We believe that if kids get in trouble at school, they should be in twice as much trouble at home. They should be told this often. Start from day one. It is a huge deterrent to bad behavior, because all kids want to please.
We also believe in never punishing a child until you have explained to them why they are being punished, and they can explain it back to you in their own words.
Points to remember when deciding on appropriate punishment, and remember, parents who are married don’t always agree on the punishment. You first have to figure what an appropriate punishment is and the length of time the punishment will last. You know what pushes your own child’s buttons. Is he affected more by time out, no “screen” time, etc.? Try not to use daily activities — if you assign chores, they grow up despising doing anything around the house. If you send them to their rooms, they don’t want to go to bed. Make sure the punishment fits the crime.
The second point is that the length of time for the punishment needs to be realistic. As an example, you can tell your son that in two days you will email his teacher to see how he is doing, and you will reevaluate at that time if he has learned his lesson. Some parents react out of anger and say stupid amounts of time, and then they don't follow through.
An important rule kindergartners need to learn is keep your hands to yourselves. It will keep them out of a ton of trouble for the rest of their lives.
When thinking about teaching him how to make friends (and to teach him proper behavior to replace this wrong behavior), ask him questions about what makes him like certain kids and not others. He has to be able to make the connection between good and bad friends.
Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with more than 50 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.