I just got one of *those* calls from my son's school

by daystar 37 Replies latest social family

  • JWdaughter

    Don't worry, he isn't going to be a delinquent. I think there was some very balanced reactions involved here, keep things in perspective. You are lucky on several accounts. Some schools would have called the cops, some car owners would be livid and contacting lawyers. Your son was just being 5 and testing how far he could throw things, not thinking of the consequences. The school gave him an appropriate consequence. If you give one of your own, I hope you balance it at well, remembering that he is being disciplined already. I do think that your backing up the other disciple is a great thing to do. My son was 11 or 12 when he actually broke the windows in a school behind us. Police WERE called and it was appropriately handled-I didn't make excuses, I supported him, showing up, but didn't try to 'get him off' I wanted him to take responsibility for his actions-he was fined(restitution) and had to do community service. Then he didn't have a record from the minute he completed the conditions. His friend (of course there was another kid!) had parents who hired a lawyer, did their best to blame my kid, let their kid think he was being unfairly treated and ended up with a huge legal bill, a kid whose record didn't go away YET (he is not quite 18 now) and a strained friendship(for years they wouldn't let the kids even talk. They live next door.) The same judge treated him very differently. Love them, don't make excuses when they clearly have done something wrong, and let them face the natural consequences. Then you won't be trying to get them off on technicalities later!

  • truthsearcher

    There is a wonderful book on Christian parenting called "Shepherding Your Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. I don't know if that would be of interest, but I wish I had read it when the kiddies were younger.

    In discipline, it is important to remember that children...act like children! They don't always realize the consequences of their actions (ie throwing a stick in this direction will impact the car and dent it). Especially at age 5 when the brain is still developing: distance perception is still immature until the teen years. So, if it truly was an accident and not willful violence, then you would want to show grace in your dealings. This doesn't mean doing nothing, but being careful not to overdo it with an unloving heavy handed attitude. Is he sorry (I'm sure he is)? Does he understand why it was a bad thing and that it is important to make ammends? Does he know that you still love him? (and there will be more mistakes to come, that's just human nature, but he needs to know your love is unconditional)

    Sometimes it is hard to be a parent! Just remember what a precious gift he is to you, and be thankful for the opportunity to help him learn as he grows.

  • freedomloverr

    wow. first of all breathe, and chill out!

    I have a five and eight year old. my five year old has thrown things in the house, yard, etc. and then realized as the object was flying through the air - uh-oh! I shouldn't have done that! (you could tell by the expression on her face)

    have you asked him why he did it? maybe he was playing around with his friends and threw the stick and it just so happened to hit the car. it doesn't sound malicious at all, and he is probably feeling bad about it. did he tell you about it before the school called? what was his reaction when you brought it up to him? I'd go by those things to decide a punishment.

    it's actually kind of funny to me. He probably crapped his pants when he realized what he did. I do agree that he should have some sort of consequence but that is up to you to decide. you know him best and what sort of consequence would have the most effect and lesson.

    seriously though - he's just a kid who likes to blow off some steam after sitting like a good little boy all day at his desk! ugh! I'd probably be tempted to throw a stick if I had to do that all the time! :)

    ah. the joys of parenthood. :)

    just my 2 cents.

  • Mrs Smith
    Mrs Smith

    Don't be too hard on him. When my daughter was five (she's now eight) She was throwing stones over our back wall and my neighbours car was parked there. Loads of damage to the car!! We first over reacted and the realised that she was too little to see over the wall and had no idea that the stones were hitting the car on the other side. I still thought at the time, this is what boys are suppose to do not little girls. We had to pay for the damage to the car and made her appologise. I don't think that at that age they even think of damage to other people's property. It was just the case of the stick was there and he felt like throwing it.

  • Gill

    Hi Daystar!

    I wouldn't get too excited about your little boys behaviour.

    Tell him off and that will be enough!

    I am a mother of five, including three boys. Let me tell you something. Kids do things for NO REASON at all. You know why? Because sometimes they're in 'switch off' mode. Especially a five year old boy.

    The discipline he is receiving from school is more than enough over this.

    I remember being a child. Sometimes you do daft things because you're not thinking too clearly. OR you're tired, or hungry, coming down with something.

    That was naughty, and why it is, is more than enough. Then chill!

    Give the little man a break, for pitys sake!!

  • Sunspot

    He's five years old.

    I just don't understand the reason for the behavior. He's a nice kid. He shares. He doesn't pick fights. He doesn't normally throw tantrums. But he is a bit energetic.

    From MY perspective----you've just answered your own question.

    He IS five years old!

    I think he's been punished enough....the letter of apology should sink into the five-year-old mind (and heart) and I think---should "do it". He now knows it was not the best thing to have done....everyone was upset with him....and the "message" should have sunk in by now.

    Taking a page from GaryBuss' book.....I spent almost as much time in my kid's schools as THEY did sometimes! I often joked that I should have my name engraved on a chair in the Principal's office, LOL! But, I took an active part in whatever went on and voiced my opinion when I thought anything was wrong.

    When they got older (junior high and high school age) IF they were caught in a lie about their behavior---just knowing that I found out and that I had gone to bat for them under false assumptions (and made a fool of myself) even THAT was a good lesson to them that when they disappointed me that way....they knew that I would be TWICE as tough on them if they got in trouble again. They never knew just which tack I'd take in front of them.....but I always fought like a tiger behind their backs.

    Go give your little guy a great big hug.....



  • lovelylil


    He is so young! I think sitting out of recess for two days and writing a letter of opology is enough punishment. You don't want to go overboard as consequences should fit the wrong doing. You should talk to him about it too and explain why you should not pick up things to throw, (you can hurt someone, damage property, etc.) Tell him you are in agreement with the school that he should have consequences but don't be too hard on the little guy. He was probably very embarrassed by the whole thing and not realizing this would happen.

    I have two kids a boy 12, and a girl 14. My son was always throwing things, sticks, rocks, balls, etc. It seems like this is natural for boys to do. (hunters by nature I guess, like sticks?)

    Don't worry about it too much. He is not a bad kid, he is just a kid and they don't think things through that is all. Their little brains are not developed yet and the last thing to develop are the reasoning skills. This is why kids do dumb things. No parent wants to hear bad news, so I know how you feel. Hope this makes you feel better, Lilly

  • Mary
    Garybuss said: Any time I got a call like that from the school officials, I took my son's side. It's never okay for a public school employee to discipline my sons. I want my sons to know I'll go to bat for them right OR wrong, that they can depend on me to be on their side. Schools and principles piss me off on a good day. The only interest I have in that school is my son, and they think I'm gonna side with them against my own son? Fat chance!

    Sorry Gary.....I have the highest regard for you but I can't agree with this. I've seen too many kids get away with murder in school because the parents refused to acknowledge that their kid was in the wrong and needed their asses kicked. When I was in Grade 6 there was a bully, and I mean a 'Nelson Muntz' type of bully who did all kinds of rotten things but his parents always managed to point the finger at someone else and absolve their son of any wrongdoing. That rotten kid made everyone's life hell because he knew he could get away with it. Finally, he ended up getting suspended which infuriated his parents, because they couldn't see that their "little angel" was a rotten little devil.

    If a school knows they can get a parent to side with the school against the child, they can make a child's life hell. My kid's school knew my sons and me were a package deal and I'd never take sides against my sons in a fight with the school.

    And if a kid knows that their parent will always side with them against the school, alls that teaches the kid is that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. My brother pulled a fire alarm in Grade 5. He got the paddle from the principle, who then called my dad who got him home and gave him another whuppin and grounded him for two weeks. Guess who never pulled the fire alarm again?

    School administrators are used to getting away with intimidation and playing loose with the facts if they even have any. I'd make the school administrator want to be mauled by a pit bull rather than call me. Take the position that the school administrator is lying and make them prove their case and if my son did something wrong like chew gun, blame the school. You'd be surprised how seldom the schools will call.

    Gary, I can't believe you actually feel this way. Instead of acknowledging that your child has done something wrong and perhaps needs to be punished, you're saying it's better to assume the "administration is lying" and "blame the school"?? How on earth is any kid going to learn that there are consequences to bad behaviour if parents take that approach?

  • Mulan
    Any time I got a call like that from the school officials, I took my son's side. It's never okay for a public school employee to discipline my sons.

    I would agree with you, Gary, for many things. However, some calls from the school can be serious situations. The child needs to know they must obey rules.

    The high school called me once to tell me my son was caught smoking behind the school, on a trail. Several other kids were also smoking. When I asked him, he said he wasn't but the others were. So, I defended him, and wouldn't let the school discipline him. (can't recall what they wanted to do but it involved all the kids). The principal said he couldn't swear that Steve was smoking, but was 98% sure he was. I took our son's side. A few months later, he was caught again, and this time he didn't lie.

    Sometimes they are guilty and need to realize there are consequences.

    As to the 5 year old.....................HE'S FIVE!!!

    I have several grandsons in that age range, and none of them would maliciously think they were damaging anything by throwing a stick. I agree they should be talked to, but I don't think I would punish them. Five year olds throw things. They also jump, run and play hard. They are FIVE!!

  • daystar

    Ok, first I appreciate all your perspectives. This is my first child, so of course I frequently enough question if I'm doing the right thing.

    He and I had a conversation last night. I didn't tear into him. He started to blame another, older kid, and cry, saying it was the other boy's fault. Well, with a bit more prodding, this older boy told him to throw the stick down after my son had picked it up. And rather than drop the stick, or throw it down, he threw it out, and it hit the car.

    I had no doubt that he hadn't meant to hit the car, but I needed the details. I told him I understood that he hadn't meant to hit the car, but that picking up rocks and sticks is a no-no, especially at school, and especially throwing them! (Like we haven't had this conversation before, just as a matter of precaution.) I told him what the school was going to have him do and he submitted to that.

    I also explained that it didn't matter if another person told him to do something or not. He had to take responsibility (had to explain that word) for his own actions. And I gave him the example if I were to run into someone else's car, I would have to pay to have their car fixed because even though an accident, I was "responsible" for it.

    And of course, we had to talk about not doing what he knows he's not supposed to (picking up the stick) and not doing what other people tell him to do when he knows it's wrong. (I don't think the kid meant to throw it in that way.)

    But that wasn't the end of it last night. No details, but he was just having a bad day and ended up in his room for the rest of the night for unrelated things.

    But we ended the night on a good note, reading, talking and snuggling before bedtime. He got to talk to his mom for a bit and we talked about getting to see Santa Claus this weekend.

    For my part, it's helpful for me to have some perspective, that my son is not unusual in this sort of thing. (LOL! OMG! What is wrong with him? He's going to be a criminal! He's going to be an outcast! Oh the horror! Of course, I'm exaggerating, but you understand.)

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