Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Don't Like Traffic Lights...

I used to think that the preschool Ashley went to (and Audrey still attends) was strict. There were multiple sinks in the room for specific purposes for starters. (One for washing hands after eating, one for after bathroom, and I have no clue what the other one was for...). But that was like camp compared to kindergarten.

Ashley is still struggling with her behavior. And it is really nothing for us to be really mad at, it is just going to take some adjustment on Ashley's part. Her teacher does a traffic light system; do well and you stay on green. Get a warning and you move to yellow. Do something really bad and you go to red and a lovely red note gets sent home. Ashley has been in school all of 9 days total, and she has been on red 3 of those days. Not a good percentage. Yesterday, supposedly a boy in her class got put on blue which means the parents get called (everyone RIGHT NOW knock on wood that Ashley won't get on blue...). Ashley and kids at her table for math were somehow making fun of this boy and they all got put on red. It was actually a good lesson because we asked Ashley why she made fun of him, and she said because the other kids were doing it. This of course lead into a discussion of not following others and so on. Did it work? I have no idea, I am assuming this lesson will take a couple of times to sink in.

We now have a reward system in place at home if she remains on green all week long. Do I think this is the best solution? Probably not. But any other ideas would sure be appreciated....

13 comments:

giants fan said...

I think it is a great idea! reward her for good behavior.

You could also do a system where something gets taken away if she hits red. Her favorite Hannah Montana PJ's or something. Or even a planned activity.

Julie said...

Abby's K class had the same system. Yellow though resulted in a note or email home. Red involved the principal.

Ashley is testing her new rules and teacher. I bet she'll settle down. I don't think the reward chart is a bad thing.

Catherine said...

remember, it's an incentive not a bribe :)

we have a similar system, at school Elliot starts off with 5 checkmarks which he can lose throughout the day. Keep them all in a day and he gets an extra token. Keep them all week and you can choose a desert for dinner on Friday. Nothing grand, but it's a big deal to him.

Lori said...

I think it is a good idea. My only suggestion would be to make it somethimg she gets to do instead of a food or toy reward. Extra time with mom or dad, helping to make her favorite dinner, choosimg a game to play, etc...

I think she is testing out how school works. give it another week before you worry too much

you could also ask the teacher to write something positive on her green days so you can praise the good school choices at home

Jennifer said...

I think that idea is great. I have trouble with our school too. I rarely agree with the things they say about my oldest son and they don't seem to give him a chance to explain what happened. I have had numerous sit downs with teachers and principals to discuss their guilt by association issues. I think finally after 2 years we are starting to see a change :) Good Luck!

Tiaras and Timeouts said...

Hello~ I found you through Edie's blog roll. I'm an elementary teacher with 2 girls~ my oldest is going into 1st grade and had similar issues with her behavior lastyear (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she has grown up over the summer enough that we will not have to worry this year!!).

One of the (MANY) strategies that we have tried with her is a chart where she earns a total of 2 checks a day- 1 for getting up and dressed nicely and 1 for not "losing any bears" at school (our equivalent of your traffic light- I HATE bears now). Some days she got 2, 1, or 0 checks! After accumulating 2 checks, she got a small food-type treat (Hershey kiss, popsicle, etc.). After 4 checks- "special bath" with bubbles, candlelight, toys in the tub that are usually not allowed, etc. After 6 checks- watch TV or movie. After 8 checks- extra trip to the public library. After 10 checks- invite a friend over. We started over each week and it really helped her to have something to look forward to each day (hopefully) if she earned her checks. We started out trying a weekly reward, but her personality needs a daily reward. Maybe that will help you too! Visit my blog sometime~ I'm sure I'll have lots of interesting stories when school starts!!

Meredith :)

Laura said...

I am sure she will settle down - just testing her new limits.

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is key - I think your idea is great.

I have found that the shorter the incentive period, the better..daily, smaller rewards are better than longer time frames like months - in my opinion...it keeps them interested.And I have found rewards can be super simple too. In our house we get stickers and then when you get 5 stickers your can get a small reward or you can get a point and when you have 5 points you can get a bigger, pre-chosen item.

Good luck!

Happy Working Mom said...

Our schools have the same system...must be the "new" thing.

CPA Mom said...

You know we've had trouble with Tigger getting stoplights...crossing our fingers next year goes better. We took away privleges when he came home on green (our's is reverse - green is first bad behavior)

common mom said...

It's tough . . . especially when the teacher is determining what's good or bad behavior. I know I know - they have to have a class that's under control and they have to make it clear what's expected right from the beginning. But at the same time, in general, kids are usually better for other people than they are for their own parents. Is the teacher being unrealistic in her expectations of what a brand new kindergartener can handle? The schedule change alone is huge, not to mention the environment, the being "on" all day, the new people, etc. My dude is a great kid, and I'm, not just saying that because he's mine (My Princess is a little $(#* sometimes!), but he had a big adjustment when he went from Montessori to public school in 2nd grade. It took him about half the year of getting notes sent home and having to sit on the line at recess before he really got in the groove. Yes, we had the talks about how we were disappointed and he had to try harder and that we knew he was a good kid, etc. etc. etc. But we still knew he was trying his hardest.

My advice . . . have the talks, give the rewards, take away privileges, and make sure she knows she's still a good kid . . . let her teacher know that you're on top of it and are dealing with it.

But in the end give your daughter the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to a 5 year old trying to figure out her place in kindergarten :-)

Daisy said...

You might need to reward her each night rather than wait a week. As she gets in the groove, you'll be able to lengthen the amount of time she needs to be on green to earn the reward. Ask the teacher to let you know whenever she's on yellow, too.

SJ said...

SO really, is this what I have to look forward to in a few weeks when Keven Jr. heads off to school? I'm even more nervous now reading all about Ashley and her acting out.

I do hope for your sake, and hers that it's a phase. I'm sure it is. It's a BIG adjustment - she's totally testing the waters.

Anyway, I think a reward system is a great idea. Make sure you give her lots of praise for the things that she is doing right too of course.

Pamela said...

oh too funny. I remember my mom telling me, and me telling my kids something like: I hope you have a kid just like you when you grow up.

So..is it you or your husband.. that a "kid just like you were." ha ha ha ha.