The Bad Note

Last week RJ got came home with his first “bad” note from school.  In the year he’s been in daycare the only notes on his take home slip have been about him not eating his lunch.  So I was shocked to get the following note:

Hubby and I asked him why he was bad in school.  When we mentioned his actions he gave us a look like he knew what we were talking about but he tried to change the subject and talk about every thing but his behavior.  After calmly telling him he should not behave that way in school and that was not acceptable behavior, I placed him on punishment.  I took away everything he really loves, all toy balls, his baseball gloves and bats, his Thomas the Tank Engine, he wasn’t allowed to use our iPhones, he didn’t get any juice with his dinner or a Popsicle, his favorite dessert, until he came home with a good note.

My family, including my sister, MIL and even Hubby, think I was too hard on him.  My FIL and I disagree.  Both Hubby and I have noticed RJ has been increasingly more hardheaded and apt to “try” his luck when we tell him to stop doing something.  Can you say early terrible twos?!  He will be two in November and I know he knows when he is misbehaving.  I didn’t scream at him, spank him, take away ALL of his toys and send him to his room without dinner.  However, I know there are certain things he LOVES and those are the things I took from him.  Hubby and my MIL both think he’s too young to understand the punishment, and it was his only his “first” note home.   Ok, but he’s not too young to begin potty training and expect him to tell us when he has to poop and pee in the toilet?!   Hmmm…  So at what age does he stop being too young.  3? 5? 10?  And in the mean time, what do you suggest?  We just tell him not to do that again and give no consequence for his bad behavior?  That doesn’t even get him to stop doing little things like tugging on the dogs tail.  And how many notes home do we have to get before we take action. We’ve use 1-2-3 timeout, I know the book says consistency is the key, but some days the boy would LIVE in timeout!  We also use the occasional pop on the leg or spank on the bottom, a method I feel doesn’t work.

I understand that he’s a child and acting out comes with that.  However, I feel as parents it’s our duty to let him know that’s not how he should act.  We should do everything we can to raise a child who knows right from wrong and who is respectful of himself and others.  We’ve all been in a store and seen a toddler who was just downright bad, not just having a little temper tantrum, but downright BAD. Usually, that child is accompanied by a  parent who looks completely helpless.  I will not be that parent and that will not be my child.  I feel uncorrected bad behavior will make us those people.  So, if I have to take away a few toys and treats, oh well.

He hasn’t come home with a bad note since his “punishment”.


  • Reply Amber Wright (@mrswrightsays) September 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This is a tough time of transition at this age. We definitely have to be firm while still giving them the space to learn from their mistakes. I’m perfecting my “mean mommy face” on a daily!

    • Reply Jenni October 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

      My “mean mommy face” has little effect on RJ! That kid is STUBBORN!

  • Reply glossedmimi October 1, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I’m the hard one around here. They often know right from wrong and at this age are testing their boundaries. Thing is if we don’t set those boundaries for them now it is so easy for them to really get into the TERRIBLE twos.

    I think you did the right thing. Then again my husband thinks I’m being harsh when I take things away because he feels they are too young to connect the action with the privilege being taken away.

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