my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Friday, January 27, 2006

My kid, in trouble, again

I'm having a hard time just believing it. The Graminator has now met with the Principal twice about his behavior. My Graminator. Wow.

Yesterday, it was because he was in the bathroom, and apparently his friend/foe P did something (wouldn't let him get a paper towel?) and G screamed his head off so loudly that he scared some kids and the Principal felt the need to interfere.

His teacher says to me, "I think the time for positive reinforcement has passed. It's time to move on to negative reinforcement." I've been doing positive reinforcement for so long now, after taking forever to learn how, that I don't even know how to do it.

The only thing I can come up with is that he starts the week with 15 quarters. Each quarter represents a situation he gets a smiley face or frowny face on at the end of each day (getting along with friends, cooperating, and ugh, I can't remember the third). He's been getting these papers home for about 6 weeks now--the teacher's idea, and it seemed to have an effect.

At the end of each day, I will see his paper and he will get a quarter taken away for each frowny face. (In the positive-reinforcement realm, I would award a quarter for each smiley face.... this is the only way I can think of to translate it into negative reinforcement.)

The problem, as I see it, is that the negative reinforcement comes so long after the behavior.

Oy! I'm still so dumbfounded. His behavior at home has gotten SO much better.


At 10:55 PM, January 29, 2006, Blogger heather said...

bleh. no fun. good luck! quarter thing is interesting idea.

At 12:20 PM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Andrea said...

he got in trouble for screaming? that seems somewhat overkill. anyway, wrt the quarters, he didn't earn them, so taking them away doesn't seem like a hardship imo. is tying money in with good/bad behavior what people recommend? money, to me as a kid, was pretty intangible that taking away a quarter would be meaningless to me, especially since i didn't earn it.

start taking away things that he *really* cares about, like sleepovers, basketball, outings, etc. and maybe he'll make a correlation but, shit, he's only five, is it too early to be such a hardass?

maybe get him into situations that trigger his temper and anger and help him work them out in an acceptable manner (without whining or lashing out)? i think he gets to a point where he doesn't know how to express or exert himself appropriately, so he does the only thing he knows, which is scream, to get an adult's attention. figure out why he does that and maybe you can figure out ways for him to deal.

ugh. good luck, keep us updated.


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