Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween has been cancelled - what would you do?

…at least in my house. My son, when caught cheating on the bonus words only for the weekly spelling test growled at the teacher and pushed his desk over. These behaviors are not acceptable. There will be no cheating. There will be no growling. There will be up ending desks. I told him he would be punished. He agreed that was appropriate (not that I need his approval to punish him) but he is much harsher than I am. I was going to take away TV, computers, play dates and toys for a week. He said, "No a month".

I explained that within that month was Halloween and he would miss all the parties and trick or treating. He was fine with that. I also explained that within that month was his birthday and he would not be able to have a party or get presents if we did things his way, he seemed fine with that as well. Sure am glad I'm his mom and not his kid.

I consulted several people on what to do and how to handle the punishment. I want it to fit the crime and I gotta say I think the crimes are pretty severe for a first grader. The people I respect the most in this area said that a month is appropriate — of course they are far away and not directly affected (ie: their kids are not going to be missing a playmate at the aforementioned parties). My teacher friend suggested I write up a contract clearly spelling out what is expected of him and what the consequences will be if he does not meet his contractual obligations. Also she suggested time off for good behavior so that he can have a birthday party, it is after all the final weekend of a month of punishment.

So I've settled on a punishment. I will write a contract and the punishment will be graduated with the most severe punishment occurring soonest, when the offenses are clearest in his mind. There will be the option for time off for good behavior so that he can still have his birthday party which we have been planning for a long time.

So now it's question time.
1. What is an appropriate punishment for cheating?
2. What is an appropriate punishment for growling at a teacher and upending a desk?
3. Have you ever had to cancel a holiday because of a child's behavior?


Krys said...

Hi-tried to call all day today but your phone was busy! I think what you are proposing sounds good. I guess he will learn what a contract is! I am soo disappointed in him. But hopefully this will indeed be a learning experience.

CreoleInDC said...

I think the baby should have been immediately spanked. Cheating, speaking to his teacher that way and showing his behind by flipping the desk, IN MY OPINION, should be met with corporal punishment. Oh...and he would have had some of his fave privileges revoked.

I wouldn't cancel the holiday if I spanked. Spanking supersedes all other punishment.

Janet said...

Wow Katie. I'm impressed with your solution and I hope it works. I'm more concerned about why he would be behave like that? I don't know him real well, but I never saw a glimpse of that kind of thing in him! Was he upset about something else? That poor kid. Sounds like he regrets what he did, which is huge. Good for you!