Dd (Y2) told by TA she shouldn't cry at school

(52 Posts)
Happygirl77 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:19:56

My dd1 (6) is in a mixed Y1/2 class and today they were doing drawings of each other. Dd1 has always had blonde hair though it is darker now than it used to be (I would still say dark blonde though some say light brown). This is relevant! Dd1 was cross that her partner drew her with brown her (no yellow bits) at which point the TA insisted that she does have brown hair. Dd1 burst into tears (she and dd2 and ds have always had blond hair and green eyes like daddy so to be told her hair wasn't blonde was a source of great distress for her!) The TA told her to stop being silly and that now she is in Year 2, she shouldn't cry at school.

This is the concerning bit for me. I don't want dd1 feeling that she can't explore her emotions or express her feelings at school. I certainly don't want her repressing what she feels. To be honest, I'm disappointed that the TA (usually very sensitive) didn't ask why dd1 was so upset at being told her hair was brown instead of telling her she was being silly and she shouldn't be silly!

Am I being PFB? Dd1 has SEN and struggles a bit (also an August bday). First post so please be gentle!

was told by the TA today that, "You're in Year 2 now, you shouldn't cry at school".

BieneMaja Fri 05-Oct-12 09:49:34

The TA probably wouldn't have understood why your DD was crying (i.e the loss of identity with her dad [hmmm]), and possibly thought she was just being a bit vain. I can understand it to an extent, as my DD has always had blond hair which is now getting darker and she is completely in denial about it!

My DD is also very emotional and I do tell her not to be silly and not to cry about everything now that she is 6. I don't really see any harm in it.

Obviously the SEN could be relevant here though and presumably the TA knows about them.

I would just move on from it TBH...

Pinot Fri 05-Oct-12 09:34:06

I am <ahem> amazed that a TA would offer a card with sorry written in it. It's far outside the remit of normal school policy. Deeply inappropriate too.

seeker Fri 05-Oct-12 09:29:29

"Not a silly thing to cry about. Little girls define themselves in very simple terms. X and Y are blond, z has curls, etc."

They do- and they should be encouraged not to. They should definitely notnbe encouraged to think that one hair colour is somehow better than another.

kilmuir Fri 05-Oct-12 08:32:47

A Sorry card? Surely not.

Fairenuff Fri 05-Oct-12 08:29:11

Yes, it would have been a good opportunity to celebrate diversity.

headinhands Fri 05-Oct-12 08:21:45

I agree that's it's a good opportunity for the teacher to open up a discussion about ways we belong and how appearance is quite a minor element of group identity. Not good to reinforce the notion that 'people who look the same, are the same.'

SoupDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 07:04:25

So, you have brown hair yet your DD thinks she has to look like her father in order to be part of the family...? Shouldn't you concentrate on her looking like you and how wonderful that is rather than bringing Rapunzel into it? confused

Startailoforangeandgold Thu 04-Oct-12 23:38:54

Not a silly thing to cry about. Little girls define themselves in very simple terms. X and Y are blond, z has curls, etc.

As far as the OPs DD was concerned her friend hadn't drawn "her"

Happygirl77 Thu 04-Oct-12 23:24:05

Re: brown hair is like spiders hmm that is something dd said to me (I have brown hair) and when I expressed surprise (pointing out how many friends have brown hair, etc) she said it's ok on other people but she doesn't like the thought of it on her. She is v sensitive and wouldn't say anything cruel or unkind to other children! soupdragon we have talked about hair changing colour and Rapunzel in Tangled going from blonde to brown hair (!) and she has decided 'mousy brown' is an acceptable term even though her hair isn't that colour

justspiro that's exactly it and you put it far better than I could, the TA's reaction squashed dd's personal feelings instead of asking her to express herself in a more appropriate way

madwoman I agree with the missed opportunity to discuss perceptions of hair colour (dark blonde vs light brown for example).

The TA is v kind and was obviously concerned that being brusque in this circumstance had caused so much upset. It was a small plain card with 'sorry' written inside - no great admission of guilt and not a big deal but thoughtful.

And FWIW, dd1 was told (after I discovered she'd cried the previous day at not being chosen to dance in assembly) that she can't be in everything and it's not all about her, etc - she's not totally pampered or spoilt (far from it!)

alcofrolic Thu 04-Oct-12 22:03:28

The TA has acted inappropriately. A 'sorry' card? For that?! I hope she's got a job lot to last the year!

seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 21:42:13

"The TA came out to me in the playground this morning, tearful and feeling bad that she had upset dd. She said she hadn't slept well and gave me a little sorry card! I expressed my concern that dd should be allowed to express herself and it is all now settled."

The TA gave you a sorry card because she told your dd she shouldn't cry about another child's drawing of her? Really? And you think your dd should be express herself by saying that "brown hair is like spiders"? Are all the brown haired children allowed to express themselves by bursting into tears if she shares this gem with them?

It's going to be an....interesting class this term!

NoIdeaWhyTheNameChange Thu 04-Oct-12 18:43:26

Recognise and manage their emotions, yes. Crying/hitting/shouting because you disagree with someone who thinks your hair/skin is brown and you disagree is not the best way to manage your feelings.

I totally agree with Colditz.

JustSpiro Thu 04-Oct-12 18:43:09

Just seen your update - sounds like maybe the TA was having a bit of an off-day herself then.

JustSpiro Thu 04-Oct-12 18:41:50

But it is a little bit of a silly thing to cry about

Nonetheless the TA's reaction devalues the child's personal feelings, which is not conducive to children learning about the personal, social and emotional aspects of learning, whether they are NT or have SEN.

I think you did the right thing to raise it gently this time and wouldn't take it further for the the time being (although I might be inclined to ask to see the school's policies on SEN and PSED just for reference), but would definitely raise it with a teacher and/or SENCO if something similar happens again.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Oct-12 18:25:58

Children in primary schools are encouraged to recognise and manage their emotions. It's called Emotional Literacy. It's unlikely that they would be told they are 'silly' for crying but it might be explained that there is a better way to express what they are feeling.

NoIdeaWhyTheNameChange Thu 04-Oct-12 18:09:21

"I don't want dd1 feeling that she can't explore her emotions or express her feelings at school"

Blimey, if all DC explored their emotions in school there would be bedlam.

colditz Thu 04-Oct-12 17:42:44

My eldest has sen and does struggle withthings like this. He's stopped crying about it because its silly behavior, as is rolling on the floor and hanging off my arms. If the behavior isn't appropriate and the child can stop, then they SHOULD stop.

SoupDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 17:36:13

Op, what do you plan to do to address the whole blonde hair issue? Unless you start using Sun In... ? smile

Do you also have blonde hair?

madwomanintheattic Thu 04-Oct-12 17:24:02

Dd2 has sn.

If she told me she cried because someone described her hair colour using a word she didn't agree with, I'd be telling her not to be silly, too. grin

(Dd2 is also blonde, but getting darker as she gets older. As the TA, I'd have discussed that with her, and got all the blardy crayons out and talked about shading, and how different people use different words for the same thing.)

It is a daft thing to burst into tears over in y2, whether you have sen or not, and the TA's job is to help dd get some coping strategies in place so that she doesn't burst into tears at every perceived slight.

And as for 'brown hair is like spiders', I'd be discussing that with her too. Let's hope she didn't say to any brown haired kids in the class and make them cry, as I think that's way more offensive than telling her she's not blonde any more, which is arguably the case.

Sometimes our dd's do need a hand to toughen up a bit. We are trying to prepare them to interact with the real world, whatever their disability.

trinity0097 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:12:45

It sounds like the adult wwas telling the child to basically man up and get over it, after all it's not really something worthy of getting upset about and the child has taken it the wrong way. I wouldn't bother getting worried about it unless similar things happen often. Tough love is sometimes needed, children need to learn to deal with small things without getting upset, they wont' do this if the crying is encourged by attention being given.

CuriousMama Thu 04-Oct-12 13:17:37

Aww that's lovely so glad she apologised, she sounds a good TA smile

pinkdelight Thu 04-Oct-12 12:24:09

Perhaps I would. Sorry if that was insensitively put. You did say you didn't know if the SEN was relevant, so I didn't assume that it was necessarily. But yes, that might be why you found it more upsetting. Anyway, glad it's all sorted now.

Happygirl77 Thu 04-Oct-12 12:16:20

pinkdelight perhaps you would "understand the big deal" if you had an idea of my dd's special needs?

nannyof3 thank you for understanding!

The TA came out to me in the playground this morning, tearful and feeling bad that she had upset dd. She said she hadn't slept well and gave me a little sorry card! I expressed my concern that dd should be allowed to express herself and it is all now settled. Dd quite happy to go back to school today smile

pinkdelight Thu 04-Oct-12 09:58:17

But there's a middle-ground, isn't there? Between the individual and the group. The individual can express their emotions and the group can find it annoying. ideally the individual learns to control their emotions and the group learns tolerance. Therefore even for children, there are instances when crying can be seen as an over-reaction. She shouldn't be told off for this, and she wasn't really told off, but it can be pointed out that it's not worth crying about. I'm sure if she'd hurt herself and cried, the TA would have been more comforting.

I honestly don't think the TA was being harsh. Do people not tell their kids not to turn on the waterworks any more? Or am I just a big meanie? It doesn't sound like the DD has any problem feeling like she can express her emotions.

nannyof3 Thu 04-Oct-12 09:42:43

It doesnt matter if u cry, wether a child is in year 2 or year 10... It is not annoying as one poster said angry

These are children and should feel if they want to cry then they are allowed to cry and show there emotions..

The little girls reaction was not 'silly' as a poster said... Shes 6/7/8, shes just a baby... Have u never cried over something that u thought was abit 'silly' after because i know i have !!!!

OP, speak to the TA and just explain the situation and regardless what she says just tell her that u dont want ur child made to feel that she cant express her emotions, good luck x

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