5yr old behaviour learned at school. Am I being PFBish or should I move her?

(58 Posts)
JadedAngel Tue 29-Apr-14 20:57:45

DD is in reception in our village school. She is my eldest child so our first experience of school. Also our first experience of state school as both DH and I were privately educated from day 1.

It seems a nice enough school but DD has recently been coming home and being incredibly rude and defiant. Tonight's "I won't eat my dinner" performance was punctuated with "I'll punch you in the eyeball and rip off your willy" directed at her dad, with lots of "I hate you's" and "Won't you just die, stop staring at me".

This is all language she has picked up at school. Our home is a happy, quiet one and we just don't speak to each other like that! She doesn't watch tv so it's not from there...

She seems ok about school and I think she has some nice friendships but they also seem littered with challenges. Probably just typical 'girl' group behaviour but I don't know.

Am I naive to think that a private school might be a better option?

Martorana Tue 29-Apr-14 21:02:48

My ds learned loads of swear words in reception- from the son of an antiquarian bookseller and a lecturer in fine art!

It happens. Just gently correct every single time. Think up a sentence you say every time something like this happens. I used to say "Everybody's different,but we don't talk to each other like that in this family". She'll stop, I promise. Unless you have other concerns, I wouldn't move her.

JadedAngel Tue 29-Apr-14 21:14:12

I just have this niggling feeling that behaviour in the school isn't great generally. I've attended a couple of Friday assemblies and was shocked at how some of the children just wouldn't sit down facing the front and listening, and how they would all start talking over the teacher at the first given opportunity.

And DD often comes home talking about one particular boy in her class who is constantly trying to set up gangs and get children to do things they don't want to do. He's a very disruptive child in lots of ways but I'm not sure how the school is tackling it.

I don't remember school being like that at all. Perhaps I'm being precious but I can see it's making DD unhappy. She comes home from school a bit quiet sometimes and then just explodes with awful behaviour. In the mornings she's a little reluctant to go in sometimes, won't get dressed, says she feels sick etc and then other days she's running off with her bag and desperate to get in the door.

rabbitstew Tue 29-Apr-14 22:26:06

Is the failure to sit down properly in assembly limited to the reception class, or does it happen higher up the school, too?

MillyMollyMama Tue 29-Apr-14 22:57:47

How many children in your day, OP, started in reception class at 4 years old? Some of these children would be better off staying a bit longer in Nursery but they risk their school place if they do.

This is really a case of making sure your behaviour standards are clearly understood by your daughter. She is undoubtedly copying poor language but intelligent children who don't like upsetting their parents don't do it for long. I personally don't agree with gentle persuasion because I think making sure it does not get out of hand is imperative. I would make it totally clear to your DD that you will not tolerate such language and behaviour.

I am not sure private schools are full of compliant, perfect children either. Some are totally obnoxious, just richer. I don't think they have developed girl group behaviour at 4 but I would try and make sure she plays with children you like although you have not been clear about what their challenges are. If you really don't like anyone, then try independent, but perfection is hard to find.

frillysockmum Tue 29-Apr-14 23:00:16

It's a phase.

Kissmequick123 Tue 29-Apr-14 23:16:08

Some schools struggle to manage behaviour. Behaviour can be poor as a result.

Is behaviour poor all the way through the school?

What's her year group like? Some can be really bad but it varies year to year.

Have you asked your DD who she is copying?

Definitely talk to the teacher and say you have concerns.

Meow75 Tue 29-Apr-14 23:16:52

Sorry, OP, but I think you're going to be constantly disappointed, in large part, if you think many other schools are going to be that different now.

The school where. I worked for 13 years is vastly different now to when I started working there, and yet when I did it was very similar to the school I attended myself.

It's a different time you need, not a differ school.

JadedAngel Tue 29-Apr-14 23:19:18

It's all the way up the school rabbit.

We arranged for dd to have friends over during Easter break and that went quite well so we are trying to help her foster relationships with children she likes. There is only 7 children in her year group so not much room to steer away from negative influences.

I'd much rather not move her. The school setting is beautiful and only two minutes walk down the road. But I worry we're not doing the best for her in the way our parents did for us.

cece Tue 29-Apr-14 23:29:10

DS1 learnt some very choice swear words in Reception.

He was told not to use them. He does not use them now he is 10 (well not that I hear wink)

It's a phase.

Ziggyzoom Tue 29-Apr-14 23:33:03

She sounds very angry to me. I wouldn't worry so much about the words used, I would question where that level of anger is coming from.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 29-Apr-14 23:33:34

She's got that language from reception or from older kids in the school? Jesus. Ours is a village primary identical to your description and there's no way on earth any language like that would be tolerated.

Have you actually addressed your concerns with the school?

JadedAngel Tue 29-Apr-14 23:39:08

She does seem angry ziggy. And anxious.

Whenever I've spoken to her teachers they comment on how polite and hard working she is but it's only in the last month or two I've become more and more confident that there are things happening at school that are upsetting for her.

I also suspect she is getting a little overlooked in class in favour of children who have higher needs. I only have morning settling in time to base this on though.

Time to have a chat with her teachers I think.

Saracen Wed 30-Apr-14 00:02:25

I agree with ziggy. Sooner or later you'll get her to avoid such language. It's shocking but not really a problem in the long term.

What is worrying is the way your little girl seems to be feeling right now. Whether or not people may say it is a "normal phase", it isn't OK for her to be so upset that she would behave like this. It isn't clear from your posts just how long all this has been going on?

Perhaps the problems are specific to this school or class, or perhaps she is just not ready for school now. Could it be an option to take her out altogether?

adoptmama Wed 30-Apr-14 04:48:04

Whilst you may be seeing the behaviour because, as you fear, she is struggling a little with school, it may also be she is simply tired. Reception is a long day for children and they are often very, very tired by the end of it which triggers the outbursts. They generally keep it together very well in school, but crash on pick up as their energy levels drop. Do school pick up with energy boosting snacks on hand and possibly think about an earlier dinner time/bed time, especially in the first tiring couple of weeks back after a holiday.

Children will always learn bad language at school. My DD used to learn some very choice phrases from a boy in her class whose elder brother was teaching them to him for a 'laugh'. Teacher dealt with it, so if you have concerns that she is learning the language at school then speak to the teacher about it. However, as others have said, you mostly simply need to address it at home by reinforcing the message to her consistently that you do not use those words and phrases in your family e.g. my kids know they are not allowed to use the word 'hate' about people. You are not going to stop her hearing or learning these words and so a much better approach is to think about how to react. Her angry outbursts are simply her way of expressing her frustrations and tiredness. Don't focus on the language - beyond the correction of it - but react to the message she is giving you: 'you are really mad just now', 'you are very upset with me/daddy because...' so she knows you are listening to her. It will help her calm herself more quickly. As she gets olders you'll be able to tell her you are not going to listen until she stops shouting. Part of it is age and stage, part of it is probably tiredness. Part of it is what they learn at school.

Don't feel guilty that you are not giving her the private school education your parents' gave you and your DH. You'll still be giving her a perfectly good life.

NigellasDealer Wed 30-Apr-14 04:51:36

mine came back from primary school once repeating the choice phrase "I want to rip your head off and shit in your windpipe'.
nice. but what can you do?

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Apr-14 05:06:03

My perfect, angelic, pfb Dd was unbearable after school for the whole first term of reception and most of the second term. She could not cope with any fter school activities and needed a super early Dinner and bed. She wad the youngest and the day was far too ling for her. she would recover with afternoon naps at the weekend!

She also, much to my dismay, learnt a lot of Willy and poo jokes. and this was an outstanding primary in leafy middle class London and she got an amazing education.

So you could be being a bit pfb...
I think just concentrate on finding out what the teaching and class environment are like. forging friendships that make her happy and that she is learning well and happy at school.

Reception is hard on a lot of small children.

RiversideMum Wed 30-Apr-14 06:51:52

Children do learn unpleasant language in any education settling, particularly from children who have older siblings - sometimes they are fed words by older children and use them without even knowing what they mean. Just like someone will tell them that Santa is not true sooner than you'd like. The school should be addressing it and you just need to go on saying "we don't use those words in our house". We have a particular problem in that there is now a generation of (generally) dads who play video games and lots of boys (again, generally) who are playing games, if hearing others play games with wholly inappropriate language.

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Apr-14 07:01:30

jadedangel I would listen to your instincts and act on them. If you think the school has a serious discipline issue then why not look around a few other schools to see how they are managed? We ended up moving our 3 children for similar reasons, and my only regret is that I hadn't done it earlier. The general atmosphere of the whole school is different. The new school has just as many 'problem' children, but it is handled better and more calmly.

Treaclepot Wed 30-Apr-14 07:02:56

I also am not sure it is a private/state thing. I had lots of friends from private school growing up and they swore more than my state school friends.

24again Wed 30-Apr-14 07:03:17

What are your options? Do you have any other schools that you could move her to? I don't think a school being in a beatiful setting is a reason to keep a child there. The behaviour issue would really worry me. At primary they should be able to keep on top of that and it would raise red flags for me if they couldn't control the pupil's behaviour.
Also the types of things your child is repeating, again, not on. True my son learnt quite a few swear words in reception but he never said any of the stuff your child has.
What is the atmosphere like in the school? I think that you could do with going in and having a chat.

insancerre Wed 30-Apr-14 07:23:07

As if they don't swear in private school.
O went to one and there was plenty of swearing and bad behaviour.
The children of the local private school behave much worse than the children of the local high school
Its not swearing its mostly drugs
It is very pfb to blame the school for your dds behaviour.
Children do get tired in reception and they do have minds of their own and are quite capable of behaving badly all by themselves without any other influences.
All children go through this phase. As parents we need to model and direct the right behaviour.

JadedAngel Wed 30-Apr-14 07:23:55

Thanks everyone. Lots to think about.

It's the only school within walking distance and I can't think of any children in the village who don't go there so it would be a big deal socially to move her.

There are two other primaries within fifteen minutes drive and private would mean a 30 minute drive. I expect for senior we will go private but that's a long way off.

The atmosphere in school seems happy but chaotic.

She's doing well academically...

rabbitstew Wed 30-Apr-14 07:53:11

Well, if children throughout the school have a hard time coming into assembly properly and facing in the right direction, then I suspect the school does have a rather light touch when it comes to behaviour and discipline! It does sound like a very small school, if there are only 7 children in your dd's year group - maybe it's trying to go for the chaotic family atmosphere! A larger school would have to expect better behaviour, or things could quickly get nasty. Experimenting with rude words and bad behaviour in a safe, home environment (your parents' reaction helps you process its acceptability or otherwise), and getting over-tired and emotional in your reception year isn't abnormal, though. I would start out talking to the school, rather than whipping your dd out of the school altogether.

JadedAngel Wed 30-Apr-14 07:58:20

That makes a lot of sense rabbit thank you. It is a small school, 70 or so children in total. Family atmosphere sounds about right!

The school did send a letter home about exposure to video games the other week so they have obviously noted some unsuitable influences. They are also implementing a new school ethos around five key behaviours so there is action being taken.

I will have a quiet chat to her teacher but I suspect my desire to seek out private options is an over reaction. At least for now.

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