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September 27, 2013

Kindergartener needs to understand no hitting or kicking

NORMAN — Q: My son’s kindergarten teacher emailed my ex-husband (who lives in another city) and me today telling us that our son is pushing and hitting other kids. She doesn’t think he’s necessarily doing it to be mean but to get other kids’ attention.

My ex-husband thinks I really need to punish our son. It is our son’s first time in any school/kid environment. I think just sitting him down and talking to him would be good for now, and if it happens again, then I could punish him.

I don’t think I have had any talk with him about the right behavior at school, and I don’t know what to tell him about how to make friends. I would love any advice you could give me.

— Nicki, Oklahoma City

A: First of all, kids react differently to being in trouble. Some kids are affected by a stern look and firm conversation. Other kids require more hands-on explanations of what it feels like to be treated in this manner.

By now, you know what type of punishment works with your kindergartener. The most important thing is that you and your ex-husband communicate about your son. 

Second, just because you have not had a talk with him about the right behavior at school, by this time, you should have had many conversations with him about the difference in right and wrong.

He should know not to push or hit. We also are fairly sure his teacher has had probably more than one conversation with him about it. She would not have emailed you all on the very first incident.

Third, our extensive training in bullying has taught us that the very last thing we want is for students to ever be known as a bully (statistics are staggering as to what bullies end up like in adult life). We also do not ever want them to be bullied.

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