To be annoyed that ds has been left upset by end of term 'treat'?

(53 Posts)
lecce Thu 28-Mar-13 19:48:28

He is in a mixed class of Yrs 1&2 and they watched 'Matilda' today. At bedtime ds (just 6 Yr1) became quiet and withdrawn and said he couldn't get the scary teacher from the film out of his head. He stayed quiet throughout his story and put his head under the blanket when I left (he ALWAYS reads himself when I go, but not tonight).

What really annoys me is that he says he did tell the teacher he was finding it scary and she just said, "it's alright." Well, it wasn't, was it? AIBU to think she could have offered him another activity to do, maybe in the quiet corner away from the screen? I am a teacher (secondary) and have been known to crack open the dvds at the end of term, so I know exactly how she will have been feeling today, and I am very happy for him to enjoy watching a film with his peers, but surely she could have been more caring? She sounds cold and dismissive, from what ds says. He has only been in the school since Feb, so we don't know her well, but ds says she shouts a lot.

Surely he's not the only 5/6 who wouldn't enjoy Matilda? There are so many other films that I'm sure the whole range of 5-7 year olds could have enjoyed together - why pick this one?

AIBU to think that the film should not have been chosen in the first place, and that the teacher should have done more when ds told her he was scared? He's had problems finding playmates at breaktimes and I'm always encouraging him to tell an adult and now, when he does tell an adult something, he's given the brush off. angry.

SnotMeReally Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:51

surely he is old enough for you to reason with him that it is just a story, not real, and emphasise that the "goodies" win? give him a cuddle and kiss and say night night

Also, you were not there and you dont know what exactly was said between him and the teacher and in what tone. She may have dealt with it very well, been very reassuring but DS just did not like the film or found it boring rather than scarey. She may even have said he did not have to watch - kids are selective about what bits of conversations they remember you know!

DorisIsWaiting Thu 28-Mar-13 20:07:19

I don't think the choice of film was inappropriate (DD1 was reading Roadl Dahl as a basis for work last term). However the teachers response was inappropriate.

When DD1 got scared in Yr1 (watching 'santa paws'!!) the class teacher sent her up with some colouring activities. As a teacher you just can not tell what will trigger some children (dd didn't like the robbers trying to steal puppies grin) but you should be able to react to the situation.

LynetteScavo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:12:25

YANBU to be annoyed your DS is upset.

You've realised his teacher is can be cold and dismissive. Some teachers are, but even so, I would have thought Matilda would have been an OK film for Y1, but maybe not! (I haven't seen it, and no idea what the certificate is.)

Give your DS a big hug, and be glad he only has this teacher for one more term.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:12:50

YANBU- Recently DD1 in her Y3 class watched a PG film, the parents were notified in advance that they would be watching a PG and you could withdraw them and they were offered another activity. I was happy for DD1 to watch it (as she is fine with several 12As) but apparently she was uncomfortable as it was "a bit sad" & she joined her friend who had been withdrawn from the film (though I think she just wanted to be with her friend). Matilda is a great film but is a PG - my four year old loves it but I can also see how even older kids could be upset by it.

My ds simply does not like films, yet at the end of term they inevitably always watch a DVD as a treat. They also have watched DVDs this year as their reward for filling their marble jar. I went in last time as ds told me he didn't want to watch. I told the teacher that it stresses him out and could analternative activity (eg colouring) be set up for those who don't want o watch. I was told that he would have to go and sit outside the head's office as there were no other teachers to supervise. Load of bollocks obviously as more than one class were grouped together for DVD.
Now I've received a letter asking for permission for him to watch a DVD at the start of next term to launch their topic. FFS.

My ds is in year one btw

WhoKnowsWhereTheChocolateGoes Thu 28-Mar-13 20:22:29

I don't know about Matilda, haven't seen it but my DD gets upset very easily by films, it hasn't happened at school yet (I think there is usually an alternative activity) but she quite often gets upset at the cinema by films that I think are going to be pretty safe (Pirates!, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled). She's 7. I do think there ought to be an alternative, even if it has to be in a corner of the same room, just something that they can focus on instead of the film.

DeWe Thu 28-Mar-13 20:24:36

The problem is that almost any film might upset one single child. I remember being terrified of Bedknobs and broomsticks. I can still picture the nightmares I had from that. confused

And of my three dc, they've all had ones they've been frightened of-and they're different ones. For example dd1 was frightened by the flood in Winnie the Pooh, Dd2 was so frightened of the house floating away in UP that she ran outside and refused to come in, and ds hated the Pink elephants on parade scene in Dumbo (and was totally hysterical when mummy elephant was taken away).
But they've all (at similar times) watched things I would think as much more scary, and had no problems at all.

TheFallenNinja Thu 28-Mar-13 20:27:49

I watched a show today about a spider chasing a baby around.

It was baby Jake.

MortifiedAdams Thu 28-Mar-13 20:28:04

Tbf Miss Trunchbull is scary as fuck. It is not surprising that at least one five uear old has been scared by her and while I wouldnt say Matilda is inappropriate for a five year old, I probably wouldnt think to show it to dd at five but more seven or eight years old.

The Teachers response was poor and an alternative 'quiet table' of colouring/reading really should have been avaliable.

KayHunt Thu 28-Mar-13 20:35:01

The teachers' reaction is not the best at all, but I would explain that it is just a story, it is not real, Miss Trunchbull isn't real and Matilda and Miss Honey triumph.

Roald Dahl is quite dark in places and I can understand why it upset your DS but only you now can make it better.

My DS (6) loves Matilda and he's a really sensitive boy

lecce Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:12

Thank you for the replies. Of course I explained that it wasn't real etc - ds is in a drama club thing so we talked about his friends in that who pretend to be 'baddies' and how any teacher who was really like that would get sacked, 'by the government' as ds said.

I have watched Matilda with Yr7s and, given that that age group still enjoy it, I would have thought that it was really too old for most 5 year olds - though I accept that not all would actually be scared. I just feel there's a lot in the film that 'works' for older kids and so doesn't really for younger ones.

I'm most annoyed with the teacher's response, though. I know everyone says this on MN, but ds is quite specific in the way he relates things and I specifically asked him exactly what she'd said. Just seems she couldn't be asked to deal with it sad.

jewelledsky Thu 28-Mar-13 20:47:42

You don't know the teacher's reaction was poor. You weren't there so you don't know anything about the situation. The O.P. knows what her child told her. Children generally have very selective memories when recounting events. O.P.Why don't you pop into school and ask the teacher what happened before you describe her as cold and dismissive.

lecce Thu 28-Mar-13 20:59:33

I can't 'pop in' for another 2.5 weeks, can I - it was an 'end of term' treat. In any case, I work f/t so have to rely on dh to chat to teachers and he seldom feels as strongly as I do about these things, so very little chatting occurs!

As I mentioned, I have other reasons for not feeling that this teacher may not be that great, and this is the latest. I really don't see why ds would tell me that that was all she said if it wasn't. He usually struggles with being too honest and is always admitting to stuff that he knows he shouldn't really have done because he finds it hard to lie. I don't know for sure what she said, but I can be fairly certain.

Greythorne Thu 28-Mar-13 21:04:06


I would be pissed off.

My DD is scared of lots of "kids" films (Shrek, Toy Story, Tangled, Tinkerbell etc.) and despite lots of support and coaching on it being made up, not real, just a story etc. does not seem to be getting any more relaxed about watching things. She is 6, by the way. At home we watch Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensability, Little Women and Singin' in the Rain.

I would be disappointed that the school was showing films that I would never ever show her at home.

I accept that my DD is sensitive, but I think Mathilda is scary for most DC in year 1 / 2.

Mumsyblouse Thu 28-Mar-13 21:06:45

I am not always sure of the wisdom of showing films at the end of term, I remember putting on Monsters inc. in my house and my friend's little girl being terrified, she was about 5, even though my children were roaring with laughter. Mine are pretty robust, but I got very scared as a child (partly due to not watching very much til I was about 7/8) and I can see how Miss Trunchbull and the Chokey is pretty scary.

MagicHouse Thu 28-Mar-13 21:07:20

I think you can complain if a PG is shown to your child in year 1. We're not allowed to do this in the school I work in.

PoppyWearer Thu 28-Mar-13 21:11:41


My 4yo DD is in Reception and many of the "treat" DVDs (Shrek, for example - the dragon, yes, I know) and even the visiting pantomime have given her nightmares.

So. Many. Nightmares. <props open eyelids with matchsticks>

And many of the summer-born children in her class have been the same.

I know we can't wrap our DCs in cotton wool, but some are more sensitive than others. My DD's teachers tend to have older children and I think they do sometimes forget what's age appropriate and what some of the littler ones might find upsetting.

PoppyWearer Thu 28-Mar-13 21:12:24

Oh, and my DD was also scared of Matilda.

Svrider Thu 28-Mar-13 21:12:40


My dd2 watched ghost busters at school (yr1)
I had specifically not let her watch it over x mas hols, because I think it's unsuitable
She's still very into Winnie the Pooh etc
But hey what do I know, I'm just her mumangry

blackeyedsusan Thu 28-Mar-13 21:13:41

hether it as ok for most children, this one was scared and told the teacher. he should have been given an alternative activity. drawing/colouring or book corner are not hard to set up. some children find it hard to rationalise it as just a story.

OhLori Thu 28-Mar-13 21:15:35

Agree with Greythorne. Alot of "children's" films are scary, and personally I don't think they are appropriate for young children at school because of their sensitivity at this age. Dahl is often scary anyway. I would tell the teacher of your son's experience and and see what she says. (At least you will know.)

montmartre Thu 28-Mar-13 21:18:08

My DD struggles frequently with dvds shown in school, but they always allow her to do something else at the other end of the classroom, a wordsearch, or picture etc, and she's fine. It's so hard for them when they're little- it can be the most random things that scare them.

bollywoodfan Thu 28-Mar-13 21:20:30

Omg Ghostbusters in yr 1! The library scene still scares me!

MrsLovely Thu 28-Mar-13 21:20:55

Interestingly at my daughter's school the year 4 teacher wanted to show Matilda , as they had read it in class, but didn't when she realised this week when she realised it is a PG.

At our school we don't show PGs without prior parental consent.

YANBU. PG should be parental guidance, i.e. not shown without parental consent. I think 6 year olds should be scared by the Trunchbull - were the ones that weren't totally desensitised?

complexnumber Thu 28-Mar-13 21:26:59

I am a teacher (secondary) and have been known to crack open the dvds at the end of term

I am a 2nd teacher as well, I've never cracked open the dvd's at end of term. That's a lame cop out for doing your job.

lecce Thu 28-Mar-13 21:30:53

Getting annoyed now - hadn't even thought about the rating, and now others have pointed it out it seems obvious that this should not have been shown to such young children.

Ffs, why are so many people in such a hurry to get dc to grow up? I am sure that much of the humour in this is way above the heads of many (most?) 5/6 year olds. Ds is a good reader (gold) and is considered 'bight' by me (of course grin) and others yet he doesn't 'get' Dahl and clearly didn't enjoy this film. Why not show one of the many U films that are available?

Have just googled it and found a Guardian article pointing out that the book was originally marketed for Yrs5-6 and pointing out the snobbery in it and the overall 'darkness' of it, making it unsuaitable for very young children. It comes as a relief to me as there seem to be so many parents claiming their 5year olds 'love' Dahl and ds really doesn't!

Anyway, very cross with this teacher now.

In my school I would not be allowed to show a PG film in its entirety without written permission from parents.

The Head has also made it clear that she takes a very dim view of showing DVDs at the end of term. We are to show films only if they relate to the curriculum and relevant clips are preferred.

Lovecat Thu 28-Mar-13 21:35:36


I complained to DD's school-run holiday club when I realised they were going to be showing them Coraline (she was 5 at the time - I found it disturbing, never mind a 5 yr old!) - the teacher was really lame and just said 'oh, but it's a PG, she'll be all right' and made me feel like I was being really overprotective. I asked if she could do something else and again got a really limp response. As it happened, she watched it and was ok, but several of her classmates had nightmares. Grr.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 21:38:08

PG not suitable, they should show U films. And if a child is scared, the child should be able to do something else.

Write down all the pertinent facts and complain to the head in writing on first day of term.

I am sure he will be ok soon as the film is not horrendous, but it is not ok and should not have happened.

lecce Thu 28-Mar-13 21:38:56

Well complex, that's an arguable point, isn't it? For one, it depends on the ethos of your school - if it is 'the done thing' then there is little point in trying to be the one teacher who tries to carry on as normal when no one else has. Secondly, I teach English so often (not always) said dvd is a film of a text we have read. Thirdly, if we have finished a topic and pupils have worked hard on an assessment, I see no point in beginning a new topic on the last day of term.

Yes, I couild spend time creating a quiz or something but I teach a subject with a HUGE marking load, have a tiny TLR with a massive workload attached to it and have had experience of creating quizzes etc that pupils have turned their noses up at. I do a bloody good job pretty much the whole year round. I have weighed up what pupils will gain from doing a 'fun' activity with what I (and my family) will gain from my not doing that and putting films on and marking while they are on, and I am happy that I am making the right choice.

FairyJen Thu 28-Mar-13 21:45:14

I dot get the fascination with showing all Disney stuff etc anyway. My dad teaches primary year 6 and shows good old fashioned fil
S such as singing in the rain and other musicals! No nightmares there.

Iamcountingto3 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:54:14

I watched Matilda with ds & dd last weekend (we went to see the musical the week before, which incidentally is utterly fantastic). Both of them needed to snuggle up to me and have a cuddle/hide behind a cushion in the scary bits. They are 7 and 9 years old!
Now granted, ds is very, very easily scared - but Trunchbull is very scary indeed. And there are some upsetting/complex ideas in there too (not being loved or cared for by your parents in particular, life not always being fair etc)

I don't think your response is unreasonable - ds has always struggled with this issue as he often finds the 'apparently safe' films show very scary (from Ice Age to Nemo...). Come to think of it, he burst into tears singing Puff the magic dragon too in Y1 too.... BUT the difference is whenever it happened, his teachers had been aware, warned me what had happened, and I knew he'd had a reassuring hug smile

jamdonut Thu 28-Mar-13 21:55:30

I'm surprised they showed Matilda to year 1 ,to be honest. And I am sure it is a PG, so it shouldn't have been shown really.

We watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory with Yr 3/4, but only because Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had been our topic this half term. That was our end of term treat last Friday. If children are upset, they can usually go and sit with a teacher or TA in the corridor and do something else.

nars Thu 28-Mar-13 21:57:56

why on earth do schools feel the need to show films to children at all? all the great amenitities at their fingertips yet they always choose the easy option of bunging on a dvd.

then they moan that children spend too much time watching tv!

montmartre Thu 28-Mar-13 23:31:29

I agree nars- it really annoys me. My youngest has spend most of yesterday, and seemingly today too watching dvds hmm he'd have been just as happy (if not even happier actually) running around the playground, or playing with lego, dressing up, etc etc inside.

LittleBairn Thu 28-Mar-13 23:36:07

I know many kids year 1 and above that are scared by Matilda. It is usually the ones that aren't frightened of monsters and who are more logical. They realise that RL people can be mean therefore they think there is a chance Mrs Trunchbull might turn up at their school.

vertex Thu 28-Mar-13 23:37:47

The worst thing was when the nursery staff took our child and his classmates for a walk in the woods having just read them the Gruffalo and then without warning another member of staff dressed as the Gruffalo jumped out from behind a bush ! The staff thought it was a fun thing to do. We had nearly a month of a child too scared to sleep.

LittleBairn Thu 28-Mar-13 23:47:58

WTF vertex I would be furious about that! For one thing I would be seriously concerned the people involved showed lack of Judgement and sensitivity to be in charge of small children.

vertex Thu 28-Mar-13 23:54:07

LittleBairn to see we were furious was an understatement. We had it out with the Teacher and the Head but the attitude was simply that out of 20 children 'only ours and a couple of others' had become upset by it !

We ultimately elected to go elsewhere but even now the Gruffalo can bring back bad memories.

Why do they risk upsetting their charges ?

I think that schools wouldn't show PG films to 5 yr olds. My nearly 7 yr old often finds PG films too scary. U films are the only ones I would show him with confidence.

Shouldn't not wouldn't

Bluebell99 Fri 29-Mar-13 07:08:15

At my children's primary, they are only allowed to bring in "U" films for end of term watching, and this has been the case throughout the school, even in year 6. I would complain and email the head.

fuzzpig Fri 29-Mar-13 07:22:39

I don't mind DCs watching DVDs in school as long as it isn't too often. However I think they should stick to U rated films. There's plenty of choice within that range, it's not like it means sticking to Peppa Pig or something.

The whole point of PGs is 'parental guidance' and although teachers are in loco parentis they won't necessarily be able to 'parent' that many pupils (in the sense of comforting them, explaining difficult bits of the film etc) so surely it's just more sensible to only choose from U films.

Mind you some ratings are a bit 'off' IMO. For example DH and I were all set to have a word with the lovely yr1 teacher when we managed to work out that the film she was talking about having watched in class was Labyrinth - we were really surprised to see it was a U not a PG. DH loves it but we both think it's quite a freaky film. Not least David Bowie's trousers <shudder>

fuzzpig Fri 29-Mar-13 07:23:57

Sorry by 'she' I mean 5yo DD (who is quite sensitive)

ProphetOfDoom Fri 29-Mar-13 07:36:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lecce Fri 29-Mar-13 07:38:46

Well, in the interests of fairness and honesty, I will update. Ds came into oiur room still a bit upset this morning and said that he still couldn't stop thinking about it. I asked him again what 'the teacher' had said, but this time used her name (Ican't have last night). Turns out it wasn't his teacher in there with him but a TA from another class! So much for all my comments about how we didn't like her much anyway blush. He also said that the ta hadn't offered him another activity but that she had been 'nice' and that HE had told her he was ok really and would look away when Mrs T was on! Double blush. He then went to on to recount his favourite funny bit with the dad and said he'd like to see it again with me!

I do still think they shouldn't be showing PG films so will have a word about that, and maybe query whether enough staff were around to deal with any pupils who didn't like it - sounds like they'd put two classes together. Fine, but they sould have chosen a safer film.

complexnumber Fri 29-Mar-13 07:42:46

I'm sorry for being such a judgemental twat yesterday lecce.

Your reasons for showing the odd DVD are, of course, perfectly acceptable.

I'm not normally that snappy, honest!

lecce Fri 29-Mar-13 07:45:57

Thanks, complex. Our whole dept fell out with each other yesterday, 'tis good old end-of-term tiredness smile. Have a good holiday!

complexnumber Fri 29-Mar-13 08:01:07

That's very gracious of you lecce. I'm not rude and judgey, just knackered and grumpy.

Enjoy your hols as well.

myBOYSareBONKERS Fri 29-Mar-13 08:04:27

I have this same issue. My son has ASD and in year 5. There is one Christmas film that he is terrified of and runs out screaming and the mear mention of it.

SO they didn't put it on once at Christmas but TWICE in the same week despite knowing his reaction. Fortunately a friend works at the school and told the teacher (I was unaware of the film as ours do not ask permission) that it was unfair . . . . . . so he was allowed the treat of cleaning up other peoples mess in the hall after lunch.

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