My son is 3 3/4 and has been attending the local preschool since January.
I have been concerned that he likes to fight too much and have spent the past few months agonizing over his quick to temper and hit his friends behavior. I didn't know why he was so physically aggressive and personally violence of any kind makes me see red. For this reason our relationship has been strained for months over this one issue. I have had a no tolerance attitude to fighting.
This morning i missed my bus home after dropping him at preschool so, i went back to watch him. I asked to speak to a teacher and get the lowdown on him, socially, physically, intellectually etc i wanted to know whether he tried to fight physically with the other children like he does at home and if so how they deal with it because my anger wasn't working and was at a loss at what too do.
What i was told has shocked me to the core.
Apparently boys will be boys and they like a bit of rough and tumble so when that happens the teachers just put down soft mats and 'let them get on with it' keeping the girls/ none fighting boys out of the way.
WHAT? the logic seemed ok until i got home and engaged brain.
THE Logic: They are going to do it anyway so we make it(physically) safe? (how can this be safe?) If we repress this urge they will find other more destructive outlets! (what is more destructive than physical combat?) They need to learn their boundaries so they don't go too far unsupervised.
There was more but i cant remember it.
I am trying to consolidate my thoughts and anger around this. so forgive me if i ramble.
1. Society does not condone fighting. We imprison people for GBH. 2. Preschool is the prep for big school which does not condone fighting? Surely this will cause a child trouble and confusion on attending big school. 3. My son is large, he will learn as it appears he has, that he will win at fighting... surely this is a good education in the making of a bully? 4. what about the weaker smaller boys, what will they learn about their position? 5. My attitude of non violence versus the pre-school's 'permission' which is what it amounts too, has caused a rift in our relationship and undoubted confusion for my son. It will take much work and understanding to undo this influence. 6. My son knows how to punch and fight like men. I did not teach him this and these are learned skills, who taught him... is this even more sinister than a bunch of kids being aloud to play fight? (i maybe going too far, it might also be learned from Kung fu Panda!)
What more can i say... am i over reacting?, can you add your views and opinions on this matter? I am heavily pregnant and fear i might be over the top? if my disgust is not misplaced what should i do about it other than take him out of pre-school? thanks in advance.
My school ( especially in Reception) and all the pre-schools I know near us have a no tolerance attitude to rough play. Even a bit of pushing around whilst chasing eachother is totally frowned upon. And all the children are told "No rough play". So shocked at your pre-school's attitude.
By banning any type of child's play I think you may be sending out several messages; If you feel interested in a topic, perusing it may lead to discipline and is unacceptable, therefore best not use your initiative or develop an interest in learning what isn't taught. You said he's watched Kung Fu panda this is full of fighting, makes no difference to him weather it is real or not, its re-enactment. Surely its safer to get this 'aggressive' behaviour out of the way now whilst he is only little then when he is 14 and can really do some damage, let alone get a criminal conviction. Children will explore violence and violent games in different ways. It teaches them about empathy. Some children pull the legs off spiders, its not nice, most children then feel a sort of shame which stops them from doing it again, this is empathy.
Annoyingly there is a real good article on this but i cant get the link to work, I strongly recommend you read this and decide how your going to move forward. Its on the naeyc website, alternatively Google 'rough and tumble play' and have a read through the articles. The fact that your pre school has developed an area for this is very forward thinking of them, it stops them being negative and annihilating children's play and provides the children with a safe space to explore. However it can be very difficult to deal with, do try and read the naeyc article.