My 2 older children are now going to school full time. One is in 1st grade and one is in 2nd grade. They ride the bus together and their classrooms are right next door to each other. And the school is only a couple blocks away so overall, I am very comfortable with everything. After a very busy summer, I am even a bit relieved to only have the 2 younger ones at home during the day and have some quiet time with them. And nap time is now devoted to doing client work.
The kids are thrilled to be going to school. They come home so excited to talk about what they did, what fun classes they had, and what they ate for lunch. My husband and I always ask them to share about what their favorite part of the day was and of course it is usually riding the bus, gym, art, or lunch (go figure) LOL.
My son was extremely excited because his good friend who was in class with him last year was on the same bus and also in his class again this year. I have never met the boy, but my son talks about him almost everyday.
This past week was the second full week of school. Everything seemed to be going great until Tuesday. I got call from the principal. He said that there was an incident with my son and another boy. Apparently my son had told the boy that his lunch was “disgusting”. That is something he says at home about different things (mainly the dinners I make that he doesn’t like) and he gets reprimanded for it, so he knows it is not right. So after Joshua said that to the boy, the boy spit on him, and then my son spit on him back. UGH! They both had to go to the principal’s office and I was immediately called. The principal put the phone on speaker and I was able t speak with my son and let him know how disappointed I was. The final outcome was that both boys would spend the following day in the principal’s office during their recess time.
My son had been asking me if he could have ice cream at school on Friday. They have the opportunity to bring money in and purchase icecream, so I had been telling him that he could do that depending on how he acts during the week. So my punishment was a good talking to, no video games for the week, and no icecream at the end of the week.
So, I thought we were set. I thought things were dealt with and we could move on. But what I did not address was his anger towards the boy who (guess what…) was his good friend that he always talks about. I thought everything was over and done with.
But Friday, I got a call late in the afternoon from the principal AGAIN, and he told me that there was yet ANOTHER incident in the morning where Joshua had gone up to the boy and “poked him in the private part”. OH MY GOODNESS! I was soooooo upset! The private part? You have got to be kidding me! He doesn’t do that here at home, where in the world did he get that from???
The principal let me know that the punishment on their end would be that he would once again spend recess in the principal’s office and this time it would be for TWO days. Definitely fair and appropriate.
Both my husband and I dealt with things here at home immediately. We talked for quite a while and my son just cried and cried. I did my best to try and figure out where this was coming from and why he was acting out this way at school. He is really not a BAD boy. Yes, being the “big brother” in a family with 3 other small children, he can be bossy and when he gets excited, he does hit his siblings (which we deal with all the time), but doing this in school is just not acceptable at all!
Being that it was Friday night, our usual family movie night, my husband and I decided that a good punishment would be for my son to stay in his room and not participate with us. It really broke my heart to have to do that because it is something we look forward to all week long. But we wanted him to understand the seriousness of this situation and what he did.
Halfway through the movie, I went upstairs to check on him. I sent him to his room with several books to read and I expected him to be reading. But he was writing something. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was writing a book for me. He handed it to me. It was a bunch of yellow post it notes all stuck together. When I opened it and read it, I started to ball and I grabbed him and hugged him. There was a sentence on each page. This is what the book said, in the exact order of the pages and in his spelling…
“Deer Mom I am sorry for wut I did at school do you forgive me
and I never ever will do it agen
And hers is a little book for you!
I love you very much Mommy
and I will do wut ever you say forever an ever
and I am grateful that I have a Mom
and I will allwase be with you no mater wut”
I was so blessed by this because I was so upset. I really didn’t know if he got it or not. I talked to him, my husband talked to him, even my mom (his grandma) spoke with him by phone from out of state. We needed him to understand that we are not going to put up with this kind if behavior. And after reading that little book, I saw that he really did get it.
I know that he is only 7 years old, but at the same time in that moment when the principal called me yet again, I could see him in the future as a teen getting caught smoking or something even more serious. I was that kid. I was the one always getting in trouble and this fear came over me that maybe he would follow in my footsteps and this was just the beginning. But we can only do what we can as parents. It is our responsibility to raise our children the right way – to take disciplinary action when need be, but more importantly to love them through it and teach them how to admit mistakes and ask forgiveness.
Yeah, I had some pretty rough years, but I would not be the person / parent that I am today without my parents who did raise me well. And listening to my mom talk with my son on Friday afternoon and how she handled things – really teaches me how to do the same. I think we can take how we were raised – whether good or bad – and improve on it. We can be even better parents to our children.
And now matter how they turn out, I believe that they will have that good foundation of us as parents doing our best.
And on a FUN note, I thought I would end this post with a couple fun cartoons about kid’s going to the principal’s office…