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Old 01-27-2019, 12:00 PM
 
208 posts, read 363,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiGi603 View Post
I disagree, kids are very smart in figuring out things. What they can get away with, what they can't.



I don't agree with how the school handled your son--however going over the teacher like that was not the way to handle the situation.

I just think you have to find another school that you agree how they handle things.

When I say kids live in the moment it has nothing to do with them being able or not to figure things out on their own. It's about kids focus more on what is happening to them right then. They don't worry or dwell about the past or what may happen to them in the future as much. As they get older this all starts to change gradually. So when my son was denied a reward, in that moment, I don't think he was able to understand that it all added up to all his behaviors during the entire week. The teacher would probably have to sit down and maybe explain to him, but they didn't do that.

Maybe I should have handled it differently, I have not decided yet if I was totally wrong, but it's over now.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:07 PM
 
208 posts, read 363,811 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murk View Post
I never had my boys in daycare (100% NOT judging people who do, just revealing my lack of experience with it.)

Isn't a meeting with the daycare owner/manager/teacher in charge something you do before you choose one? To check out their policies, expectations, etc? I thought the idea was to find one that aligns with your parenting philosophy as closely as possible, etc.

The reward system sounds ill-conceived. The 2-hour silent nap periods are insane (My kids stopped napping by 2. Making them like still and silent staring at the ceiling for 2 hours sounds almost abusive.) However, overriding the rules of school by "stealing" a sticker is not the way to do things. That just teaches your son that he can break rules or that mommy will break them for him.
Yes we have a meeting with the director before he was enrolled. He has been going to this pre-school since he was two. This reward system for his current classroom is not a school-wide or for the entire daycare policy. It's not written in the contract. So how was I supposed to know?? It's only being done now, that he has moved to a new room. I don't even know how long they have implemented this reward system. It's up to the teachers to communicate these things to the parents as the children transition!!

He just turned four in September and switched to this 4 year old class 3 weeks ago. The incident happened on Friday, so my plan is to speak to the director on Monday.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Central IL
14,111 posts, read 7,673,811 times
Reputation: 32897
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
To be fair, he's not being "pressured to perform." He's being asked to conform to the rules and procedures of the class, and he obviously didn't do that. He's being asked to behave.

Did you ask the teachers what he had done to lose the star? With positive reinforcement from you ("Well, I guess you won't talk during naptime again, huh?") and then simply moving on, he may never have this problem in there again.

It still would be worth your while to discuss with the teachers the idea that getting (or not getting) the prize in front of the class could be changed while keeping the general point of the star system. This is the equivalent of a teacher reading out older kids' test grades while passing them back after grading.
Sure...but why weren't the teachers keeping her and the child informed? Isn't that part of the reward system in terms of getting kids to avoid bad behaviors because they want the reward? They could turn around what looks like a "bad" week by Wed. or Thu. showing them where they are and what they've done and need to do to get the reward. THAT is a learning opportunity. They didn't take the child aside (or have a visible chart) OR tell mom what seemed to be in store for Friday if no changes were made.

In a job situation they have to tell you what you're doing wrong and tell you what you have to do and then give you time to do it. Yeah, I know that's a scam, but it is a process that this pre-school should be taking.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
40,587 posts, read 39,254,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post

Sure...but why weren't the teachers keeping her and the child informed? Isn't that part of the reward system in terms of getting kids to avoid bad behaviors because they want the reward?
I agree with you, which is why I asked this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post

Did you ask the teachers what he had done to lose the star?
This shouldn't be new information. Kids generally know when they've had a star (or whatever token the class uses) taken away. But in my experience teachers tally the results at the end of the day. I agree with the OP that making everything cumulative for the entire week is too much at this age.

Even so, she can't expect her kid to get a reward every time. We all make mistakes, and we all have to learn from our mistakes.

She apparently lives in NC, which mandates 2-hour naps statewide, which is stupid and shows no discretion for the fact that kids have different needs at different ages. It is just a way to pass the time during the long day-care day. At that point it's not about education.

She said she's talking with the director tomorrow. Her son just started in this classroom. Maybe there's another classroom he can switch to where the teachers have a better grasp of child development.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:26 PM
 
7,964 posts, read 3,139,142 times
Reputation: 20881
I would be curious what type child typically has the most stars at the end of the day.

Is it the most cheerful, the most enthusiastic, the most engaged?

Or basically, the child who is invisible and doesn't cause a moment's distraction?

It sounds to me like that's what they're rewarding. Shuffle through the day compliantly and silently, there will be goodies for you on Friday.

I can hardly think of a worse message to send to very young children.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:31 PM
 
7,964 posts, read 3,139,142 times
Reputation: 20881
Another thought is, if after a week of school, you have a child who didn't even earn the barest prize - a sticker - that should trigger an automatic parent teacher conference to try to change behaviors. A child whose behaviors are, on balance, workable should be able to earn the minimal prize.

So if you deny a child a sticker, the teacher needs to tell how the child is unable to function effectively in the classroom, consistently.

Otherwise, you get a child who says well forget it, I'm not even earning anything ever, it won't really matter if i throw the crayons across the room and scream all the way through nap time.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:46 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,370 posts, read 1,974,662 times
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"Good things"? Academically or behaviorally? Either way; no.

Consequences/rewards have no meaning for 4 year-olds when they occur days later.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:26 AM
 
Location: NJ
9,688 posts, read 20,627,092 times
Reputation: 7049
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
Another thought is, if after a week of school, you have a child who didn't even earn the barest prize - a sticker - that should trigger an automatic parent teacher conference to try to change behaviors. A child whose behaviors are, on balance, workable should be able to earn the minimal prize.

So if you deny a child a sticker, the teacher needs to tell how the child is unable to function effectively in the classroom, consistently.

Otherwise, you get a child who says well forget it, I'm not even earning anything ever, it won't really matter if i throw the crayons across the room and scream all the way through nap time.
This. The way I feel, every kids should walk away with something, period. For as many stars as her son had, he should have earned a smaller sticker, then a larger sticker for the next star group, you can increase the sticker size or give 2 for each group. I do not like that they give candy. I do not like they exclude kids, especially at age 4. I also don't like that they left him crying like that. Someone should have been trying to explain the stars to him and comforting him.

My grand son was in head start from age 2 until last May. They stopped about a month before public school finish. They also had nap time thru the whole day care from 12:30 to 2 something. My grandson at age 4 was still able to nap there even though he doesn't nap at home.

I would have been furious too. Here is the new kid, not only new but younger then the others who obviously didn't know their system. He was excluded. I'm sure he's not the only one either. They all probably go thru it as they age up into this class.

I especially dislike that they have not told the OP about him misbehaving to take stars away. If he was losing a star at naptime, parent should have been told.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:55 PM
 
852 posts, read 624,810 times
Reputation: 3370
Quote:
Thoughts please?
My thoughts? Okay. Here goes.

tldr; This thread kinda explains why many of the teachers we've talked to complain about some kids coming into kindergarten with insufficient self-regulatory skills. I think your son can meet the challenge of his preschool's behavioral reward system, with your aid and encouragement.

Our twins have a star chart at home that works almost exactly the same way as this classroom's. They've understood and complied with it since they were 2.5. At 4 years old they understood the concept of banking their stars to get bigger rewards, and they sure as heck understood the concept of losing a star for bad behavior. They also managed to (sometimes) self-regulate their emotions when their sibling had enough stars to buy a reward at the store, and they did not. They are certainly very vocal about telling us how sad it makes them that they didn't have enough stars. This is sometimes accompanied by emotional outbursts, but they are doing an excellent job of channeling their emotions into appropriate words and expressions, without inappropriate outbursts. I'm very proud of them, so please excuse the [not] humble brag. They even (sometimes) combine their stars to buy a bigger reward that they both agree upon, though usually there's a lot of dickering that ends up with no resolution. Sometimes they will even donate stars to each other to help the person with a shortage buy a reward. And... sometimes not.

So, yeah, it's very possible for 4-year-olds to keep the idea of reward and penalty in their minds for more than 2 hours. I would focus more on challenging your son's social/emotional skills and trying to develop them, rather than insulating him from any stress. You might be very suprised what he can achieve, if given the opportunity and some encouragement. However, you know your son best. Just focus on using/building on the classroom tools/structure to keep him moving forward in his development.

Lemme unpack the rest:
Quote:
I picked him up and asked what was wrong and he could not speak because of the tears.
A crying child is not an unmitigated disaster. The tears don't have to stop immediately at all costs. Sometimes a child needs to get over that emotional hump so they can get to the point where they can calmly express themselves. The more you allow them to get their own emotions under control, and then move on to calmly explaining the situation and asking for help, the better they'll be at it, and the faster they will mature, emotionally. If you rush to slap a band-aid over every little emotional boo-boo, they're never going to progress.

An inability to self sooth (did you say you spent 90 minutes later at home?) due to missing out on a reward is not developmentally-appropriate for most 4-year-olds. If your son is neurotypical, he should be able to develop the capability to manage his emotions in a shorter time frame, even if he doesn't always choose to exercise it. So this is an area that probably needs some work.

Quote:
They make the prize box a big production and get up one by one until the kids with no prize are left.
This is appropriate reinforcment of rewards for good behavior. Not getting a reward due to insufficient performance is not a draconian punishment, but rather a fact of life, and something your son is eventually going to need to learn. This sounds like an appropriate level for 4-year-olds.

I wish we could insulate our children from every disappointing or stressful situation and still have them grow up to be functional adults, but that's not the way it works. You have to experience small stresses, disappointments, and losses, like missing out on getting a sticker when you are four, in order to develop the skills to deal with the bigger stresses later in life. There is no need to wait until kindergarten or some other magic cut-off age to begin these lessons.

Quote:
I'm also tempted to say that unless my son is knowingly causing harm to others, throwing toys or other things, or just outright not listening, then I want him to be able to get a prize at the end of the week for the stars he did gain, wether it's one or 20.
I personally think that bar is a little low, but you do you. I would not try to change the classroom rules or go fight the administration, that's a losing battle. They have a system that works for them and most of their children. If it doesn't work for you, you can modify your home behavior to meet your personal goals. For instance:

You could consider giving him a reward, yourself, for a positive report from his teachers. Say, maybe he gets a star for his teachers saying he's been good, and for reporting his day to you. Our kids get a "school star" if they tell us one thing they learned, one thing they played, and what they had for a snack at preschool. You could ask your son how many stars he earned, and add (or subtract) stars based on his home behavior over the weekend, to achieve the reward you said you wanted to give. That might lessen the impact of the weeks he is sub-8 stars in class. After all, you don't want him to just give up on good behaviour if he's never getting enough to earn the reward.

You don't want to subvert the school structure or teach him that mommy is always going to come to the rescue if his peers/teachers/bosses don't approve of his performance, so use caution and be sure to build on top of what is happening outside the home, rather than reversing the socal structure of the outside world the second he's back with you.

Quote:
His teacher also gives the kids 2-3 sheets of homework weekly, which is more than some kindergarten classes. These kids are 4 year olds and I think the expectations from the teachers using this system is too much.
I'd be happy to have our children in such a challenging environment. We are disappointed in the seemingly-lax educational focus of our children's preschool. Wanna trade?
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Old 01-28-2019, 05:01 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,251 posts, read 846,707 times
Reputation: 4751
Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
My thoughts? Okay. Here goes.

tldr; This thread kinda explains why many of the teachers we've talked to complain about some kids coming into kindergarten with insufficient self-regulatory skills. I think your son can meet the challenge of his preschool's behavioral reward system, with your aid and encouragement.

Our twins have a star chart at home that works almost exactly the same way as this classroom's. They've understood and complied with it since they were 2.5. At 4 years old they understood the concept of banking their stars to get bigger rewards, and they sure as heck understood the concept of losing a star for bad behavior. They also managed to (sometimes) self-regulate their emotions when their sibling had enough stars to buy a reward at the store, and they did not. They are certainly very vocal about telling us how sad it makes them that they didn't have enough stars. This is sometimes accompanied by emotional outbursts, but they are doing an excellent job of channeling their emotions into appropriate words and expressions, without inappropriate outbursts. I'm very proud of them, so please excuse the [not] humble brag. They even (sometimes) combine their stars to buy a bigger reward that they both agree upon, though usually there's a lot of dickering that ends up with no resolution. Sometimes they will even donate stars to each other to help the person with a shortage buy a reward. And... sometimes not.

So, yeah, it's very possible for 4-year-olds to keep the idea of reward and penalty in their minds for more than 2 hours. I would focus more on challenging your son's social/emotional skills and trying to develop them, rather than insulating him from any stress. You might be very suprised what he can achieve, if given the opportunity and some encouragement. However, you know your son best. Just focus on using/building on the classroom tools/structure to keep him moving forward in his development.

Lemme unpack the rest:

A crying child is not an unmitigated disaster. The tears don't have to stop immediately at all costs. Sometimes a child needs to get over that emotional hump so they can get to the point where they can calmly express themselves. The more you allow them to get their own emotions under control, and then move on to calmly explaining the situation and asking for help, the better they'll be at it, and the faster they will mature, emotionally. If you rush to slap a band-aid over every little emotional boo-boo, they're never going to progress.

An inability to self sooth (did you say you spent 90 minutes later at home?) due to missing out on a reward is not developmentally-appropriate for most 4-year-olds. If your son is neurotypical, he should be able to develop the capability to manage his emotions in a shorter time frame, even if he doesn't always choose to exercise it. So this is an area that probably needs some work.


This is appropriate reinforcment of rewards for good behavior. Not getting a reward due to insufficient performance is not a draconian punishment, but rather a fact of life, and something your son is eventually going to need to learn. This sounds like an appropriate level for 4-year-olds.

I wish we could insulate our children from every disappointing or stressful situation and still have them grow up to be functional adults, but that's not the way it works. You have to experience small stresses, disappointments, and losses, like missing out on getting a sticker when you are four, in order to develop the skills to deal with the bigger stresses later in life. There is no need to wait until kindergarten or some other magic cut-off age to begin these lessons.


I personally think that bar is a little low, but you do you. I would not try to change the classroom rules or go fight the administration, that's a losing battle. They have a system that works for them and most of their children. If it doesn't work for you, you can modify your home behavior to meet your personal goals. For instance:

You could consider giving him a reward, yourself, for a positive report from his teachers. Say, maybe he gets a star for his teachers saying he's been good, and for reporting his day to you. Our kids get a "school star" if they tell us one thing they learned, one thing they played, and what they had for a snack at preschool. You could ask your son how many stars he earned, and add (or subtract) stars based on his home behavior over the weekend, to achieve the reward you said you wanted to give. That might lessen the impact of the weeks he is sub-8 stars in class. After all, you don't want him to just give up on good behaviour if he's never getting enough to earn the reward.

You don't want to subvert the school structure or teach him that mommy is always going to come to the rescue if his peers/teachers/bosses don't approve of his performance, so use caution and be sure to build on top of what is happening outside the home, rather than reversing the socal structure of the outside world the second he's back with you.


I'd be happy to have our children in such a challenging environment. We are disappointed in the seemingly-lax educational focus of our children's preschool. Wanna trade?
*standing ovation*

My four (now ages 19-36) were all taught self control from toddlerhood; they were also taught that "participation awards" and the ilk are ridiculous and that to gain an award/reward they must strive and do well.

Mine were taught that emotional outbursts gained them nothing; you have taught your son the opposite.
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