Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Okay, parents of preschoolers, I need some help here. Last week, while I was putting LO to bed, she mentioned something totally off-the-wall and random to me about having to run at school and getting tired and her teacher forcing her to keep running... It sounded crazy-weird but I thought I'd follow up with her teacher to hear the "real" story.

Turns out the "real" story was the same one as LO told me! So she and a few other friends had to do 2 laps at the beginning of recess.

Is that normal??

I mean, she's 4. She actually loves to run, which is one of my biggest concerns about using running as a form of discipline. I don't want her to grow up thinking running = punishment (like I do). ;)

Ugh. Apparently she had been asked many times to not talk during circle time and to quit playing with her neighbors. Then she had to sit in "time out" at her desk after several verbal warnings, but since the behavior continued, she was given 2 laps outside at the beginning of recess.

I checked the school's handbook and didn't note any mention of using physical activity as a form of punishment. I was very surprised by this, but I guess I'm curious if this is something that a lot of preschools do to aid in discipline?

Thoughts? Comments?

I think what gets me the most frustrated about the situation is that hubs and I received ZERO communication from the teacher about the issue. I had no idea she received several verbal warnings, had to sit in time out and certainly not that she had to run laps. How are we supposed to reinforce her discipline at home if we don't know what's going on at school? Grrrr. I emailed the teacher and mentioned how helpful it would be if we would receive some kind of communication when LO struggles with her listening skills. I guess there's not much more I can do. But I still just don't like the idea of my 4-year-old being forced to run laps. I don't know why, but it gives me horrid junior high flashbacks and I just don't think it's appropriate discipline for her age.

Am I crazy?


  1. Preschoolers running as punishment = CRAZY. I don't understand that at all and really think physical activity should NEVER be used as punishment. Heck...my boys would LOVE that idea...they love to run. I also worry that you didn't know what was happening. Our preschool sends notes anytime our kids are in time out. My oldest went last year and he had a few notes about time outs. My youngest is going there now and he hasn't received any...yet. He is still shy around the kids at school, so it is just a matter of time. We also have conferences and pick him up from school every day and the teacher would let us know if there was anything going on (like when my youngest decided to quit using the school bathroom...ughhh).

    Anyway...NO YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!!!

  2. I have heard of laps during recess, but always walking and never running. I have always understood it to be more of a way to take a kids recess away than as the actual running/walking being the punishment. I'm with you that they shouldn't be made to run. I'm ok with the walking though, but you should have definitley been given a heads up that LO was having trouble listening.

  3. WOW is all I have to say. That does seem excessive, but more troubling to me is that you were neither informed upfront about that being the natural progression of punishment or along the way that her behavior was progressing in that direction. I'd be upset if Sierra's behavior got to that point and we didn't know about it. And personally, I don't think it's appropriate to make kids at this run laps. Just IMO...

  4. I agree with Amy- WOW. I can see why you are not comfortable with this. You shouldn't have to hear about behavior problems from your 4 year old. And the running as punishment does not sit right with me either. I'm surprised there isn't a note home to parents policy after so many warnings of behavior issues? I think that teacher should have to run a couple laps for her lack of communication. ;) I'm curious to hear about the teachers response to your email.