Is it typical for a six year old to go too far with their behaviour and not know it?

Tamara - posted on 04/02/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




My six year old has been on the receiving end of some rather harsh and unjust criticism from his school just lately.

Today, after swimming lessons apparently his class was playing "Duck Duck Goose" where an incident happened that has now scored him yet another detention.

The report goes that my son was playing the game and when he got "out" he became moody and wouldn't sit in the middle (where you are supposed to if out) and sulked on the outer edge of the circle whilst the group ignored him and continued the game. He perked up after about five minutes and came to rejoin the game where he was again repremanded for not sitting in the right spot.

Apparently (according to my son) the teacher made a comment of "Oh now there are four roast ducks in the middle" and (according to the report) my son to pretended to bite the child who joined them in the middle. Apparently he was told to stop but continued and according to the report he bit this child's shirt. He was repremanded again for not listening, the group went back to the classroom with the teacher and my son walked behind with the teacher who conducted the game.

From a six year old's view, I can see that it would have been fun to pretend to bite the child - pretend and imaginary play is still very much a part of their development at this age.

I understand also where the teacher may come from with having to repeat herself in asking him to stop. However, maybe she could be more careful in what she says to provoke the action? How did she ask him and what did she say? Short sharp phrases are still best at this age.

Fortunately my son did not actually bite the child. But if he did it would have been accidental and through play.

My son tends to get carried away with a behaviour and even I have to ask several times for it to stop. But does this really warrant having forty minutes of timeout the next day for something he thought was play?

Whose fault is it?

Can a six year old really know the difference between going too far with a behaviour and the consequences involved?

What could I do as a parent to show him how to control this part of his social learning in order for him to not get into trouble?

What could the school do to help my child rather than hinder his social progress through punishment?


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Tamara - posted on 04/03/2012




I genuinely don't believe that my son was acting out to harm someone on purpose. My child is well behaved for the,adoring of the time and I believe, as an early childhood educator (not a teacher) that his behavior was due to cognitive developmental processes. I believe that he has been misunderstood by the teacher because of this. My son can easily be seen as someone much older than he is because of his height.

I believe that discipline is better than punishment as it allows the child to take control of his behavior. I see the methods of our school as teaching the children to point the finger at others in blame and to not learn overall accountability.

I have downloaded books and reading material that I will go through in order to incorporate this into my parenting. I have analyzed my parenting methods and trying to find what I have missed and how. It is a constant thing in order to be the best parent I can be. Because the blame is in our direction right now and I want to be able to cover all tracks.

Thanks for the links.

I have spoken with my counsellor and she believes my child is being targeted. We are currently seeking alternative places of education in our area, of which there are few.

Sol4J - posted on 04/03/2012




Your desire to be the best parent you can came through in your words. I'm sure there are other parents who found themselves in similar situations, and am so glad you felt comfortable sharing your struggle here. It can be tricky when we feel we need to help our children take appropriate responsibility. It is not always easy to select the right course of action. For some helpful tips and guidelines on discipline take a look at this FAQ . I'll link you to an article or two on Focus' websites, where I work, and also keep in mind that you can also talk with a counselor for more specific suggestions. Hope this helps. God bless!

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