Sometimes a kid suffers his fate as the third child. For the first five years of his life, he has to be quick, strong and willing to fight back to survive the force of his big brothers. And it is never his fault, because what mother is going to say that it is okay to beat up on the little guy?
Then the rug is pulled out from under him… kindergarten.
Suddenly, everyone is the same size. Suddenly, he can’t hit back. And when he does, which he does, he doesn’t get away with it.
Early this week, I received an email from the kindergarten teacher asking for some advice on how to stop my son from rapid retaliation. Apparently, even when another child bumps into him by accident, he clocks the kid without assessing the situation.
My kindergartener and I had a long talk.
“There is no hitting, pushing or yelling at other kids.”
“I don’t push.”
We agreed that he would not go to Extended Day (his favorite thing because it means extra playground time) until he gets this under control. And his teacher agreed to send me a daily email letting me know how he did that day, so I can track his behavior and respond accordingly.
Day 1, he got in the car after school and immediately asked, “Did you get the email yet?” He did not hit, push or yell all day. He was very proud.
Day 2, he got in the car after school and said that while he was good, one of the girls punched him in the stomach, and he used his words. The teacher’s email confirmed his story.
Day 3, when I dropped him off at school in the morning, I reminded him that he was still working on the “no hitting” policy. He nodded, grinned, and celebrated, “I know! It’s my last day!”
“No honey, you can’t hit anyone any day, forever.”
Poor guy. Lessons learned in kindergarten are the hardest.