I haven't figured this out yet . . .

I Dislike Your Artwork Almost As Much As My Son’s Bad Behavior


The image drawn on G’s hand is very faded, but if your vision doesn’t suck like mine, you might be able to make out the faintest hint of a circle and some markings within that circle. The drawing, is a sad face. Apparently my son was naughty at school today and his teacher felt compelled to send him home with a reminder of that by drawing that sad face on his hand.

I’m the last person to make excuses for my son. I’m all for punishing bad behavior. Sometimes I come home and am very disappointed to hear about things he has done. But he’s three. It’s to be expected and the behavior needs to be corrected. This, however, is a little beyond what’s necessary in my opinion. At least when it’s coming from his teacher.

I get it, she’s frustrated that he misbehaves in her class and perhaps hoping my wife and I will do something about it. G’s told me about some of the things he’s done and it makes me embarrassed as his father and feel bad for his teacher for having to deal with it most of the day. We’ve taken toys and privileges away, scolded, frowned at him, and sent him to bed early. We’ve tried rewarding the good behavior, discouraging the bad, and everything else we can think of. His behavior can be angelic one day and downright fiendish the next, it’s kind of a toss up.

Bad behavior and punishment aside, and if I’m just being sensitive, let me know; but doesn’t anyone else think it’s kind of wrong to draw a sad face on a three year old’s hand and send him home to his parents like that? Is this some sort of technique for behavioral readjustment that I’ve never heard of? Kids can be naughty. I was. I never had a teacher draw on my hand to let myself and my parents know that I misbehaved.

The more I think about it, the more offended I become. I don’t see a reason to send the boy home feeling bad about himself, no matter what he’s done. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t like the thing(s) you’ve done.” It’s completely different to say, “you were a naughty child today,” and by drawing that sad face on my son’s hand, that’s what his teacher is telling me.

Here’s a better idea, offer a happy face sticker for being good for the day and none for misbehaving. It worked with his teacher last year (whom I sorely miss) and she never complained about his behavior. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that G’s bad behavior started when this new school year did. I’m tempted to say to his teacher, “maybe my son just doesn’t like you, because I know I don’t.” But that would be mean, like drawing a sad face on a child’s hand at the end of the day.

I want my son to do better, I really do. His behavior of late offends me more than his teacher’s artwork. But there are some things that are just inappropriate to do, and I consider this to be one of them.



One comment on “I Dislike Your Artwork Almost As Much As My Son’s Bad Behavior

  1. n. navas
    October 8, 2012

    best teachers you folks have had were the ones who ALWAYS used positive reinforcement even when behavior was inappropriate – it’s the way it’s said that makes a difference. A gets a happy face for good behavior and nothing for bad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on October 8, 2012 by in Parenting and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: