As far as I know Super Kid generally behaves well at school. At parents evenings his teachers always give me glowing reports. He is doing well academically, listens well, doesn’t misbehave and has plenty of friends. However last week Super Kid did something which tarnished his record behaviour.
I arrived to pick up Super Kid at the end of school as usual. I was actually in a rush, having arranged to meet a friend in the park. It’s rare I go to the park after school because it’s a drive away and anyway I’m pretty keen on heading home for biscuits and a sneaky half an hour on the sofa. So it’s rare that I’m in a rush, which is probably where this whole thing started, I asked fate to make my afternoon easy and fate stuck two fingers up.
Super Kid’s teacher, a lovely newly qualified teacher who has a perminant look of startled rabbit about him, asked me if he could have a quick chat. So I sent the children to
wrestle on the playground floor play nicely and waited. Turns out it’s my first official, your child has been naughty and we need to deal with this together, talk. During lunchtime break Super Kid has locked most of the toilet cubicles from the inside, crawled out, and stood by to see what would happen.
I have told this story to quiet a few of my friends and the usual response is a snort and a giggle. So I feel less terrible that this was my instinctive response too. Turns out it’s not the response Super Kid’s teacher was looking for. In fact, as is appropriate, Super Kid had been taken to the staff room and given a serious talking to. Unfortunately he wasn’t duly repentant, which is why I was brought in.
In fact he seemed to consider leaving a few stalls unlocked during this prank as showing consideration of his fellow pupils need to use the loo. He couldn’t understand why he was being told off at all. So once at home later I bring the topic up with him at which point he goes all teenage and “it’s so unfair” and “I only did it for fun”. Unfortunately I am ill equipped to deal with the teenage attitude, as he is my eldest and I am accustomed to bottom wiping and boo boo kissing. Plus I hadn’t expected this for a good few years but then Super Kid always has been ahead of the game. So I mumble something about banning Nintendo if he behaves badly again and let him strop off to his room. Mummy fail.
So I turn to you my lovely readers, especially those of you with children over five. How do you deal with it when your child has done something wrong and is not only utterly unrepentant but also indignant at being told off? How should I handle the back chat, and general attitude that appears to come with my son turning six? How the heck do I parent a six year old?
The big lesson for you here is ‘what happens at school stays at school.’ Find out how the school want to handle it and support that but don’t punish him at home.
Let him know that you don’t want him to do things that will cause him to get into trouble at school and leave it at that.
Don’t argue with him about whether it’s fair or not, just check he now knows that it’s not appropriate to play pranks involving toilets and move on.
And try not to laugh about it within earshot….
That’s a good point, I don’t want him to end up punished twice.
I have exactly the same experience! I’ve been called into the head teacher’s office because my 7 year old had (pretended?) to stick his head down the toilet and ran around the playground saying he had “wee hair” and trying to touch his friends.
Looking the headmistress in the eye without laughing was one of the hardest things I had to do. And as far as trying to figure out what on earth my son was thinking of when he did it, who knows? It was only one of a score of minor indiscretions he had perpetuated over the past year.
No sure I can help much on the punishment thing – yes, limiting tv/computer time is what I try, without much success. And recently, holding back pocket money for a week.
He seems to have got better in the last year (maybe he’s just matured a bit?) but yes for most of last year I would dread doing the school pickups, least I got a “Can I have a word….?” from the teacher.
I feel for you x
Ah the classic wee wee head prank! Glad to hear things are better.
You have to always be the parent. You are the one in charge, and you need to back the respect with which you treat your child. Any lack of respect in our house usually leads to a worse punishment than the original crime.
Taking away of Nintendo for a day or 2 seems perfectly suitable, but make the crime and punishment match up, even if you have to wing it a bit. For example say you don’t think he’s taking school seriously, so he’ll be reading rather than playing games on his Nintendo for the next 2 evenings. It gives a justification to the punishment and makes it harder for them to convince you that they’re being hard done to. Always decide the punishment immediately, or if you can’t do that then tell them there will be one when you’ve decided what it is. Don’t go back to them hours later and surprise them, that’d be mean.
Oh yeah, and DO NOT laugh until you are absolutely certain they’re out of earshot! 😀
Matching crime to punishment sounds like a good idea, thanks.
This sounds oh so familiar! There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in this or any other parenting scenario. Go with what your heart says. I like the idea above though of ‘what happens in school stays in school’. Yes, it’s a great idea to have a discussion with him, but personally I wouldn’t punish at home for something at school. Children need to know that parents and teachers are on ‘the same side’ but if you punish too, it gives the message that what the school does isn’t enough. Know what I mean?
As far as “What was he thinking?”, it sounds like you have a wonderfully inventive, imaginative 6 year old who likes to make his friends feel good by making them laugh. 🙂 That may be difficult to deal with now, but that’s a great quality for him to take into adulthood. x
Yes I can’t imagine where he gets the comedian in him from.
Just wait till he turns 13, call this light training for you 😉
Totally unhelpful advice I know, but hopefully if nothing else made you smile x x x
I am literally terrified of when my children turn into stroppy teenagers.
The first thing I thought to myself while reading this was it’s a good social experiment. Maybe he wanted to see how other children would react when faced with a locked door. If you look at it this way, he was just being a social scientist. Or if you look at it another way, maybe he wanted to get caught. It’s not uncommon at school for the ‘good’ kids, the ones who follow all the rules and do what their told, to go unnoticed. Maybe he wanted a bit of attention. I think if he were mine, I’d try to understand the reasons why he did it and then talk about it. Maybe it was just for fun … or maybe it was something deeper than that. Having said all that, as you will see from my posts, I’m perennially confused about my children’s behaviour …. so you may want to ignore this altogether!
Ella, you asked ‘How do you parent a six year old ?’
My answer: The same as any other…the best you can:-)
I would say I can see why you thought it might be funny, but it was a mistake to lock all the loo’s you should have been working in class or playing during playtime.
I would remove some treat for this misbehaviour. something that bites but fits the crime like no pudding while you all do.
I am afraid I totally disagree with the lady who believes what happens in school stays in school. The teacher would not be informing you if they did not recognise parents need to make sure kids know what is not acceptable.
But it is funny 🙂 its hard to keep a straight face isn’t it. Teen behaviour starts at 8 these days so yes he is pushing it at 6 🙂
Thanks for your input.