Effective Methods of Punnishment for a 7 Year old

Heidi - posted on 06/01/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 and way past the Time out strategy....I have been using the "grounded" thing, which entails taking away tv/video games/music priviledges....but now he just doesn't take it seriously anymore. The messge just isn't getting through. Does anyone have any other suggetions that might help me out ???

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Angie - posted on 06/01/2010

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It kind of depends on what he did to misbehave. I have two older sons... and one toddler, so the toddler doesn't count here, lol... but one son does very well with grounding, it sinks in... the other son we have to be creative, let the punishment fit the crime so to speak. It takes some effort on your part sometimes, lol... but it can be effective. For instance.... the son who grounding doesn't necessarily work ( I get what you mean by him not taking it seriously, like it doesn't bug him 'so what' kind of attitude)... anyway, the son that I have like that is now 9. When he was about your sons age he had an issue getting his laundry to the laundry room. I would ask him and he would not want to go up to get it so he would say 'yes all my laundry is down here'... so I do laundry on Sunday and lo and behold, right before bed he comes down to tell me that his school uniforms aren't in there.. now I have to stay up until all hours running just his stinkin' clothes because he just couldn't be bothered to bring them down in the first place. So, one day I asked several times and he promised they were down there. So, I do the laundry and keep count of what uniforms are going through and wouldn't you know - only two of five. OK... so I don't say a word. Tuesday night he comes down and says he has no clothes for school - load of laundry in his arms. So, I calmly took his arm and walked him into the back yard. There on the back porch was a bucket and a scrub brush and a bar of soap. I went in and boiled a pot of water, dumped it into the bucket with some cold, so he could get his hands in it and told him - there, my laundry mat is down until Sunday, have fun. I went out after about 20 minutes and told him he only had to do three of the five uniforms he brought down. Enough for the rest of the week. When he was done I hung them over the backs of the chairs to dry. The next day he went to school in stiff, oddly washed, oddly smelling clothes. I explained to the school why and they let it slide for the week. (one shirt had fallen and was all wrinkled, another had brown lines on it from picking up dirt somehow)... I knew it wouldn't kill him.. but guess what, in two years that kids clothes are in a hamper in front of my laundry room door every week.
So, some people may think thats mean, but some kids take to creative punishment better.... like when they would do chores.. and this was actually with my oldest son, he does them half arsed. So, one day I had asked him to sweep like 7 times explaining that each of us play a role in this house and we all need to work together and that if one person isn't giving their all then the whole family suffers for it--- finally I said fine... go play. So later he sits down to dinner and scoops up potatoes... his favorite... and bites in and says 'I don't mean to offend you mom, but there is something wrong with the potatoes'... I said 'no, they are potatoes... they should be fine'.. so he adds butter, then salt, then pepper... finally he says 'no these taste kinda gross'... I said 'well, lets see... usually I would skin the potatoes, boil them, drain them, add butter and milk and mash -hmmmm... oh thats it! I didn't feel like doing all that cause I didn't see why it would matter, so I just poured some potato flakes into a pan of hot water.. can't imagine why they would taste different????" --- He kinda looked at me and said 'ok, I get it..'.... lol, still working on the sweeping thing, but at least now you can tell he is trying!
Anyway, long story short, find a creative way to get it through to him when he does something... doesn't mean that grounding doesn't still have its lovely place, lol.... but try it and see if it works. :)
And, btw... lol... it sounds like I am a witch, lol.. but I am a very lighthearted person, so my kids generally come back and laugh when we talk about that kind of stuff down the road...
Good Luck! Hang in there, the introduction to friends and girlfriends (or when they like girls, mine is too young to have a gf yet, lol)... some of their quirks tend to shape up.
:)

Angela - posted on 08/14/2011

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I understand what your going exactly what your going through. My son is now 8, but taking the games and tv didn't work for long on him either. So now that he has his own computer that is his punishment when he does something he's not suppose to. Like giving himself a haircut. Since the internet connection is through my room to his, I just unplug the internet! But I find if you take all the toys out of their room and give them only the option of reading a book for a few days they straighten up. It may be hard, but this generation has it too easy and are taking full advantage of us that let them.

Katrina - posted on 06/11/2010

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i would make my son do push ups or get in push up position for about 5 min. by the time 5 min came around, boy would he be crying and them arms would be shakin. needless to say it worked.

[deleted account]

The "stand in the corner/time outs" stop working for my 7year old as well. He now gets one warning & then I start shaving off time for him to go to bed. He usually goes to bed at 8 so I say fine 7 then, he has gone to bed at 5pm. but he learned his lesson that I was serious. I also make him do jumping jacks, I think sometime they just have to much built up energy the need to get out. The one thing i know for sure is no matter what you say you have to follow through with it. If you flake on what you've said he won't take you serious.

[deleted account]

"Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education alone can unlock it's secrets." --Baha'u'llah. We have run the gamut of strategies, taking stuff and priviledges, grounding, time out, spankings, etc. Even though didn't believe in spankings, I was distraught and losing my temper. But the one idea that has really begun to transformed our home life is that ladies (and gents) first, REALIZING the worth of the parent as a master--as in master of your own life and master teacher. You have the right to expect your children not only to obey you but serve you the way a student serves a martial arts master. Stick to your high expectations for your children and remind them often that you are calling for the excellence, care, consideration and humility that goes with being a fine human being and that you KNOW them to be a fine human being. Show them that they are by catching them being good and NAMING THE VIRTUES they exhibit like courage when trying a new food or loyalty and trustworthiness when feeding the pet on time. Familiarize them with these concepts. (We learned 52 names of virtues from the virtuesproject.org) When they misbehave, remind them of the virtue that needs more practice and be sure you are exhibiting those virtues yourself. If the child insults me with ignorant or inconsiderate behavior, I ask for an apology and respond with a prompt thank you and let it go. I also insist on apologies for the other people affected (siblings affronted, grandparents made to wait etc.) and ask those people to practice "thank you, " but not "that's okay," because it's not really okay. These are natural consequences of their actions. If there is silliness that results in something broken or interrupted phone conversations the natural consequences are that the child helps repair the broken thing or works to replace it. Also, the conversation took longer than necessary because of the interruption, so his/her time based privilege is curtailed. The key here is not to expect them to behave like adults when they are small. Keep expectations realistic, but insist on them becoming aware of consideration and remain confident in their motives.
I had a counselor/teacher once tell me to ask the child specifically for the behavior that I want by saying, "I want you to...." do this or that. On a subconscious level, it reminds the child that you DO WANT HIM/HER, even if you're angry. The corollary is that we DON"T ASK FOR WHAT WE DON'T WANT. For example, "Don't stand on the furniture." is changed so the child hears "Keep your feet on the floor." If the child is reluctant, I do what I call Validate and Educate. That is, recognize the child's feeling and validate it. Excavate for the genuine need the child is feeling. For example, "Yes, I see that waiting in line is hard right now." Then educate: " I appreciate your willingness to help us get the groceries and take them home. It helps us all for days and days." At this point, it is time to enlist the child's assistance to serve you. All children want to be good and get your approval. "Can you help get the things from under the basket and put them in the top?" The more the task prepares them for caring for themselves, like being fit and feeling good, choosing between priorities, planning ahead, being industrious, etc. the sooner your job becomes soooo much easier. A word about attention. Another time a counselor/teacher mentioned that the woman who tried to chat on the while her 6 year old was having the rare conversation with her after school may have been inviting the bites on her knees that she got. There is no substitute for spending time with children. They learn to pay attention when we pay attention to them and genuinely listen to them and touch them, hold hands, affectionately squeeze on the shoulder, make eye contact. The research is in and it says hug your kids. Our rule of thumb, 7 a day to survive, 13 or more to really thrive. And hug yourself. Like my husband says, "pobody's nerfect."

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44 Comments

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Josh - posted on 07/08/2014

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So many times I want to whoop my step Kid's butt for ignoring me, flushing my shaving cream down the toilet, how do I punish a holy terror like this

Shannon - posted on 05/15/2013

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Every child has their own form of "currency" some would think the world ended if their game or tv time were taken away. Others it may be no visiting friends, no electronics, early bedtime, no allowance. It all depends on what that child holds as their price possession or priveledge. The possibilities are endless!!

Katrina - posted on 08/13/2011

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If you find anything please share. I have a 7 year old daughter and I am in the same boat as you.

Karen - posted on 06/23/2010

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I still find the counting to 3 method works (believe it or not!) with my 7 year old. Worth a try? Good luck

Elizabeth - posted on 06/23/2010

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Time outs don't work for us anymore either. Also I hear often "I don't care" - when I take away TV and computer games. He is 7 now and we had the same problems at school - the class clown! I find some of your ideas very good and will try them - especiall those that include house work :)))

Melissa - posted on 06/16/2010

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NAUGHTY CHAIR TIMEOUT!!! My son went through that, and i got a little camper chair, told him it was his naughty chair! whenever he would act up i would tell him if he did it again he would have to sit on the naughty chair! if he did it again id place him on there for three minutes - as he was 3years - and ignore his crying and pleading! the key is consistency!!! and be firm!!! you may have to place him on there a few times but never give up! he needs to know you are the BOSS!!! When the three minutes are up, ask him what he did wrong, then explain what he did wrong and why it is wrong then tell him you love him and let him play again! Always say you love him and dont hold grudges, this actuarlly worked for my son and my two nieces!!! Goodluck sister now show him whos boss!!

Katrina - posted on 06/16/2010

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Dr. Kevin Leman has a book "Have a New Kid by Friday" that I've finished reading and I've started implementing his tips. To my surprise it's working. The biggest thing is being consistent and not giving in. My daughter was grounded this weekend and all she could do was read books. I wanted to give in because I didn't want to stay in the house all weekend either. However, she read and we are getting through. Sometimes you have to make adjustments with yourself and the kids will follow.

Katie - posted on 06/15/2010

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You have to figure out what his currency is & work with that & BE CONSISTENT!!!

If taking the tv/video games/music is not working, then you are not tuned into his currency.

Also, you should make your rules/boundaries very clear to him and also make the consequences very clear to him & then STICK TO THEM.

When it comes to actual punishment, tell him exactly why he's being punished, exactly what the punishment is, and anything he is required to do to right the wrong. Don't just throw around "you're grounded"s at him, they will have no effect on correcting his behavior.

All together now:
BOUNDARIES... CONSEQUENCES... STANDARDS...

Best of luck!

Helen - posted on 06/14/2010

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I threaten to tell my 7yr olds teacher about her behaviour and she then immediately gets upset and promises to behave!

Okonkwo - posted on 06/13/2010

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My son is 9 yrs and as part of his punishment i put him in the room and let him arrange his cloths. He hates doing that and also to raed a book and explain what he understood.

Amy - posted on 06/11/2010

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I have my son "earn back" with good behavior whatever it is I've taken away - TV, etc. Works like a charm, as half the time I WANT him to watch TV and leave me alone for a bit.

You can also have him decide what the consequences will be when he does it again, whatever it is.

Jane - posted on 06/11/2010

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Hi we have an 8 year old boy and for along time all of those things didn't seem to bother him either when grounded , no tv, friends etc until he started playing rugby and he misbehaved one week so we said no rugby for you this weekend and even tho we felt terrible it was the most effective.

Katrina - posted on 06/11/2010

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or maybe your not taking his things away long enough for him to take it seriously. take it away until he misses it. take it away until he does see that your serious.

Amber - posted on 06/10/2010

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My son is almost seven. I usually take away things. I can't really understand what you mean about him not taking it seriously. My boy hates it and begs to have his things back. If you stick to your word and make the punishment hold, he really has no choice but to take it seriously. I've even gone so far as to remove objects from his room for a set period of time so there is no temptation to use them (TV, Computer, games, toys, etc.).

Cassie - posted on 06/09/2010

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when my 6 year old gets in trouble we make her write sentences-started with 30 and every time shes had to write them or the thought of them we go up by 20....needless to say since we started shes only had to write them twice....maybe that will help if not at least you know he'll have good hand writing as he ages with the practice **which has also with my daughter

[deleted account]

My 3rd grader has a lot of the same issues in school and has also been placed in the room to have less distractions which has helped.
One thing I heard on the radio the other day regarding time outs was a parent saying her child wasn't upset by time-outs any more and the expert said it didn't really matter if they were upset by going to their room or happy with it. The idea is that we enforce the time out and that we don't want to be around the child when they exhibit the disruptive behavior. It just made sense to me when I thought about it that way.

[deleted account]

Hi there - I had a chance to read some more of your replies and realized the problem you are having with your son at school is the same as mine - I have a little "class clown" too. We have found that what works is to have the teacher put him in the front corner desk so that he is not as distracted by all the kids in front of him (there aren't any when he's at the front) and also the teacher is closer to him so she can communicate with him better. He also has problems getting on task fast enough and working fast. He is very meticulous and takes longer than the other kids to do his work. So he has a motto from the Madagascar movie "Move it Move it!" that she sometimes whispers to him to get him going and she has given him permission to be a little bit messy in his work. In grade one the teacher had to seperate him from the rest of the class beside a sandwich board thing so he couldn't see the rest of the kids during class, in grade two he did much better when he was at the front of the room and he had an amazingly calm, easygoing teacher. He's just finishing up grade 3 and is getting better. I think his maturity level is a big part of it too. So - hope that helps and good luck!

Chrissie - posted on 06/09/2010

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My son is seven & has the same problems as were already posted. We have used natural consequences, love & logic, tough love... you name it. Most of the problems were at school so the teacher & I developed a points system for behavior at school. He has a rewards chart he can spend his points on. Some of the rewards are small enough that he could have it after one good day. Other rewards he has to save up for include taking a friend to the ESAP's room for a fun break. It has helped dramatically. But it did take some time to implement & adjust. I'm so glad we did it!!!

Kate - posted on 06/09/2010

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My son never respected being grounded until we made it that he is grounded until he earns back his privileges with good behavior. The day he gets in trouble he has nothing but being allowed to read if he wants or he can go to bed... the second he gets interaction with the family and pets back, the third gets his choice of playing outside with friends, TV & stereo or video games... fourth is another of the 3 choices and fifth day is the final of the 3 choices... if he messes up in his behavior he goes backwards by a day... First time we did this I think he spend 4 days in his room but since then he has only had 1 time that we had to ground him, all others we just tell him to change his behavior unless he wants to be grounded and he straightens up right away!

Betty - posted on 06/09/2010

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you need to find out what means the most to him and take that away. with my boys, ages 8 and almost7. they cannot stand to watch the other one having fun while they sit and do nothing so that works well. they are also rewarded for good behavior. we have a chart they can earn baseballs but they can also lose them too. it has worked for us.

Becky - posted on 06/08/2010

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I have an older son who doesn't care if we take things away, either. Here's what worked for me- I have him write a paper about what happened- like write me a 1 page story about sharing with your sister- etc. He doesn't like it but it gives him about the same time as a time out and he has to think through his actions. We have found it to be very effective!

(Side benefit is that it has made for some great treasures for me to pass along to his children, too!)

Flo - posted on 06/08/2010

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I would get the book Love and Logic or take one of the classes it is great. Plus it is a fun read. This takes us parents out of the bad guy role by having rules set in place and what happens when broken. They teach things like I will talk to you as soon as your voice is as calm as mine. Or you may go outside when your rooma and homework are done. Really a good way to go.

[deleted account]

I notice there are alot of you saying "punishment" but thinking about discipline as punishment sometimes causes more problems than it solves. I liked Angie Nutter's approach about creatively teaching your child proper behaviors. We have been using (trying) the video 1-2-3 Magic (parts 1 & 2) and "natural or logical" consequences depending on the behavior but I think I'm going to take Angie's advice and start doing more of the creative thinking kind of discipline for my 8 year old. Hope that helps!

Vanessa - posted on 06/06/2010

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Thats great Karen, love your ideas, might try a few with my kids.. It sounds to me like we are not alone with the stages our kids go through. It makes me feel at ease just knowing people are going through the same as me. Thanks ladies for sharing..

Karen - posted on 06/04/2010

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Great advice Angie! I have tried a few "tough love" things myself on our kids. I have a very "I don't care" 6yr. old boy, Very hyper selective hearing 5yr. old boy and a screaming 3 yr. old daughter. If it makes you feel any better, we have puppies and everytime I get them out of their pen to clean their cage, the kids think it's time to bring all their nerf guns and run around screaming and chasing the pups. It gets the pups sooo hyper they are biting me in the face while I'm trying to clean their cage out. I told my son over and over that they can't play like that until I get done and why. He just continued. So, one day i handed him the supplies to do the job himself. He couldn't even see to start. Of course I couldn't let him do that actually because of the risk of worms, but just letting him try was enough to make him see what he is puttin me through. So from now on i just hand him the dust pan and he gets the point, laughs and stops being hyper. It also worked when he didn't want to go to school one day and play with the pups. i told him "ok you can stay home. Take your shoes off." he was curiouse why I was actually saying yes so i told him, "While you are at school I have to feed, change and clean up after them but since you are going to stay home with them, i guess i get the day off. You have full puppy duty" He said "Ha ha No way, I'm going to school!" never threw a fit again about going.

Gemma - posted on 06/04/2010

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I find that setting limits with children really works. The idea of setting limits means that you don't force a child to act appropriately, instead you give them positive choices with positive consequences for example - my little girl who is four misbehaves around bed time and refuses to go so instead of forcing her to go I prepare her I remove a trigger for her initial behaviour which is a usual programme that is on at 6.30pm. This now stays off. Then I ask my daughter "what story would you like Mum to read you when you go up?" not mentioning bed "and when you go up I will read it to you" - this takes the onus away from bed and places positive choice into her mind instead. Now I know your son is older but the key is about identifying what he is acting out about for example.... if he is refusing to complete a task give him a positive choice i.e. "you CAN go out with your friends, when you have helped Mum with the washing - and then you can go out" do not foget to re-infoce the message afterwards. Good luck.

Laurie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Our pediatritian says parents should give thier kids nasty chores for misbehavior such as cleaning the garage, something they would really hate to have to do. He said that is what worked for his family. plus you get a clean garage. : )

Ivonne - posted on 06/03/2010

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I make my 7 yr old do some of the worse household chores (washing dishes all day after school, yard work, and cleaning tedious parts of the kitchen; scrubbing the floor or cleaning the inside of the fridge). If this doesn't make a dent, you can try making him practice some of his least favorite school subjects. I once made my kid write one sentence over and over ( I will not do such and such...) and if he made one error on that page, he'd have to do that whole page over. I sometimes resort to having him stand all weekend at a blank wall. The only thing he's allowed to do is go to the bathroom and eat (when eating he's not allowed to sit). These work for our 7 yr old and he's changed completely. He almost never has to do any of those things that I mentioned since we implemented these punishments. Good luck and don't give in.

Angela - posted on 06/03/2010

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I have been through the exact same thing, and am at my witts end! So I am trying the empty threat method. I have lately been telling him that he will be going to live with his father, since he can't mind me or do better in school, but the toys and games will stay with me. Only clothes and him will be going, it seems to work for the moment. I even have a bag packed by his room door.

Christina - posted on 06/02/2010

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you could try a reward system. maybe having him earn points for rewards for good behavior and having them docked for misbehaving and having the visual reminder of the points given and taken away might help?

Vanessa - posted on 06/02/2010

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hey Heidi,
Can't believe this but my son is going through the exact same thing now at his school. He is 8 and has a personality like his father, funny man, has to be the centre of attention, has to make people laugh, likes people to look when he is talking. In the mean time he is distracting other people along with this behaviour.. I have just moved to a new school and it's his first time with a male teacher. I was stopped after school by his teacher to say that his behaviour for the day was terrible and very distracting to the class. He had been in the time out class room a number of times over the weeks and was not completing school work. I was so embarrassed to have all the parents looking at me wondering what my son had done. I was so cranky at my son when we got home I couldnt speak to him.. After an hour I was yelling at him and banning him from anything I could think of. He had no TV, No XBOX , No WII, No friends and no soccer training.
I got a system with the teacher to see if he could get a tick or a cross for the whole school day. Every afternoon when the bell rings I'm outside the classroom to check with the teacher. The first week I got two crosses and 3 ticks. So he got to play his soccer game on saturday, Then everyday he had a cross all the banned things came back into play again.. He soon realised the pattern of what was happening. He also got lumped with extra chores from his two other younger brothers..
3 weeks have gone by now and he received all ticks this last week. Very proud of his effort. One thing I did come to realise is that I'm not going to let the teacher punish my son for the type of personality he has. From the start of kinda he has always been like that and the teachers seemed to be on top of it. So if he wants to be funny and chatty well he can. I am just working at the moment on making him see that listening to the teacher is important and then he can talk all he likes at lunch time. .. Angie I love your two stories that is something I would do... Boys just have no idea sometimes, they are in another world and they don't express their feelings to easy...
So good luck I say work with the teacher for a behaviour communication booklet and remove the things he loves when he doesnt listen. seems to be working for me so far two weeks since I started..

Angie - posted on 06/02/2010

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Speak with the teacher and develop a plan to stop the disruptive behavior. Remind you son that on the playground is an excellent time to be funny but in the classroom, he must be ready to learn. As a parent of some rather stick-in-the-mud children, I can tell you that they get so angry when they are trying to learn something and the teacher has to stop the discussion to discipline a child again and again. Make sure your son knows that you love his funny, silly personality but that you are serious about his (and his classmate's) learning and you will not tolerate his repeated disruptions.

Angie - posted on 06/01/2010

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Oh my, lol.. I hear you on the teacher thing, lol.... I have come across some teachers that I think to myself 'goodness he is a little boy, let him be'.... Honestly... I have three boys and can say that if there is one thing I have learned... if they aren't really hurting anything... it doesn't need to be a big issue. If he isn't hurting others and isn't being 'malicious' or 'bad'... let the teacher deal with it. He is a little boy... it will pass. I would let your son know you don't appreciate it, but I don't know if it requires 'punishment' per se. Take a deep breathe and enjoy the giggles, lol.... I am not saying to just let things pass that are truly problems, but being a lil disruptive in class isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. In first/second grade that is what that teacher is supposed to be teaching. He will get it sooner or later, but unless he is being disruptive to the point of children potentially being injured or property being damaged... I would let it go. Again, let him know it disappoints you, but I wouldn't stress about it. Sometimes that is enough to help them get through that phase. Also, I don't know if you are able to, but go to the school and 'observe' the disruption. I had a teacher with my oldest who said my son was so disruptive that she wasn't going to pass him up to second grade (my oldest has ADHD), so I went one day and observed for about an hour, then left but peeked in the door on and off, listening in a chair outside the door the whole time. Then afterward the teacher said 'seeeeee, I just can't control him'... he wasn't doing anything! I was so angry. All he was doing was not transitioning from one task to another as quickly as she wanted him to (typical adhd), so then he felt embarrassed and would talk or chatter until he was ready for the task... i could tell that was what he was doing... poor kid, lol... then we moved and the new teacher is the one who told me that you have to pick your battles with boys. Him being disruptive was something she should have been working on with him, not expecting me to magically make him better while she had an attitude with him all day.
Anyway, I am sorry for the novel... :) I hope it gets better for you! Sounds like you have a lil character on your hands.. it is good that you see the joy in that, a lot of parents would be looking to squash it, lol...

Heidi - posted on 06/01/2010

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The main problem is that when he misbehaves, it is when he is at school....and its not even all that bad....he just gets silly sometimes cause it makes the other kids laugh...but is is disruptive to the teacher and the other kids...so he gets himself in trouble. We have tried the star chart....didn't work. He just needs to learn to choose good behavior and to manage himself when he needs to. I can't be there all the time to remind him, and I know he can make good choices, but he's just a little social butterfly and wants to make people laugh. Too bad the teachers don't find it funny :(

Caroline - posted on 06/01/2010

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I told my six year old that he was grounded for the day and if he continued misbehaving I was going to each of his friends' homes to tell his friends and their parents that he was grounded and not allowed over, his eyes widened with that!

Heidi - posted on 06/01/2010

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No Nyssa, he isn't still playing the games and watching tv....he just takes it as not as big of a deal as it used to be. Being grounded for him does mean no friends as well. Maybe more chores may work....but i just don't know.

[deleted account]

i grounded my 6 year old for the first time yesterday - he wasnt allowed to go to a friends house, or have friends over after school today. (we live in a neighborhood where we take turns having the kids over.) boy did it work!

Nyssa - posted on 06/01/2010

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Maybe try adding more chores to the ones he already does plus what you are already doing. By the way, what do you mean he isn't taking it seriously? Is he still playing the games and watching the tv? What about friends? I'm assuming this intails not getting to play with friends, too.

Britney - posted on 06/01/2010

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my oldest is 7 and just take away something or not let her outside and she hates it

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