Day #4 of Kindergarten/trouble already!


Warrior Mom since 2007
I picked my difficult child up from Kindergarten today (the 4th day of K) and the teacher asked to talk to me. Uggh! I have been having so much anxiety and wondering why she hadn't asked to talk to me after the first day... you could say I have been waiting for this - I knew it was just a matter of time.

She told me for 2 days in a row now he had had a hard time keeping his hands/feet to himself. She told me he visited the time out chair today and then they discussed the Make Your Day program and telling the truth.

The Make Your Day program consists of 5 steps for different phases of their discipline program. Step1: Time Out chair facing away from students for no more than 5 mins. If after that time they can verbalize the inappropriate behavior and indicate a willingness to behave appropriately they can return to their seat/activity. Well my son, cannot/will not admit what he did wrong EVER! That's why they got into a discussion about telling the truth.

Anyway... long story short... I am wondering what to do at home when I am told he got a time out or in trouble at school. I am trying to think of logical consequences - but it just seems like anything I do would just be punishment and it will not help him the next time he is frustrated or whatever and decides to hit/kick someone. I have emailed the teacher and asked her to tell me what happened just before he acted inappropriately (I didn't think to ask this when she talked to me).


Let the teacher continue to handle it. in my humble opinion, school issues stay at school, and home issues are dealt with at home.


New Member
As most of us parents have discovered as our difficult child's have went through problems at school, it is MUCH easier if you let the school handle it unless the problem becomes too big. Especially at your child's age, they may remember getting into trouble at school, but coming home and getting into trouble again for the same is difficult for them to connect the two. If there are problems at school that get out of hand for them, they will let you know, and then you definitely should step in. But until then, in my opinion it is better to let them deal out appropriate consequences at the time of the offense.


New Member
I think it is a good idea for you to find out what the action was just before he acted inappropriately. Yes, you need to talk to him about it. I have to say that it is hard to work with a child at school whose parents do not address the issue at home. I think it should start at home - now saying that, our children are the exception to the rule because they usually don't do what you tell them to do at home either. I wish I had the correct answer. :smile:

I agree with smallworld. It is a school issue, and he already received his consequence. As long as you are made aware of it, keep a log of it (for your own purposes) but there is no need to revisit it with your child.

<<by the way, I have hemmi-hawed for awhile about addressing you about this, and I hope that you are not offended. The picture of your kids is very nice. You have some cute children. But, and I think many would agree with me, it is probably not a great idea to post their pictures on this site. We don't recommend posting full names or links to blogs or emails on this site; pictures could compromise your children's anonymity. there are plenty of sites out there where you can find a fun icon.

A lot of us occasionally post a link to pics of out lids on the watercooler (like photobucket or flikr or something) and then take the link down after a few days.



New Member
I have always addressed it at home. I strongly believe that I need to reinforce good behavior at school. I do this by making my rules very black and white. Respect is the MOST important thing in our house, because if you truly think about it, everything falls under this. If you were treating someone poorly, you aren't being respectful of them. If you destroy something, you aren't respecting it. If you talk back, you're being disrespectful.

I am very big on explaining what you did wrong and what you should have done. husband isn't a fan of this, he says "They know what they did wrong." I disagree, especially with difficult children. They don't always know what they did wrong, sometimes they're in a haze when they act out.

I'm also very big on letting my kids tell their side of the story. Then I ask for input from anyone I know that was around and also from the teachers involved. Teachers aren't honest people just because they are teachers. It is soooo important to all of my kids that they know I will stand up for them if they are right in the situation. It has happened more than once too.

But if they're wrong, I take away priveledges. I explain it is my job to teach the boys to be responsible, respectful and happy adults. If I don't teach them now, the police department will teach them when they get out into the real world. The priveledges I take away depend on how severe the problem was.

I don't want teachers implementing their beliefs on my kids as to what is right or wrong without my kids learning it from my point of view as well. I don't know these people and I don't know their values or morals. I want to be the one who teaches my children these lessons. I'm not saying that they don't learn from teachers about this, I just want to be sure I'm always reinforcing it.

Many Many Many parents don't agree with bringing it home. Many teachers don't agree with it either. I'm not saying they're wrong or that I'm wrong, we're just different.


Active Member
Jules, I see in your signature that your son has a lot of issues but currently is without a diagnosis. Some of the things that he's being asked to do may be things that fall into the category of "he can't" instead of "he won't".

Before he was diagnosed, I dealt out a lot of consequences to my difficult child for things that fell into the "he can't" category and regret it to this day. Even the telling the truth/admit he was wrong issue can fall into this category. Some neurological conditions (such as Autistic Spectrum Disorders) do predisposition children to see things through from a very different perspective than what we'd consider "normal". My kid would have sat in the chair for a week before admitting he was wrong when he didn't see it that way.

If your son is undiagnosed and is having this level of difficulty at the onset of school, I'd recommend looking into assessment and the possibility of an IEP with some sort of behavioral plan written into it instead of working at it from the consequences end of things.


Warrior Mom since 2007
Thanks everyone!
BBK - I am not offended and had been thinking I should get that picture off of here. I changed my screen name just because too many people know me by that name. Thanks!

I actually told him no riding his bike this afternoon because he got in time out at school (I emailed my husband at work and told him we needed to talk to decide what to do about disciplining him at home or not - we still can't agree on anything!) I also know my son and I do not think his not being able to ride his bike today will come into play in the future when he thinks about hitting or kicking someone. The thing is, I don't think he does THINK first. The response is so sudden I don't think he can control it.

I already sent the certified letter to the SD asking for an evaluation. I have not heard back yet. I decided against sharing the parent report with the teacher right away because I wanted to see how things went, but now I think I will share that.

I just feel like I don't know what to do. Nothing works and I don't want to flip out anymore and scream and yell and get nowhere and in the end have his self esteem damaged. husband and I can't even get on the same page. It's exhausting.


New Member
What I found with my difficult children is not that nothing works, but that it takes a really long time to work. If I were to directly compare my difficult children from now to 5 years ago, or even more recent, 2 years ago, I can see the difference. Our neuropsychologist said with many kids like ours you have to tell them 100 times, when with another kid, you may only have to tell them 2-3 times.

Once you and husband get on the same page, you will at least have the comfort of support from eachother. Then just keep at it, whatever "it" is.

We all parent different and I'm glad we do. Because if everyone parented like me, who would I ask for new ideas from when I ran out of my own?


Here we go again!
Maybe you could try a small reward for him for each day that he gets a good behavior report. It should be immediate -- given right after school -- maybe a small piece of candy, a fancy sticker, whatever you think he might get excited about that's very inexpensive for you to do.

For the first few months, you could also have an end-of-the-week reward that's a bit larger for having, say 4 out of 5 days with no behavior issues (or whatever goal you think is achieveable starting out). Maybe it's getting to stay up a half hour later on Friday night, or watching a favorite video, or a trip to the toy store for someing $5 or less. Later in the year, you could up the ante and try adding a longer-term goal with an even bigger reward. Say his goal is 15 out of 20 days with no behavior issues for a special night/dinner out with mom and/or dad. Keep in mind, he would still be getting his daily reward, but would accumulate his tally towards his weekly and/or monthly goal.

Our psychologist recommend this for me to use with my kids and it has worked well getting their attention (as long as I'm able to be consistent with implementing it!) They do need to be reminded of their goals -- both the expected behaviors and the rewards they are working towards. But basically, it's easier to get them to try harder with a little honey than with a baseball bat!

Good luck!



Warrior Mom since 2007
Thanks for the suggestions. They have a reward system at school where each day their behavior is good they get a stamp on their card. Once they have 5 stamps they get a sticker or something. His pre-K teacher did something like this last year but it started over each week (I think he had to have 4 out of 5 good days) - and he would get so upset because he couldn't do it. No matter how much we reminded him - he just couldn't do it. He knows what is expected and he knows the rules, he just can't do it and then he is upset and is either mad at everyone else or gets down on himself. I will try the reward thing after school though and see how it goes.


Well-Known Member
At 5, asking your child to be good for 4 to 5 days in a row might be too many, which might be why your little one struggles. I don't know if a stamp on a card is tangible enough for some difficult children, when controlling impulses and remembering all the rules is such hard work for them even for one day.

I like gcvmom's suggestion of a small reward each day, with bigger rewards for a few days in a row, then it might be easier for your difficult child to behave well.

My difficult child responded very well to this, and we were able to extend the times and build on it as he got older (then came the teenage years, but that's a whole other story and a long way off for your child)

Best of luck,


Well-Known Member
My difficult child had 'student of the week' one year and never achieved that title. I think it really made her feel bad.

I do leave the discipline for school offenses at school. However, we do try to discuss it. With my difficult child she has never done anything wrong. It is always someone else'e fault. And sometimes it is difficult to have a disscussion without her blowing up.

When she was young, I found my difficult child was punished so often that if I punished her for school issues as well, she would never have any toys and would be in her room forever.
When I realized she was missing a childhood (playing and having fun), that is when I started letting school issues stay at school.

So, while I agree with ASO and think that is the best approach, if you are at the point I was at - it just does not seem healthy to continue to punish for school issues when there is no benefit from it and the child is suffering so already.
I agree with busywend. And keep in mind, you will get as many opinions as there are people and parenting styles on the board; you will need to go with what works for you and your child.

Anyways, I agree once the child is punished in school, there is no reason to punish again. In fact, a punishment later on will be ineffective because a child does not have the capacity to connect the punishment with the "crime" if it is hours apart. However, having him talk about it is not a bad idea. Talk about it over an after school snack, then drop it.

By the way, I'm glad you were not upset over my suggestion. I love your stressed out kitty!


I know the kids work really hard to be good in school, and need to relax after school...but it is hard to not address school issues at home.

difficult child does get punished at home for school behavior. He will not get punished for situations that I see led upto him losing control. Or if he is put into a situation that will just put him over the edge. But if difficult child chooses to refuse work, or chooses to disobey the rules he will be punished. He is much older, 8th grade. don't know why an 8th grader would think the rules are for everyone else except him.


Here we go again!
Thanks for the suggestions. They have a reward system at school where each day their behavior is good they get a stamp on their card. Once they have 5 stamps they get a sticker or something. His pre-K teacher did something like this last year but it started over each week (I think he had to have 4 out of 5 good days) - and he would get so upset because he couldn't do it. No matter how much we reminded him - he just couldn't do it. He knows what is expected and he knows the rules, he just can't do it and then he is upset and is either mad at everyone else or gets down on himself. I will try the reward thing after school though and see how it goes.

His goals may need to be different than the rest of his peers. It's not about making everything equal, it's about making it fair. He needs have a chance to taste success or his self esteem will continue to plummet, that's why the baby steps are so essential.

Good luck -- I hope it works for him!


Warrior Mom since 2007
Well I didn't get an email back from the teacher about what was going on just before he hit/kicked the other days, but when I picked him up on Wed. she said he had a better day and that there is no one in particular who he has trouble with it just happens to be whoever is around.

Today when I picked him up - she asked to talk to me. Uggghhh... I felt sick (still do). She said he had a very tough day today and it seemed to be all day long that was a problem. She had a list in her hand! She said he argued with her about doing his writing, he would not keep his hands off of a girls hair, and when they were doing writing with their hands using shaving cream he used two hands when she said to only use one and then he wiped his hands all over a girls new dress and made her cry. So he was in time out again (not sure how many times).

I told her that I had sent a letter to the sd asking him to be evaluated. She said she did not know that and now that she did, she would talk to whomever and they would schedule an AT or ATT meeting (I think that is what she called it). She said several of us would meet to talk about him and the issues. I gave her a brief run down of the last 4+ years and after she mentioned him not being able to stop touching the girls hair - I told her I had been thinking there might be some sensory thing going on because he recently started licking and sucking his fingers and other things a lot. Then she told me he licked the garbage can today. When I asked him later if he licked the garbage can - he said no. Then I told him his teacher told me he did and he said he was trying to breathe air in. I just asked him about it again and that's what he told me again. I told him to show me and gave him a bowl and he opened his mouth close to it and sucked in air and then licked it. (Hmmmm) Then he told me he did it because he wanted to get a drink at the drinking fountain and she would not let him and then he got in trouble/time out so he did that. I don't think he really knows what's going on.

I just don't know if I can handle this all and he is only in Kindergarten. I don't know how on earth he will actually be able to do homework and stuff like that as he gets older. I have a doctors appointment. tomorrow finally for my anxiety. I do not like going to the doctor and talking about mental health stuff and get really nervous but I feel like I am going to have a heart attack half the time. I feel so stressed out and worn down.

Thanks for listening. I knew it was a blessing to find this site because I think I am really going to need it as time goes on.


Warrior Mom since 2007
Oh, I also wanted to say I agree with you gcvmom about things needing to be fair. "Fair" does not mean "the same". I think sometimes people need to remember that.