Happy-grams vs Angry-grams.

Beth was very proud to deliver her very first happy-gram from kindergarten. We were happy to shower her with praise. I wanted to be a little careful to temper my praise: I don’t want this time to be more enthusiastic than future occurrences when the novelty wears off. I want to pace myself. We were not so happy when Beth delivered upon us her first “angry-gram.” This was a name I gave it while trying to explain to Beth what is was, and this was a term that Beth could wrap her mind around. The language of the “angry-gram” was quite serious sounding. “If this behavior continues, it could disrupt the learning process for your child as well as the other children in the class. Please speak to your child about this problem to help us correct the problem.” Wow! I was really set back that day. Visions of alternative schools for troubled kids flashed through my mind. “Can a child with a diploma from an alternative high school get into a good college? Will this go on her ‘permanent record?’ ” All of these questions and more floated through my troubled mind. So I did what any rational parent would do when presented with such a situation, I grumbled to my coworkers. When that didn’t make me feel better, I spoke to Beth’s teacher. She reassured us that now was not the time to find a good criminal defense attorney. She just wanted us to know that things were not at their optimum in the classroom, and that this was part of the learning process that all kids were expected to go through in kindergarten – learning what is appropriate behavior in the classroom. She said that most of the kids have to learn the hard way. I’m sitting there thinking, yeah that’s about right; if anyone is going to have to learn sitting quiet through class time the hard way it’s Beth. Don’t laugh Lisa, your time may be coming.