RE: What Would You Other Mom's Suggest?

Updated on March 15, 2010
C.A. asks from Dallas, GA
12 answers

My 7 year old daughter (who is a twin but they are in seperate classrooms) got into trouble earlier in the week because she pushed another little girl on the playground. When I asked her what happened she was very upset and stated the other little girl had pushed her first. I explained to her it doesn't matter-two wrongs don't make a right and asked her when she pushed you what do you think would have been the better choice here? She said to go and tell my teacher. She then explained to me but mommy I have told the teacher and they just tell us to go play and this particular little girl is mean to her every single day, etc. So a part of me feels like you know what if my child has done the proper steps in asking the little girl to please stop and she continues and my daughter goes to complain to the teacher about it and then next thing they see is my daughter pushing back (because its my understanding that the other little girl got in trouble too) then I'm not going to reprimand her for standing up to someone that could potentially begin to bully her-good for her. Although I NEVER ever told her that I just kept it simple. Ask her to stop if she doesn't go and tell your teacher if she does nothing go and tell another teacher if nothing still hasn't been done then you just have to do what you have to do-maybe I am incorrect in my thinking but I would rather my daughter learn to stand up for herself when necessary because mommy and teachers etc cannot always be there to hover over and protect. The teachers I am quite sure are overwhelmed by all the tattle tell kids as well and shrug most of it off and tell the kids to go play-I am sure it would get on my nerves too but don't expect my child to sit there and take something like that when she has complained to you about it and that is exactly why I told her to tell each teacher so that each one has been made aware that there was an issue so that IF Something does happen just as it did then they have no excuse to say well she didn't say anything-yeah she did to EACH one of you. Also like I told my daughter too its never the first person to get caught -it's the second person pushing back to get caught. I told her she is better off to turn around and walk away but if the dang girl keeps on with her then I wouldn't expect her to scour down to her because then that girl will know she can get away with bullying her around.
Okay so same week but three days later I get yet another note home from the teacher stating that my daughter and another little girl(not the same girl as the other day) was at lunch playing with forks and getting to close to each others eyes. Another teacher asked them both to stop on 3 occassions. Finally they pulled the girls into the principals office and it was explained to them why it was dangerous to do so and they wanted me to re-interate that playing with forks is not acceptable. First of all I didn't see this note until yesterday this happened on Thursday. Yes, it is MY resposability as a parent to check their notebooks but I have been ill since last week as well. I was upset at my daughter for not coming home and saying ANYTHING. I always ask them if they had a good day-did she bother to say anything -nope. When I asked her what happened she began to cry and was very upset and claimed she didn't do okay I find it very odd that TWICE in one week I get sent home notes from teachers claiming my daughter was "involved" and that was what we eventually explained to her too is that it doesn't matter if she actually "did" the act or not if she is involved in it-then she gets in trouble for it just as much as the person that did the act. A part of me also feels like I should believe my child as well and allow her to know that I believe her but I feel like she is trying to place this blind fold over our eyes in the sense "Hayley never does wrong" and what makes me second-guess is the fact my children do not and have not in the past ever started anything-they have to be provoked but believe me not when I say my children are no angels and it would be crazy for me to think that they never ever initiated anything because believe me I know how my girls think and sometimes they don't "think" before they do and that is what we are trying to teach them so that they have good heads on their shoulders for later on so that when peer pressure takes place they will know what to do....I don't know I am very confused here and my husband wanted to take away her visit to Sparkles skating rink and allow her sister to go as her punishment. The whole reason we were taking them to sparkles was because of honor roll and she cried and said it wasn't fair. I kind of agree with her....she earned that but at the same token she needs to understand her decisions has consequences. Is this too rough to take that away from her or should we stick to our guns and not feel so sorry for her because she is the one that lost the privelage by her decisions at school? I do think there should be some form of punishment so to say but just wondered if the punishment my husband came up with was too harsh-she worked for those grades and should deserve some sort of acknowledgement of doing well but on the other hand she should have thought about that when she did what she did and this is a consequence of her actions....any input here??? We have parent/teacher conference and believe when I say I will be bringing this issue up because I want to know the "full" story and secondly figure out what on earth is going on with my daughter-is she at the wrong place at the wrong time or is she herself being a bully?????

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So What Happened?

I had the parent-teacher conference and my daughter's teacher wasn't the one to actually "see" either situations to occur. However the first incidence on the playground was caught by my other daughter's teacher (her twin sister) and when they came back from recess she was told that she needed to move her behavior card and her teacher was told what happened. She immediately claimed that she didn't do anything to her teacher but her teacher disregarded because the other teacher caught them "both". She told me not to worry about it because for the most part she is well behaved and this other little girl supposedly does have some behavioral issues and she totally believed that the other child provoked it. Not quite sure how to take that but anyways that is what happened with that. The second situation occurred in the lunch room. Another parent having lunch with their child noticed the two of them playing with the forks. The lunch room lady asked them both to stop on three occassions and they both continued. Well when the teacher asked the lunch room lady what happened she told her and her teacher stated that the lunch room lady has a tendency not to be stern when asking and when she replicated how she asked the children to stop she said she could see how the children may have thought she wasn't being serious until it was too late. They were not sent to the principals office they were both pulled out of the classroom by the principal and explained to them "why" it was so dangerous for them to be playing with foks and NOT to do so in the future. child lied to me belly aching that she didn't do "it" and so forth and so on...maybe in her heart she believes that or maybe she really wanted to see if maybe she could just get away with it-and obviously she didn't. I hope to goodness that she wasn't telling the truth in a way because I would feel just awful as a parent to say that I didn't believe my child.
We have decided that she can indeed go to Sparkles since she earned that with her honor roll grades just as her sister had. We have to come up with another form of punishment though and we haven't actually come up with one as of yet but I'm thinking she will need to do some extra chores around the house but all of this had to be put on hold because another bug has made its way through our home again but she knows that the consequences of her decisions will have to be dealt with. Thanks for ALL your wonderful advice-its always such a pleasure to get sound advice from other mommas!

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I am right there in the middle of FIRST GRADE DRAMA! LOL
My son is a sweet, softspoken little boy. He talks very little about what happens in school. Although he is straight A's and loves school--not a talker. Because of his compliant nature, I always worry about him being bullied.
I also know that the teachers are dealing with this times twenty and their eyes and ears cannot be everywhere at once. My son is very proud of the fact that he's never gotten "off the green light" in Kinder or "off the bulleye" in first grade (so far!) but the thought of another kid pushing him around just about makes me puke.
Here's what I told him (and on some levels I cannot believe these words were coming out of my mouth) "If someone uses words against you, use words back, never touch another kid first or start a fight. BUT if someone hurts you, punches, pushes, etc., punch the kid...once...and HARD and it will most likely never happen again. You might get into trouble in school, but you will not be in trouble at home."
He looked at me like I was crazy (so did my husband) but I am not going to let my kid be bullied or pushed around. his personality is such that he fears getting into trouble at school, he loves school so I highly doubt he will ever initiate a physical confrontation.
As for punishment for your daughter, I feel she earned her skating trip from her honor roll achievement (woo-hoo!) and you & hubby need to agree on a punishment ahead of time (no DS, computer, etc.) and ask the teacher to let you know via email if ANYTHING happens so you can get on it right away!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Wow. Tough situation. As a former teacher, and a mother of 4 with one set of twins, I would suggest you believe the teacher and request to set up a parent observation day where you can observe your child. Then follow up with a parent-teacher conference to discuss. Best wishes!

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answers from Denver on

Since these activities were not with the same kids, I think you might need to treat them as separate instances. I have a 7yr old son and I find that if I allow him to use circumstances as a learning experience first, he actually learns something rather than feeling like he is stumbling in the dark where sometimes he's okay and sometime he isnt. I also think that increasing your communication with your teacher and your daughter is a good idea to assess daily behavior. Your daughter sounds like a really neat kid and if she is on honor roll, she is no slacker and sounds genuinely interested in school. I would encourage her to start picking her friends and hangout buddies carefully. If the kids she is around are getting her into trouble, then she needs to be open to playing with different kids.

When you treat these as separate instances, then you can affirm the fact that she went to the teacher for help but also correct her behavior in that pushing isnt the best way. Allow her to come up with other solutions like going to the teacher again to say "Hey I REALLY need your help here because so and so wont leave me alone." If the teacher is really that unresponsive then the teacher needs to be reminded that kids only have a couple of outlets to resolve conflict and they are kids first line of defense. If teacher's dont respond then kids are going to work it out best as they know how to do.

Do you think the teacher over-reacted to the "fork" incident. From the outside, I think she might have. What I would have done in that situation is said that what they were doing was dangerous and they needed to clear their trays immediately and go to recess and if the same dangerous behavior continued they would visit the prinicipal's office.

From a punishment perspective, I understand you feeling the need to take away a priviledge but I caution you about taking away a super awesome reward for honor roll. Make her punishment separate from this instance and in proportion to her "crime". I also strongly strongly encourage you to avoid creating any competition or resentment by giving away her special reward to a sibling.

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answers from Jacksonville on

While I think that taking her special day that was a reward for doing good before this is a little extreme, it really doesn't fit the circumstances, you shouldn't back out, but you can say I have madea rash decision and I am not being fair. YOu earned your skate day but I will take away this or that. This will fester for years and she will resent her sister who does get to go when you start treating them differently and punishing one by taking away things they earned before the bad behavior.
Why then should she behave herself when she is 13 if you are just going to take it away from her anyway?
Take away tv or friend time, Nintendo DS or whatever material item she holds dear.
I would ask the teacher what is going on. Then implement something very easy at home for good behaviour. We had chocolate milk at dinner for a smiley from the teacher. It worked from 1st through 3rd grade. It was the only time my son got chocolate milk and he tried his hardest to be a good boy. Wasn't always easy with his ADHD and aggression.
She may be feeling overshadowed by her "good" sister. Be sure to accentuate her positive attributes like how hard she works on a project or how nice the dishes were dried and how helpful she is to you. If you and teacher are always negative she will look for any negative attention she can get. Attention is attention, good or bad. .

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answers from Austin on

I think you should speak with her teachers and find out what is going on and for how long.

When we first met with our child's kindergarten teacher, she told all of us parents to please do her a favor (and all teachers in the future), "You believe 50 % of what your child tells you is going on at school and she will believe 50% of what your child says goes on at home."

Your child is trying to cover her bottom from you guys. She is testing things at school and now at home. You need to stick to your guns so that she will know that you are serious about her behaviors, even when you are not around. Remind her, you will always find out the truth. Things will be better if your child tells you the truth up front..

I am sending you strength.

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answers from Norfolk on

My son's 11 yrs old and a black belt at taekwondo. He's a tall boy and his size alone is enough to make people think twice about picking on him. He's really a gentle giant. I told him (and his teachers at parent teacher conference time at the beginning of the year) if anyone picks on you tell them to quit it. If they do it again, tell them again. If they keep it up, tell the teacher and let the teacher have a chance to resolve the problem. If it continues past that point, then bash the kid and we'll sort it out in the principals office and realize that both parties might still be punished for not resolving differences before a fight broke out. If all peaceful avenues to resolve the situation have failed, then it's time to stand up for yourself and make it stop. He does not have to be anyone s punching bag.
As far as the fooling around with forks goes. The teachers spoke with them more than once and they didn't listen. Not listening to the teachers is a bad thing and can not be ignored. Rewards for grades are separate from punishments for moments of bad judgment (although this could change if the bad judgment keeps cropping up over and over again). For a first offense, take away TV privileges for a day or two. Make the punishment fit the crime, and keep in reserve the severe punishments for severe problems.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Playing with forks and ending up in the principles office needs punishment. From my experience in the cafeteria at schools, it takes A LOT for teachers to take the kids to the principles office from the cafeteria. The children were not listening time and time again before they go. Even if your daughter wasn't the one STARTING the fork fight, there were only two taken from the cafeteria so she had to be the other on in the fork fight. Taking away something she has earned is a perfectly fine thing to do. You can earn it but it can also be taken away.
I get torn on the whole bully thing. I want the other kid to get caught and get in trouble not my child who is trying to stand up for himself (as we all do!). I encourage my child to walk away. They have an anti-bulling clause at their school. I simply tell him to say "That is not being a peace builder" and walk away. Go play somewhere else, with someone or just go walk around with the teacher for a little while. Don't let the kid know he's bothering you and move on. I can not on any level encourage fighting or a push back.
I wish you the best of luck! Pushing boundaries is always fun! haha

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Find out the full story. If she did not listen and stop when she was spoken to about the forks. She would not go on her special ice skating day. If you have already told her this would be her punishment you can not back up. She will own you!!! I would ask the teacher what happen in front of your daughter. This what I had to do and believe me they will not fib in front of you both. I would acknowledge her doing well in school on a different day. I would make her wait and do something else.

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answers from Spokane on

I think you sound as if you've got a good handle on things mom. You sound very aware of what is happening and trying to be on top of it all. Just pay extra attention for awhile and ask more than the usual amount of questions about how her day went, just to keep up with the feel of whats going on. I do not think your daughter is being a bully. It is hard at school these days...I am sure she is just a "regular" kid, playing around with buddies (the fork incident) and I think she is just a "regular" kid getting fed up with being pushed, with the (pushing back incident)-good for her. However, there is a fine line here...nobody want their kids to be a bully....but nobody EVER wants their kids to be bullied. FYI-I think you did the right thing about the pushing back BUT I think Dad's punishment is too harsh, on 2 different levels:1) I do not think you guys should ever take away a privilege they have earned for doing something else...she has earned that skating trip by being on the honor roll. Good job sis! Find something else to take away or an extra chore for her to do. 2) I would be very careful allowing sister to "take her place or go instead" might build resentment towards each other, and I do not think you would ever want that.

I would talk with Dad and try to get him reconsider.



answers from Chicago on

Mom- you are on top of this, don't sweat it! First grade girls seem to be all about the DRAMA. And sometimes 1st graders still are using their hands when they should keep them to themselves. It doesn't make your girl a bully- but it doesn't mean the other kid is always a bully either. As for the fork thing- things happen, kids do dumb stuff, the principal tells them why its dumb.

I don't really think 'punishment' is in order here. Particularly taking away a priviledge that was won from something else entirely like good grades.

You just need to reenforce what you DO want them to do, and what is NOT acceptable. But things will still happen. As long as you are monitoring things and your daughters are behaving well most of the time, don't worry so much. They're learning how to behave, and sometimes that means screwing up a little.

Don't blow it out of proportion. And don't let your husband either- sometimes when dads are not involved in the day to day stuff as much, they tend to come down hard. This just sounds like normal 1st grade stuff to me!



answers from Tulsa on

The first one I would not punish for but the second one I would she would be grounded no matter how much she cries and begs. just my opinion. I think teachers Ignore the bullying like she said in the first case but the second I think deserves severe reprimand. but definately talk to the teacher and get to the bottom of it and if shes lying about the first example punish her at that time. But get both sides before punishing for the first incedent. But no skating rink it was dangerous and could have cost life time injury or death.



answers from St. Cloud on

This is a tough one....

Definitely need to get more of the story from the school. HOWEVER, the reward for her grades should NOT be taken away for this. HAVE A FAMILY MEETING WITH YOUR HUSBAND, DAUGHTER, AND YOURSELF. Have HER suggest some punishments and then the THREE of you decide on something! Perhaps extra chores. Or missing some other event. Or loosing privelidges (tv time, computer, video game, etc.) for a short time....

From another side of the whole, IF THEY DO TO YOU DO BACK TO THEM...... I did daycare. I watched a set of twins whose Dad told them that if anyone did something to them, do something back. (I had them from about age 6 to 9.) These girls got away with ANYTHING because they started lying and said, but so-and-so did this. So their parents let them get away with ANYTHING! They were horrible about that. So, I would be careful about giving them permission. I DO LIKE THAT YOU TOLD HER TO TALK TO MORE THAN ONE TEACHER FIRST! I honestly don't know what I would do if my daughter came home and said that another was picking on her.......

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