One For All, All In Trouble-Discipline Woes

One For All, All In Trouble-Discipline Woes
December 3, 2015 6 Comments For Authors, Writing Advice Amanda Hester

As I sat in the car loop, with a hot and grumpy little girl, I peeked in the side mirror to see my son walking stalking towards us. Great, two grouches for the price of one! It was my lucky day.

I watched him approach, all angry eyebrows and storm clouds.

Hans / Pixabay

He flopped into the back seat and growled semblance of a greeting.

“Hey, how was your day?!” His sister giggled at him.

Two notes here:

  1. My daughter was not able to read social and emotional cues. At all.
  2. She was just all gloom and puppy stomping herself. So, what was the deal with the giggling?

He heaved and hummed for a bit then shared why his day sucked. I have to say, I kinda agreed with the little guy. But, for the sake of being unbiased, I think I will ask your opinion.

Here is what happened, in his own words:

Today at school, at lunch, 6 kids were talking. They were girls, talking about girl stuff. The lights were off which means to be quiet. But the girls weren’t being quiet. So, the lunch teacher put our table on red. And then our teachers came, and we had 5 minutes off of our recess and we lost an extra 8 minutes off. We only got 4 minutes of recess because we had to walk 4 laps. Me and my friends wanted to play football, but we didn’t get to. We only got to make a couple of throws and catches. And it was really boring because then we had to go to Smart Time.”

So, here’s his complaint, everyone got in trouble due to the actions of a small group. Is this a lazy form of discipline? What does it teach children, to punish them for the actions of others? (Sorry, I’m about to get all deep and theoretical here). Does it teach them to blame the whole for the actions of the minority? Like, how some people think it is ok to hate all Muslims because of the actions of extremists?

Every action we make as adults creates a ripple effect in this world that can last throughout generations. It is important to always be aware of the message we are sending out, and to ‘Be The Change You Want To See.’

Do you want to know what this 11-year-old walked away from this scenario with?

I learned to try to tell other kids to be quiet.”

Does this seem like an appropriate lesson? We can agree that children should role model good behavior, but to what extent should they be responsible for the actions of others?

I’m glad that as a result of his upbringing (I take credit where it’s due!) his answer wasn’t:

I learned I should just break the rules because I’ll get in trouble anyway.”


Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy!


Amanda Hester Amanda Hester is the founder and CEO of Our Write Side. As an author, she enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist and Wiccan who has an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics and her posts are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once. In her downtime, she can be found with her loving husband, Shawn, exploring the wilderness. She maintains her shreds of sanity with yoga, tea, and cats.
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  1. 6 Comments

    Tessa Smeigh

    I never believed in punishing everyone just because of a few and they happened to be there. It was handled wrong.

    1. 6 Comments

      Amanda Mabry

      I thought so too. I explained my opinion to my son with the understanding that sometimes we have to go with the decisions of adults when we disagree. This, of course, led to a lengthy discussion of when to listen and when to speak up. And how to speak up respectfully.

  2. 6 Comments

    Stephanie Ayers

    i think this is part of the reason why no one takes responsibility these days. This generation has been taught that it doesn’t matter so why bother? I thought it was common practice in football, but never realized they did this in schools too. I never really understood the purpose behind it at any point, but it seemed to be effective in football. I don’t think it’s effective in a classroom though. All it’s teaching is that the rules don’t matter.

    1. 6 Comments

      Amanda Mabry

      I can see how it might be effective in something like football, where the collaboration of the team effects the outcome, although I would still except some individual responsibility where appropriate.

  3. 6 Comments


    My sister used to get blamed for EVERYTHING at daycare, because the kids learned very quickly that the daycare people would accept that it was her fault. It wasn’t until my mother took her out of daycare that the people working there realized that they had taught the kids to blame my sister. Because even months after D hadn’t been at daycare, if a kid did something bad, they’d tell the teacher that ‘D did it’. Kids pay a lot of attention to the subtle lessons authority figures are teaching them, and the lessons aren’t always nice. Glad your son is taking the relatively high road in this unintended lesson!

    1. 6 Comments

      Amanda Mabry

      This is a scenario that I witnessed with my daughter a lot over the years. She tended to be a trouble maker (being honest) but she also tended to be a scape goat, a lot.


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