The half-star day

Three stars
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Boy #3 has been having, let’s call it “issues,” in school. I told you a couple weeks ago that he’s been naughty lately. The little dude is still struggling, and so are we.

Last week, after getting an email from his teacher informing us of his little habit of “testing” her when she asks him to follow directions, Husband and I created a chart for Boy #3. For every day that he comes home with a good report, he gets to put a star sticker on the chart. If he comes home with a not-so-good report, he doesn’t get a star, and he also doesn’t get to watch TV that night. After 10 stars, he gets the pack of SpongeBob Silly Bandz I picked up at Fareway. (Oh, how those Silly Bandz are taunting him from their place on the counter…)

After initiating the chart, he did very well. He got a good report the rest of the week and happily gave himself his stars.

When he climbed in the van after school today, however, the story was not quite as good. I asked him if he’d had a good day, and there was a pregnant pause. Definitely not a good sign. I have to hand it to the little stinker, though, he did tell me the truth. Well, most of it, anyway.

“No,” he said.

When I asked him why, he answered, “Because I threw the cards on the ground.” Why did he throw the cards on the ground, you may wonder? “I didn’t get to play CandyLand 2!” he told me. Man, kindergarten is rough these days!

So we talked about it and I asked him if it was worth throwing the cards on the floor. Did it make him feel better to get into trouble? No, he said. He seemed to understand what he’d done wrong and feel genuinely bad about it. And I was feeling pretty good about it, all things considered.

That is, until I got home and read the email from his teacher. It seems Boy #3 had sugar-coated his misbehavior just a teensy bit. The first clue to that was the use of the term “very destructive behavior during center time” by his teacher.

It seems that he didn’t just throw the cards on the ground, but after repeated warnings, mixed up all of her decks of cards together and threw them on the ground and also was cutting other kids’ papers up (which they didn’t want him to do). And my favorite? During cleanup time, he proceeded to headbutt other kids in the chest.

Despite all this, Boy #3 still thought that he should get a half of a star on his chart. His reasoning:

“But I was good in the morning!”

If only life worked that way, dear. If only . . .

Needless to say, since this is the first we’ve had to deal with destructive and disruptive behavior with our kids AT SCHOOL (Please, they are destructive and disruptive AS A RULE at home!), I’d love any advice you could give, or stories of your own kids’ bad behavior just to make me feel better. (wink)

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