The Norman Transcript

News Features

October 19, 2012

5 strikes, you’re out

NORMAN — Q: When my 3-and-one-half year-old son misbehaves, I generally take things away from him and he generally responds well. One lingering problem is that he tends to react physically when he’s mad at a classmate instead of talking it out and letting the teachers intervene. We have all encouraged him to use words when he’s angry, but he doesn’t seem to get it. Today he bit a classmate (the second time in a year this has happened) and got sent home. Once home, I fed him lunch and then confined him for the rest of the day to his bedroom with books and some trains. From now on, I plan on sending him to school every day with a “behavior report card” on which I’ve listed the problems of hitting, not obeying his teachers, not sitting still during circle time and taking toys away from other kids. I’m going to ask his teachers to give him a mark every time one of the problems occurs. If he misbehaves five times in a school day, then I will confine him to his room when he comes home and put him to bed early. Biting will override the list and get him sent home. Comments?

A: First, a “duh” statement: boys are more aggressive than girls. Unfortunately, in most preschool settings these days, boys are being held to female standards of behavior. This is not to say that aggression in boys ought to be overlooked, but female teachers and mothers are more shocked by it than are males, including most dads. (But then, women are even more shocked when aggressive behavior comes from a girl.)

When the perpetrator in question is a 3-year-old boy, there is no apocalyptic significance to the sort of behavior you’re describing. Even occasional biting — which tends to provoke near-hysteria among preschool staff — is not pathological at this age and does not predict later adjustment problems. In the previous sentence, however, “occasional” is the operative word.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013

  • Seven great holiday stories for season’s readings

    Holiday-themed movies and TV shows get the most attention during this time of year....

    December 8, 2013

  • S. Korea aims to cut into international comics market

    SEOUL, South Korea — Look out manga, South Korea is stepping up efforts to spread “manhwa” comics to the rest of the world....

    December 8, 2013

  • HalfDomeHike Resident follows in Muir’s footsteps

    Norman resident Jim Robinson said the day he started hiking, he understood John Denver’s famous lyrics about coming home to a place he’d never been before. “The home I found is a trail … almost any trail,” Robinson said....

    November 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Study delves deeper into effects of autism

    People with autism experience a more extreme version of the world than the rest of us. For more than 90 percent, sounds are louder, colors are brighter, and touch can be a disturbing intrusion. The reason, according to a new study, may be ...

    November 27, 2013