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Discussion Starter #1
<p>i've raised my daughter with whatever GD works best for her at the time. at 6, she has a one-minute "time in for good behavior" where she settles herself if she can, or i hold her or guide her through some physical exercises if she needs help. sometimes she loses privileges such as her Nintendo DS or computer time, with a clear explanation of how/when she can re-earn the privilege. i don't do a reward thing, i use positive reinforcement as a normal part of the day, and some random nice surprises, and she seems really happy with our system. for anything but cleaning, she responds really well; yet. there is no amount of losing freedoms and privileges that helps her to clean, so i count my blessings that she's so good about everything else. she's on her best behavior at school (why do kids behave wonderfully for everyone else but the parent(s)? lol) but not for entirely wholesome reasons.</p>
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<p>the kindergarten class' discipline system baffles her, and quite frankly baffles me as well. they have a "time out" chair that's decorated to be pretty and interesting, and they have a "green-yellow-red" card/pocket system as well. there doesn't seem to be a fixed time limit on the time out, nor does it seem to work since the same kids are in the chair every day for the same things.</p>
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<p>the green-yellow-red system honestly disgusts me, here's how it supposedly works: each child has their picture on a pocket. you start your day at green and your goal is to stay in green. if you get one warning, your green card gets covered with a yellow card - and there doesn't seem to be a way to have the yellow card removed and go back to green the rest of the day. if you get a red card, you still get to do all the activities everyone else is doing *boggle* although you stay in red the rest of the day. the kids make fun of each other when in yellow or red.</p>
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<p>it seems like the color system is shaming the kids into behaving, and causing unhealthy peer pressure. my girl says she feels pride in herself when she's in the green all day, but it devastates her to be in yellow, so much so that it sounds like she's very busy at being good all day out of fear of "being yellow," then coming home and finally letting it all hang out which of course causes her to lose privileges.</p>
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<p>i'm wondering how can i work it out with her teacher so my girl is learning age-appropriate self-discipline, and i want to be able to "opt out" of the color system the same way parents can opt out of corporal punishment in school districts that still paddle kids. any ideas?</p>
 

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<p>I don't think you can opt out of non-physical punishment, and honestly every class my dd has been in has some similar system.  Not always cards, but sometimes a list your name goes on when you do something inappropriate, or whatever.  Often something involving green-yellow-red though.  The time out chair isn't something I've seen, but then I've seen classes where a child has to sit out during recess, or spend time with his/her head down on her desk for inappropriate behaivor.  I don't like punishment either, but I think this is something where when you put your child in public school, you give up some control and can't expect one-on-one attention to behavior like we can do at home, and they have to do "herd control" techniques like that.  They aren't able to have a different system for each kid.  They wouldn't be able to keep track, and they'd be accused of favoring some children and being more harsh with others.  It isn't good and probably leads a lot of families to homeschooling.  But my dd's school experience has been overall very good, despite my disagreements with that kind of thing.  It's just a fact though that when you send your child to school, you lose control over some things, and with so many kids with different patterns of behavior to keep under control they use discipline techniques I don't personally care for.</p>
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<p>If the kids are teasing each other over the cards, that's the one thing you might have a chance influencing.  If you tell her how your dd responds and that the kids are mean to each other about it, she might find a less in-your-face way to do it anyway.  But they'd probably have to change the whole thing and still do it the same way for everyone.</p>
 

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<p>Well I don't think you can change the color code system. Like Mamazee said, disciplining a large group of kids and keeping it fair is very difficult. What works at home can often be too time consuming and take up too much of the teacher's time.</p>
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<p>That said this kind of jumped out at me:</p>
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<p>it seems like the color system is shaming the kids into behaving, and causing unhealthy peer pressure. my girl says she feels pride in herself when she's in the green all day, but it devastates her to be in yellow, so much so that it sounds like she's very busy at being good all day out of fear of "being yellow," then coming home and finally letting it all hang out which of course <strong>causes her to lose privileges.</strong></p>
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<p>I wonder if your daughter is kind of stuck in a darned if I do, darned if I don't behavior spiral. If she is constantly under stress at school AND at home about her behavior-well that is a heavy burden for a six year old. And sometimes it can become a self-defeating kind of issue.</p>
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<p>Since you really can't change that much at school (although I would definitely be addressing the teasing), I would focus my efforts on helping her recalibrate at home.</p>
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<p>What kinds of things is she doing at home to cause issues?</p>
 

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<p>One thing  you might look into is how the other  Kindergarten Teachers in the school do discipline. When I was teaching that sort of thing was up to the Teacher.  Maybe there is someone else at the school who is more in line with your discipline style. Also "time out" chairs or any sort of punitive separation from the rest of the class is considered corporal punishment in the school district I worked for, no idea if that's the case where you live.</p>
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<p> I don't think you can't change discipline in schools. It's just a very long difficult battle.  I can't answer for you if you want to do it. I know parents who have but it really wears you down.  I, however, wouldn't just give up before trying in a very respectful way.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<p>i can understand the "herd control" mentality, having worked in daycare when i was younger. it's sort of good to hear this is a "normal" system, not just one school's notion. i really hope i can help my daughter adjust to this system at school. if i can't resolve some other concerns i have about her education, i'll just go back to homeschool :)</p>
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<p>when she gets home from school, it's as if my girl has saved up all her tension from the day of having to "be perfectly good all the time" and then she acts out with old behaviors that had resolved themselves, plus a ton of new ones she brings straight from school. but i can't in good conscience do the color system at home. just trying to find the right balance so she's happiest.</p>
 

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<p>I don't think there's any way to change how a school disciplines.  I think most schools do it this way, and honestly, it was great for my daughter.  Some kids need it, but, it's stressful on other kids.  </p>
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<p>When I was in school, if you got in trouble, and your parents found out, you were in trouble at home too.  If you were in BIG trouble, you had to stay after school for manual labor.  (cleaning the school yard)  Parents would FLIP out today if they found out their child had to pick up trash on the school grounds.  So, there's not much a school can do to hold kids accountable for their choices.  We had two recesses and a long lunch.  We all walked to school.  So, we weren't so cooped up, and making bad choices because we had too much energy.   </p>
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<p>Also, when I was in school, we didn't get in trouble for what kids are in trouble for these days.  They let us work out our own problems together.  (peer pressure)  If we were late for school, it wasn't a big deal.  If we ditched school, we had to do ALL the day's work in one evening.  It wasn't just make up work... you had to do all of the work.  But, there was no punishment other than doing an entire six hours of work in one night.  They left the rest up to the parents to deal with.  The big drawback to that was, there was no consequence for bullying.  Nobody was going to help the underdog.  </p>
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<p>There wasn't as much stress.  Very little was expected of kids.  We could play after school without adult supervision.  We could be loud and obnoxious without adults being annoyed with us.  Now, everybody notices when kids are outside.  They all notice when a child isn't a good student.  Everybody knows which kids are always on yellow or red.  So, she probably needs to cut loose because she's been sitting all day, listening, and behaving.  Instead of running home, she has a ride, instead of eating a sandwich and going outside with a huge group of friends, she probably stays in, or has a planned afternoon/evening.  (I wouldn't let my child just go out and play either.. I'm not saying it's wrong)   </p>
 

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<p>The system isn't meant to shame them and I imagine if you explain to the teacher the fact that your daughter feels it is shameful and that kids are teasing other when they get to yellow, the teacher will probably address the class.  From what I gather from the teachers I have spoken to, it is a visible reminder to the students of what kind of day they are having.  Basically, if they see that they are in yellow, they will be more careful over their actions because every system I've seen, a notice is sent home about the behavior that lead to the yellow or red.  I have asked a teacher what they want out of me (respectfully, I was honestly curious as to what my role was) and she said, "simply discuss the behavior and let them know what you expect and remind them of the rules."  The only time she expected more is if a certain behavior became a habit and then she would do a telephone conference to discuss possible strategies to stop the behavior.  I think it is as much to remind the teacher to inform the parents of problem behaviors as it is to remind the students about their behavior.  I think if you look at it in a positive light rather than negative you may be able to help your daughter adjust to it better.</p>
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<p>I do think you need to discuss her reaction to this system as well as the teasing, to the teacher as soon as possible so the teacher can reassure her that perfect behavior is not expected, and remind the class of that same fact. This is really not meant to be a negative tool as much as a visual tool.</p>
 

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<p>It's really common when kids start school to save up their emotions until they get home.  Actually, my dd is in 3rd grade and she still does that to some extent, and she still gets sad when she gets a token taken away (they get three tokens at the start of the day and one is taken away each time they misbehave.  Same idea, different specifics.)  I weigh the positives and negatives, and for us the positives of her schooling experience so far outweigh the negatives.  I do consider this to be a negative, though, so I understand why it concerns you.</p>
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<p>And I agree that it's worth talkign to the teacher about the teasing, because I sincerely doubt that she intends for that to happen, and I think most teachers would either make a change or at least talk to the class about it if they knew that were happening.</p>
 

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<p>My kids go to a Montessori charter school and they have what they call "the watching chair".  I have only seen it used during circle time.  If a child needs to check their behavior they are asked to sit in the watching chair and observe somebody who IS upholding the order of the circle.  The child isn't put there for a certain amount of time.  They are able to leave the chair when they feel like they can rejoin the circle without disrupting it. I have seen kids sit in it for 10 minutes (their choice) or 10 seconds (again, their choice).  It is teaching them how to be responsible for their own behavior and gives them the opportunity to "try again" when THEY feel ready, not the teacher or a clock.</p>
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<p>DD1's teacher actually has some sort of jar that she fills with beads and I have heard her say, "Lets try to earn 5 beads."  If the children are being disruptive, she will say, "Oops, we're down to 4 beads" and so on.  I'm not exactly sure about what this is all about (I need to ask DD), but the thing that bothers me about this particular system is that the entire group is being punished for just a few who misbehave.  It's not like a child can control another child's behavior, so they have to suffer right along with it.  DD2's teacher doesn't use that system and neither did DD1's previous teacher.</p>
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<p>I have nothing against public school, at all.  I went to public school and my kids go to a public school, but we chose Montessori because their discipline and learning style (for the most part) was in line with ours. I would NOT be ok with the green/yellow/red light thing, but I know a lot of teachers tend to use it.  :(</p>
 

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My ds's class used to do the red yellow green thing, but now theyve switched to something new that is working even better. They start out on Green everyday. If the teacher catches them following directions, being a good citizen, etc they move to blue, then up to purple, and finally if they are having a really good day up to pink. If they get pink 3x they get to have lunch with the teacher and she wears a clip with their name on it all day. Otoh, if they are not listening, misbehaving they move to yellow which means "think about it" If the behavior continues they move to orange which is "teacher choice" (teacher can choose no recess, etc) if the behavior still continues they move to red which is "call home to parent" It works very, very well and so far no one has gotten on red. I like that there are things above green cause it gives them something to work towars.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<p>FoxintheSnow, i think that's a much better system! i also like the idea of adding orange, with red meaning a call/email to the parent. although it could make more disciplinary work for the teachers and leave less time for other things. </p>
 
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