face, and turned and walked away. Nice. Real Nice.

motherjanegoose

March 30th, 2009
3:32 pm

JJ…loved it! I guess her parents should be sending her to what they used to call a finishing school.

Lady Strange

March 30th, 2009
3:52 pm

My son is not old enough for school yet (he’s only 14 months old), but I already think he’s going to be a problem for the teachers when he is in school. If he stays on his current course he’s going to be a talker. Which is fine with me (I was a very shy child), but I don’t want him to interfere with others learning. Hopefully I can glean some tips from here!

Nurse&mother

March 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

JJ, I thought I was the only one that said “you’re welcome” even when folks are rude and do not acknowledge a nice gesture. It embarrasses the crap out of the 11yo. Oh I also acknowledge when I see a young person that has good manners. (once again, embarrasses the crap out of the pre-teen).

MomsRule

March 30th, 2009
4:05 pm

Nurse&mother, no, you and JJ are not alone! I do the same things, with both the rude people and the well behaved youngsters!

I hate it when one of my boys holds a door for someone and it is not acknowledged (always adults too)!

I always say, “thank you , it was nice of you to hold the door for that gentleman/lady, unfortunately, not everyone was raised with manners.” — always loud enough for the offender to hear.

It doesn’t embarrass my boys though (9 and 13).

jmb

March 30th, 2009
4:12 pm

JJ – with the insurance all you pay is $50 and I have to agree with Jessie on this one. If my 17 year old loaned out something that expensive, she needs a good lesson in my eyes.