Bullying or just playground rough and tumble at nursery? How do I handle it and help my son handle it?

(5 Posts)
Playboxpony Mon 17-Mar-14 10:09:20

Feeling a bit low as just dropped my 3 yr old off at nursery. I stood at the nursery kitchen window to watch him run out with his friends. I then saw my DS's 2 alleged best friends attempt to throw big rocks at Him. I jumped out and told them off and they stopped but no staff came forward so had obviously either not seen it, or thought it wasn't worth intervening. They were just in the porch getting other kids into their jackets so should have been aware of what was happening. They couldn't see me from where I was standing. I told my son to tell his teacher if it happens again. But I'm a bit annoyed with myself now that I didn't raise it with the teacher myself there and then..or is it best just to let my son do it himself? My son is quite timid and not aggressive, even the teachers say that it just doesn't occur to him to push or hit anyone. Do I tell the other parents what their kids were doing? I'm not sure if I'm maybe over reacting, and this was just kids playing, but these were big rocks that could really have hurt someone. I just feel so crap as it looked like my son was getting picked on.

My Ds has complained of other incidents where one of these "friends" is pushing him or being quite aggressive or excluding him. They are only 3/4 yr olds but still I want to be able to help my son protect and stand up for himself. What can I do?

mummyxtwo Mon 17-Mar-14 11:34:21

I've been there in your situation so do sympathise. Is this a private nursery, like a creche, or pre-school? When my ds1 went to a private creche I would not have expected anything like that to happen, partly because the staff-child ratio was much higher, and also because they were fantastic. I was paying for the care after all, so it should have been good. He started nursery or pre-school aged 3.5yo and there was such a difference. He came home most days quite disconcerted because other children had been hitting / pushing / biting and he totally wasn't used to that at all. A week in he came out with a cut lip and bruise under his eye where another child had thrown wooden blocks at him. The teaching assistant came out to explain to me what had happened on that occasion, which they should do if a significant incident has occurred. My maternal instincts made me want to jump in and protect him, but we stuck to the 'it's not okay to hit, just walk away, and go and stand near a teacher if a child keeps hitting' approach. It took a while but the behaviour in the nursery did calm down with time, ds1 has never had any behaviour issues but equally is no longer timid when it comes to being pushed and shoved. He knows not to hit back but I've seen him push back and tell other children off so he's no wilting violet. Do you have a parents evening coming up? I would mention then that you were a bit concerned when you saw other children throwing rocks at your ds and are there any issues in class you should know about, does he have friends? If no parents evening, I would say the same thing to the teacher or TA at the gates, for peace of mind. It will settle down I'm sure - I think the level of violence at nursery is a bit of a shock to our generation as most of us didn't start school until we were 5 or 6yo, and there is a big jump in maturity between 3/4 and 5/6. Ds1 is now 5yo and in Reception and I can say that it is all fine now. x

eDD1etheTeddy Mon 17-Mar-14 11:57:22

hello just started doing this so be patient; children throwing stones or anything that can cause injury is not acceptable behaviour anywhere, let alone at a primary school, so; when you go to collect your son this afternoon, ask the teacher for some time, as you would like a chat when it's convenient for them. Please keep calm and unemotional - teacher has had a long day dealing with whole class of children! Before you chat, have in mind the points you want to cover i.e. a child threw a rock/stone at your child, no-one in authority did anything so you intervened and spoke to the child. Express your concerns and ask them what the school's bullying policy is. The teacher should then take your concerns seriously. You are not being over anxious - Fight the urge to talk to other parents at this time and give the school an opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Gen35 Mon 17-Mar-14 12:00:05

I'd have a word with the nursery. I do think there is a level of pushing, fights over toys etc that is normal but the staff should be keeping an eye out at this age. I've seen dd being u and I try and remember this when I see another child doing it, but it's valid to mention what you saw so they can monitor it.

Playboxpony Mon 17-Mar-14 12:47:28

Thanks for the responses. And sorry to hear your children have been in similar situations. It is just very concerning and heartbreaking to see first hand. ..and not helped as I'm knackered after a broken night with my 7 week old!!. I don't want to encourage my son to fight or push back but I obviously don't want him to be a pushover or target either.

It's a private nursery and we had a parent's night last month where we were told that DS is getting on really well and plays well with these 2 boys in particular. I think the nursery tolerate a certain amount of play fighting, but I'm not happy if this is what they mean by that. I'll chat with them this afternoon to express my concerns. It's been eating away at me all day. Anyway thanks for replying, it has made me feel a bit more confident in bringing it up with the staff and that I'm not just bring overprotective.

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