Got a call from my son's school principal today


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Father Knows Best
January 11, 2006, 01:42 PM
My Kindergartner was sent to the principal's office for telling one of his classmates that he (my son) was going to come over to his classmate's house with a gun and shoot his family. When the principal asked him whether he had a gun, my son (somewhat truthfully) responded that he did, and his dad (me) had given it to him. The reality is that I bought him a Chipmunk single shot .22 last summer. I showed it to him once, and told him I would teach him to shoot with it when he showed me he was ready. That meant being responsible, doing well in school, etc. It's been locked up in my gun safe ever since. I explained that to his principal.

The principal was actually pretty cool about it. She said I didn't need to come get him, and he wouldn't be suspended. She did note that "in today's environment", that kind of threat could result in an automatic suspension from school. She understands that he didn't really intend to hurt anyone, and had responded when the other child threatened to get a rock and "throw it at his head."

Still, I have to wonder -- where the f#@&! did this come from? My son doesn't get to watch violent movies or TV shows (at six, he's a little too young), and doesn't have any violent video games. He's certainly never heard his mother or I talk like that. While he has toy guns, he knows that he is not allowed to point them at other people (we teach muzzle discipline from a young age in my house....)

He got the spanking of his life when he got home last night (administered by my wife -- don't mess with her!) We also took away his toy guns, and explained that he wouldn't be coming near a real gun -- even the Chipmunk I bought for him -- until he showed he understood and was ready to handle the responsibility that goes along with firearms. He was genuinely contrite, and swore he would never threaten anyone, again.

Any thoughts on where this came from, or what else we should do?

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phoglund
January 11, 2006, 01:56 PM
He probably got it from other kids. I think most adults would be shocked at what little tykes will say sometimes. It sounds to me like you are doing the right things. I would suggest you let the incident rest in his mind for a while (a week perhaps) and then discuss it with him again to let him know it's not one of those things that just pass and are forgotten. I don't suggest reading the riot act again but just a simple discussion of why it was wrong.

With any luck he's now learned a lesson many kids don't learn until real trouble happens because of a threat.

Good luck!

Tequila_Sauer
January 11, 2006, 02:03 PM
I think you're doing the right thing as well. I can imagine it's rough hearing this from your son. Severity is usually a foreign concept for children. The weight of saying or doing something comes with life experience. I'm sure in time, with your instruction, he'll learn what it means to truly be a gun owner. He'll understand the responsbility that comes with such a power, and the greatness of a country that trusts its citizens with that as well. And that even threatening gun violence or, God forbid, having to use one at some point, is very serious and can be a life-changing event.

MrTuffPaws
January 11, 2006, 02:05 PM
Where did he get it? He was born with it. Human nature.

ScottsGT
January 11, 2006, 02:10 PM
I've got 4 myself. Oldest in 9th grade, youngest in 1st. I too have fears that they will run their mouth like this, and I have warned them of what will happen. Youngest boy got in trouble for just making threats to beat up other kids. But I had it worse than you, the Principal caught me in the hallway during a Cubscout meeting and had the discussion with me. Son knew he was about to get his hind end worn out, but instead, I wore out his ears talking to him about situations like this.
Good Luck, you have a LONG row to hoe ahead of you :D

The-Fly
January 11, 2006, 02:11 PM
probably from a classmate. Never ever underestimate the ability of peers to influence your child

dolanp
January 11, 2006, 02:14 PM
Sounds like you handled it like a good parent would. So many parents these days would go deaf and demand that their child would never do anything bad and just throw a fit.

1%er
January 11, 2006, 02:16 PM
a prime example of peer influence !!! Without a doubt he picked it up from somewhere outside the homestead. I cant even begin to tell you the crap they will come home and say to you that came off the playground (i have a kindergardener and 2nd grader myself) , now your aware, The way i handled it was to enforce they can ask me ANYTHING at ANYTIME but just idly running your mouth with playground smack will get my foot in your tail (at best)

good luck it gets no easier as the big 'ol world opens up to them :what:

Pilot
January 11, 2006, 02:17 PM
It is AMAZING what kids will say. Our 10 year old son told his teacher that his dad had a huge gun that has a SWORD that comes out of it. The night before I had brought home a Russian SKS (when they wre just coming into the U.S. in quantity). I guess he happened to be watching when I removed the SKS from the box, checked to see if there was anything in the chamber, then checked the operation of the folding bayonet. Yes, everything was fine, bayonet worked great!

I went to pick him up from school a few days later and noticed the teacher was looking at my funny.

Sigh......

johnmcl
January 11, 2006, 02:17 PM
FNB,

Your son most likely got the message that threats are ok from his friends. He didn't get it from home, and he didn't get it from the media, given his age.

I think you did the right thing in disciplining him. Teaching a young man that there are consequences for his actions and that there are unacceptable levels of behaviour is spot on. At such a young age there's a plausible argument that he didn't know the acceptable behavior rule book. You showed him page and section number... :)

My recommendation, and one that I've applied to my own kids, is to make sure on following up. Don't be assured tha a single discipline event is enough to get the message across to him. I'd recommend having man-to-man talks with him every once in a while about his behavior to re-enforce the message.

Do follow the rule though that you don't criticize him as a person, but do criticize his actions. "You are a terrible kid" versus "That threat was a terrible thing." is considerably healthier and more constructive.

I hope this helps, and best of luck.

John

dracphelan
January 11, 2006, 02:20 PM
As others have responded, probably another kid. Though, be glad your kid has a good principal. I've heard to many stories of kids getting suspended for less due to zero tolerance policies.

Highland Ranger
January 11, 2006, 02:26 PM
I am growing to resent this thought police crap and our public schools are full of it. I have five kids, and it takes much of our time to make sure they aren't growing up to be little blissininnies.

The public school system today teaches reliance on the Government for the solution to all our problems. Not personal accountability and independence.

This "thing" now where we are taking five year olds to task for making "terroristic threats" and all that bullying nonsense is ridiculous.

Think of some of the stuff you said as a teenager let alone as a five year old.

He's FIVE for God's sake!

As for how I would handle it, don't overreact . . . . don't worry about blaming someone. Just correct the behavior. ANd try to do it in a way that doesn't crush your boy's spirit.

We have enough mindless robots out there as is . . .

DontBurnMyFlag
January 11, 2006, 02:31 PM
people blame fictional TV and movies for everything. half the time the majority of violence viewed by children comes from the daily news or newspaper. they dont have to watch it or read it, just be in the same room, or glance at the paper when they walk by. but i wouldnt worry about it. my friends and I at that age used to play army and shoot everyone and then assassinate our families as if they were badguys etc. we turned out fine. at 6 we knew we would never hurt anyone and that it was just play, regardless of who our toy guns killed.

V4Vendetta
January 11, 2006, 02:33 PM
"Kids say the darndest things." Your lucky the principal didn't want to press charges. I don't know where it came from but you could've been in DEEP. I'd ask him what happened to make him say such a thing. Then take it from there. I still wouldn't let him near the .22 for a good while.

Father Knows Best
January 11, 2006, 02:34 PM
Highland Ranger, I know that boys will be boys. I don't generally get involved in my son's playground disputes. When we're home and he or a playmate comes running in to tell daddy about something the other kid said or did, I cut him off and tell him to work it out.

I think this incident is a little different, though. Threatening to get a gun and shoot a classmate's family? That's a little different from the "my dad is gonna beat up your dad" type of threats I remember hearing on the playground.

All in all, good advice here, especially the comments about coming back to the lesson on several occasions. I'll be sure to do that.

ka50
January 11, 2006, 02:38 PM
Highland Ranger, I know that boys will be boys. I don't generally get involved in my son's playground disputes. When we're home and he or a playmate comes running in to tell daddy about something the other kid said or did, I cut him off and tell him to work it out.

I think this incident is a little different, though. Threatening to get a gun and shoot a classmate's family? That's a little different from the "my dad is gonna beat up your dad" type of threats I remember hearing on the playground.

All in all, good advice here, especially the comments about coming back to the lesson on several occasions. I'll be sure to do that.

If you're a kid and few other kids are about to throw a rock at your head, what would you say to make sure they change their mind? Invite them for cookies and tea?

Rock is a deadly weapon. If someone is about to toss a rock at you, and you're carrying, what is your course of action?

Something to think about.

Father Knows Best
January 11, 2006, 02:49 PM
Call me a blissninny if you must, but I don't think there is ever any justification for threatening to come over to someone's house and shoot their family members.

My daddy taught me a couple of things:

1. Never make a threat you aren't prepared to follow through on.

2. Try to avoid fights. If it looks like you can't avoid it, then shut up and fight. Hit 'em hard and fast and without warning. With luck, they'll be so stunned that they won't even fight back. There's no sense tellin' 'em you're about to belt them, though. As Tuco famously said in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, "When you have to shoot.... shoot, don't talk."

springmom
January 11, 2006, 03:03 PM
He probably got it from other kids. I think most adults would be shocked at what little tykes will say sometimes. It sounds to me like you are doing the right things. I would suggest you let the incident rest in his mind for a while (a week perhaps) and then discuss it with him again to let him know it's not one of those things that just pass and are forgotten. I don't suggest reading the riot act again but just a simple discussion of why it was wrong.

With any luck he's now learned a lesson many kids don't learn until real trouble happens because of a threat.

Good luck!

And thank God your son has an intelligent principal who handled it well. I remember sitting with an elementary school principal once (this was back in my school psychologist days) and telling her that the little cap guns you can buy on the end of a key chain do NOT constitutue a weapons violation requiring mandatory expulsion. I am not making this up. You have a good principal.

He probably hears the other boys talk about things this way. If such a thing has never crossed your lips, you never have any movies or TV shows like that around him, you STILL cannot protect him from those image unless you are willing to homeschool and be extraordinarily picky in screening who he talks to and what he does.

Welcome to parenthood in the 21st century. :banghead:

Springmom

Sindawe
January 11, 2006, 03:03 PM
Where did he get it? He was born with it. Human nature.Spot on.

Kindergarten (late 60s), my neighbor (kid my age) threatened to come over and stab my family to death with a knife. I replied I'd burn his hose down with everyone in it. Kid across the street said he'd bring the gasoline and matches.

No peer influence (we were ALL peers to each other), we thunk this villainy up on our own (no TVs in the houses yet since all the familys were working poor).

Kids say dumb things, its up the the parents to indoctrinate their kids into correct behavior. Sounds to me like you're a Parent and not just a Breeder Father Knows Best. :)

280PLUS
January 11, 2006, 03:04 PM
I cant even begin to tell you the crap they will come home and say to you that came off the playground Brings back fond memories of my precious little innocent 5 yo after his very first day of Kindergarten. He said, "Hey Dad." And proceeded to flip me the bird. I was like, "Uhhhh, I don't think you're supposed to be doing that." :rolleyes:

LOL...

I hope your little feller's keester has cooled off a bit by now...

:D

Jubei
January 11, 2006, 03:20 PM
One thing that I've noticed, is that kids are like sponges, they will soak up just about everything and spout it back later. I don't have any kids of my own (that's a good thing 'cause I'm the shallow end of my families gene pool), but I am extra-cautious when I'm around children, especially my sisters. The last thing that my family needs is more anti-social, sociopathic, short-tempered trogladytes (my ex-girlfriends description of me:D ) in the family.

I wouldn't start worrying too much until he starts "accessorizing" Barbie.

Jubei

1911JMB
January 11, 2006, 03:27 PM
You may be familiar with Colonel Dave Grossman and his study called "killology". Among many other things, Dave teaches us that violent TV shows and video games, when administered to young children, breed school shooters, and murderers in general. The thing is, such things make shooting at a people a natural reaction, especially with children 7 and under who can't really split the difference between fantasy and reality. You appear to have done a good job of keeping him away from such destructive activities.

www.killology.com/

Stiletto Null
January 11, 2006, 03:38 PM
And when they're older, it's just good fun. :)

Man, I remember getting my ass kicked all the time in Goldeneye, playing against my friend's little bro (I think he was 10 and I was 14 at the time)...good times.

rbernie
January 11, 2006, 03:39 PM
As has been pointed out, you were lucky that your kids' principal is not as knee-jerk as they sometimes can (and are allowed to) behave. This could easily have escalated into suspension or worse. I have small children, and this sort of incident has been one of my biggest concerns with them. Well, that and their telling all their little friends that I house the 'Arsenal of Democracy' <TM> in my house such that their friends' blissninny parents won't let their kids associate with my kids. :o

So far, my kids have refrained from making up silly stories about shooting things the way that they make up silly stories about all sorts of other things. I believe that exposing my kids to my hunting hobby has been a HUGE help in ensuring that they understand exactly what a firearm does and exactly how deadly serious they are. I have also avoided letting them claim any emotional ownership of any firearms - like cars and other complex objects, the firearms belong to the parents and can be accessed and/or touched only with the express immediate consent of one of the parents. By keeping the firearms as something that they cannot internalize or visualize as their own in any way, I believe that I've helped steer them clear of imagining and/or saying things that can get them into trouble in today's world.

When they get emotionally old enough to handle it, I'll offer each of them the opportunity to shoot. Heck, I have three 22LR bolties set aside for just that purpose. :D But until they've been shooting for a while and have shown the maturity to handle the concepts of ownership, they'll be shooting 'Daddy's rifles'. I believe that attitude tends to put a spin on things that may prove useful....

Just a thought.

PS - This may have been a great lesson for him to have had. I really expect that he'll not make THAT mistake again....

Rockrivr1
January 11, 2006, 03:46 PM
I'll also say he probably picked it up from classmates / friends etc. Like posted above kids are sponges and when the need arises they come out with all kinds of interesting stuff.

As an example my Brother in Law has a 4 or 5 year old that is in pre-school now. One rainy day my wife and I are at his house having a conversation with him and his wife. His son comes from downstairs with his coat on and some toys and asks if he can go outside and play. My Brother in Law says no because its raining outside. The kid walks up to the window, looks outside and in the most innocent voice I've ever heard say "F#$king rain!" OMG-I thought I was going to need CPR. It caught me so off guard that I burst out laughing. Dad and Mom were not happy at all and I thought my Brother in Law was going to burst because his eyes were bugging out of his head. They never talk like that, so obviously he got it from someone else.

Its also refreshing to hear that you and your wife delt out proper punishment. I thought my brother in law was going to give him a spanking as well, but I was told that they do not hit their kids. Instead they sent him to his room for a time out. :what: Time out??? Are you friggin kidding me. His room has more toys in it the Toys R Us! What kinda punishment is that.

On the way home my wife and I got into it because I said I would of spanked him if it was my kid. I find out now she not sure she believes in that type of punishment. Well she better get used to it, because that's going to be the way it is. I remember getting spanked by my Dad and just the threat of it kept me in lines most times.

Don't worry. This incident has nothing to do with you per say. It's just kids growing up and being kids. I also agree it's good that the principle was down to earth. Sometimes they can get all worked up over nothing.

NineseveN
January 11, 2006, 03:48 PM
Still, I have to wonder -- where the f#@&! did this come from? My son doesn't get to watch violent movies or TV shows (at six, he's a little too young), and doesn't have any violent video games. He's certainly never heard his mother or I talk like that. While he has toy guns, he knows that he is not allowed to point them at other people (we teach muzzle discipline from a young age in my house....)

Any thoughts on where this came from, or what else we should do?

Well, you're finding out what many of us already know, toys, movies and video games or music do not cause kids to become violent or say dumb things.

f4t9r
January 11, 2006, 03:57 PM
I think you did right. I am very proud,
my hat goes off to you and your wife. Very few have Old School discipline
any more and I think we need more of it. Good job dealing with your Son

NineseveN
January 11, 2006, 04:11 PM
You may be familiar with Colonel Dave Grossman and his study called "killology". Among many other things, Dave teaches us that violent TV shows and video games, when administered to young children, breed school shooters, and murderers in general. The thing is, such things make shooting at a people a natural reaction, especially with children 7 and under who can't really split the difference between fantasy and reality. You appear to have done a good job of keeping him away from such destructive activities.

www.killology.com/

Not quite correct. The information he based some of his findings on is pretty much BS and the study Grossman references by Mr. S.L.A. Marshall is pretty much a sham as well, or at least a bunch of independent researchers could not verify any of the claims made by either.

Children with violent disorders and conditions that do bring about violence will gravitate towards violent TV, games and Music, but the tendency is already there, the problem has just not yet materialized in the actions of the child. And many kids will be attracted to that sort of media because of the excitement - children do not generally gravitate towards media that portrays "rape", even though that is an act of violence because there is no excitement in it; except maybe for someone with a predetermined sexual condition or defect as well. However, Quake, while being a video game where one kills demons and monsters, the child is put into the shoes of the hero that saves the world...which I would argue is where the real appeal lies with most children that do not already have some latent tendency towards violence.

Grand Theft auto is something of an anomaly I admit, but it does have other aspects that appeal to children (or even many adults) aside from the violence (like fast cars, speeding, lawlessness and absolute freedom as well as the peer pressure of being into the "in thing").

Rock45
January 11, 2006, 04:12 PM
Sounds like it may be time for a little "tour" of the county lockup facility! A quick look :uhoh: at what happens to those that choose the wrong path is more than enough for most kids...the rest, well they just got their first look at their retirement home! :eek:

Good Luck!

Bryan

ngray
January 11, 2006, 04:47 PM
I think the years of 'imposed' rural life my father mandated when I was growing up did a great deal of good. It wasn't common in the area I grew up, or even necessary, just something he figured was a good idea.

I think a sensitivity to inflicting hurt and pain comes from actually seeing it, or feeling it. If I hadn't seen the animal life cycle, I don't know how I would have ever 'understood' death and violence before becoming an adult.

You might also consider that even though you've 'filtered' violent inputs to your son, he may be a bit violent himself. It may or may not be overtly manifested, at least in your presence. Perhaps some positive physically aggressive outlets would be helpful.

Standing Wolf
January 11, 2006, 05:06 PM
He got the spanking of his life when he got home last night (administered by my wife -- don't mess with her!) We also took away his toy guns, and explained that he wouldn't be coming near a real gun -- even the Chipmunk I bought for him -- until he showed he understood and was ready to handle the responsibility that goes along with firearms.

I'm sure the laddie will respect you more for the stand you've taken and thank you in about fifteen years for having introduced him to responsible shooting. Just takes awhile sometimes.

entropy
January 11, 2006, 05:42 PM
My second grader said in school very loudly, (the only volume he has) " My Dad has lots of guns and can shoot all the cops!" :what: Thank goodness his teacher did not go ballistic (pun intended), and is aware kids say some stupid stuff sometimes. I reassured her that since I was raised by a cop, and studied to be one (my Dad talked me out of it, plus my eyesight wasn't good enough for POST standards uncorrected) , that the local gendarmes were safe, and that yes, I do have a deer rifle or two. (OK so maybe three...)

He got a stern lecture about saying such things, and hasn't got to shoot my .22 since then. He also couldn't sit down for a while.;)

silverbird
January 11, 2006, 05:55 PM
Where did he get it? He was born with it. Human nature.
+1

KriegHund
January 11, 2006, 06:22 PM
Still, I have to wonder -- where the f#@&! did this come from? My son doesn't get to watch violent movies or TV shows (at six, he's a little too young), and doesn't have any violent video games. He's certainly never heard his mother or I talk like that. While he has toy guns, he knows that he is not allowed to point them at other people (we teach muzzle discipline from a young age in my house....)

Maybe thats the problem...though at 6, i seriously doubt it, so dont take that comment too seriously.

This is indeed a very strange thing, expecially for a kindergartner to say. Kids say wierd stuff though.

John Ross
January 11, 2006, 06:34 PM
+1 on the "Human nature" answers. True story:

Friend and his wife moved to remote British Columbia, and planned to homeschool the kids when they had some. Visited them when their first was five. He didn't HAVE any peers, classmates, or neighbors, and the household did not have a television.

I had played catch with him for 15 minutes or so, then said I needed to quit and go talk with his father. He scowled and said "If you don't keep playing I will shoot you with a very powerful fire gun."

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about guns, but this lad was referring to something I'd never seen listed in Fjestaad's, so I played catch for a while more...

It's in the gene.

JR

trickyasafox
January 11, 2006, 06:41 PM
i learned more on the bus ride to school and at recess then any class, presentation, game, or tv show could ever have hoped to teach me

NineseveN
January 11, 2006, 06:44 PM
He scowled and said "If you don't keep playing I will shoot you with a very powerful fire gun."

Hmmm, where can I get one? :evil:

azredhawk44
January 11, 2006, 06:47 PM
She understands that he didn't really intend to hurt anyone, and had responded when the other child threatened to get a rock and "throw it at his head."

Still, I have to wonder -- where the f#@&! did this come from?

It came from the basic desire to not be hit in the head with a rock, and to have justice if one is hit in the head with a deadly object.:)

Kids know this from the start without being taught.

That's why the BoR acknowledges rights given by God, and doesn't by itself grant us rights by means of government.

His conduct was only mildly out of line and the principal reacted very well. No real trouble, appropriate followup with the parents, verification that there never was any real danger. It was also rooted in the basic premise of self defense.

FWIW, I'm sure your son will turn out fine.:)

azredhawk44
January 11, 2006, 06:50 PM
I actually would push for equal treatment to the other kid for assault. Actually, the other child's threat is more credible.

Shane333
January 11, 2006, 07:16 PM
I can relate to this too. I have a very sweet natured, brilliant little boy. However, at age 3 there was a period when he would walk up to complete strangers and say, "I'm going to kill you.":what:

We couldn't figure out where he was getting it from. The wife and I sure don't talk that way, and we're pretty careful about what television shows he's allowed to watch. Our best guess is that our boy picked it up from other little kids in the neighborhood. Once a week my wife gets together with other moms in the neighborhood so the moms can socialize while the little one's play together.

Fortunately he was so cute that people just chucked at his comment. Still, it worried me.

KriegHund
January 11, 2006, 07:34 PM
However, at age 3 there was a period when he would walk up to complete strangers and say, "I'm going to kill you.":what:


Rofl!

When i was in 4th grade i would walk home every day (not far, maybe 1/4 a mile)

These kids would walk behind me and chuck rocks at me. For some reason (still cant figure it out) i would just keep walking, being pelted occasionaly by decent sized rocks. I never really said anything to anyone (be it "Im going to kill you" or otherwise) so maybe its not such a bad thing your kid is willing to stand up for himself...though saying "Ill kill your family" isnt the best of ways.

Im still not sure exactly why i never turned around and threw rocks back or something. Ive wisened up...and toughened up...wouldnt put up with sh...crap like that for any more than about 1 microsecond.

Strange how people change. I wonder if its becuase when i was a even little-er than that i had a very bad temper, so over time i learned to just take whatever life throws at you (including rocks) without reacting. Nowadays im smart enough to know there are some things you should weather out...and some things you shouldnt.

I still have a very good temper, though ive got a lot of hate in me. That kinda stuff never really goes away- its all a matter of knowing when to let it out (like on when doing 100 thrust punches to a bag your arms are getting tired at 50....)
Now ive gone and physco analyzed myself.... Father Knows Best, do your kid a favor, dont let him turn into a wierdo like me :D

In all seriousness (ive said that word 3 times in 2 posts....) i wouldnt worry to much about the kid. Society is vile today...just as it was 100 years ago. Were just more open about it. It was probably best to reprimand him as you did though; taking away the toy guns. he needs to know how serious the situation is (4 times) and though its hard for young children to comprehend (they forget easily).

Byron Quick
January 11, 2006, 07:45 PM
I agree with the human nature responses...it's called escalation.


I was educated in a school that could have been called 'fight club.'

The neighborhood kids had fist fights and rock fights. It got pretty serious at times within those parameters but it never graduated to our BB guns or the real firearms. Or even the pocket knives that each and every one of us carried.

To offer an opposing view, I think that the reason it did not was early exposure to shooting and hunting on all our parts. I knew what killing was at five. At least as far as animals went. I certainly knew I didn't want to go there in a schoolyard fight. There were firearms in my house within my reach. The ammunition was within my reach. I never played with them for I had personal experience that firearms were definitely not toys. Rather than delaying his introduction to shooting; you might want to expedite his education into shooting. And hunting. That way, he will have direct personal experience with the lethal potential of firearms and with the ramifications of his words. At present, he has no referents to what he said. And he has no basis for understanding what has his parents' dander up.

Now, once he has the personal experience to understand the implications of such a threat and repeats it...then you've got a problem.

springmom
January 11, 2006, 08:13 PM
Sounds like it may be time for a little "tour" of the county lockup facility! A quick look :uhoh: at what happens to those that choose the wrong path is more than enough for most kids...the rest, well they just got their first look at their retirement home! :eek:

Good Luck!

Bryan

:what:

Bryan, this is a KINDERGARTEN STUDENT. Let's hold off on the "Scared Straight" tactics at least until he quits sleeping with stuffed animals, for Pete's sake.

Springmom

gjwandkids
January 11, 2006, 08:57 PM
FKBest, if it's any consolation to you, we had a similiar situation when our oldest was around the same age (he went to school for the first couple of grades before we discovered homeschooling) and we handled it about the same way you did. He is now 18 and ready to leave for basic (joined the Navy) and has quite a good reputation for safe firearms handling. He learned that lesson young and remembered it.

Lupinus
January 11, 2006, 09:06 PM
Your son mentioned guns?!? And you keep them in your house even? Then you...you spanked him????? You evil man you don't deserve kids

[/sarcasm liberal impersonation off]

Just kidding.

Sometimes kids say things that even with the way you have raised them they shouldn't be. Often it can be chalked up to other kids or their young age simply not comprehending. Once kid threatens to throw a rock and yours threatens to come over his house and shoot him, and he simply doesn't understand the implications of that yet. All in all you did good. Explained it to the principle, and when he got home he was punished. Not much else to do and sounds like ti ended well.

ARperson
January 11, 2006, 09:30 PM
I don't buy the "human nature" justification, unless you add the caveat that the little tyke is mimicking grown up "human nature." Not all people react to violence with violence. Knew a few people in college who irritated the hell out of me with how nice and non-aggressive they were...genuinely. No act. My bet goes for the "sponge" theory.

To wit, I proffer exhibit A:

When I was 2, my mom and dad divorced. Shortly afterward, mom moved the two of us into a small home. But funds were so tight, no room for furniture (which is relevant only because I had a great big floor space on which to play). Came home from visitation with dad once, am playing on the floor with my Hot Wheels (imagine a pudgy 3 y/o with her red hair in pigtails crashing the cars together) and all of a sudden I pop off with, "C'mon you motherf---ers. Crash!" Yep. Outta my mouth. My momma never cussed; but dad did frequently. And frequently with the F-word. I never did get punished for that one, probably because I apologized profusely as soon as I said it (how did I know it was wrong!?!), but also because momma was doing all she could to keep from laughing hysterically. :D

Anywho, it certainly wasn't human nature to cuss or be violent. But it is human nature to do/say things you see other people do/say, particularly when other people are parents or peers.

I'm also glad that there are some people who still believe in spankings.

scout26
January 11, 2006, 10:40 PM
Dear God, I remember being about that age and arguing with my next door neighbor about what our dad's were going to do to each other when they got home.

Me: "My dad will punch your dad, real hard".
Him: "Oh Yeah, well my dad will kick your dad."
Me: "Oh Yeah, well my dad will...."

etc. etc. etc. Until I think we were threatening each other with nuclear weapons. :rolleyes:

Yep, Dads came home, broke out the lawn chairs and sat in the driveway drinking a beer or two, while shooting the breeze.

Andy and I probably rode off on our bikes or threw around a football or baseball, having forgotten all about our earlier arguement.

Atticus
January 11, 2006, 10:59 PM
I don't understand the spanking part. Why not just explain to him what he did wrong? He's 5? I'm not opposed to spanking in general, but think it should be reserved for the times when words have no effect. Using violence, to explain that volence is wrong, just doesn't make sense to me. I'm sure he was just repeating what he heard the older boys on the playground say. My 9 year old girls are occasionally on the receiving end of such comments from boys their age. I generally shoot their families in retaliation...just kidding. :)

benEzra
January 11, 2006, 11:16 PM
You may be familiar with Colonel Dave Grossman and his study called "killology". Among many other things, Dave teaches us that violent TV shows and video games, when administered to young children, breed school shooters, and murderers in general. The thing is, such things make shooting at a people a natural reaction, especially with children 7 and under who can't really split the difference between fantasy and reality. You appear to have done a good job of keeping him away from such destructive activities.

www.killology.com/
The other side of that coin:

http://www.theppsc.org/Grossman/Main-R.htm

Mr. Grossman has an interesting thesis (and I've read his book), but it's a LOT more subjective than Mr. Grossman makes it out to be, and a lot of the "facts" he draws his conclusions from turn out to be incorrect to start with.

Geno
January 12, 2006, 08:54 AM
PLT that THIS principal (as did I as a former principal) has common sense. Zero Tolerance in this case would NOT have held--mere words. For Zero Tolerance he would have had to BRING the gun, ammo and have genuine intent to seriously injure.

Of course, my present view of this subject as I instruct it in my Educational Leadership courses to teachers and principals sometimes falls on deaf ears. I temper their zealous attitude with the warning, be careful that your decisions regarding the children are ethical; you don't want to end up with ME sitting on the witness stand explaining to the courts how what you did in discipline to this child was illogical, irrational and just plain wrong, furthermore that I taught you better and too boot, it must therefore be malicious!

I also teach graduate courses in Ed. Psych. This little guy did nothing but either parrot his comrades or repeat what he heard on TV somewhere. Don't assume that because they are "in the other room" that they do not hear. Trust me, children are like world-class military intelligence. They see all, hear all, but truthfully know very little. :)

I tend to agree on the spank bit, but that is a family decision. Better he have his butt lit up like a Christmas tree and not sit until Easter than to have some backside of a horse principal potentially Zero Tolerate him. Give him love; talk with him, and above all--ROLE-MODEL for him. Show him. That's how kids learn best.

Doc2005

Janitor
January 12, 2006, 09:46 AM
And thank God your son has an intelligent principal who handled it well.
And a big +1 to that. This is the first thing I thought of as I read your story. We hear so much of small children being sent home for days, or even kicked out of school for what seems to be even smaller infractions of "acceptable social behavior".

I completely agree that what you're seeing is normal kids talking kids talk, and that he got this all from his schoolmates and friends. In all actuality, the single event was probably completely innocent and harmless.

I honestly believe you handled things exactly as you should have though, even if you view this event as mostly innocent. (keep in mind that I've not been fortunate enough to have children, so my opinion probably matters little). I'm glad to see that corporal punishment hasn't been completely killed off by the blissninies yet. Sometimes, it may be the least harmfull way to teach an important lesson.

I agree with the poster that suggested a talk about this in a week or two would be a good idea. Yea - what he did may have been mostly innocent. But at the very least, he needs to understand what the rules of his school are. Hopefully before he runs into one of the sheep approved principals that are out there waiting for him. He got lucky this time and needs to be made to understand that.

Not to mention that one day, he'll cross that age mark where this will no longer be viewed as innocent behavior. Needs to be dealt with before then.
-

1911 guy
January 12, 2006, 11:12 AM
I'm not in a position to offer much advice, mine is only 16 months, but it sounds like you done good. Playground threats should be all about who's gonna kick who's tail, who's dad can beat up who's dad and such. Not killing families. No, you're not raising a psychopath, think of all the thoughts that went through our heads when we were boys. We just had parents that, like you, tought us what to say and what to shut up about and play nice. Kinda.

KriegHund
January 12, 2006, 06:06 PM
You may be familiar with Colonel Dave Grossman and his study called "killology". Among many other things, Dave teaches us that violent TV shows and video games, when administered to young children, breed school shooters, and murderers in general. The thing is, such things make shooting at a people a natural reaction, especially with children 7 and under who can't really split the difference between fantasy and reality. You appear to have done a good job of keeping him away from such destructive activities.

www.killology.com/

If that was true than wede have school shootings every day.

If that was true, then I would be a school murderer- ive been playing violent video games since i was...6, i think (mortal combat) and graduated to 3d shooting games in 1998 when i was 8.

People still killed people before video games...there was a huge thread on this a while back. Go check it out.

I suppose in 20 years we'll have a society of murders, according to this. This videogame BS seems to be more of blaming an inanimate object for violence...alot like gun control, no?

Maybe its lack of parenting and larger populations than ever before thats the problem.

SSN Vet
January 12, 2006, 06:21 PM
I'm reminded every day why I break my back to send my kids to a private Christian school.

Peer pressure works both ways!! A positive peer group makes it "cool" to do well in school, respect you teachers and be smart!

I can't believe the #$%# that goes on at the public elementary just a mile down the road. Gay agenda and witch stuff slipped into every single facet of the curriculum.

KriegHund
January 12, 2006, 06:29 PM
SSN Vet

I go to a public school.

Only thing to do with "Gay" is theres a club that meets after school- theres a few small posters in the library but its not neccesary to go.

As far as witchcraft-
Aside from being able to wear halloween costumes, theres no witchcraft agenda.

E

duckslayer
January 12, 2006, 07:00 PM
Gay agenda and witch stuff slipped into every single facet of the curriculum. :scrutiny:

FNB,

I think you acted appropriately in correcting him, so he knows that type of behaviour and talk is unacceptable. Little kids are just that...little kids...so make sure that he doesn't read more into the situation than what you intended. If he was threatened with a rock, he should know it is OK to defend himself, albeit not by threatening to shoot someone's family. Tell him the other kid was wrong to threaten him with a rock.

Also, don't expect him to be a perfect, all-knowing citizen before you take him to shoot with you, or I suspect that you will never go. It is important to correct him when he does wrong, but don't forget that he is a kid, and as many have posted, will say things he doesn't understand himself, only because he heard it from somewhere else. We all did similar when we were young urchins!

solareclipse
January 13, 2006, 05:42 AM
Don't underestimate human nature. You don't have to teach someone to do something or to curse.

Which is why shielding your kids from these things is utterly useless. Better off explaining them proper, because they are already aware of them by the time they are 3. Amazing in a way...

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