Finally Friday: Baroque Linen Tee

Loft has a lot of really cute t-shirts, etc., right now (including the top we’re featuring at Corporette today), so if you haven’t looked lately, you should check it out. I think this linen tee is great — it has a fun, bright, happy pattern that’s going to hide stains well, it’s machine washable, and it’s got very good reviews. (Ooh, and they have a lot of items in this particular pattern, including a maternity top, a skirt, a dress, a blouse, and more.) The regular and petite size range is XXS-XL, and the top is on sale for $29.99 from $39.99 –plus an extra 40% off (no code needed) that brings it down to just $17.99. Baroque Linen Tee

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. My 2 1/2 year old son has been falling asleep later and later. It used to be 7:30 or 8 pm. Then, we switched him to a toddler bed and there was some sleep training for that. I installed a baby gate at his door, so that if he wakes up he doesn’t automatically come into our room. Now he is finally sleeping through the night again, but he does fall asleep until 9:30 or even 10:30 pm. He is usually in his room by himself just playing or reading for up to an hour (as I try to tuck him in by 8:30). Is this normal? Is this just a phase?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My almost 2 year old has recently started pushing her bedtime back. Not as late as 9:30 or 10:30, but we used to have a 7:30-ish bedtime and lately she’s been staying awake until 8:30-ish so we’ve pushed back her bedtime. I’ve polled friends and some have reported a similar experience with their kids naturally pushing back their bedtimes. So, anecdotally, it sounds normal. If/when he drops a nap, you might find that his bedtime becomes a little earlier.

    • Does s/he still nap? Sadly my kid gave up her nap at 2.5. If she napped, it meant a 8:30-9:30 bedtime. Once she dropped it, bedtime was 7pm sharp. She’s almost 4 and still never naps, and goes to bed and or around 7:30.

    • Famouscait says:

      My 2.5 in toddler bed has moved his bedtime back from 6:30 to 7:30(ish). This also happened around daylight savings change, so that may have been a factor. We remove his favorite toy from his room each night (a basket of balls) so that he may spend a few minutes roaming around reading books, but not running around playing basketball like a crazy kid. This helped, as did eliminating all contact after tuck-in. For a few nights he would bang on the door and we would make numerous attempts to get him to go to sleep. Now we put him down, and ignore any attempt to lure us back in, although they have pretty much stopped outright. Point being, the in and out activity was also keeping him up until 9:30pm or later.

      On a separate note, I totally see why the advice is to put the mattress on the floor, because when I go in to check on him before I go to bed, kiddo has wriggled himself into all manner of crazy positions on the mattress! How long until he learns to remain sleeping head-on-pillow (not feet! or bum!) so we can put his bed together without risk of him falling out?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Maybe it’s something in the water….after the time change, my three year old went from “reliably asleep by 8” to “never asleep until after 9:30.” I’m tearing my hair out. She’s tired and volatile and we’re getting reports from daycare that she is hitting. I’m *this close* to calling the pediatrician and asking for a referral to a sleep clinic….

      • mascot says:

        Obviously call your doctor, but mine suggested a couple of nights of melatonin to help reset my kid’s sleep. It’s worked for us several times.

    • Momata says:

      My 3yo loves to fart around in her room after lights out, about once a week, usually when she’s overtired. I”ll let her do it for about 10-15 minutes but I’ve noticed that if I let it go too much longer she gets REALLY overtired and then is a grumpy monster the next morning. I go in, tell her that if we have to come back she loses a stuffy or book (the only toys in her room), and then enforce and repeat as necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is kiddo getting afternoon /evening playtime? I feel like with the get home / dinner / bedtime routine high energy kids may not get the afternoon playing they need. If possible chuck him outside while you / husband make dinner or incorporate some after dinner outside play time into the routine (while one parent does dishes?). It may push bedtime back to 8, but it beats 10:30

  2. How long is he napping? Maybe that needs to be shortened?

    When my son was 3, he would still nap at daycare (not often at home or at preschool) and on those days he could easily be up until 9:30 or so.

    Look at the total number of hours of sleep he is getting. If he isn’t acting tired, he may be getting enough.

    • How do you tell if a 2.5 yo is tired? We’ve
      had the same issue with bedtime shifting later but (to me) it seems like kiddo *is* tired. I’m not sure if it’s tired, or just being 2. Constant mini-meltdowns, lots of whining / crying whenever things go wrong (e.g., his bike falls over, he has to eat dinner, etc.). When the meltdowns happen, my immediate thought is “time for bed” but when he does go to bed he seems to be hanging out awake for a long time (30 min+).

      • avocado says:

        One sure sign is wailing “I’m not tired!”

        I would agree that the behaviors you describe sound like signs of fatigue. Sometimes when kids are overtired they actually have a more difficult time falling asleep.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Oh, yeah, all of those signs scream tired to me too so I put my kiddo to bed. My general view is that if she is in her room and quiet, I’m really not that bothered by whether she is awake for another 30 minutes or so. I view it as quiet time for her where she’s starting to relax and unwind. I know it’s hard for me to fall asleep when I’m wired, so I think it’s the same for her.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Yes, as far as I’m concerned, if my kids are in their room and I can’t hear them thumping around or making noise, I don’t really care if they are actually asleep or just quietly hanging out in there. Sometimes I push back that they have to be in bed with the lights out, or all the lights out except the small bedside lamp, but as far as I’m concerned it’s my job to make sure they have a quiet, dark place to sleep and their job to actually sleep when they are ready.

          Does he seem well rested in the morning? Or is he grumpy and you have to drag him awake?

      • Anonymous says:

        I suck at telling if my child is tired. Does he fall asleep in the car?

        FWIW the year my son was 2.5 over the Christmas holiday he just would not sleep. Wouldn’t nap unless we drove him around, wouldn’t go to sleep at night, particularly on Christmas eve, and was cranky as hell. I made the mistake of telling him Santa wouldn’t come unless he went to sleep, not knowing he was actually afraid of santa… I seem to remember him not really going back to normal right away after the holidays, do maybe it was some kind of developmental phase.

  3. Amelia Bedelia says:

    I need vacation advice.
    my family has two weeks off in july (middle of July). I have a 3 yr old and an 18 month old. They are TERRIBLE in the car, so, even though we were going to drive to Florida (from DC), we are now going to fly. That got me to thinking: I’d really like to do something more fun than spend two weeks at the beach. Actually, I’d like to go to Europe. If I’m going to fly, why not just do the 9 hour flight and go somewhere fun? but WHERE in Europe would you recommend for 12 days or so with two toddlers? (Other than Paris, as we’ve just been there w/o kids.) we can Air BnB it, right? I just want something a little more exciting than Florida in July.

    I know. First world problems.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Italy would probably be at the top of my child-friendly destinations. With 12 days, I’d probably divide my time between Rome (because there are a lot of great outdoor sights), and then rent a house with a pool somewhere in Tuscany and do day trips.

      I’ve never been to Spain, but I’ve heard it’s also kid-friendly.

    • My sister lived in Italy for almost three years. She had her two children there. She said that Oslo was one of her favorite and most child friendly locations.

      • getting kids to sleep in Oslo when they have 22 hours of sunlight or whatever sounds like it could be tough…

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been drooling over vacation rentals from Kid and Coe. They are out of my budget, sadly, but since you mention first world problems… :)

    • Anonymous says:

      In Italy I would go to: Riva del Sole in Tuscany – right on the beach, not far from Rome and cute towns nearby:

      In Portugal I would go to Martinhal resorts – very nice but super family/kid friendly –

    • Anonymous says:

      Posted a reply but stuck in moderation. In Portugal I would go to one of the Martinhal resorts or in Italy I would go to Rive del Sole.

    • We had a lot of fun in Portugal with our then 15 month old. Lots of castles to visit, great aquarium in Lisbon. We rented a car to get around outside Lisbon.

    • shortperson says:

      i think it’s hard to go wrong, most parts of europe are child-friendly. go where you want, just expect to do fewer museum type things per day and more time at bakeries and parks. we did paris, london and berlin with a toddler and they were all great (although strollers are very difficult on the london tube). we are planning stockholm and copenhagen and some scandinavian countryside for this summer and from what i’ve read, those are super kid friendly too.

    • We did Sicily when our son was 18 months old and everyone had a great time. I would recommend splitting your time between Syracuse/Orytiga and Taormina. We also traveled around a bit and saw Noto, Modica, and Ragusa. It’s a great place for little kids because they can run around piazzas and eat delicious food/gelato everywhere. If you go in the summer you can also hit beaches, although we were there in the spring and it was still too cold for beaches.

    • Strategy Mom says:

      Also, went to Murren in the swiss alps last summer and it was shockingly kid friendly if you are looking for a more outdoorsy trip

    • Anonymous says:

      Take the the overnight train from DC to Florida. Book Europe next year when you have a 2.5 year old (who can talk a bit more, might care about looking a little instead of just doing.)

  4. Maxi Dress Question: I love the idea of a maxi or midi dress in practice – seems like it would be great for just getting around town and looking relatively cute with the kid with flip flops or birks or whatever. But in reality they always seem to have too much fabric or make me look or at least feel heavy.

    Can people who have found good ones let us know your favorite maxis for your shape/size? Thanks!

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      I’m a “skinny pear shape” I’d say. I’m not chubby, but most of my weight is in the lower half of my body (00 or below on top, 0-2 in pants 2-4-6 for pencil skirts on bottom, for context). I have to be careful not to find something that makes me look even more bottom-heavy, so I prefer thicker straps up top. The more delicate, thin straps accentuate how much bigger I am on the bottom.
      I’ve found some very nice, good-quality ones from Soma in the past few years. Not somewhere I normally shop besides their super soft PJs, but I was gifted one post-partum from there and was hooked. I prefer thick enough fabric that I don’t have panty lines (if it requires spanx it’s not “easy”), and these do the trick. Since it is heavier fabric, it has the opposite effect you might expect. It weighs down the bottom a bit more instead of floating around away from my body making me look huge. I haven’t gotten one from there in a few years, so I’m not sure where they stand these days.

      They are great for about town etc. in the summer. Cute sandals, minor accessories, instant outfit!

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        PS these did have soft cup inserts as well, similar to those that come in a bandeau swimsuit top. Very nice to not have to worry about bra straps/if everyone could see I was cold in the air conditioning…

      • Thanks – this is my exact shape too. Maxis make me look bottom heavy! I’ll check out Soma.

        • Anon in NOVA says:

          The heavier fabric being more slimming was counter-intuitive to me, but it’s the truth!

      • +1 on the heavier fabric. I have one from Three Dots (sold at Bloomie’s) that while $$ has worn really well, falls nicely, etc. If you don’t have a tummy, the empire-waist ones are nice. Otherwise there is always the “looking pregnant when you’re not” issue.

    • avocado says:

      I am medium height, small-ish with a straight figure. I like Boden’s maxi dresses because the neckline is compatible with my, how shall we say, lack of endowment, the skirts are not too volumnious, they are just the right length and don’t drag on the floor, and the fabric is heavy enough that nothing shows through and it doesn’t pill.

    • I’m an extreme pear (small on top and large on bottom) and any maxi dress MUST have a very defined waste or I risk looking like a giant column.

    • shortperson says:

      my fat congregates on my belly and all maxi dresses make me look pregnant, really more than any other type of clothing. i havent found a solution, other than to only wear them when actually pregnant.

    • Anonymous says:

      FWIW, I always *think* maxis are going to be super convenient when I’m out with the kids, but no matter how well they fit the skirt is always in the way. I prefer skorts when I’m active with the kids.

      That said, I have a couple for wearing to ‘events’ where I want to look nice while wearing pajamas ;) My favorite that I get complements on all the time is a black one with a blouson top. I bought it at Target about 3-4 years ago. The fabric (rayon) is drapey so the blouson doesn’t stick out but gracefully covers my extra tummy skin. I’m a pear with large bust and small waist… but quite a lot of skin on my belly from three pregnancies.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Is there anyone else that just completely overheats in maxi dresses? I cannot wear a maxi dress without either holding it up around my knees about 10 minutes in, or even knotting it in front there. I’ve given up.

    • Erin S says:

      I love maxis! I am petite and thin (currently 9 months preg but pre preg I was 112 lbs and I am 5’2″). Lovappella and Felicity & Coco brands work great for me (they have them in petite sizing at Nordstrom)

  5. Edna Mazur says:

    Friday shout out to all my fellow pregos out there.

    Thought I’d do a little PSA to let ya’ll know that Oreos dipped in Nutella are delicious.

    • POSITA says:

      I noticed today that Loft has a ton of drapey swing dresses in their regular dress selection this season. I got a dress from loft in a similar shape when I was pregnant and it was an amazing workhorse. During the early months, I added a belt to given the dress a little shape. During the later months I stopped belting because it made the dress too short and used a pre-pregnancy blazer so that I didn’t look like I was wearing a bedsheet. The blazer was just enough structure while still being super comfortable. This loft dress was literally the only thing that fit me through 40 weeks, even though it was non-maternity. All of my maternity dresses and tops ended up being too short for my formal workplace at the end.

      I’m sure these dresses are going to end up on a super discount before long because no non-pregnant person wants to be wearing so much fabric. If you’re interested, I might keep an eye out for when they go on a discount. I think I bought one size up from my regular size just for the added length.

      • I’ve been buying Loft’s regular (non-maternity) henley shells and mixed media shells in a larger size for this entire pregnancy. I HATED how maternity shirts looked on me last time – I just don’t think they are suited to my body type. (I have a long torso and wide ribs, so there’s lots of room in general for the baby, I’m just softer/rounder everywhere.) Anyway, I’ve been wearing these with maternity pants (also from Loft) and regular blazers and it’s been an easy maternity work uniform for me this time around, plus I figure these will probably still work out for me when I have to come back from maternity leave.

      • I’ve done this with dressses from gap and uniqlo and it seems to be working well thus far.

    • Leatty says:

      I’m not a fan of Nutella, but I bet oreso would be really tasty dipped in peanut butter!

      I’ve been enjoying Girl Scout shortbread cookies dipped in milk lately. Thankfully my cravings haven’t been too out of control. . .

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Thin Mints dipped in espresso frosting were a favorite of mine while pregnant….

      But then, so were baked potatoes loaded with bacon and broccoli, so I dunno.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        shortbread cookies in canned cake frosting. the vanilla kind. mmmm

      • Anonymous says:

        When I was pregnant my mom told me she had these horrible aversions to baked potatoes with one pregnancy and to bacon with another. Went home and had baked potato with bacon.

        Actually I craved Dairy Queen, which is very hard to come by in New York City.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sigh. I found out I had gestational diabetes toward the very end of my last pregnancy, so I’m trying to limit the sweets this time around. But I am eating a very delicious salad at my desk as I type!

    • I have found I get irrationally angry when someone interrupts me while eating. Today has been bananas (last day of the quarter, ugh) and I have just been shoving food in my face whenever I get the chance with no defined lunch. Not a happy camper.

      Aside from Chipotle, I think my only pregnancy craving has been milkshakes. More so than ice cream or other sweets, I love a good milkshake.

  6. Easter Eggs says:

    For those that celebrate Easter: Any non-candy ideas for little things to put inside Easter Eggs? I have stickers and stamps but would love some other ideas. Kids are 3 and 6.

    • Last year my friend got plastic dinosaur eggs that had mini dinosaurs inside. They were a huge hit. Also little cars/trucks and koosh balls (they make mini ones that fit in eggs).

    • Look for those mini collectible characters, they usually come in foil packets. My 3yo is obsessed with the Lalaloopsy Tinies, but Disney has a ton and so does Star Wars. I think they’re called “Mystery Minis” but don’t quote me on that. You can find them in the toy section at Target, so I assume they’re everywhere.

    • avocado says:

      Little erasers and itty bitty toys like Shopkins?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I bought a variety pack of those Eos lip balms that are shaped like eggs – I think they’ll fit in the plastic eggs. Stickers, temporary tattoos (cut up a sheet and stick a couple in each egg), barrettes or fancy hair binders. By 6, I think my parents were hiding money in some of the eggs – singles and quarters were the exciting eggs, the rest had pennies or jelly beans.

    • Macademia says:

      Band aids are fun. I think we put coins in sometimes or googly eyes.

    • Meg Murry says:

      After finding Easter Eggs that had been put away in the attic still with (now rotting or sticky and gooey) candy in them, last year I went with mainly spare change that I pulled off our dressers and the bin in the laundry room. The kids thought finding eggs with money was great, and it was cheaper than what I would have spent on candy or trinkets. Oh, and then I hid the jellybeans I had planned to put in the eggs and ate it myself when the kids weren’t around :-)

    • Anonymous says:

      Thomas the train minis, Lego Minifigures or bricks, Toob miniatures

    • Anonymous says:

      cheerios, raisins, cranberries, clue about where to look for chocolate bunny (I assume 6 year old can read), stickers, and if you buy plastic eggs big enough – one or two lego duplos per egg.

    • temporary tattoos!

  7. avocado says:

    From the Department of Things You Really Ought to Discuss With Your Spouse First:

    Promising your child that if she signs up for French class the family will take a vacation to Paris.


    • Edna Mazur says:

      Are you the one that did the promising? At least it’s not a puppy…

      • avocado says:

        Nope, it was daddy. The same night he also came close to implying that she would get a cell phone in the near future. Next it will be a puppy. She has got him wrapped around her little finger.

        I actually wouldn’t mind going to Paris, but there are a lot of other places I’d like to go first!

    • As someone who minored in French, which has never done me a damn bit of good . . . can you amend that to a trip to Spain?

      • avocado says:

        Ha ha–we tried to convince her Spanish would be more useful but she wanted to take French. Probably because she just watched some ridiculous American Girl movie about a girl who goes to Paris. It is likely that she will take another language in high school anyway.

      • You never know – I did a lot of work with vendors in Paris and would have killed to know French!

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Montreal instead?

  8. Strategy Mom says:

    My 2 year old is on the short and adorably pudgy side. I can’t find any shorts that don’t swallow him (he’s in a 3T). Any recommendations for shorts that work on that body type?

    • Is the problem that they fit in the waist but are too long in the legs? Have you tried 3T shorts marketed for girls?(well – the ones with the shorter inseams – you guys know what I mean!)

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a good idea, or shorts from denim or heavy cotton material that you can cuff the bottom.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is a very good idea. With slender daughters, girls shorts are the bane of my parenting existing. What a good use for the short/wide proportions!

        My kids can’t wear Gymboree toddler clothing because they are too wide in the waist. You could try those.

        • Strategy Mom says:

          Thank you! Gymboree here we come. And the girls section too ;). 3T fits in the waist, but they look like gaucho pants lol.

    • Famouscait says:

      I just got a bunch of shorter inseam shorts for my kiddo at Kohls (Jumping Beans brand), and also some from Target.

    • Anonymous says:

      My guy is about to turn 2 and is 95% on weight and 90% on height. Big guy. I have him in 4T Cat and Jack shorts (from Target) and 4T “drawstring shorts” from Boden. Both have fairly short length proportionate to the waist.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Have you tried Gap? I find that the height/weight ratio works well for shorter, chubbier kids (my tall skinny kiddo routinely outgrows Gap pants due to height not weight)

  9. Anon in NOVA says:

    Am I being too “mean”?
    Son (first grade) has really, really struggled with talking during school. They have a green, yellow, red system and he’s getting to red every.single. day. for the past month or so. The teacher says he’s overall a great kid, but that he talks to his buddies too much during “independent work time”. She doesn’t seem that concerned, but is apparently frustrated enough to put him on red every day.
    I think some of it is end-of-the-year grumpies on the teacher’s part, but I’d say 80% of it is definitely my child. I don’t know how to make him take this seriously. Our evenings are so jammed pack there’s really no leisure time to “take away”. We tried telling him he could earn screen time for each “green” day, for use over the weekend, and that hasn’t worked.
    So. I told him that, if he doesn’t straighten up, the easter bunny might not come. I KNOW I’M HORRIBLE! but i was so frustrated! It was the first time I saw something resembling regret pass his face. I think he finally takes it seriously.

    My question is: Am I cruel if the Easter Bunny legitimately does not bring him what he asked for? (which is a $4 toy, bless his heart). Should the easter bunny leave a note saying he can earn it by staying on green for X amount of time? Not come at all if he continues to be on red every day between now and spring break? He only has one more school week before easter.

    I know I need to try other methods that include him behaving because it’s the right thing to do… but at this point I want to just make it through the rest of the school year.

    Thanks, all!

    • avocado says:

      If this is happening at school, shouldn’t the teacher be part of the solution? If he’s getting a red card every day then she needs to be working with him and you to come up with some strategies, or the red card doesn’t really mean that much. Can you have a conference with the teacher and your son to brainstorm concrete strategies to help him avoid talking in class, like moving his seat away from his friends? You could ask him to explain what he’s thinking about when he starts talking and whether he can think of any ideas that would help him remain quiet.

      With my 10-year-old, rewards and consequences that are not immediate still don’t usually have much effect. I don’t think telling the Easter Bunny not to come will necessarily help him in the moment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have the Easter Bunny come and bring him his small toy. No conditions.

      Work with the teacher to fix this. The color system is clearly not working if he’s ending up with red everyday. What time of day to they do individual work? Would shifting it to a different time of day improve his compliance? Is he done his work too quickly and needs more of a challenge? Or is he struggling to complete the working and looking to them for help? Why is he within talking distance of his buddies? My kindergarten age daughter cannot sit at a table with her BFF or they chatter the whole time. They have five tables with five kids at each. They shuffle the kids at each table from time to time but my daughter and her BFF are always put at different tables to avoid chatter. Not sure the physical set up in your kid’s classroom but re-arranging tables might be part of the solution.

      Also, he’s a first grader. Teacher needs to relax a bit.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        His classroom is set up the same- their desks are pushed together into clusters of 5 or 6. It seems like he’s talking to the same kid most of the time, once he’s finished his own work. The few times he tells me the circumstances surrounding getting in trouble, it sounds to me like the teacher is being hard on him. The other day it was saying “hi” to people who passed them in their line walking somewhere. One day he was helping a kid spell another kid’s name (now whether the kid ASKED for that help or my child was being bossy and correcting him, I don’t know.)

        I feel the same way, he’s in first grade, he chats, not a huge deal. My husband is taking it very, very seriously though and is convinced he’ll get kicked out school by the time he’s 15 and “not be a productive member of society” (keep in mind talking is literal the only behavior problem he has at school)

        • Anon 1:46 says:

          He helped his friend spell his name and he said ‘hi’ to someone. He’s like 6 and he’s being a 6 year old. Maybe I’m ‘that mom’ but I would totally be emailing the teacher that “He said he got in trouble for saying ‘hi’ to someone so I’m concerned he didn’t understand why he got in trouble, because that’s clearly not a reason to get in trouble. Can you let me know the reason so I can explain it to him? Thanks :)’

          Your DH and his teacher are being crazy. She should have a specific expectation of what kids do when they are finished their independent work. Is there a box of coloring sheets and he can go get a sheet to bring back to his desk and color until the independent work time is finished? When you’re 6 and you’re done your work it’s pretty hard to resist talking to your friends. Their executive function is just not at that level.

          I would call her and ask to schedule a meeting with her, without him there, and discuss strategies to fix this. If it’s the same kid most of the time then the obvious solution would be to move desks – more than just those two kids should be moved so it’s not socially awkward. He shouldn’t be getting in trouble because he’s finished his work faster than the other kids and is just expected to sit quietly without talking for an indefinite period of time. That’s not a reasonable expectation for a six year old.

          • mascot says:

            +1 regarding the still developing executive function of a 6 year old.

          • bluefield says:

            I don’t know, I think that saying “hi” to a kid as he walks by can actually be very irritating and annoying behavior, especially if it’s a specific no-talking time. Like I can see a kid doing it just to annoy the teacher, and then playing innocent. Presumably the walker walked by other kids who did not say hi. Not saying that this is what OP’s kid is doing, but I don’t think it’s fair to knee-jerk judge the teacher.

            FWIW, I was a HUGE talker in elementary school and I had a lot of academic success (magnet HS, Ivy college, law school). I talked a lot because I was bored and understimulated, and also just a naturally very curious person whose brain worked faster than her impulse control.

            I do agree that the teacher should be addressing this, not you. Classroom control is her problem.

          • Anon in NOVA says:

            @bluefield I was a huge talker to, and it has contributed to my professional success (my job requires a lot of talking, ensuring everyone is on the same page, facilitating meetings, etc.)

            My husband is very much NOT a talker, which is why I think he’s struggling with this. He genuinely doesn’t understand why anyone would have the impulse to speak out of turn unless they were being intentionally disruptive.

        • It also sounds like he might be a little bored too, or “advanced” for lack of a better word (my executive function is all TGIF today) — especially if he is consistently finishing work early. Can the teacher give him special projects to do if he’s done early?

          I agree that your husband is overreacting. Let the teacher decide if this is a big deal or not.

          • Spirograph says:

            This is what I was going to say. I was this kid all through school. Independent study time was wasted on me because I understood and was ready to move on after the teacher went over it once. It was beyond me that people might legit need to study. He needs a challenge, not someone taking away his privileges or shaming him for “bad” behavior.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are there any “big kids” you know that he looks up to? Maybe you could convince them to talk casually to him about how there are times to talk to friends and times to be quiet? My son is still in preschool, but man, I can see this coming.

    • Famouscait says:

      If the Easter Bunny threat made an impact, perhaps the Easter Bunny could bring the toy and leave a note about “keep up the good work trying not to chat in class”?

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        This is true. in our family, the easter bunny is like santa, and rewards you for good behaviour, which is why the (admittedly kind of inappropriate) threat slipped out of my mouth in a moment of frustration. Maybe the easter bunny will bring what he asked for since it’s so small, and a note telling him the easter bunny has a special gift for him if he keeps working hard at school and can keep his clip on green, which can come after easter

        I feel like a real witch for invoking the easter bunny :( :( :(

        • Anon in NYC says:

          You’re human, don’t beat yourself up. A few weeks ago my toddler was having a series of mini-meltdowns about things that were simply not worth the tears and I became frustrated and asked her why she was being a baby. I felt terrible for, like, 2 days after. Even now, thinking about it, I feel terrible. Things happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Easter bunny should come. It’s not a matter of ‘mean’, but it doesn’t seem remotely logical to me. Neither does taking away leisure activities unless it’s to complete work that went unfinished at school.

      Work with his teacher on this. I recommend moving him to a separate space during independent work time – such as a desk against the wall. (That was necessary for me during grade school.) I do agree that ‘red’ everyday for talking alone seems extreme. At my children’s school, that would be enough to bring you in contact with the counselor – who would be a helpful mediator.

    • Marilla says:

      This kind of stuff drives me crazy – he’s in first grade! They’re not supposed to be silent and driven and focused all day! I would push back on the teacher more as other commenters have suggested in their much more articulate responses :) Not for the teacher to be tougher on him, but for her to come up with in-class strategies. Or more reasonable expectations…

      • Anonymous says:

        FYI, “independent work time” is probably ~30-45 minutes. Some students may have a harder time than others – and need more physical space, headphones, etc – but it’s not a completely unreasonable expectation.

        • Anon 1:46 says:

          I really disagree with this. 45 minutes is a totally unreasonable period of time for a 6 year old to sit still and focus on independent work without talking to anyone. 15-20 minutes maybe, but 45 minutes is like middle school concentration levels.

          Finland has the highest rated school system in the world and they don’t even start seated work until age seven, let alone 45 minutes at a time.

          • Betty says:

            I have a six year old too. 30-45 minutes is a really long time to ask a six year old to be focused on anything without any physical movement or other stimulation.

            Even the Pomodoro Method advocates 25 minutes of focused concentration followed by a short break. I think 45-60 minutes of focused concentration is about my capability, and I am an adult who focuses on things and reads for a living.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate says:

      I think you are being too nice, not too mean. I wouldn’t tolerate this behavior from my child. He would get nothing fun at all until the behavior stopped. But I grew up in the USSR, so ymmv.

    • Betty says:

      Like others have suggested, I would try and meet with the teacher to really understand what is going on here. What are the expectations and how is your child not meeting them? If this is happening routinely, is a school administrator involved? What is the consequence at school of having a red card? If there is no consequence, then I can see any child blowing it off. With the teacher, I would ask if the request is developmentally appropriate and what his/her suggestions are for handling this at school.

      Also, I would try a bit of “How to Listen so Kids Will Talk” methodology with your kiddo next time it happens: “I noticed that you had a red card.” And then let your kiddo take the conversation from there with a lot of “I see” on your end.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        Thanks. The consequence is they fill out a sheet about what happened, which was just implemented last week. Before that there were no consequences I’m aware of.

        He has to tell me himself he got a red card, the teacher doesn’t communicate that info home to the parents. We didn’t discuss it until I reached out to her to verify that he was, indeed, getting to red every day

  10. Anon in NOVA says:

    All attempts to engage him in a solution have produced nothing. He’s self-reporting his reds, which I appreciate and I praise him for his honesty, but any further questioning is “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”. He doesn’t know/remember when he was talking, who he was talking to, what he was talking about, or any other circumstances, supposedly. The teacher has been difficult to engage.
    I think you’ve made a great point about more immediate consequences. I’ll reach out to her again to see if she has any thoughts on what in-classroom consequences could be put in place for reaching red.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Yeah, I think it’s hard for you to retroactively try to modify his behavior! I think there needs to be an in-the-moment redirection from the teacher, supported by you at home. Really, the teacher needs to be a little more proactive here in communicating certain things to you. Just telling you that your 6 yo is regularly being disruptive without running through some of the things she has done or some suggestions for you to work with him is not helpful.

      And I agree with some of the other questions about the timing of independent work. Is it after the kids have been cooped up at their desks for a few hours? Is it immediately after recess where he might still be amped up and want to play?

      Perhaps discussions of being respectful would strike a chord with him? Respect for the teacher, for his friends who are trying to also do independent work, and for the other students in the classroom.

      As for the teacher, I’m wondering if she can separate your son from his friends for independent work time. Yes, it’s basically a punishment, but it’s probably a little demoralizing for him to get a red card every day and maybe he also will understand the consequences of disturbing the classroom/his friends/others.

    • mascot says:

      We also have a 6 year old who has similar troubles with self-control and gets various corrections that he self-reports. We mostly let the school handle it in the moment for the immediate consequences mentioned above. While yes, he should be following classroom rules, I also feel that it is the school’s job to take the lead in enforcing these rules and correcting low level infractions. If he gets into a fight or something “bigger” then he will see consequences at home. We get pretty regular reports from the teachers and they are good about letting us know what is a an fyi/thanks for reinforcing good manners at home vs. things that need to be handled more sternly by all parties. We don’t want to have a chilling effect on the self reporting. When he tries to hide or downplay getting in trouble at school, we come down much harder for the dishonesty.
      Can the teacher also give them positive reinforcement when they are really doing great? We’ve got a level above green in our class and the kids are so proud when they hit that.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        I’m huge about not discouraging self reporting, I’m not ready for him to learn he can lie to me yet!

        It’s been very frustrating, the teacher didn’t communicate this problem to us AT ALL until it had been going on for weeks. Then we got a piece of paper home where she circled the problem (“self control”) wrote a sentence (“________ talks to his classmates too frequently during independent work time”) and asked us to sign. I asked the teacher if she could report his status to us weekly so we could enforce it more at home without discouraging honesty, and after three emails she finally responded that she’d do that starting in April.

        It’s really mixed signals. Red every day seems like a huge behaviour problem to me, but she gives us mostly praise with one sentence regarding “he has been extra chatty since spring started” when I ask for more info. I’ve lost perspective on if I should even be stressing over this or not.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Late to the thread, but I have to wonder if “since spring started” was when they moved to their current seating groups. Perhaps he and another kid always get red together?
          Or have you had a lot of rainy days that mean missing recess, or perhaps testing happening in the older classrooms that means they have to be on extra quiet behavior? Or is he perhaps losing recess at school as a punishment (or the whole class loses recess?) After more than one day of in a row of indoor recess or missed recess for some reason, my kid is absolutely bouncing off the walls and subject to being a “volcano” (the term their counselor uses to refer to random outbursts kids have trouble holding in).

    • Anonymous says:

      My children are a bit older, and here’s a bit of advice. Things get real in 2nd grade, so it is important to establish good habits and behaviors. That said: Kids mature quite a bit between 1st and 2nd, and what I’m hearing is that this teacher isn’t interested in helping. If my suggestion to separate from classmates during work time doesn’t pan out, and your child isn’t facing consequences at school for the reds (and the red isn’t for anything else!), then maybe you just wait until 2nd grade. Your school likely has a process for parents to give input into which classroom they would like in the next year – I recommend using that process (engaging the principal/counselor, if necessary) to request a 2nd grade teacher that will help him with this particular issue. You don’t need to know and request a specific teacher; in fact, the school may only allow you to ask for the classroom environment rather than a teacher’s name anyway.

      FWIW, If my child were getting reds every/most days, I was absolutely expect the teacher to be in communication with me and be interested in fixing the solution. That alone warrants a discussion with the counselor or principal. Parents need to be involved – but you aren’t physically there, so this is not all on you to fix.

      • Anon in NOVA says:

        Thank you, this is really helpful. I’ve been wondering if it’s a somewhat misguided effort to “prepare” him for second grade where the expectations are much higher.

        I kind of forgot the school counselor was there as a resource, to be honest. It sounds like that’s someone I should engage. I was uncomfortable with the idea of taking my concerns regarding the teacher’s engagement in this process to the principal, as that seems more like I’m telling on her. Counselor reads more as requesting help collaborating.

        Thank you so much!

        • Anonymous says:

          Good! I think so often the counselors feel like where you go when your kid is going to be expelled. But they can be so helpful with the ‘little’ things.

          Another suggestion besides a space away from his table group is wearing headphones. One of my kids is easily distracted by her table group and she came up with that solution on her own. They aren’t plugged in, but they muffle enough sound that she can focus.

    • POSITA says:

      Anecdotally, my mom used to have my brother run a couple of laps around our house before school every day. That physical activity seemed to help his impulse control dramatically. I suggested this to a friend and he started having his son bike to school in the morning. It also turned out to really help his son’s behavior. Perhaps try physical activity before school for a couple of weeks? It can’t hurt.

    • layered bob says:

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