Friday, November 02, 2007

Rut Roh, Raggy!

Jacob got in trouble for the first time at Mother's Day Out yesterday. He tore a book in the classroom. It was one of the teacher's cirriculum books that she passes around the room to let the kids look at. I'm not quite sure why she would actually risk that with 4 year olds, but I digress, she did and well, he tore it. How you might ask? Mr. Jacob tore all the pages in one group from the hard cover. The pages are all still very usable despite the fact that the pages no longer are bounded in a hard cover book. The teacher was upset, you could tell in the way she told me about it and reiterated the fact that it was a 15 year old book that she treasured. I felt horrible! I actually wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I was shocked to say the least because Jacob is not an aggresive, bad child. When I told his Daddy and his Adda they were both just as shocked as I was.

We had a long talk when we got home and he still says he doesn't know why he did it. He said that Jackson (another little boy in his class) was reading it and when it came to be Jacob's turn that he just tore the book. I asked him if he was jealous because it was Jackson's turn and not his, like he even knows what that means, and he said no that he just wanted to tear the pages out. I went into explaining the goods and being a parent. He knows that it was wrong and he knows he has consequences (no Thomas the trains yesterday). He was told that if he continued to act out in class that Santa Claus saw everything he was doing and wouldn't be that good to him at Christmas (that one is a good one!). He will also have to sit out at recess on the bench when the kids are playing at school per his teacher if he does anything like that again. I gave her permission. We wrote out an apology note to Mrs. Kim together and we'll get her a gift card to a teacher supply store locally for her to put towards a new book. I am going to make him give her the card at the beginning of class next week when I drop him off. I hope that will suffice as an apology towards the teacher and her valued book that he ripped apart.

In thinking about it all and trying to figure out his reasoning (which is hard to do...) we think that maybe the last month has been hard on him. Adda had bypass surgery, I had surgery, Daddy was in a car accident... they've been through a lot this month considering they don't fully grasp what things like this means. Jacob is a smart kid and listens. He knows that something has been going on and it hasn't been "good" things. We try our hardest to keep the things out of sight and out of mind for them, but sometimes you can't shelter them 100%. With that said, we aren't making excuses for his behavior and he did/will learn that doing things like that in class are not acceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. We hope and think that he has grasped what he did wasn't cool.

Each year goes by and each new development and phase bring more challenging parenting circumstances. This gig called parenting is one hard maze to meander. I am trying my hardest and hopefully one day I can look back at instances like this and laugh at the thought of it.


Tiburon said...

Ack! I wish I had some brilliant advice - but I don't. I can't figure out what makes these critters tick! I am sure it had something to do with everything he has been going through. It has been a pretty stressful month!

Hugs to you my lover :)

Jess said...

I think you did the right thing, explaining why it was wrong and that he has to make reparations with the teacher for damaging her property.

With that said, if she treasured that book so much I have no idea why should would let a bunch of 4 year olds handle it. Even the best child will occasionally act out and do something random and destructive. It is all about testing boundaries and asserting independence. I'm not one to excuse bad behavior but I think she should be willing to take her share of the responsibility.

MaryJo said...

The teacher might want to apologize for passing around her book which was obviously begging to be ripped! Good idea about the gift card.

I think as parents we often overanalyze our kids' behavior and try to attribute it to something deep. While it may be a result of things going on at home, it could also be that he just wanted to rip the pages for no reason other than to see if he could.

Now if he socked the teacher in the nose or lit the playground on fire, I'd say he's definitely acting out because some of the home stress.

I'm glad I found your blog again, Aimee!