Saw this on the news today about a mother in Jacksonville who found a creative way to handle her son’s misbehavior. Her second grade son had gotten in trouble for being rude to his teacher. She decided to get his attention in a big way. She and her son stood on the sidewalk with a sign stating he had been rude to his teacher.
I am not condoning nor condemning the mother’s approach. There are many unanswered questions about the incident. What was the duration of the punishment? If it last for 15-20 that would be quite different than if the boy stood there for several hours. Was this a one time behavior or pattern of behavior that is getting progressively worse? The mother did say she had to do something to get his attention. Also, we do not know what the boy did in class or what types of consequences the mother had tried in the past.
As a former teacher, I respect that the mother is obviously involved in her child’s life and trying to teach him what is right. Too many times parents either ignore bad behavior or blame the teacher. This is mother wants to teach her son how to behave and to respect those in authority.
One of my readers felt that it was horrible, traumatic and abusive because the boy was crying. As a teacher, I have learned that one of the first responses some children have to any discipline is crying. Crying may be a sign of remorse, trauma or it may be a learned response to correction. Some children learn that crying gets them out of trouble. Yes, the boy was crying but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The boy obviously did something he should not have done.
Discipline is intended to a teach lesson and correct or reinforce behavior. Punishment is designed to control behavior. Discipline often includes some form of punishment. One question I have about the incident was what lesson did the boy learn? Hopefully, his mom took some time to explain the reason behind punishment and what behavior was expected from him in the future.
Some guidelines for discipline:
Is it age appropriate for the child? Time out may be appropriate a preschooler but not the best approach for a teenager.
It is a logical consequence of the behavior? For example if child writes on the wall having him/her clean off the wall is a logical consequence.
Is it designed to teach a lesson not merely inflict pain or get even with the child? Never hand out punishment when you are angry. It is ok to let the child know the matter will be dealt with at a later stated time.
What lesson is being taught? I left my bicycle in the drive-way one time. My dad “impounded” my bike & gave me a ticket. I lost the bike until I paid the fine with interest. Lesson learned was watch where you park your ride.
14 thoughts on “One Tough Mama”
That’s awful. I could only watch 11 seconds of that. That’s traumatizing that poor child. I totally disagree 100%.
I’m not sure it is that bad. There are several things we don’t know about the situation. Nothing has been said about what the boy did. Was it a one time occurrence or a pattern of behavior. The mother said she needed to get her sons attention. Nothing is said about what she might have tried in the past. Also, how long did the boy have to stand there. 15 minutes or less would be quite different than if he was standing there for an hour or more.
I still disagree. I can not condone this kind of discipline. The kid was crying.
Not saying I disagree or support it. There are a lot of unanswered questions. Yes, the child was crying. As a teacher, I have learned that one of the first responses some children given to any discpline is crying. Crying may be a sign of remorse,trauma or it may be a learned response to correction. Some children learn that crying gets them out of trouble.
It is certainly a creative solution. Personally, I often learned more displine other than restrictions or swats. I left my bicyle in the drive-way one time. My dad “impounded” my bike & gave me a ticket. I lost the bike until I paid the fine with interest. Lesson learned was watch where you park your ride.
True, this case seems a little harsh for a 7-year-old. Still not sure I agree with it but it is interesting.
That is a rough form of discipline. There are alternatives. However, I wonder how this plays out in the long run.
It would be interesting to see what lasting effects it might have.
I agree with you Dee about the first things children learned to do was cry to get out of doing things they don’t want to do. This form of punishment may have been a little extreme, but then again, it may not have been. We don’t know the whole story, so it is hard to judge his mom’s action based off of what little we know. For all we know, this kid may have been acting out so many times for so long, the mother had to find something that would actually get the child’s attention. My little brother WAS like that. Mere swats never worked, nor did time outs. He could have cared less. I am not saying this child was like my brother, but I do have to give the mother kudos for taking up for teachers. If we had more parents that actually cared, then we would have kids with less behavioral issues today IMO.
I agree. The mom is trying to make a differance & I respect that she is starting with her son while he is young. It is very sad to see a student in the early grades out of control because they most likely will only get worse.
You really have to wonder what the mother was all ready dealing with in regard to this little boy. There have been so many stories in the news over the past few years of Judges meeting out the same punishment…..this was done to teenagers. If he was standing in his own neighborhood and his friends had seen him then he may have just been crying out of embarassment.
When our children were in school we always supported the teachers. There was one that we never agreed with but the kids never knew this. We went to her privately and discussed our issues with some of the things she was doing to our daughter. This wasn’t a case of us just being protective. It was a case of a teacher not being able to handle children with learning disabilities and those who just day dreamed a lot. She had no patience for imperfect children.
I would really have to guess that this mom was at her wits end……the fact that she even stepped out and did something like this would lead me to believe that she may have tried everything else all ready.
I could think of much worse that she could have done….and ignoring it totally would have been worse in the long run.
If more parents have the idea of supporting teachers I would probably still be teaching.
There is so much that isn’t said about the situtation with the boy. The mother was with him the whole time. Of course, his tears could have been a learned response to get out of punishment.
Hi there! Came over from Elfninos site. I wanted to say to the one person who commented the kid was crying…that is no reason to not do something. Why is it always bad for kids to cry?? By that reason if my son grabs a knife, and I take it away, and he cries, I should give it back to him because he is crying.
Of course he was crying. He was probably embarrassed and I think that was the idea…to embarrass him into behaving at school. We don’t know what other struggles she has had (and his teacher) with this boy and maybe she has tried everything else.
I can promise though he will never forget this and he will also never forget that his mom meant business when she told him to behave.
How will it affect him in the long run? I don’t know. You can do everything “right” and your kids turn out to be horrible…so there really is no way to know.
Thanks for stopping by & I certainly agree with you. Sometimes creative forms of discipline work better.
I DO AGREE WITH THIS MOTHER MY SON I HAVE TO ADMIT WAS PRETTY GOOD IN 2ND GRADE YET NOW HE IS IN 7TH AND HAS A NATURAL ABILITY TO MOUTH OFF WHEN TOLD TO DO SOMETHING…SO IN TAKING THE TEACHINGS OF A KARATE INSTRUCTOR I HAVE COME BACK WITH A 20/20 PUNISHMENT HE IS TO DO 20 PUSH-UPS AND 20 SIT-UPS NEEDLESS TO SAY THIS HAS NOT ONLY HELP IN MOUTHING OFF BUT HAS STRENGHTEN HIS BODY AND MIND WHEN IT COMES TO THINKING BEFORE YOU SPEAK…NOW I HAVE A SON WHO SHOWS MORE RESPECT AND SAYS PLEASE, THANK YOU, YES MAMAM/SIR OR NO MAMAM/SIR.. THIS IS AFTER TRYIN TIME-OUT AND TAKING AWAY TV/ VIDEO GAMES ETC…
Had a friend who tried a similar approached with her kids.