"I have a 5 year old son that is in kindergarten. He loves school because of all his friends there... Unfortunately with school I see him still coming home with some bad habits that we must work to break. I think his teacher is great but with all the kids in the class she can't be expected to enforce/reward self-government principles. My concern is that he is getting confused with discipline at home and less discipline at school. How do you address this issue with your kids?"
It is hard to have a child come home from school with behaviors you need to break all the time. My foster children always came home with new issues and behaviors which weren't there before interactions with certain people. It was difficult, and unfortunately you can't really control what goes on at school. There are two things you can do:
1. Tell your son's teacher how you are parenting at home and offer suggestions for discipline situations. Who knows she/he may decide the four basic skills would be a great asset to the classroom behavior system. You could even suggest the book.
2. You can instruct your child on how to handle social situations, on what is right and what is wrong, and build a really strong relationship with them based on open communication. Talk lots.
I don't know if you have my book yet, but it goes into great detail about effective parent/child communication: Mentor Sessions, Family Meetings, Parenting Counselling Sessions, and Disagreeing Appropriately just to name a few. Making sure family comes before friends is your best defense in keeping your child's behaviors in check.
In my book I talk about "Janet's Junk Food Principle." This principle means that what a child is begging for is probably exactly what he doesn't need. This principle will help you keep your child's family and friend relationships is proper balance. If there is a behavior or relationship problem the answer is usually more family time and less outside influence time.