Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

When you get that first email from the teacher saying your child is being naughty, you feel like the wind got knocked out of you… even if you knew that with this kid, the email was inevitable. By the fifth email, you are already elbows deep in working with him to curb his rowdiness, pushing in line, hitting, silliness or wiggles.

To make the communication short and sweet, while enabling his teacher and I to work together to battle my son’s tendency to hit-back-and-ask-questions-later, we developed a mere thumbs-up or thumbs-down for the day.

While frustrated that my son is hitting his friends, I enjoy his honesty.

“Did you have a good day?” I ask as he climbs in the car.

I do not need to wait for the emails, which happily come less frequently now. My son has never given himself a thumbs-up. It is always slightly to the side or wiggling.

“It was perfect until…” or “I almost made it, but then…”

On the especially bad days – the hitting or pushing in line days – he dives into the story as the car door opens. No thumbs required.

Two days ago, the thumbs were almost straight up. “Except right in the last minute, my teacher said no touching the easel, and I touched the easel.”

“That wasn’t very smart. Why would you do that?”

“I was so tired, I had to do something to entertain myself.”

And yesterday…

“Not so good. I was too…”

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