To get upset over meeting with DS's teacher today

(84 Posts)
caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:21:41

DS's reception teacher asked to speak to me today about DS (5). Apparently a few weeks ago a parent complained to the school that DS had taught their child to say 'silly bastard'. School gave DS benefit of the doubt, not having overheard anything themselves, said nothing to me, and gave the whole school a talk about not using bad language.
Parents went into school on Monday and said they had witnessed my DS telling their child at a birthday party on Saturday to say 'silly bastard'. Teacher has told me they need to take it up with DS and inform me what's happening.
Feel so upset by it all. AIBU to get so upset over first 'called in to the school' offence? Anyone else feel like shit when their DC get into trouble?

CocktailQueen Wed 26-Mar-14 13:24:16

But is it true?? You haven't said. Where did he pick up such language? I'd be mortified if that was me.

eskinosekiss Wed 26-Mar-14 13:26:07

Not sure what your upset is over - that he's being accused of something he didn't do, that he knows such language at 5, or that it's embarrassing being called in to school?

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Wed 26-Mar-14 13:26:46

Did Your ds say it?

eskinosekiss Wed 26-Mar-14 13:28:04

or are you upset because you feel the school/parents are overreacting?

BornFreeButinChains Wed 26-Mar-14 13:28:04

I wouldn't worry of course its embarrassing and upsetting.

But if its true your son needs telling doesn't he, they all pick up language though...

Ours picked up FFS when were having a tough time and said it too often blush we were able to simply stop saying it and it went away.

dont worry!

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:28:17

I haven't grilled spoken to him yet. Am mortified! No idea where he heard it...not something we've ever said at home. Teacher said he was saying it in an accent so thought he had heard it on TV possibly.

kilmuir Wed 26-Mar-14 13:28:51

Well if they heard him say it i guess they are entitled to be bit annoyed. Does seem a bit ott, as not on school premises that time.
You are being a bit sensitive.

CrystalJelly Wed 26-Mar-14 13:29:13

But did he say it? And if he did he's obviously got it from somewhere....

fluffyraggies Wed 26-Mar-14 13:30:36

Is it the same parents OP? That complained last time, and again after the party?

C3P0 Wed 26-Mar-14 13:30:43

You should probably explain what it means and why it causes offence. It was enough to cause a fight at my school.

Backtobedlam Wed 26-Mar-14 13:31:17

It seems like a major issue at the time, I can understand you feeling upset and also worried how the other parents react. In a few weeks time you will probably look back, and maybe not laugh, but realise it wasn't the end of the world. Your son is repeating something he's heard (could have heard it anywhere) but really is too young to understand what he's saying, so it's good the school are clamping done on it. Just make sure he knows it isn't appropriate language to use and why he's in trouble for it.

C3P0 Wed 26-Mar-14 13:31:33

You should probably explain what it means and why it causes offence. It was enough to cause a fight at my school.

WooWooOwl Wed 26-Mar-14 13:32:00

It's better for you to be upset then to be the sort of parent that couldn't care less when their child swears. It's right that you feel like shit tbh, I would have complained if I were the other child's parent too.

You should take it seriously, and you shouldn't be allowing a reception age child to watch TV programmes that contain that sort of language.

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:36:18

Excellent advice everyone. Thanks. Am slapping myself for being oversensitive.
It was the same parents, yes, fluffyraggies
Will of course bollock speak to DS and explain why he shouldn't be using such, or any, bad language.

MamaPain Wed 26-Mar-14 13:38:37

I can understand you feeling upset, but yo really shouldn't be. Next year and later in life you will laugh at this. You will probably call him a silly bastard and laugh about how he was a little rascal.

Just explain to him that its a word for adults and he is not to use it. Its no big deal, kids learn swear words all the time, they just need to know they aren't to use them.

Tbh, the other parents sound really OTT. I think an eye roll and dealing with their own child's behaviour would have sufficed.

The thing is that schools are meant to take everything very seriously, but what you will learn is they will talk to you about the lunchbox issue in the same 'doom and gloom this is the worst parenting they have ever seen' type of language and tone as they do an issue which is genuinely really serious. Use your own judgement and deal with it in a way that you see fit, you don't need to have your mood or approach dictated by the school.

Slothful Wed 26-Mar-14 13:38:41

I think the parents are a teeny bit over the top complaining to the school, I'd have just told my child it was unacceptable language and left it at that. But seeing as they have you need to make it clear to the school you are supporting them.

It's fine to feel upset but how you handle this is important. The school aren't telling you off, they are asking for your support.

Have a word with your son about it so he doesn't do it again (hopefully). Next time you see the teacher thank them for informing you and tell them that you have had words with him.

That way, the school are reassured that you will work with them to support your son through school.

tobiasfunke Wed 26-Mar-14 13:44:32

Honestly who complains to the school about this sort of thing? You're embarrassed now but in the scheme of things it really is no biggie. Kids repeat all sorts of stuff they hear all the time - from people on the streets, the supermarket, from older kids. You tell them they shouldn't use bad language and if my Ds is anything to go by they then turn into the swear police. 'Mummy you used a bad word. That's not allowed'

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:44:43

Thanks MamaPain and great advice Slothful to go back to the teacher and have a quick word. Definitely don't want them to think I don't care.

gimcrack Wed 26-Mar-14 13:49:38

Hang on, why are the other parents telling the school about something your DS did out of school? That's odd.

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:49:51

tobiasfunke it had never occurred to me to complain to the school when DS came home saying something inappropriate. I have just told him not to repeat things as they've come up.
It's a very small class, and not all the kids were at the party on Saturday (I was there) so going to be awkward at the gates for awhile.

usuallyright Wed 26-Mar-14 13:50:51

schools alwaysseem to be massively OTT about swearing and almost all kids use a bad word they've overheard. Show me a parent who has never used a swear word within earshot of their parent and I'll show you a saint.

usuallyright Wed 26-Mar-14 13:51:10

earshot of their child

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 13:52:37

gimcrack I've no idea. DS started in September and is my eldest so the whole school minefield is new to me.

BadlyShavedYeti Wed 26-Mar-14 13:54:51

Christ WooWooOwl, you need to get a grip. Nowhere has the OP said she has let her son watch age inappropriate programmes, he could have seen it at nannys house, a friends house etc.

And its right she should feel like shit because a child has repeated something he has heard and probably doesnt know the meaning of it? Dont be so stupid.

And as for the parents complaining to the school - pathetic. Must bigger things to get worked up about.

Mrskeylime Wed 26-Mar-14 13:55:03

It's got absolutely nothing to do with school though surely? Parents sound like a pain in the arse.

LongPieceofString Wed 26-Mar-14 13:58:44

My Y2's reading book contains the word bastard several times. I suspect the teacher doesn't know this... I haven't mentioned it as it really doesn't bother me, but maybe I will give her heads up now.

MamaPain Wed 26-Mar-14 13:59:43

My stock response to the school is:

Ok, I understand, I'll deal with it.

The thing I am really conscious with about the school is being undermined as a parent. I don't necessarily agree with all their issues, so I acknowledge them and then deal with it at home. I don't and won't get into how I'm resolving things at home with the school. I do explain to DC school aren't happy so be sensitive to that but I don't follow all the guidelines (I'll confess to still putting biscuits in the lunchbox).

I suppose what I am trying to convey is that you shouldn't lose your confidence as a parent over this or anything the school say. Don't doubt yourself.

AwfulMaureen Wed 26-Mar-14 14:01:17

To those who think it's a minor's not. 11 year olds saying this type of thing is to be epected but 5!? No way. I would complain too.

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 14:04:01

Thank you MamaPain Going to have a tea and a biscuit now and compose myself before facing the school gates.
LongPieceofString my DS's book the other day was about a donkey that got drunk on rotten apples and rolled about in the street. Maybe I should take that up with the school grin

Sleepgrumpydopey Wed 26-Mar-14 14:07:13

the first time the teacher said "can I speak to you for a minute?", my PFB was in reception and I thought she was going to tell me he was very advanced for his age and gifted! She actually needed to tell me a parent had complained as he'd pushed their DD blush.
I was mortified and went home and cried.

It does get easier though grin

almondcake Wed 26-Mar-14 14:22:33

Hi OP, it can be upsetting when you get contacted about the school about anything. You'll get used to dealing with it, as all parents get called in at some point or other, and it is okay to feel upset. I hope you feel better soon.

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 14:24:27

Sleepgrumpydopey grin I could tell I wasn't going to get a 'congratulations on your amazing PFB' meeting by the look on DS's teacher's face. It was definitely a 'your PFB is in big trouble' look smile

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 14:26:21

Thanks almondcake

diddl Wed 26-Mar-14 14:26:44

I don't think that the parents are being pathetic at all.

They informed the school of something but the behaviour continued.

I'd be furious if anyone was trying to teach my 5yr old to use such language.

OP, it might have been better if the school had given you a heads up before.

MamaPain Wed 26-Mar-14 14:30:47

It's clearly personal opinion as to how much of an issue this is.

Ultimately its OP's choice on how seriously she takes the teachers comments. Despite what the school think and some other parents want, we are all allowed to have our own values, standards and levels of acceptable behaviour.

There isn't a national level of moral standards that we all need to conform to.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 26-Mar-14 14:39:06

Who else should the parents complain to besides the school? And yes it's a big thing to just let slide. It's a horrible term and your child should definitely be dealt with. Going through the school seems appropriate.

ixqic Wed 26-Mar-14 14:39:07

Really can't understand why the parent complained to the school about something that happened when the child was totally your responsibility. By bringing it up with you about the party incident the school is treating you like they are your guardians. Now that would massively get my back up and would tell the school so. The parent should have complained to you at the party or maybe he/she doesn't have the bollocks to do that or you must be scary looking. grin

temporarilyjerry Wed 26-Mar-14 14:39:51

There isn't a national level of moral standards that we all need to conform to. YET.

diddl Wed 26-Mar-14 14:43:22

"There isn't a national level of moral standards that we all need to conform to."

And it shows!

caramellokoalalover Wed 26-Mar-14 14:49:03

ixqic I had no idea I was really scary looking grin Wish the parents had said something to me directly at the party so I could have apologised and reassured them that I don't think it's ok.
CoffeeTea103 no intention of letting it slide. I have never heard DS say such a thing. I didn't hear it at the party or I would have done/said something then and there, and I certainly don't condone it.
temporarilyjerry is Ofsted working on this? wink

LoopyDoopyDoo Wed 26-Mar-14 14:49:46

A 5 year old wouldn't have know that it was anything he shouldn't say. Don't be upset by this, it's a nothing really. He needs to be told and taught not to say certain things, but until he knows that, it's not his fault. Don't worry. smile

MamaPain Wed 26-Mar-14 14:50:10

I know Diddl, it's brilliant.

How awful if we were all the same.

Slothful Wed 26-Mar-14 14:50:23

maybe he/she doesn't have the bollocks to do that or you must be scary looking.

I hope the OP sees this before heading to the school gates again - the other parent should feel ashamed at not being able to deal with this via a quiet chat with the OP.

MamaPain Wed 26-Mar-14 14:51:21

And temporarilyjerry, I know, I'm just waiting for the SATS on Morals and Citizenship or whatever bollocks they come up with to complete the middle class indoctrination of all children.

Sillylass79 Wed 26-Mar-14 14:56:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gimcrack Wed 26-Mar-14 21:54:18

The parents should have told your DS off ('that's not nice, etc') and said something to you if they were really bothered. I find it odd that the school's being involved about something that happened off school premises that in no way involved the school.

FloozeyLoozey Wed 26-Mar-14 22:26:04

God it's not the end of the world is it? DS, 8, hears every swear word under the sun when we go to watch football. Sometimes they repeat words not knowing they're bad. Be clear and firm about which words are not allowed because they're kids.

maddening Wed 26-Mar-14 22:35:26

if he did it in a social setting where parents were there why on earth did they involve the school? They should have addressed you directly as the parent in charge when the alleged incident took place

FutTheShuckUp Wed 26-Mar-14 22:36:05

Am I the only person here who actually chuckled just a little...especially at the 'said in an accent' bitconfusedconfusedconfusedconfused

I'll get my coat....

SallyMcgally Wed 26-Mar-14 22:57:43

I chuckled a bit. Don't worry, OP there but for the grace etc. could happen to any of us. My DS once marched into Reception class and announced 'My Mummy says she's an awful bitch. But I think she's a great bitch.' My how we laughed . . .

Jinsei Wed 26-Mar-14 23:08:47

It's ridiculous to go to the school about an incident that happened at a weekend birthday party. Why didn't the other parent just speak to the child there and then, and/or speak to the OP. Not the teacher's responsibility!

bertiesgal Wed 26-Mar-14 23:09:15

My brother at age 2 and a half informed my anti-swearing prude of a grandmother that her broken Hoover was in fact "fucked".

He is a fine upstanding member of society now and my gran has just about forgiven him and my poor mother who got the blame grin.

SallyMcgally Wed 26-Mar-14 23:11:28

Agree with jinsei. Very officious of them. grin bertie

PowerPantsRule Wed 26-Mar-14 23:56:37

Agree with Jinsei too. Other parents sound total arses. Don't worry OP.

If schools were expected to investigate and deal with every bit of annoying behaviour that their children got involved outside school hours,there would be no time to do any educating.
Talk to your DS about his language and avoid the complaining family in future.

EurotrashGirl Thu 27-Mar-14 03:10:25

I agree with everyone who is saying that the school should not be calling you on over saying "bastard" at a weekend birthday party. And the other parents should not have called the school about it. I understand that children shouldn't be swearing, but alleged offense was teaching another child to say "silly bastard" not calling another child "silly bastard" which isn't parental notification-worthy in my opinion.

adoptmama Thu 27-Mar-14 04:59:26

I really don't understand why on earth the teacher felt it her place to contact you about this. I'd have told the parents that - much as I might understand their concerns - they should speak to you themselves as it happened out of school time and was not at a school event. None of the school's concern or business what happened.

The school should be telling the parent this in no uncertain terms. What nonsense.

By all means speak to your son and tell him not to use such language and why. But do speak to the school too and ask them if it is there policy to respond in such a way over an 'incident' at a weekend birthday party. Bloody nonsense.

As for the precious parents - they also need told to keep their complaints to the school about things that directly involve the school. Idiots.

HairyGrotter Thu 27-Mar-14 06:06:13

IMO the parents have overreacted and are in for a shock in life if they get their knickers in a twist about 5 year olds dropping the off swear bomb.

I'm surprised at the school, too. Are they going to address every issue like this? They're making a rod for their own back.

Speak with DS, then shrug it off. However, I'm not uptight about swearing in anyone, it's all part of the wonderful tapestry that is our beautiful language.

I'll take my liberal hat off now wink

wonderingsoul Thu 27-Mar-14 07:06:52

the first time you get called in is embarssing.. but it wont be the last ethier... because children do fuck up, they do get in trouble.. even the best behaved child does at some point.

and for what its worth.. i think the other parent is being over the top.. i wouldnt have complained at all. i would have just told my child its not a word that they should use.

Supercosy Thu 27-Mar-14 07:19:04

Completely agree with adoptmama. Honestly, what a fuss on the behalf of those parents and the school. He is a very young child, they sometimes do copy things they've heard, it really doesn't warrant hauling you in and making a huge deal about it. Yanbu at all to feel upset about it and obviously you will talk to your DS but please don't be too mortified, kids do things like this all the time because they are little and they are learning and they have only been on earth for 60 months!

RustyBear Thu 27-Mar-14 07:31:55

I think it's overreaction by the other child's parents too, but I can see why they did it - just imagine the AIBU from the other side....

"A few weeks ago, my DS came home from school and told me that a boy in his class has been teaching him to say 'silly bastard.' When I told the school they said there was no evidence the other child had done it and refused to speak to the parents - effectively accusing DS of making it up. They just held an assembly about swearing. Then on Saturday both boys were at a party and I actually heard this kid doing it again. AIBU to complain to the school to prove that DS wasn't lying?"

HaymitchAbarnathy Thu 27-Mar-14 07:46:32

I just can't get that over excited about swearing especially something as mild as bastard said by a child who does t even really know what it means. I'd probably have said that's not a nice thing to say and then had a quiet word with you during which I'd probably have shared a laugh with you about the accent element! Total over reaction on the other parents' and school's part.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Thu 27-Mar-14 07:51:42

So if you was at the party, why didn't the parents take it up with you then?

They sound like fuckwits tbh grin

AwfulMaureen Thu 27-Mar-14 14:08:45

"Were" at the party.

LucilleBluth Thu 27-Mar-14 14:16:37

What I want to know is was the child actually being a silly bastard grin

OP, don't sweat it, the parents are obvious ott, wait until they get to secondary school.

After three DCs, if my youngest came home from school and told me that someone had called her a silly bastard I would just tell her how rude in a comedy voice and explain that it's a swear word, no biggie.

rowna Thu 27-Mar-14 14:37:26

It is upsetting at first. But then you realise they're just working with you to keep him on track. It's a very minor thing and I'm surprised they mentioned it. I'd just have a word with him about it.

I don't know anybody who hasn't had to stay back and see the teacher for their dc at one time or another. They all make mistakes. It's just about keeping them on the right track going forward and working with the school to guide them.

Having said that my heart still lurches when I see the teacher coming out heading in my direction.

kennyp Thu 27-Mar-14 14:38:47

a kid in the class i work in said that "bob called me a cunt". that's FAR worse, imvho ;O) (i work in reception)

gimcrack Thu 27-Mar-14 15:40:26

I once heard ds2, aged one, mutter 'buggah' when his Thomas fell off the track.

caramellokoalalover Thu 27-Mar-14 15:48:03

RustyBear are you the other parent? wink
Update is that I spoke to my DS about it. He admitted to making the other kids laugh by saying 'poo', 'wee', 'fart' and 'chickenlicken'. [Grin] They were all the words he confessed to knowing were swear words. I asked him if he had been saying 'silly' somethingorother - did not want to hand him a new swear word - and he looked at me blankly. He is a terrible liar so if he did say it then I doubt very much he has any idea what he's been saying. All the more reason I think for the other parent to have mentioned it at the time at the party on Saturday. I could have dealt with it then rather than days later and via the teacher, who wasn't even there.
Chatted to the teacher again this morning and said I was upset by how it has been handled, but reassured her I have spoken to my DS. She said not to worry about it and that they were aware it was 'easy to pin things' on my DS because he is such a 'lively character'. hmm
Have pulled myself together now, thanks to lots of comforting MN words and a lot of ranting with my DH smile

caramellokoalalover Thu 27-Mar-14 15:50:28

kennyp if I get called in over the C word next week I'll fess up that I use that all the time at home wink shock

Maybe I should do a quick MN search on threads about 'what swear words your kids have said'. Some of these are gold.

playftseforme Thu 27-Mar-14 15:53:34

One of the pre-school teachers took me to one side and felt the need to tell me that my ds had said to another child that they would 'kill them like a chicken' hmm It hadn't been witnessed or overheard, the other child reported it. I was a bit taken aback because I didn't really understand what anyone was hoping to achieve from that information exchange. Perfectly possible that my ds did say it, but i can't discpline based on hearsay.
Your situation isn't any less odd frankly.

YouTheCat Thu 27-Mar-14 16:03:01

I shouldn't worry about it, even if he had said anything. I've heard much worse. There was a lovely, tiny girl in dd's reception class who I believe had adhd. She could be great but if she was having a meltdown she'd call everyone 'cunts'.

Tanith Thu 27-Mar-14 16:17:00

Reminds me of the time one of our toddlers came out with "Oh for f***'s sake!"

I was horrified. When her dad came to pick her up, I apologised profusely, promised to keep a close eye, but that I really couldn't think how she'd picked it up.

He went bright red. "Um, actually I think it was me!" blush

Tanith Thu 27-Mar-14 16:23:05

Then there was the time my DS drew his very own design of a new type of boat. He proudly showed his Granny before telling her he'd made up a name for it by mixing "Canoe" and "Punt" shock

He even spelled it for her blush blush

caramellokoalalover Thu 27-Mar-14 16:26:40

Tanith you should be proud of his spelling skills. Clearly very bright grin

Hullygully Thu 27-Mar-14 16:27:56


dear sweet little baby jesus

RustyBear Thu 27-Mar-14 16:49:27

No, I'm not the parent, but I do work in a school office, and I have many years' experience of the things parents complain about and the often strange reasons why they do. And close to the top of the list is any insinuation that the teacher doesn't instantly believe every word their pub says....

jonicomelately Thu 27-Mar-14 16:52:02

Honestly OP. You and your DS will be pissing yourselves laughing about this when he's a teenager grin

vjg13 Thu 27-Mar-14 17:22:03

How do you feel about the teacher calling your child a "lively character", teacher speak for PITA!

mrsandy Fri 04-Apr-14 10:02:42

Have we suddenly evolved into some amazing world where kids never swear and if they do its a major catastrophe??? ALL KIDS SWEAR and it isnt a problem so long as they learn when to do we all did.Why? Because swearing is words....just words...Those parents have well over reacted. He 5!!!! This is more of a funny story than something to complain to the school about...I hope you feel OK by now OP... This is a major overeaction on their part. Dont let others make you feel anything bad. Know you are doing just fine.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Apr-14 10:13:28

All 5 year old's don't swear hmm. I agree it's not a huge deal, but it can't be written off as "oh, never mind, all kid's swear" either. Not at 5.

Preciousbane Fri 04-Apr-14 10:14:17

My DS told me to fuck off very shortly after starting primary school. He said the older dc in top year had been teaching all the reception dc. I just said it is a bad word and not to be used and didn't storm up the school.

Those parents are going to have plenty of shocks in store as their child gets older.

mrsjay Fri 04-Apr-14 10:19:16

do you know the parents I know it is a school thing but could you apologise on your sons behalf I am not normally one for saying approach parents but it does seem it might get out of hand, I can imagine the horror on your face tell your son off for swearing and see how it goes 5yr olds can be silly but he needs to stop

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