Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To feel upset at schoolgate comments?

(108 Posts)
1979Liz Thu 17-Jan-13 23:37:38

I am feeling rather devastated by a comment made about my son by a grandparent at the schoolgate this week. I had just picked him up (he is in Reception), and as I called my son by his name, the grandfather, who was stood right next to me turned to his grandson and said rather loudly "Oh, (my son'a name), isn't he the naughty one?". He then looked directly at me. My face showed my shock, but I didn't respond I just smiled at him and walked away feeling utterly crushed.

Now I can't say my son is an angel. He has found it difficult to adapt to a more structured environment. He is bright and gets bored easily and can have a tendancy to get distracted and distract others. He is not aggressive and has never hurt another child in school ( though had a tooth knocked out in Dec when another child headbutted him in the face!), but I have been asked for a word twice this term as he has ignored his teacher and then because he emptied the sand tray with a friend all over the outdoor play area. These are the first issues I have been made aware of but obviously they may have made me a little sensitive over his behaviour.

I am really shocked that someone could be so unkind. I could have cried. I am now so concerned that my son has been labelled and that the parents could be telling their children that my son is naughty.

Do I need to get thicker skinned about this sort of thing or am I right to be upset and concerned?

BarredfromhavingStella Fri 18-Jan-13 09:58:44

Just ignore & don't worry about the label-DD keeps telling me about 'naughty James' at nursery & I just say I'm sure he isn't naughty all the time & explaining that sometimes a lot of the time she is naughty also & that actually she should just call him James grin
An adult that doesn't correct labeling is a bit of a moron really.

fixarupa Fri 18-Jan-13 09:59:34

It never fails to shock me just how unbelievably rude some people can be. Children are children and some may be naughty at times, but this is nothing new. (I am sure it was the case in this older man's day too)

My daughter is in reception. There are a few boys that she has labelled as 'naughty' and i have corrected her straight away and explained that most kids are naughty sometimes (even her). I also point out that these kids must also be very sweet at times as well just like her.

Just ignore it and be grateful that you have been brought up better than to pass judgement on other people.

seeker Fri 18-Jan-13 10:01:05

Two things strike me about this thread in particular. The casual ageism- but I have sadly come to expect that on mumsnet, and the "flat child" comment. I wish the person who said that would come back and justify it.

seeker Fri 18-Jan-13 10:06:20

Oh, and the fact that nobody seems to be considering the possibility that the grandfather in question's grandchild may have fallen foul of the other child's "spirited" behaviour, and he was very consciously and deliberately letting the OP know that it hadn't gone un noticed. I'm sure this would have been brought up if it had been another mother who made the comment.

Hullygully Fri 18-Jan-13 10:08:04

Growlithe - I am a firm believer in the truth will set you free.

But I know not everyone is.

When I was a child I lived in a constant state of bewilderment at my perception of my reality, and how everyone else said it was...

Hullygully Fri 18-Jan-13 10:08:45

I mean the gap between the two <brain has snow freeze>

Jins Fri 18-Jan-13 10:10:25

If the grandfather had said "Oh, (my son's name), isn't he the clever one?" you'd be swollen with pride.

Karoleann Fri 18-Jan-13 10:11:48

I would also be really upset about the comment, but it is surely up to you to do something about your child's behaviour. There's only so much the teacher can do in the classroom, the majority of it is up to you.
DS1 had 2 naughty children in the class, we knew who they were from very early on and although I'm too polite to say anything to the parent, I actually wish someone had. They were disruptive and occasionally aggressive and I actually don't see why he or any other child should have to have his education disrupted by badly behaved children.
Rather than getting upset, tackle the behaviour.

Hullygully Fri 18-Jan-13 10:12:11

And jins?

Growlithe Fri 18-Jan-13 10:13:48

Hully it's just spin. IME 4 year olds respond brilliantly to a bit of positive spin.

Jins Fri 18-Jan-13 10:14:22

Not sure really. Musing over whether the issue is the commenting or the criticism

1979Nelson Fri 18-Jan-13 10:22:59

I am not excusing his behaviour. I was trying to fit a long story into as short an explanation as possible, so I've unfortunately missed out some detail. What his teacher said is that when they are teaching, he picks it up quickly and then occupies himself instead with being silly and distracts others. He needs to learn to sit quietly and let others focus and have a turn. It was not offered as an excuse. We are talking to him about appropriate classroom behaviours. The words I chose to shorten the explanation perhaps were wrong.

As someone mentioned, I am talking about silly misbehaviour and not bullying or physical behaviour to other children. It is also not a long term issue. We were never spoken to at nursery about his behaviour and neither did the school have cause to speak to us last term.

We are dealing with his behaviour, helping him to learn what is appropriate and giving him consequences when he gets it wrong. We are working with the school tooI am confident that with support and time he will learn how to behave appropriately, but I worry about the long term affect that hearing people labelling him, will have. He is very sensitive (just like his mum!)

Icantstopeatinglol Fri 18-Jan-13 10:28:59

Yes grandfather was very rude!

My ds is in reception and is always coming home saying 'x' has been naughty today but he doesn't do it as much now as I've explained to him that all children do things at times that could be classed as naughty but this doesn't make them naughty children.
I don't like labelling kids as once you start doing that they start acting the way people expect them to.
YANBU....I'd be upset too but just ignore him cos its not worth it as his opinion is a 'moo' point.....a cows opinion, it doesn't matter lol! grin

twinklesparkles Fri 18-Jan-13 10:29:43

Hugs for you and your ds

I wouldve said "oh you're the one with the shit stirring grandson" smile the grandads obviously heard about your son from his gs.

I had a similar experience recently, when I took ds into a school another little boy said to other children"oh don't speak to ds he's always naughty" ... Well I gave this kid the look from hell, funnily enough this kid is one of ds best friends now and is always super polite to me when I take ds in

Hahaha

Its sad they have to put up with this kinda thing so early into starting school, its bad enough at any age but reception class?? sad also shows what kinda adult the grandfather is if he thinks its acceptable to be mean to other peoples kids.. Cheeky bugger

Thewhingingdefective Fri 18-Jan-13 10:32:53

YANBU to be upset by the comment. The grandfather should know better. It was a cruel thing to say. Good for you for not responding in a negative way.

If your DS has earned a reputation as a naughty boy amongst his peers it must make you feel sad, so work with him on improving his behaviour and attitude. Try to boost his self esteem and praise all the good stuff. Motivate him to be a good boy, as I am sure he is mostly and wants to be. Lead by example too.

Kleinzeit Fri 18-Jan-13 10:36:03

Goodness, how rude of him. But don’t take it to heart. You have no reason to suppose there is any problem between your son and his grandson, so don’t worry, really.

In this situation I’ve always wanted to look down my nose, put on my best Hyacinth Bouquet voice and say:
“Well, by the time he’s your age I expect he will have learnt some manners”
but I’ve never quite had the guts. Just think it, silently smile

I had a bloke at a soft play centre tell me that DS1 (2 at the time) was going to grow up to be an assassin. I was devastated. As I removed him from the other bloke's child's shin. Where he was hanging on like a rabid dog. He is now 12 btw and hasn't bitten since, so we don't need to muzzle him.

Sometimes, your child will show less than marvellous behaviour. Other people will notice. It will be upsetting. But as long as you deal with the behaviour and don't make excuses, you will look back and it won't hurt any more. And hopefully you can help your child learn to settle down in class. It sounds like you're doing everything right smile

Willowisp Fri 18-Jan-13 10:43:40

it's not a cruel thing - if your son is naughty, he's naughty. GF isn't being unkind, he's being truthful.

My DC are always telling me about the 'naughty' kids.

If you don't want people to make comments - which they are entitled to - then you need to work on your DC's behaviour.

TBH I get hacked off with the amount of time my DC's teacher spends telling off the disruptive kids.

Kalisi Fri 18-Jan-13 10:44:39

Ok, just throwing it out there but is there a possibility he was joking and you are only getting upset because DS behaviour may be something you are feeling defensive about? Considering the fact that he looked right at you afterwards it may have been a botched attempt to flirt joke with you when in reality he has no idea who your son is?
Whenever I hear stories about a Grandfather I always picture mine in my head and this would probably be the something he would say. "Naughty" did not have the same stigma attached to him and he described most children as such in a very endearing way.

.....Or he could have been having a swipe for the reasons Seeker suggested. Either way, It's best not to dwell.

BelieveInPink Fri 18-Jan-13 10:46:18

"I have been asked for a word twice this term as he has ignored his teacher and then because he emptied the sand tray with a friend all over the outdoor play area"

He is in reception. Firstly, don't worry a jot. They are not even serious issues and totally normal for a 4-5 year old. Don't think that he's forever going to be disruptive because of these incidents, he won't be.

Secondly, the old man's comments would get to me too. They would any parent. Doesn't mean he's right though, and he was completely rude.

Kleinzeit Fri 18-Jan-13 10:50:42

To be honest, when I was that age my mum would ask me what happened at school and I would make up stories about naughty things other kids had done because they were more interesting than what really happened – until a story got too unlikely and my mum asked if that really happened, and I cheerfully admitted that no, it hadn’t smile

cloudpuff Fri 18-Jan-13 10:58:57

The Grandad was rude in saying that, if there had been any incident between his son and yours then the school would have dealt with it and its not his place to make comments like that. You sound like you are taking all the right steps to address his behaviour so I would not worry too much about his comment.

There is a boy in DDs class (y3) who she says has done something daily,(hitting, pushing, swearing at teachers) I just tell her that as long as she behaves then not to worry what others are doing and mind her own business.

Its been the same boy since nursery school and its sad but he has got the label of the naughty one by his peers, and yes also among other parents. I am good friends with his Mum and know that a lot of what happens at school gets reported to her by the teachers and despite the fact he can be really badly behaved at home too she makes excuses for him and panders to him, she told him last week that the school are picking on him, so his behaviour is getting worse and worse, he can be regulary seen being violent to her in the playground while she laughs it off. Its sad because she is a lovely woman but she cant see that she is doing him no favours by being his friend and ally instead of disciplining him. When his behaviour gets really bad she asks me for help, or even the school for help but then when things are suggested to her she sees them as too strict (ie removing the xbox for a while because he told a teacher to fuck off) so nothing ever changes.

Mia4 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:40:21

1979Nelson We had a child like that in my mum's school, her way of getting him to focus and slow down was to pair him with one of the children who was struggling as 'mentor'- there were quite a few other bright but naughty ones she did the same with. Upshot was, they all took it seriously and it worked well. The children like your son, saw how others struggled and really needed more attention, focus and the teachers help and started slowing down and paying more attention themselves as well as helping their 'new friends'. The children struggling did so much better with a friend mentoring them alongside the teacher.

The kids weren't 'teaching' before anyone gets the hump about 'kids being dragged back' as one parent not involved in the scheme tried to put it. But they worked together on joint projects, the teach taught and then their projects were 50/50 with parents ensuring the kids did work together and stepping in and explaining if one child got frustrated with the other. The kids got very motivated from it.

lljkk Netherlands Fri 18-Jan-13 12:44:53

surely its the children telling the parents that he is naughty

unfortunately some parents typecast, or try to. DS was told by another boy (immature 8yo) "You're a spiteful little child!" It's not the type of phrasing a child would choose, is it? I knew it was something the parents had repeated so often as to make it sound like fact to their son. We have ongoing bad relations with that family: the father threatened to beat DS up last year, whilst the mother was shouting at DS that he had been thrown out of local primary school (completely false, she just likes to fabricate things, I guess) sad .

fwiw, DS just got his mid-year 8 reports, replete with comments on what a "polite thoughtful and mature" boy he is!

Try not to let it bother you, OP. Most of them have a turn being the "naughty" child.

florry88 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:22:23

hes in reception, complelty normal behaviour, my guess is the grandfather misjudged the comment.

We all know who the "naughty" ones ar ein our childrens classes becasue of what our children say to us. whether you call it "wrong choices " or naughty it doesnt matter, your child is who he is , celebrate it

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now