April 22, 2008,
L.C. asks from Manteca, CA on April 21, 2008
Son Won't Stop Spitting at His Classmates
Help! My 6 year-old kindergarten son is spitting at his classmates. The teacher and I have explained how the spit has germs and can cause other students to get sick. There seems to be no rhyme/reason why he is doing this. He just seems to get a kick out of it. He lost his recess today after he would not stop doing it during class. I know someone who recommended putting tabasco sauce in his mouth if he does it again! I don't know if I could do that, since I have never witnessed him doing this at home or to his friends in the neighborhood. He only does it at school. If anyone has any disciplinary suggestions, please let me know! thanks
G.C. answers from Chico on April 22, 2008
You might try giving him a container/jar to spit into and tell him he has to fill it up! Everytime he spits at someone, bring out the jar, sit him down & tell him to start spitting--it will take the fun out of it for him, hopefully. Good-luck!
L.B. answers from San Francisco on April 22, 2008
There is probably something going on, especially since your son is only spitting at school. I would try very hard to discover the cause of his behavior before attacking the symptoms (sounds like western medicine, right?) Are parents allowed to observe at his school? My husband and I are both teachers, so feel free to keep communication as your investigation develops!
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K.V. answers from San Francisco on April 22, 2008
My guess as to why he's doing this is that either he's being teased or most likey, he's getting a huge reaction from the kids he spitting on & he likes that. I would also disagree w/the tabasco sauce or soap as the school will not use that sort of discipline & therefor, it would have to be done at home after school, after the acts have already been committed. He needs to get the consequence as soon as he misbehaves to equate the two. I think the idea of a behavior contract is a good idea. I suggest the teacher keep this just between she & your son cuz once other kids find out about it, then this will just add to his problems. I'd also nip this in the bud ASAP so he doesn't get a bad rep from the other kids. It will start to effect his friendships. This is hard one cuz you want it to go away but you also don't want to keep giving attention to it in any way. Are there certain kids he spits on? Maybe the teacher could quietly talk to them & tell them to ignore him & walk away when he starts spitting. Hope this helps & good luck!
C.M. answers from San Francisco on April 22, 2008
I to have a kindergarten now and also does things at school that's not appropriate. The teacher and i communicate of regarding his behavior and the consinquences he gets from her. When my son gets home i make sure that what ever the unappropriate behavior he does at school will also get punished by his parents as well by taking something away from him like toys, etc. We have to let him know to that the teachers and the parents are in the same page and made sure he understands that what ever he does wrong at school will also affect his previlages at home too. Then my son realizes the losses he gets and immediately responded with a good attitude and even made sure he wakes up in th morning getting ready and reminds us that he will try his best to behave well at school:) occasionally he still makes mistakes at school but he now tells us immediately what happpens. To me that's a sign of actknowledgement of his own action:) As long you're on top of it and stick with the rules, they will know. Kids will always make mistakes but as long we keep guiding them the right directions at all times!!
S.S. answers from Sacramento on April 22, 2008
Patricia W was right soap or hot sauce does the trick. He is a boy and they think it is funny. Guess what girls do to. Do this once or twice and it will stop. You may not see it happen but you know it is and he knows he is wrong. He needs disipline to learn self control. That is our job. Been there 5 times over.
N.P. answers from Modesto on April 22, 2008
Does your son actually "spit", or does he make tongue motor boat noises that "spit"?
You didn't mention what your son's response is as to why he does this. I'm VERY curious to that response.
He's old enough to know better, and to stop doing something the teacher has requested of him. If he is still doing it after his teacher has asked him to, then you have a discipline problem on your hands, and he WILL be sent to the Principal's office for it soon. Does he have a learning disability to prevent him from doing what he has been told?
I wouldn't use tobassco sauce, because you're not there when it happens, and punishing like that him after school could make things worse.
I need to be honest, if my child was in your Kindergarten class, and my child came home telling me that someone "spit" on him.....then I would be in the Principals office making sure they handled it properly. You and your teacher are being awfully nice letting this continue..
I would tell the teacher if he does it again, the he loses his "free choice" play time (or whatever) because he has to clean the Kindergarten room of germs that he has been spitting everywhere. He should be cleaning with Lysol Wipes each day he spits in the classroom, so he connects with the "germs" of the issue.
Whatever it takes, you need to get a handle on this issue. It's not just about spitting, it's about disrespecting you and the teacher at a young age. This is your problem that you need to get a grip on and take charge of and NOT let him get away with it......otherwise, you'll be in for a wild ride with this child as he gets older.
C.B. answers from San Francisco on April 22, 2008
I hate to say it, but maybe someone should spit on him. Maybe he doesn't realize just how horrible it is to be spat on. and then perhaps writing sentences would help. I know he can't spell, but I have done this with my granddaughter for punishment. (she is also 6 in kindergargen) I write out the sentence and then she has to copy it 10 times. It takes a kindergartner a long time to copy a sentence 10 times! My thought is if he's only doing it at school, he knows that he shouldn't be doing it but feels like he can get away with things when he's not at home. You have to punish him at home as if he did it at home so he will know that he doesn't get away with ANYTHING just because he's not at home and you're not there to witness it.
L.R. answers from Stockton on April 22, 2008
I can't help but notice the comment about how you don't know if you could do the tabasco since you've never witnessed him do the spitting. What do you mean by that? Are you thinking the teacher is making it up? I'm sorry if that seems rude to ask, but as a teacher we see it all the time. I really like what another member said about making a home/school contract so that your son knows that you and the teacher are on the same page. I think if you show your son that you are willing to back up the teacher at school by following through at home, that it will stop immediately. Best of luck, and thanks for being the kind of parent who cares enough to find solutions, these days, too many don't.
C.B. answers from Sacramento on April 22, 2008
Start by taking his favorite toy away. Everytime he does it he loses another toy. He does not get any toys back until the behavior stops. This will work for other situations too. But the others are right, soap will work for naughty mouths. Just remember to follow up with some milk so you don't cause diarreha. :)