If you are a parent that is already asking the questions, "Do I punish at home after my child has been disciplined at school," then you are probably the type of parent that has already worked very hard to teach your children respect, responsibility and the "rules" of the school yard. But when they come home with that mark on their daily sheet, a yellow card or detention slip it is difficult to know which discipline decision to make. Some decide yes to punish at home and school, others disagree and say the school has handled it. Let me make a case, for handling it case by case.
Ask who, what, when, why and how. Before you can make any decision on whether or not to punish at home for a rule infraction at school find out all the facts. My daughter came home in tears because she had a "mark" on her daily sheet. She didn't know why. In our case it was to mark out the holiday so we didn't sign in the wrong place. In the meantime we were guessing at what could have been the reason for the mark. It's important to hear your child's story but make sure to talk directly to the teacher too.
When did the infraction happen? Where there a number of rules broken at school at the beginning of the school year or right after break? Where they minor things like being organized or talking in class? Sometimes it takes some time to get back into the routine and rules of school after a break so keep that in mind before you rush to judgment. However if your child comes home chronically with conduct cards for talking in class or not following other rules then it is time to establish some accountability both at home and at school.
Did they hurt someone? Did they hit, kick, or bite? Some parents may say, "Yes, but they were protecting themselves." Only you can be the judge of whether or not that is acceptable behavior even if the school doesn't agree. If you think it is, then the schools discipline is enough, if not then it may be time to work together to make sure those events don't happen again and no one gets hurt. However if they were being mean, forceful, hurtful or bullying then it may be time to step in and reinforce the lessons at school and home with discipline.
Is it a first offense? Have your kids been great at school? Do they rarely get in trouble and if they do it's something minor? If so, depending on the seriousness of the broken rule you may want to consider a conversation or a complication to their life to reinforce the idea that it may have been a first offense and there better not be a second.
It's hard to sit still and quite for long periods of time without socializing, I'm not sure I could do it. After all, how often are you listening to someone and decide to check you cell phone for messages or access your email, Facebook or Twitter account? Some rules "were made to be broken," other rules are there for the safety, learning and well-being of your children and other rules are sometimes just so hard to follow for long periods of time. I'm not saying don't talk about it, but maybe after you eEvaluate the entire situation, listen to your teachers and children, you are better able to decide if your child needs to be disciplined both at home and at school.
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