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Double Jeopardy


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Poll: If your child committed an action against the rules of an outside authority and was punished accordingly, would you punish them again? (Please elaborate in comments)

If your child committed an action against the rules of an outside authority and was punished accordingly, would you punish them again? (Please elaborate in comments)

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#1 Anita

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:52 PM

David's son has just been grounded.

He (step-son) was banned from using the pool in the complex because another adult complained that SS had jumped into the pool from the fence and had touched his (other adult) daughter's breast. The complex management's ban was enforced without any consultation with SS's parents (ie: his mother or David) and without asking SS about what had happened.

When asked if the complaint was accurate SS said that he had jumped in off the fence but had not touched anyone.

I have no objection to him being punished for breaking the pool rules (jumping into the pool), however he was banned for a YEAR!!! That seems a little extreme to me (especially considering his mother only has a 6 month lease, which will expire around mid-May). It also seems that the "touching of the breast" may have had an influence on the punishment.

Then comes the grounding: the mgmt of this complex has this system under which if you are warned about breaking the strata laws three times you will be given a notice to leave. (From what I can see of both the strata and general tenancy laws this is illegal, but that's a whole other matter!) So when his (SS) mother gets home this afternoon to her second notice under this system (she got one earlier for her youngest son throwing rocks into the pool amongst other things), she immediately grounds SS.

My problem with this is that he has already been punished. What good does it do a child to be punished twice for one action? I am debating the point with David at the moment as he said he would probably have done the same thing. He gave the example of if his son was suspended from school for breaking a school rule, he would ground him also (two punishments, one action).

My point is that it is a retaliatory punishment, ie: "It made me angry to hear you have been punished, so I am going to punish you again because I am angry." I simply don't see the point in that course of action, the only outcome I can see from this is an angry child forming resentment toward the parent.

I'm not saying that if an issue has been dealt with elsewhere that it shouldn't enter the home, it should, as a discussion point, I just don't see the point of a double punishment.

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#2 Annabel

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 08:29 AM

I said no, but it depends entirely on whether I thought the punishment was adequate or not. I fit was, then what is the point of punishing twice?

#3 Callinda

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 08:44 AM

I have answered Yes.

Probably in the pool incident that you have mentioned, the ban may have been enough of a punishment. However I would still sit the child down to make sure they understand what they have done wrong and why they are being punished.

However where your SS was suspended from school, then I believe that more punishment would be needed. Basically I believe that suspension is a totally ineffective punishment for a misbehaving student (however it is often best for the class as a whole as a troublemaker is removed which is why it is used). In fact when I was teaching I knew students who tried to get suspended as it meant a few days off.

So I guess my vote should actually be Yes unless I believed the original punishment to be sufficient.
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#4 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 09:00 AM

QUOTE (Callinda @ Feb 17 2004, 09:44 AM)
However where your SS was suspended from school, then I believe that more punishment would be needed. Basically I believe that suspension is a totally ineffective punishment for a misbehaving student (however it is often best for the class as a whole as a troublemaker is removed which is why it is used). In fact when I was teaching I knew students who tried to get suspended as it meant a few days off.

Sorry - that was a hypothetical that David came up with about school suspension.

I think school suspension CAN be effective, but it has to be a joint school/home punishment, like you say Calli, it's not a punishment if it's only time off school, however if it's time off school in which the parent goes to the child's teachers and get's their school work/assignments for the suspension period and ensures that the child still completes that work then it's more apt. (In most cases doesn't happen I know) I think once my kids get to the age where they run into the potential problems which could cause suspension I will be telling them that suspension is a home/school punishment, not that they would be grounded, but they certainly wouldn't be sitting around the house or going shopping, etc they would still be doing their school work.

#5 Callinda

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 09:37 AM

Sorry Anita, I must have misread the first post.

I think it would be difficult to ensure that the child is doing the work while at home, as most parents would work during the day which is why I believe that it is usually ineffective.

At my high school (private school) we had a suspension system, however instead of the student being sent home, they had to spend the day/s sitting in front of the principals office and do the work/assignemts there. They were allocated morning tea & lunch breaks, however not at the same time as the rest of the school, which therefore meant they were still supervised, doing work, but their punishment was missing out on the "social" side of school. Then again, most schools probably do not have the resources to do this.

(sorry Anita, got completely off the topic here!)
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#6 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE (Callinda @ Feb 17 2004, 10:37 AM)
I think it would be difficult to ensure that the child is doing the work while at home, as most parents would work during the day which is why I believe that it is usually ineffective.

At my high school (private school) we had a suspension system, however instead of the student being sent home, they had to spend the day/s sitting in front of the principals office and do the work/assignemts there. They were allocated morning tea & lunch breaks, however not at the same time as the rest of the school, which therefore meant they were still supervised, doing work, but their punishment was missing out on the "social" side of school. Then again, most schools probably do not have the resources to do this.

(sorry Anita, got completely off the topic here!)

Aaa - but see, then a second punishment would be appropriate - if they didn't complete their school work at home wink.gif You're right though, which is why I plan to be home during the day (not because my kids will be suspended but because I want to be there when they get home, know their friends, etc) but that's a whole other post!

That system of having the students suspended whilst still at school sounds very good and much more workable than the standard suspension program. Resources could be a problem, however the Principal and Deputy are usually in their respective offices, are they not? Why not take advantage of them being stationed there, it's not like you have a whole class of kids suspended at any one time. They could also have the resources issue avoided by placing the suspended child in a classroom of a lower class level, thereby using current teacher resources and also setting an example of suspension to the younger students. They could be sent to the staff room to share their lunch and tea breaks with their favourite teachers. (Most kids would LOVE that!)

Almost another issue, but still relevant to the punishment issue!

#7 CheekyCraftyCat (Grace)

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE (Anita @ Feb 17 2004, 10:52 AM)
They could be sent to the staff room to share their lunch and tea breaks with their favourite teachers. (Most kids would LOVE that!)

But why oh why punish the teachers by having these students with them? wink.gif

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#8 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE (CheekyCraftyCat (Grace) @ Feb 17 2004, 11:07 AM)
But why oh why punish the teachers by having these students with them? wink.gif

laugh.gif Yeah, I thought of that too Grace, but they are there to educate our kids after all (and a more effective suspension system means less behavioural problems/distractions in the rest of the school), and they would only have to sit them in a corner (who said lock them in the broom cupboard!?ohmy.gif) and ignore them...

#9 Puggle

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 10:14 AM

I would still punish the child, I think, because that way I think the child would know that it is my authority. However, not having children yet, I'm not entirely sure how this would work. In this case, however, I think you'd need to do more research before grounding the child.

It does seem an odd thing for the manager to do without consulting with either of the parents. The boob thing does seem weird - do you have more details on that? I can imagine someone accidentally swimming into someone and that being misconstrued. It seems like an odd thing to accuse someone of though, so are you sure the SS is telling the truth?

While I can understand what you're saying about the retaliatory punishment, I also think that it is important to punish the child yourself too, if the "offence" is suitably worthy of same, so your authority isn't challenged.
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#10 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (Puggle @ Feb 17 2004, 11:14 AM)
It does seem an odd thing for the manager to do without consulting with either of the parents. The boob thing does seem weird - do you have more details on that? I can imagine someone accidentally swimming into someone and that being misconstrued. It seems like an odd thing to accuse someone of though, so are you sure the SS is telling the truth?

While I can understand what you're saying about the retaliatory punishment, I also think that it is important to punish the child yourself too, if the "offence" is suitably worthy of same, so your authority isn't challenged.

We are going to approach the manager for more details on that. I am going to speak to Peter on Thursday afternoon (first opportunity I will get with work, school, etc) and then ask more questions of the managers so that we are fully aware of what has happened (not that I am going to put his mother's authority in question, I just want to know the full story!)

I AM sure that the boob thing didn't happen as it looks to have been made out, this is a likeable responsible kid who takes responsibility for his actions. I believe him because he has told us EVERY TIME he has been in trouble with his mother; ie: this is what happened, this is why I'm in trouble, NEVER "she is a bitch and I never did anything wrong!"

I'm curious as to your comment re your authority being challenged: if the rule is not a rule of your making/enforcing how would you feel that your authority is being challenged? With the school example I can see that, obviously it would be an at home rule that you don't hit people also, with the pool thing though, jumping off the fence is a pool rule, but is also something that the kids (SS and friends) have done whilst we are there with them, the only thing we have said to them about it is that if they hurt themselves they have to deal with the personal consequences and that they should always be careful not to jump near anyone else (which is hard if people are moving). Therefore if the girl was not hurt (which I understand she was not) there is no reduction of our authority. The kids know that if they are being banned by the managers for undue reason I will take it up with them (and have done so for one incident when our kids and their cousins were the only ones in the pool and they were trying to ban them for playing a ball game!) therefore I feel that if they are banned and we don't take it up with the Managers they are also feeling our authority.

#11 Puggle

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:27 AM

I probably didn't word myself correctly, so I'm going to try and rephrase it. In fact, the best way for me to do this is to borrow Hana's words from the Relationship post - that was what I was trying to say.

If my child did something bad at school and received a detention or a suspension say for smoking, then I would certainly punish them again at home. It's about reinforcing to them that they have done something wrong and that you support the school or other authority.

On your comment regarding the jumping from pool fences, I'm a bit surprised by that. If the rules clearly say "NO JUMPING" which is standard at just about every pool and obviously at this pool, otherwise he wouldn't have been banned for doing so, and his parents have told him that it's OK to do so, then that must be quite hard for the kids to deal with. Rules say NO but parents say YES (with conditions). Isn't that teaching them to break rules or that rules aren't really necessary as long as you apply your own conditions? To extrapolate that, I'll try and find an example. The road rules say that it is 40 km/h in my local area due to high pedestrian traffic. If my kid sees me consistently driving 50 km/h in a clearly marked 40 km/h zone, then I'm breaking the rules, and how can I insist that they follow rules, when I clearly break them every day? OK, not a great example, but do you get what I'm saying.

As a person who is not a very confident swimmer, I absolutely hate it when kids break the rules by jumping in the pool. I realise kids will be kids but it's the rules. Parents should reinforce rules, not allow them to be broken by applying their own conditions. For example, personally, I think some of the 40 km/h zones around my area are overkill but I still drive that because it is the rules.

I recently got abused at my local swimming pool for asking a father to please follow the (clearly marked by large wall signage) rules and not jump in the pool, because he is only encouraging all the kids to do so. He told me to f*** off and that the rules were stupid. In the ongoing melee of all the kids breaking the rules and jumping into the pool, I got kicked in my pregnant stomach.

Your example of the kids playing a ball game in the pool when no one is there is not a great example for me, sorry. If I was a resident of that complex and wanted to go for a swim, and came down to find a bunch of boys playing a ball game, I would change my mind and turn around and go back, because I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't get abused for asking them nicely to follow the rules.

I realise parenting is a very individual thing, but I think one thing that we will be following very carefully in our parenting journey is that RULES ARE RULES. If my child breaks a rule and is punished by his school, then we will probably punish him too to reinforce the authority of the school.


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#12 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:45 AM

QUOTE (Puggle @ Feb 17 2004, 12:27 PM)
Isn't that teaching them to break rules or that rules aren't really necessary as long as you apply your own conditions? To extrapolate that, I'll try and find an example. The road rules say that it is 40 km/h in my local area due to high pedestrian traffic. If my kid sees me consistently driving 50 km/h in a clearly marked 40 km/h zone, then I'm breaking the rules, and how can I insist that they follow rules, when I clearly break them every day?

He told me to f*** off and that the rules were stupid. In the ongoing melee of all the kids breaking the rules and jumping into the pool, I got kicked in my pregnant stomach.

I would change my mind and turn around and go back, because I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't get abused for asking them nicely to follow the rules.

I realise parenting is a very individual thing, but I think one thing that we will be following very carefully in our parenting journey is that RULES ARE RULES.

In general rules are there for the good of the general public, the road rules one ot me is, as you said, not a good one, as when you are driving you never know when another car may enter the road. In fact, on roads where it is highly unlikely that another vehicle will enter the road without being seen there is no speed limit, this does not mean that you can keep driving at unlimitd speeds if another vehicle should come onto the road.

My POV: The father who swore at you was WAY out of line.

With regard to turning around and going back, there are two pools here (both very similar), generally one that the kids use and one that they don't so you would still have options. However, all the kids know that if someone else came NEAR the pool area I would ask them for the ball and they would hand it over and quite happily play a different game. You (in this example) being near the pool would see them stopped from what they were doing and KNOW that they were not going to be allowed to break the rules endangering anyone else.

I understand what you're saying Kimba, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree on some counts. It all comes down to perspective, see, as you indicated you are not a very confident swimmer, all our kids are (with the exception of Rhiannan) as am I. Therefore I see a completely different perspecitve on pool/swimming issues.

As to RULES ARE RULES yes they are, but they all come down to perspective. You follow the speed limits, but would you still follow the speed limits if you were desperately trying to get a sick/injured child to the doctor/hospital? You don't jump into pools, but if it's not going to harm anyone why is there a rule?

As to the punishment thing, it probably wouldn't have concerned me so much if the mgrs punishment had not been so extreme - A WHOLE YEAR - with no prior incidents involving this child, with no warning, with no parental consultation. He is therefore already not allowed to go to the place where ALL his friends hang out after school EVERY day and then to be punished again?!

#13 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 12:02 PM

Also, on "rules are rules", I can just see that someone is going to say to me "Well, what do you say if you are breking a rule that your child shouldn't?"

So, I'll go back to the speed limit one, if I am driving over the speed limit and Liam comments (he always checks) I simply tell him that "Yes, I am going faster than I should, if I get in trouble I will have to pay a fine. If I am driving TOO fast and being silly, I might also hurt myself or someone else." He then understands that yes, there is a rule there, that there are consequences to all our actions and that the degree to which you bend/break the rule also influences the consequences you MAY have to suffer for doing so.

I don't see it as "rules are rules", to me, rules are guidelines and (especially in the speed limit example) terrible accidents can happen even if you DO follow the rules. I think it is important that children learn to recognise the boundaries of their own safety and the safety of others.

In the pool example, I think a far more appropriate action would've been to say that he could not use the pool without parental supervision (which would still have quite dramatically cut his pool usage as his mother is NEVER down there, David is at work until after 5pm and I am not always home at the moment either).

#14 Callinda

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (Anita @ Feb 17 2004, 01:02 PM)
So, I'll go back to the speed limit one, if I am driving over the speed limit and Liam comments (he always checks) I simply tell him that "Yes, I am going faster than I should, if I get in trouble I will have to pay a fine. If I am driving TOO fast and being silly, I might also hurt myself or someone else."

I'm not too sure on this one Anita - after all, isnt this implying to the child that its not OK to do something as you MAY get caught and have to pay a fine (ie child may think, oh well if I dont get caught, there would be no consequences)

What I am trying to say is that isnt is more important to teach kids WHY the rules are there, rather than just the consequences of breaking them (ie getting a fine)??

Another example "it is wrong to steal because you will go to jail". Wouldnt it be better to explain that if the child steals from that shop, then the shopkeeper wont have enough money to feed his kids and they will go hungry?

(sorry if this made no sense!)
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#15 Anita

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE (Callinda @ Feb 17 2004, 02:24 PM)
What I am trying to say is that isnt is more important to teach kids WHY the rules are there, rather than just the consequences of breaking them (ie getting a fine)??

Another example "it is wrong to steal because you will go to jail". Wouldnt it be better to explain that if the child steals from that shop, then the shopkeeper wont have enough money to feed his kids and they will go hungry?

Yes Calli, it is important that the children learn the consequences, I did say that I have told them that I may get a fine, or someone may be hurt if people are driving irrespondsibly.




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