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Is this a fair punishment?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 8:04 am
My Grade 3 child (my youngest) refused to do his work in class and disturbed the lesson. This isn't the first time and the teachers do say it happens at least weekly (this is something ive been trying to figure out how to fix, have been to an educational psychologist who said he was fine and teachers just need to think out the box and learn how to deal with him). The kid teachers describe and my kid at home are like 2 different children.

Anyway they have been collecting 'money' in class to use at their shushan purim carnival on Wednesday, he came home on friday upset as he had got least in the class and I spoke to him and explained how it's a consequence of his behaviour and if he had tried harder he would have got more. Trying to make it a lesson on how the regret he feels now he doesn't want to feel again so next time he should really try behave all the time.

Fast forward to today and I just got a message from his teacher that he didn't behave today and consequently has lost all his carnival money.

I'm in 2 minds part of me thinks maybe a consequence like this when all his friends are going to be having fun at the carnival and he can't will teach him a lesson but the other part of me is concerned it's not a great lesson as he did work for the money he got and I also don't want it to be a negative thing on Purim.

do I let him stay home on Wed so he just doesn't go or send him and let him learn the lesson.

Help!! I'm literally in tears and at my wits end with dealing with this kid and the calls from the teachers. Sad
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amother




Lemon
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 8:14 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My Grade 3 child (my youngest) refused to do his work in class and disturbed the lesson. This isn't the first time and the teachers do say it happens at least weekly (this is something ive been trying to figure out how to fix, have been to an educational psychologist who said he was fine and teachers just need to think out the box and learn how to deal with him). The kid teachers describe and my kid at home are like 2 different children.

Anyway they have been collecting 'money' in class to use at their shushan purim carnival on Wednesday, he came home on friday upset as he had got least in the class and I spoke to him and explained how it's a consequence of his behaviour and if he had tried harder he would have got more. Trying to make it a lesson on how the regret he feels now he doesn't want to feel again so next time he should really try behave all the time.

Fast forward to today and I just got a message from his teacher that he didn't behave today and consequently has lost all his carnival money.

I'm in 2 minds part of me thinks maybe a consequence like this when all his friends are going to be having fun at the carnival and he can't will teach him a lesson but the other part of me is concerned it's not a great lesson as he did work for the money he got and I also don't want it to be a negative thing on Purim.

do I let him stay home on Wed so he just doesn't go or send him and let him learn the lesson.

Help!! I'm literally in tears and at my wits end with dealing with this kid and the calls from the teachers. Sad


You put all the weight of your son's problems on the teachers. The teachers were told to think out of the box and did. Blaming the teachers for not thinking out of the box will not solve the problem. That can't give individual lessons to a whole classroom of children. The others will want the same special treatment and classroom discipline well be destroyed. Your son is troublemaker. You need to enforce the teachers' discipline. Sorry - but your son isn't fine if he's disturbing multiple teachers.
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amother




Brown
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 8:24 am
No. Taking his money away from him is cruel. I would maybe be ok with having him sit out the first ten minutes of the carnival. (Maybe but. It likely)

I understand that kids can be challenging. But I generally find that the more punitive we are in our dealings with them ... the less influence we have on them in the long run.

Saying this as a 3rd grade teacher. In 7 years of teaching I never threw a child out of class.

You need to find out exactly when your son is being disruptive. Is it through the day? At specific times? Are there triggers? Is he eating? Peeing? Pooping?

There's a hierarchy of needs and it's possible one of them isn't being met and resulting in push back somewhere else
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 8:39 am
I agree with amother brown.

Behavior is a message. It needs to be decoded in order to find a solution.

Right now, the teachers are assuming he's misbehaving because he wants to for some reason, and therefore, taking away treats and recess and sending him to the office is the answer. Since it's not working, they probably assumed wrong.

If you want to keep him home rather than send him into a situation where he could be disruptive and has reason to want to be, I wouldn't blame you. But use the time to focus on what's wrong and what can be done to solve the problem, don't make it a vacation.
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amother




Blonde
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 8:51 am
If you are able to easily keep him home, it would be a good compromise- he’s not getting the carnival, but he’s not just sitting down. I wouldn’t make it a super fun reward day for him though.

But like everyone else said- you need to get to the root of the issue because it’ll only get worse and there will be more and more punishments.

Ask him in a non judgmental way what’s going on. See if you can pinpoint where the issue is from his point of view. Does he need to take a walk in the middle of class? Is he bored? Is he distracted by others? Just can’t hold his comments in? Work’s too hard? Once you know the cause it can be worked on properly.
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shmosmom




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 9:08 am
I agree with Brown, and would probably keep him home if I can.
Sometimes, just sometimes sometimes, it's important to share your son's hurt, even if he technically 'earned' the punishment. You don't have to say the Morahs were wrong, just say oh you look tired from Purim do you want to stay home. Making him sit thru the whole school Purim fun just isn't fair, especially since he probably worked harder to earn his little money than the goody two shoe kids.
Signed-the adult who was once that kid, and has since way grown up but remembers the two times her mom stuck up for her in similar cases like this.
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SYA




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 9:38 am
For a third grader that's a harsh punishment and may not teach him a lesson. It may cause him to hate the teacher and school and act out even more.

I would speak to the teacher and advocate for your child. If that doesn't help then go to the principal. If that won't help then keep your child home.

A child who is generally well behaved and suddenly starts acting out at school usually has a reason. It's the teachers job to track when it's happening so that he can try to figure out why.
Some examples:
He needs to use the restroom, is very hungry or thirsty, restless so needs a little stretch...
If you don't find out why it won't resolve. Punishments won't help unless you get to the underlying cause.
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:16 am
To answer your q, no punishment is ever fair. Only logical consequences are. If you have to explain to a kid exactly why he's so bad and why he deserves this bad thing, it's a punishment and probably a stupid and ineffective one at that.

So now that he'll be the one kid missing out he will magically behave in school? With what motivation - shame, anger, resentment?
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:19 am
Cruel.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:26 am
OK, full disclosure here. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, because this is super triggering for me.

DD was your kid, and her behavior was caused by undiagnosed anxiety. The teachers said that she was "unteachable". She was EXPELLED from second grade (!) the day before the Purim party.

They would not let her come back to class one more day. They would not let her hug her teachers goodbye. They wouldn't even let her back in to get her favorite pencils.

What was her crime? Fidgeting and putting her head down on the desk when she felt overwhelmed.

Well, guess who's kid is OTD right now? She's a good kid, but wants nothing to do with Judaism. For her, Judaism means judgement, rejection, and misery.

She's 16 now, in therapy, on medication, and getting excellent grades in a secular school.

Teachers, kids do the best that they can, if you recognize how hard they are trying. Reward effort, not results, and you'll get even more effort from them. You hold their fate in your hands. At 120 Hashem is going to have you answer for all the neshamos that were in your care.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:34 am
Whatever money he earned should not be taken away. It's ok to limit his earnings if he isn't meeting the expectations, but it's not ok to snatch away his earned rewards.
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abound




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:39 am
I would try to figure out what is going wrong here. Generally teachers do know how to handle 3rd graders if your child cannot be handled then it is YOUR problem. Blaming the teachers is not going to help, Saying the child is not diagnosed with something is not going to help, you need to get your child diagnosed and give the teachers a plan for how to deal with it cuz they cannot. Its not a matter of if it is fair or not, it is a matter of it is not working and you need the teachers to realize that you are on the same page like them and working with them.
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amother




Blue
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 10:58 am
I think some children challenge teacher authority more than others just because they manage to push the teacher's personal buttons rather than because their behavior is really so awful.

And FF, I sympathize. I sent my daughter to her school bas mitzva celebration in knee socks. On Shabbos she always wore socks not tights and when she dressed up (she was allowed to skip the uniform that one day) I forgot to remind her about stockings, it just didn't occur to me or her, it wasn't some awful tznius rebellion. And my daughter is a straight A student, polite and respectful. She was punished by not being allowed to attend and had to get ugly thick used tights to wear from the office and the older girls pointed and laughed at her. She came home and sobbed for hours. She refused to cover her knees out of school for two years. She likes her high school now, but HATES yeshivish people and despises her elementary school and the principal. I don't blame her. I do too. To miss the celebration they waited all year for??? Because of socks?? Make her change afterward! Let her call her mother! I would've come in 10 minutes....
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amother




Blonde
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:03 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
OK, full disclosure here. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, because this is super triggering for me.

DD was your kid, and her behavior was caused by undiagnosed anxiety. The teachers said that she was "unteachable". She was EXPELLED from second grade (!) the day before the Purim party.

They would not let her come back to class one more day. They would not let her hug her teachers goodbye. They wouldn't even let her back in to get her favorite pencils.

What was her crime? Fidgeting and putting her head down on the desk when she felt overwhelmed.

Well, guess who's kid is OTD right now? She's a good kid, but wants nothing to do with Judaism. For her, Judaism means judgement, rejection, and misery.

She's 16 now, in therapy, on medication, and getting excellent grades in a secular school.

Teachers, kids do the best that they can, if you recognize how hard they are trying. Reward effort, not results, and you'll get even more effort from them. You hold their fate in your hands. At 120 Hashem is going to have you answer for all the neshamos that were in your care.


FF, can we go on a campaign to teach schools about what anxiety looks like in kids so it can be diagnosed and treated instead of kids getting on these cycles of absences and misbehavior? It's crazy how many kids have come through my classroom where this ends up being the issue, but it's so mismanaged by the time they get to me that it's just worse and worse with heavy academic issues thrown in from lack of learning.
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:10 am
abound wrote:
I would try to figure out what is going wrong here. Generally teachers do know how to handle 3rd graders if your child cannot be handled then it is YOUR problem.


That has not been my experience.
Generally teachers try their best but may be clueless as to how to interact with children that don't fall in the middle of the spectrum of behaviors.
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:16 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
At 120 Hashem is going to have you answer for all the neshamos that were in your care.


I don't believe too many really internalize the responsibility they carry. Yes, in an ideal "It's such a rewarding beautiful job to be teaching neshamos, blah blah.. ", but not when it comes to difficult situations.

Teaching should be a fearsome responsibility, not something 18yr olds should be blindly and eagerly step into and learn on the skin of children.
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amother




Brown
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:18 am
So the secret to how I managed to keeps kids in class had been to allow a whole host if things that are not widely accepted in most schools. Having a principal that was encouraging and proud of the classroom community I created was important as well. So while I had the noisiest class in school. All the noise was learning noise. The lessons were always short - if I was speaking for more than 10 minutes it was not going to be helpful to the kids learning. Kid talk was subject related talk. I had standing desks and small coffee tables and clipboards. All this stuff is generally no accepted in most schools. By the way my yeshiva was right wind orthodox and sometimes the dean would come in and make fun of my classroom. my answer to him was that a bet midrash is noisy and shtenders are designed to also stand. And if we expect that of older men then alllllll the more so for my 3rd grade boys.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:22 am
lilies wrote:
I don't believe too many really internalize the responsibility they carry. Yes, in an ideal "It's such a rewarding beautiful job to be teaching neshamos, blah blah.. ", but not when it comes to difficult situations.

Teaching should be a fearsome responsibility, not something 18yr olds should be blindly and eagerly step into and learn on the skin of children.


This should be pinned.
Such a beautiful and powerful sentiment.

I agree.
Most teachers tend to be people who liked school, did well in school, thrived in school.
My daughter is such a student. She loves school, hates vacation, never asks to take off. She wants to be a teacher.
One of my sons is less so. He's bright but finds school challenging. He loves the social parts, but not so much everything else. We're constantly in contact with teachers and principals problem solving, trying this idea, that idea. he's the kid that needs frequent breaks, gets "stomach aches" that get better once I say he can stay home. He ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT want to be a teacher, Rebbi, or anything to do with a school.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:32 am
abound wrote:
I would try to figure out what is going wrong here. Generally teachers do know how to handle 3rd graders if your child cannot be handled then it is YOUR problem. Blaming the teachers is not going to help, Saying the child is not diagnosed with something is not going to help, you need to get your child diagnosed and give the teachers a plan for how to deal with it cuz they cannot. Its not a matter of if it is fair or not, it is a matter of it is not working and you need the teachers to realize that you are on the same page like them and working with them.


OP hired an educational psychologist, who determined that there is nothing wrong with the child. You cannot "diagnose" a child just to make a teacher happy.

The ONLY person whose team I'm on is my kid's. That doesn't mean that my kid is always right; far from it. But it does mean that I don't blindly support a teacher, who may not be on my child's team.

In this case, once you take everything away from the child, what does he have left to lose? Who is his cheerleader, telling him that he's amazing and smart and a joy to be with? It sounds like he needs that, even if he needs discipline as well.

Keep him home on Wednesday -- its going to be an absolute disaster if you don't. (Do they REALLY expect him to sit quietly with his hands folded while everyone else has fun? Have they ever met a 3rd grade boy?) Talk to him about what happened, and ask what will help. Maybe he's about to develop an overactive bladder and need to use the restroom a lot, just to get up and move. Maybe he needs to be closer to the front of the room to hear better. Then give him a goal chart. If he meets certain goals (help a younger sibling with his costume, stop the grogger when told -- make it things he CAN do, so he will absolutely meet the goals), then he will be rewarded by being allowed to choose the Shabbat treat this week. Then keep it up. Set goals he can meet so that you can reward him, and he can feel good about himself. I have a feeling that all of this punishment is beating him down. He needs to know that he's actually a great kid.

Then talk to both the teacher and the administration. See what you can do. Keep your eye on next year, with a teacher with a better fit for him.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Mar 09 2020, 11:35 am
amother [ Brown ] wrote:
So the secret to how I managed to keeps kids in class had been to allow a whole host if things that are not widely accepted in most schools. Having a principal that was encouraging and proud of the classroom community I created was important as well. So while I had the noisiest class in school. All the noise was learning noise. The lessons were always short - if I was speaking for more than 10 minutes it was not going to be helpful to the kids learning. Kid talk was subject related talk. I had standing desks and small coffee tables and clipboards. All this stuff is generally no accepted in most schools. By the way my yeshiva was right wind orthodox and sometimes the dean would come in and make fun of my classroom. my answer to him was that a bet midrash is noisy and shtenders are designed to also stand. And if we expect that of older men then alllllll the more so for my 3rd grade boys.


Can we clone you?

I know for a fact that you never had any of my kids, but I still want to say, on behalf of all those who did. thank you.
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