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    #153598 - 04/16/13 11:05 AM Silent Lunch
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    There was a post a while back from jaylivg
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post152493

    I agreed that having a silent 5 minutes at the end of lunch would be difficult and that losing recess the next day for not following this rule did not make sense. I now have one even better - that makes even less sense to me.

    Some of DD9's classmates have been having issues at lunch time. The note that was sent home said they are acting silly, talking, and not eating. It was decided that the solution to this problem should be 3 days of "no talking" during lunch, then the students would have the opportunity to "earn the right to talk" at lunch back if they could "handle it". That is a group of 8-9 year olds sitting shoulder to shoulder and toe to toe with each other for 15-20 minutes without any talking what-so-ever. The note didn't say specifically what the consequences would be if a student did talk during this time, but it did mention that detention would be given for any "excessive" talking.

    Here is the kicker...these 3 days just so happen to coincide with math state assessments, which IMHO makes this not only a bad idea, but a really bad idea!

    Some of the same things that applied to the previous post apply here. Lunch is a time to talk with your friends and kids need this down time. If kids are too busy talking to eat then they will already have a natural consequence of being hungry later. If a child is not one of the ones talking then why should they be punished by not being allowed to talk at all. If they don't get their social time in at lunch they may try to get it in during class instead. Then on top of all that, why start this at the same time of state assessments.

    I followed the advice I gave to jaylivg and nicely and calmly explained our reasons why we have concerns about this. We spoke with DD9 and tried to explain what was going to be expected of her at lunch the next few days and made some suggestions to her about trying to sit away from others that might cause her to want to talk, etc.

    DD9 assured us she will be too busy eating to be talking since she looked at the lunch menu and told us she likes what they are serving the next 3 days. We can only hope!!!

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    #153608 - 04/16/13 01:20 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    This lunch stuff is ridiculous. Thank God our school seems to have a "normal" healthy attitude about lunch time. First of all, the 'whole kids aren't eating enough' and administrators deciding "if the children have eaten enough then they can socialize" is also ridiculous. No wonder there is an obesity problem! Let the kids decide how much to eat! I'd really be annoyed if some admin who doesn't know anything about my kid making him eat more. We were always told that lunch is a very social time for the and so if you pack do not pack too much b/c it is just wasted. I am more than happy to give my kid some healthy food (fruit, etc) wen he gets home if he is hungry.

    I think all these struggles about lunch time and silent lunches and not letting kids talk 'til they have "eaten enough" etc., ect. are absolutely ridiculous and damaging!

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    #153611 - 04/16/13 01:48 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    I am going to go on a limb and guess that the administration wants to make sure the kids are well fed and in best condition for afternoon testing. Our school certainly lays the "good parenting" recommendations (enough sleep! healthy nutritious food! no stress!!!) with a heavy hand around this time of the year.

    Although I wouldn't be surprised if MoN was right about the slides wink

    As for the impact of results, after getting a handout from DS-then-8 teacher last year in second grade (first year of NCLB testing) about getting the kids' stress level down and a list of things to tell them about the test (starting with, no, you won't get retained if you "flunk") I was curious and asked him what he thought would happen if he did badly on the test. He informed me with horror that he would have to go back to 2nd grade the following year.

    Knowing our school/teachers/admins *that* one is purely a playground legend, probably fed by some slightly misguided parents (slightly misguided because at the lower level of academic achievement individual test results *will* have a strong impact on a child's future in school).


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    #153615 - 04/16/13 01:57 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: Irena]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    Quote:
    I think all these struggles about lunch time and silent lunches and not letting kids talk 'til they have "eaten enough" etc., ect. are absolutely ridiculous and damaging!


    The implementation might be sorely lacking, but the fact that your child/most children can eat and talk at the same time does not mean that the problem these schools are trying to address, however badly, does not exist.

    I have exactly the child that gets these policies put into place. Talks, doesn't eat, behavioral issues from low blood sugar. Fortunately for him the school addressed the issue through his IEP instead of trying school-wide "fixes". But not all kids have the "luxury" of an IEP.


    Edited by SiaSL (04/18/13 10:56 PM)

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    #153618 - 04/16/13 02:16 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: SiaSL]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1733
    Originally Posted By: SiaSL
    Originally Posted By: marytheres
    I think all these struggles about lunch time and silent lunches and not letting kids talk 'til they have "eaten enough" etc., ect. are absolutely ridiculous and damaging!


    The implementation might be sorely lacking, but the fact that your child/most children can eat and talk at the same time does not mean that the problem these schools are trying to address, however badly, does not exist.

    I have exactly the child that gets these policies put into place. Talks, doesn't eat, behavioral issues from low blood sugar. Fortunately for him the school addressed the issue through his IEP instead of trying school-wide "fixes". But not all kids have the "luxury" of an IEP.


    I hear you but, IMO, the vast majority of children eat when they are hungry... They do seem lose that ability when adults force them to eat and not eat at arbitrary times... hence obesity and eating disorders. If a kid has an eating challenge then that can be addressed in a 504 or iep or just talking with the school... But, most children should be left alone and be the judge of whether their bodies need more or less food... My friends who are from Europe are shocked at the amount of 'force feeding' of children Americans do... and they are right, imo. All of them shake their heads and say "no wonder America has an obesity problem."

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    #153621 - 04/16/13 02:51 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: Irena]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: marytheres
    I hear you but, IMO, the vast majority of children eat when they are hungry... They do seem lose that ability when adults force them to eat and not eat at arbitrary times... hence obesity and eating disorders. If a kid has an eating challenge then that can be addressed in a 504 or iep or just talking with the school... But, most children should be left alone and be the judge of whether their bodies need more or less food... My friends who are from Europe are shocked at the amount of 'force feeding' of children Americans do... and they are right, imo. All of them shake their heads and say "no wonder America has an obesity problem."


    And anecdotally, it carries on into adulthood. I've regularly had lunches with coworkers who complain about their weight, and when we talk about causes, they universally point back to "clean your plate" conditioning in childhood. These conversations would take place in restaurants, and I'd be the only one pushing away my plate with food still on it, and not coincidentally, the only one at a healthy weight. Restaurants regularly overfeed people, because each big-eating customer they send away hungry, they won't see again... or the groups that would have dined with them.

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    #153625 - 04/16/13 03:00 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    In discussing eating rules at home, I pointed out that we should have DS make the rules as his instincts haven't been warped through guilt, etc. (I also like this idea as I believe I would end up eating more chocolate ice cream in the long run and still lose weight.)

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    #153628 - 04/16/13 03:14 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    I do believe growing up in Europe the system we had was a lot more beneficial to kids' healthy growth. Say our school day started at 8:00am, had a 20 minute "big break" for a snack from 9:40-10:00am (which was food kids brought from home, eating in the class ... 99% of the kids had some sort of a sandwich & fruit) and then the kids whose school ended around 12:00-1:00 (the youngest kids) went to lunch building right after school, where they used a prepaid ticket that got them soup (if they wanted one), main meal, drink (water or lightly sweetened mild tea), fruit and sometimes a tiny desert. The portions were just right and those "growing boys" could usually go get seconds if they wanted to but nobody was overfed or starving and since this was the end of the school day for the little ones, they could eat and socialize without rushing. And the bigger kids would have one full hour free period (between noon and 2pm depending on their schedules) when they would go eat their lunch in that same lunch building with the same lunch offered again and after their one free hour they would go back to finish with their classes. Again ... no rushing ... no frustration. Just healthy eating habits (and the main meals were basically homemade meals (on a budget) made in huge quantities by the lunch room full time cooks. The very few overweight kids I remember were those that had medical conditions. Everyone else was fine.

    So, to me lunch was always about eating and socializing at once. I cannot imagine staying quiet during lunch time. It's enough having to be quiet during class! I'm still feel uneasy about the super rushed lunch time "lock down" I had to get used to when I came to the States as a Junior in high school.

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    #153633 - 04/16/13 04:35 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    daytripper75 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/29/10
    Posts: 341
    Is going home for lunch an option? I think that is what I would choose!

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    #153652 - 04/16/13 08:18 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: daytripper75]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Originally Posted By: daytripper75
    Is going home for lunch an option? I think that is what I would choose!


    We really considered this, but..
    1. we really hoped DD could do it and thought if we didn't give her a chance to do it then we were basically telling her we didn't think she could do it. 2. we were concerned about any possible consequences of being "the parents" that took their kid out while all the others stuck it out and also any possible consequences for DD for us doing this 3. would it cause more issues by having her leave school to eat, which would probably mean getting to go to g-ma and g-pa's for lunch (since DH and I would be at work) then possibly have her not want to go back to school

    I did get a response to our concerns and it sounds like we weren't the only parents that said something (thank goodness!!!). The school tried it for a day and DD did get in trouble. It is a long story, but needless to say, in DD's mind she did nothing wrong, but technically she did talk during the time when she wasn't supposed to and she now hopefully knows that no talking quite literally means NO TALKING. I hope there isn't an emergency at lunch because we have told DD not to say a word no matter what. The school may try it one more day, but they are going to look at other options. They said they did understand our concerns and seemed very understanding and receptive.

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    #153653 - 04/16/13 08:24 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    I'm glad you and other parents said something. I would have, too.

    To me, this rule is just setting up kids to get in trouble. If there was a reason for them to need to be silent, I would understand, but there's not. Just as adults want time off from work during their lunch hour, kids should get time off, too. I get so annoyed by schools who have unreasonable rules for kids just because they're kids.

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    #153655 - 04/16/13 09:46 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: syoblrig]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    Originally Posted By: syoblrig
    To me, this rule is just setting up kids to get in trouble.


    Yes, clearly.

    Originally Posted By: syoblrig
    If there was a reason for them to need to be silent, I would understand, but there's not.


    That, I don't completely agree with.

    1frugalmom, glad to see the school is softening its stance. It was probably an error of judgement brought out by the testing frenzy, hopefully it will go away sooner rather than later.

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    #153656 - 04/16/13 10:08 PM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: Irena]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    Originally Posted By: Irena

    I hear you but, IMO, the vast majority of children eat when they are hungry... They do seem lose that ability when adults force them to eat and not eat at arbitrary times...


    In a group setting, which would include school, family and often work, those arbitrary times are unavoidable.

    As to the very American habit of grazing throughout the day...

    Do not get this Frenchwoman started on American eating habits. Ze soapbox, it is huge. Ze rant, it is long and very, very shrill wink

    Originally Posted By: Irena
    But, most children should be left alone and be the judge of whether their bodies need more or less food... My friends who are from Europe are shocked at the amount of 'force feeding' of children Americans do... and they are right, imo. All of them shake their heads and say "no wonder America has an obesity problem."


    We seem to completely agree on the principles, and completely disagree on the details?

    Close to mk13's experience, in elementary school we had a 2 hours lunch break meaning one hour sitting and eating (and talking while eating), one hour on the playground. In France lunch is the main meal of the day and it is taken very seriously.

    In the US my kids have basically 15 minutes to eat their lunch and any talking means that some food will go uneaten. Which would be fine if it went uneaten because the child is not hungry, but that hurried shuffle is an encouragement not to pay attention to what your body is telling you. That, to me, is force feeding, of the kids who do start eating. Meanwhile the talkers and the daydreamers won't have time to realize they are indeed hungry until after they are out of the lunch room.

    And to me the "let them ignore their hunger and catch up with snacks" approach is unacceptable. Also, snacks all the time, and food used as a reward mechanism in the classroom!

    I will spare you several pages on school lunches quality (or lack thereof), the "healthy-ization" of crappy processed food through the use of sawdust (wait, did I mean whole grain?) and "it is baked, not fried", and the general lack of respect for food in the American culture wink

    Where I come from, culturally: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1969729,00.html
    Of course it would take a lot of work to re-train American kids (mine included, alas) to that standard...


    +1 everything Dude wrote, I have another long rant on restaurants and quantity vs. quality laugh. Clean your plate is also something taught where I come from, but restaurants serve reasonable portions there.



    Edited by SiaSL (04/19/13 10:52 AM)

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    #153674 - 04/17/13 06:17 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    I totally agree Sia, and science agrees with us both. It can take as long as 20minutes for your brain to register the "full" chemical signal your stomach sends out. These kids often only get 15minutes to eat! They are being trained to shove food into their mouth in rapid succession only to realize after leaving the lunchroom if it was too much or too little.

    I am very thankful both my kids schools have pretty lenient positions on healthy snacks during the day. My son often eats carrots at the beginning of last period to help get him through the end of the day.

    We also have basically no RULES in place at home during mealtimes (other than basic politeness). No required eating (we do encourage taking a "no thank you bite") no cleaning of your plate, etc. I make one meal, with a protein and usually 2 veggies, and maybe a carb... both kids eat a huge variety of veggies and neither are overweight. I am praying they keep up their healthy eating habits into their teen years and into adulthood!


    Edited by epoh (04/17/13 06:19 AM)
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #153687 - 04/17/13 06:43 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Our mealtime rules are pretty lax. DD8 can basically eat whatever she likes, so long as she's getting enough nutrition. She pushes her plate away at most meals.

    All we ask is:

    - If it's something new, TRY IT.
    - If you don't care for what mom has made, you can select anything within these boundaries: it's healthy, and it's quick to prepare.
    - Approval for any dessert is based on whether you've consumed enough nutritious food for the day, or whether you're saving all that room for junk.

    By the standards of her age group, she'd be considered overweight, but only because the standards don't consider body composition. She's active (lots of free play, soccer, gymnastics), and she packs on a lot of lean muscle.

    BMI is beyond useless, but that's what we still use today to track obesity rates.

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    #153701 - 04/17/13 07:36 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    jaylivg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/06/11
    Posts: 116
    I am glad you and some other parents talked about it and glad the school somewhat is willing to work something with it .

    Ours don't change anything with their consequences a day later . Well 1 thing change , since i bring up the running laps would be better than sitting on the wall doing nothing for 30 minutes and losing recess . The school now is making DS runs if he talks during that 5 minutes silent lunch .

    I agree with what you said it is ridiculous for punishing these kids for the next 3 days no talking whatsoever . Don't these people talk at all during dinner time with their family ? Isn't this another way to learn to socialize ?

    I still think kids need to learn their responsibility , in this case , they need to learn to eat their lunch . Consequences if they missed their lunch due to talking = they will get hungry = tummy hurts and hopefully they will eventually learn . This is what i really don't get .. it's like kids with peanut allergy and the school banned peanut butter for it . Why don't we teach out kids that they should be responsible for it because it is their own body . We need to teach them how to handle it . Not stopping everyone else to bring peanut butter sandwich for lunch just because few children are allergic to it . It's the same with eating lunch , just because some children talk a lot and tend to forget to eat their lunch , doesn't mean they need to punish everyone else who talks and eats their lunch just fine . We can't always be there for our children , eventually they will need to learn how to tend for themselves and this is one of them . Some kids need to learn the hard way .

    My DS was always like that , he doesn't care for meals , why bother to eat if he can talk , he'd rather talk , talk and talk . I was worried when he started kindergarten what if he's not eating his lunch , and not to mention how slow he eats his meal too . 1 sandwich could take up to an hour . But i guess he learned on his own if he didn't eat his lunch he'd be hungry until 4 pm !!

    It is hard enough for DS to be quiet for that last 5 minute silent lunch i couldn't imagine being silent for the whole lunch time . Seriously ..

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    #153704 - 04/17/13 07:47 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    jaylivg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/06/11
    Posts: 116
    Oh and speaking about clean your plate , growing up , my mom always told me to clean my plate or else my rice will cry ( i grew up in southeast asia ) . And so i learned to always finish my plate . But my mom wouldn't pile a ton of food in my plate to begin with . I learned to just have little food on my plate to start with and if i still wanted more then i could get more . So we were always taught to finish our plate . We don't waste food that easily because not everybody is lucky enough to have food everyday on their table . Appreciate what you have , and if you think you can't or don't like the food then we don't just pile a bunch of them , give it a try so that you don't waste your food .
    Most problem with the obesity in US , maybe they do overeat , but imo , it's most likely because of their choices of food , sugary drinks , processed food , junk food , those don't help to keep you in shape ! And if they do have problem being overweight well then get up and start working out . It needs to start from themselves , nobody else can make them wanting to be in shape if they don't want to .

    It is terrible seeing how much food in the US people are wasting , throwing food just for fun for games etc . Yet so many families just within our country are having problems to put food on their table . Ironic .

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    #153708 - 04/17/13 08:05 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Totally as an aside, did you read about the guy who was wrongly imprisoned for 20-25 years and was recently released? One of his biggest shocks (besides technology) was how big portion sizes have become in restaurants.

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    #153956 - 04/19/13 06:58 AM Re: Silent Lunch [Re: 1frugalmom]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    We are so, so, so proud of DD9!!!! She proved everyone wrong (including us - her doubtful yet loving and concerned parents). She stayed quiet the 2nd and 3rd days of this "silent lunch" and was even awarded for how well she did. Her teacher also acknowledged how well she has been doing in class and DD9 was just beaming!

    Now I just hope she didn't use all her energy concentrating on doing a good job at lunch time during these 3 days and not have anything left over for the state assessments. I'm not sure when school will give us that information, but I hope it is soon.

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