In my daughter’s Kindergarten class, they have a method of keeping the students in her class ‘behaved’. They are bestowed 4 blocks daily that if they don’t follow the rules, they are asked to place one of their blocks on a cabinet. Losing one block is no big deal, sort of a ‘warning’ to not do it again. Subsequent block losses result in time-outs (2 blocks), loss of recess (3 blocks), principal visit and note home to the parents (4 blocks). Our Little Princess has been pretty good – she has so far lost only one block at a time, 3 blocks total since school started. She would come home and tell me how her day was, how much fun she had in school, and what she learned. She would also tell me who lost blocks that day, and how many. This week Savannah lost a block on Wednesday – she had been given a candy cane and 2 ‘Smart Dollars’ from the bus driver for being so good (and quiet) on the bus ride to school. She was so excited for this wonderful gift, she ran into the school – of course that is a no-no. No running in the school. Or classroom. Or out to the playground. No. Running. Period. Her teacher of course saw her make this faux pas, so she told Savannah to put a block on the cabinet. Great start to the day. The rest of the day completed without any further incidents, so she was able to hang on to the rest of her blocks.

Today Dada was able to get home early from work so he was here when the bus arrived. (Put me into a conundrum, though, I was in the middle of wrapping presents, and one happened to be a present to him from Santa…hope he didn’t see it!). When Savannah got off the bus, this interesting conversation took place:

Dada: “How was your day?”

Savannah: “Great!

Dada: “Did you lose three blocks today?”

Savannah (with an annoyed look): “NO, I didn’t lose three blocks today!”

Dada: “Did you have a time-out?”

Savannah (a hint of sarcasm in her voice): “NO, I didn’t have a time out, Dada!”

Nothing more was said, she was all excited to show me her cool ornaments that she made in school yesterday – I was thoroughly impressed (I’ll have to post pics of them later this weekend), and she babbled on about some game they got to play today that she won, which won her an additional Smart Dollar. (Smart Dollars are paper ‘money’ that they get to spend in the Smart Dollar store – trinkets that kids love, usually from the Dollar Store! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Later this evening, I was going through her folder of stuff she brought home from school, and I noticed that sometime after she got home she added a ‘1’ to her calendar day today, which indicates she lost a block today. It wasn’t there when I looked at her calendar when she got home.

So begins the debate.

Me: “Savannah, why did you add a ‘1’ to your day if you didn’t lose any blocks today?”

Savannah: “But I did lose a block today.”

Me: “What? Wait a minute…I thought Dada asked if you lost any blocks and you said ‘No’.”

Savannah: “No, he asked me if I lost three blocks and I said ‘No’. Then he asked if I had a ‘time-out’, and I said ‘No’. He didn’t ask me if I lost ‘a‘ block!”

Me: “So you really did lose a block today? What for?”

Savannah: “Look at this crayon – isn’t it cool? It’s one of my favorites!”

Me: “Yeah, cool crayon – but don’t change the subject…did you actually lose a block today, or are you thinking about the one you lost the other day?”

Savannah: “Yes, I lost a block today.”

Me: “What for?”

Savannah: “For the same thing.”

Me: “Running, again?”

Savannah: “Yeah, I think so.”

Me: “What do you mean, you ‘think so’? How about you tell me exactly what was going on when you allegedly lost the block?”

Savannah: “Well, we were getting ready to play a really cool game and I was excited, so I ran to the game. Then I won the game – see? I got a Smart Dollar!”

Me: “Your teacher wouldn’t have signed off on your calendar for the week if you didn’t have the ‘1’ written on today’s date had you actually lost a block. There was no ‘1’ on there when you got home…I think you’re thinking about the block you lost on Wednesday. I think you’re confused.”

Savannah: “I am not confused!”

Of course at that moment Dada came downstairs from cleaning out the kitty litter box (yeah, I know, you really needed to know that! *snicker!*) and I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m in the middle of an information gathering conversation with our Little Princess, he likes to jump right smack dab in the middle of it. And since he’s a pessimist to my optimistic nature, you can figure out how that goes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Suddenly the debate gets even more ‘heated’, as Dada then tells Savannah that she lied to him about losing a block, which doesn’t make him happy. Of course I had to point out that she actually didn’t lie to him, since he really did only ask her if she lost three blocks, not ‘a’ block…he should know better than anyone about the ‘literal’ way of thinking, he is the Original ‘Literal Man‘ in our household, and Savannah is as literal as he is. I told Savannah I’m not going to erase her penciled-in ‘1’ and see if her teacher notices it on Monday. After all, if she really did lose a block today, at least she’s trying to own up to that fact by adding that ‘1’ to her ‘record’ on her calendar and letting us know she lost a block, gotta give her credit for her honesty! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  1. It’s hilarious how literal kids interpret things. I actually remember the same discipline system from when I as in kindergarten (about a thousand years ago). It was so traumatic to lose even one block for me!
    BTW, thanks for stopping by my place earlier today!

    Recent blog post: Weโ€™ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

  2. It is hilarious how literal kids can be – especially when her Dada is mega literal! LOL!

    You’re very welcome for the visit – thanks for the visit here! I’ll be back to check on you and Graham…hope he’s feeling better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is totally off the wall, but the whole Smart Dollar thing is actually a very good incentive program…and my 1st grader comes home every day and tells me who had their card flipped (not sure how that works cause she’s never had hers flipped) so yeah she likes to tell on everyone but herself.

    Recent blog post: Who I am

  4. What a great discipline method! I really like the idea of using blocks to do this, because it\’s very visible to a child.\n\nMaybe I\’ll try this at home!\n\nRecent blog post: Mother Mary

  5. I’m really proud about how honest she is – I’ve tried to make it very clear that if she’s honest, she won’t get in (much) trouble, but if she’s not, then she’ll be in trouble…so far, so good! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good point about the point in time about learning of ‘little white lies’… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Oh, I agree – it’s so cool to see how excited she is when she gets ‘rewarded’ with the Smart Dollars. And it’s hilarious when she comes home and ‘tattles’ on her fellow classmates when they lose blocks… “Matthew had a bad day today! He lost four blocks!”

  7. It is a great method, isn’t it? It’s funny that you should mention you might try it at home – my hubby made that comment last night in regards to something my daughter was doing (or not doing)…I can’t remember what it was exactly, but she didn’t like that idea too much…) ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Oh, thank you – my first tag! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m going to have a busy weekend creating posts for the award(s) from Toni, and now you’re tag…better get my brain going! LOL!! Thanks!!!

  9. Absolutely she ‘technically’ didn’t lie…my hubby is oh-so-literal, so he should understand and relate to that! LOL!!

    We bought a house specifically in this school district because of the way they are…you’re right, it would be really nice if more schools were like this!

    Thanks for following me from the Follow Me Club! I’ve discovered your blog and some other great ones from there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. It’s crazy, isn’t it? He was sitting on the couch while I was on the floor wrapping gifts…I tried not to glance over to where his gift was sitting to see if it was in his ‘line of vision’. Finally he decided he needed to go do something outside, so I was able to wrap it quick then hide it so I can put it under the tree when I do all the Santa gifts at 3:00 am like I did last year! LOL!!

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