1st Grader who gets "detention" all the time - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-15-2012, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter who is 6 and in the 1st grade, constantly has "detention". For our school this means that she loses 10 minutes of recess for every detention she gets. These detentions are based on her behavior because she talks too much or she gets up and walks around the classroom. She is quite smart and has grades of 96% and above. I feel terrible for my daughter because as a mother...I get frustrated with her behavior because I feel that I am failing as a parent. Can someone please help me or give me some insight on what steps I can take to help her?


Thank you,


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#2 of 6 Old 01-15-2012, 10:31 PM
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Have you talked to the school?  I have/had one of those and what he needed was more recess, not less.  Until I found a teacher that realized that we had tons of issues with teachers.

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#3 of 6 Old 01-15-2012, 11:22 PM
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What's frustrating is that a child who is talking and walking around in class probably needs more recess than other kids. I would talk to the teacher about using a different system. 

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#4 of 6 Old 01-16-2012, 07:45 AM
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If she "constantly" has detention, then clearly this is a discipline tactic that is failing. I'd request a conference with the teacher to discuss the reasons for your DD's behaviour and other possible, more effective ways to manage it. 


The most obvious explanation is that she already knows or understands the lessons and is completing her work early. She may have much more time on her hands than the other students and becomes distracted. She's looking for new challenges. 


If that is the case, the answer isn't to punish her for seeking out new learning opportunities. It's to provide them in a way that doesn't disrupt the others in the class. Interesting math puzzles and problems, a stack of good books, an ongoing project she can work on quietly, permission to go to the library if she's finished her work..... 


If there is another explanation, then discuss other tactics. Maybe she's a kinesthetic learner and benefits from moving around a lot. Maybe she's high energy and needs more recess and physical activity. Maybe she has poor vision and needs to get closer to the board to read it (this was me). Or poor hearing and needs to get closer to the hear the teacher. 


Detention isn't working, so it's time to try something else. 

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#5 of 6 Old 01-18-2012, 05:47 PM
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I hear your distress. One of the first things that might be good to dispose of, is the notion that the choices that your daughter is making in school are somehow a reflection of you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many kids have problems with self regulation and it has nothing at all to do with us as parents (Unless there is biology involved and we also have/had problems with self regulation.)


Schedule a conference with the teacher and try to construct something together that will be more meaningful for your daughter.

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#6 of 6 Old 02-27-2012, 02:42 PM
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First, I would ask the teacher to come up with a more positive form of behavior modification, especially since it's clear the punitive method of detention is not working, and may actually be making the problem worse.  I really disagree with withholding recess for behavior issues-- I think you could do some google research and find ample evidence that this is a misguided policy.


Second, I would also ask the teacher about whether your dd is being adequately challenged in class.  If she has time to roam around and others don't, that's not your dd's fault. It's because the curriculum isn't appropriate for your daughter's abilities.  Differentiation would help.  My dd is highly gifted and her teacher complained to me that even though the work is easy for my dd, my dd doesn't try, which the teacher felt was a problem.  Once I convinced the teacher to give my dd work that my dd had to think about, the "trying" issue went away and her sloppy handwriting miraculously improved, as did her accuracy.  (My dd didn't "try" to do a good job, because the work was too boring, easy and insulting.)


Good luck.

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