Dirty protest

(35 Posts)
RosemaryandThyme Mon 18-Mar-13 11:29:03

Hello, DS age 6 has for the past week been smearing poop across toilet walls, when questioned he says he wants lots of germs so that he gets ill and wont have to go to school.
Has anyone had an experiance like this ?
Other than making him clear it up and checking with school, teachers view is that he is boisturious - not sure what to make of it all, thanks

MummyNoName Mon 18-Mar-13 11:33:46

My first reaction would be to question why and if is is actually unhappy at school or if its attention seeking.

Is he in y1? Did he go to the same reception? Does he have many friends? Has anything happened recently at home or school that's upset him?

I would probably explain too that he has to clean up any poo.

And could he be taken to the toilet at home and school for the time being to try an discourage this behaviour?

learnandsay Mon 18-Mar-13 11:34:34

I'd speak to his teacher. What is it about school that he doesn't like? (The poo itself may be a side issue. I hear of children making themselves ill, having sore tummies, screaming, crying and so forth to try to get out of school.)

RosemaryandThyme Mon 18-Mar-13 11:50:57

So I really do need to spek to school then, yes he is Y1, has been at same school from reception, clever a bit ie he does maths and english with Y2 children.
Friendships are a bit tricky to be honest, only 8 boys in his year group, play seems to involve the same boy choosing that everyone plays armies each break and that 7 are to be goodies and my lad is the baddie, when he says he doesn't like being the baddie (as it involves constantly running to try and catch-up with the rest of them, if he does catch up they pull him down and all bundle him) he wanders around on his own.
Teacher has said he "needs to learn to discrimiate friendships", I'm not clear what she means other than keep encouraging him not to be the baddie character.

MummyNoName Mon 18-Mar-13 12:04:56

Well the'goodie and baddie' play needs to be knocked on the head. Ask school if they can discourage it.

Would it be possible to invite a boy from his class round for tea once a week or arrange a few hours on the park together at weekends? Might help him to build a bond between friends?

RaisinBoys Mon 18-Mar-13 13:27:22

Teacher has said he "needs to learn to discrimiate friendships

Teacher needs to remember that he is just 6 years old!

Sounds like he needs a bit of extra reassurance at the moment. Y1 can be tough - so much more formal than Reception.

Can you make some extra time for some more one to one time, games, walks? Doesn't matter what really as long as it's together and gives him an opportunity to chat. My DS had an episode similar to this (minus the poo) and he would open up on walks and when we did baking.

Make an appt to see the classteacher. Ask specific questions - How is he interracting with peers in class? Has there been any effect on his work? Does school have any specific concerns about his behaviour? What strategies are school going to employ re. playtimes? Ask for a copy of the school's Anti-Bullying Policy too.

The playground dynamics must change - it sounds like bullying to me - and it is only school that is responsible for that, not your 6 year old!

Good luck.

juneau Mon 18-Mar-13 13:36:16

That playground game sounds like bullying by another name to me. It's just really an excuse for all the other boys to gang up on your DS. I would be making an appointment to speak to his form teacher about stopping this game immediately.

He sounds like an unhappy little boy to me, which is not surprising if the other boys are ganging up on him.

learnandsay Mon 18-Mar-13 13:51:41

Doesn't it sound as if the teacher is being a bit ineffectual? Upthread it looks as if all she's willing or able to do is suggest that the boy refuses to be the baddie and makes better friends. I think a teacher could actually do a lot more such as teach the boys what respecting each other any playing nicely means and involves. She could also get involved in giving the pupil in question alternatives to do while he makes better friends. But nobody can make the teacher into a better carer. She might be a brilliant teacher in all other respects.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 18-Mar-13 13:55:21

No matter what the context, poo smearing is pretty extreme and I would be down there staging a sit in until they could tell me why my child was so disturbed he was doing it.

I agree you should make a formal appointment, possibly with class teacher and head teacher.

seeker Mon 18-Mar-13 13:59:00

You need to talk to the school urgently. He is being bullied, and is so unhappy that he's smearing poo on the walls to try to tell you. Ring up and make an appointment now,

learnandsay Mon 18-Mar-13 14:01:42

An appointment with who, though?

mummytime Mon 18-Mar-13 14:05:23

Have you taken him to the GP? I would ask specifically for a referral to CAMHS! If not definitely to a Paediatrician.

You and him need some professionals on your side. He may have a SN/SEN, he is certainly unhappy. The school sounds horrible to be honest, and the teacher uncaring.

Kirk1 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:18:56

The game sounds to me like bullying and if the teacher knows about this game and can't see that it's bullying then she needs a wake-up. Ask her out of the 7 other boys in his year who she suggests your DS is friends with?

I would make an appointment to see the teacher and Head at the same time. That way you won't need to repeat yourself and you already have alerted the head teacher to the problem.

RosemaryandThyme Mon 18-Mar-13 14:28:54

Thank you so much - I hadn't been seeing it as bullying and feel like I've just seen the light !
Yes to definatley making some quiet time activities to help him open up, as a middle child of two gregarious siblings he probably needs much more of this than I've been giving.

And I'll go in a speak to the teacher today, I'd been in a grey cloud foolishly thinking that he could cope - time for mummy to step-up - Thank you !

seeker Mon 18-Mar-13 14:37:09

Can you move him? 8 is far too small a friendship pool.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 18-Mar-13 14:55:35

Good luck. smile

RaisinBoys Mon 18-Mar-13 15:20:16

Well done RosemaryandThyme, for acting quickly.

Don't be fobbed off.

Loads of luck & best wishes for a happy little DS very soon.

Haberdashery Mon 18-Mar-13 15:22:39

That game is definitely bullying and the school's response is completely inappropriate for a child of six. For contrast, last year DD was being mildly excluded by some children in her class in a similar way and as soon as I told the teacher about this, she rewrote the rules of the game so that it involved children taking turns in different roles and had a serious talk to all of them about including everyone and playing in a kind way. It was a similarly small friendship group (class of 16). The bad behaviour stopped immediately.

Poor boy. I hope the teacher is helpful.

MummyNoName Mon 18-Mar-13 20:03:45

Did you speak to the teacher op?
How's you're ds been today?

RosemaryandThyme Wed 20-Mar-13 12:49:58

Am making progress, spoke to class teacher at collection yesturday, she started down the road of Ds being in the wrong, I gave a description of the games, Ds fealings and the fact I felt a whole class approach was needed, teacher did say she might speak to the class.

Coming home I felt that more oomph was needed so last night DH and I wrote long letter, with lots of suggestions as to how we could help, including offering to supply playground toys, go in and speak with the children ourselves, demonstrate some old fashioned playground games, continue to keep a close eye on and bring to a stop any rough and tumble play at home and ensure Ds didn't watch aggressive TV / films.

Confess to being too wobbly to hand letter over in person - tucked into Ds zippy as it's book change day.

Did have a bit of a shout at Ds last night, along the lines of why are you still playing the baddie role, poor kid in tears - rubbish mummy moment.

He agreed to try playing with one lad who is a bit younger, really timid and not at all rough and tumble - went to school early to see if the two of them could chat a bit and Ds did go over and they were having a slow motion game of it when I left.

Crikey parenting is hard.

Thank you for the thought that 8 is too small.

learnandsay Wed 20-Mar-13 13:31:17

I would speak to someone else other than this teacher. She sounds as if she's in denial to me.

Haberdashery Wed 20-Mar-13 13:59:42

I would talk to someone else, too. The things you've suggested like teaching them playground games, talking to the class, making sure there are playground toys etc are things the school should be doing anyway, not some kind of optional added extra. The school has a responsibility to keep your son safe. They aren't doing it. I think he would have to be really very distressed to be doing what you've described. It sounds quite desperate, poor boy.

In the mean time, I was offered some good advice on here when my DD had some similar issues about roleplaying how she could stop people being mean. You be your DS to start with and get him to role play the boys who are excluding him and use all the adult tools you have at your disposal - walking away, telling them their game is boring, saying he's going to find someone more fun to play with, telling a teacher (he should do this EVERY time people are being unfair or unkind - if nothing else it gives them an incentive to deal with it), learning to say 'you're not the teacher, you can't tell me what to do' etc. Then swap roles and you be the 'baddies' and give him an opportunity to practise it. Let him win a bit at first and then make them a bit more pushy and mean. Having practised saying/doing this stuff should make it easier for him to follow through with it IRL.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 20-Mar-13 14:18:12

Will do role play more, thank you.

Yes I agree teacher is not really likely to actually do anything, also she is leaving at Easter, I've used writing a letter as I know that written communications from parents have to be passed to the headmaster, I am anticipating a call from him, he has always followed through with (much smaller) issues in the past.
I have a parents evening tonight, class teacher wont be there as she delegates it to her assistant, assistant will be very nice and smiley and try her hardest not to go anywhere near any issues.
Am unsure if I should say anything or give school a chance to implement something.

Haberdashery Wed 20-Mar-13 14:23:46

I think in your shoes I'd mention it - something along the lines of 'of course, DS has been having some social problems as you will already know' - and see what she says. Having said that, I am a bit shocked at the teacher not being present at a parents evening! Is that normal for your school? I would consider that completely unacceptable, regardless of whether or not she is leaving soon. I hope the new teacher is a bit more helpful.

MummyNoName Wed 20-Mar-13 14:24:13

I would question if the letter you wrote has been passed to the ht and maybe if he's available for a talk later.

rottenscoundrel Wed 20-Mar-13 14:24:22

they sound dreadful

can you move schools? doesn't sound like he is happy there at all, especially if he doesn't really have any friends

Haberdashery Wed 20-Mar-13 14:25:22

That's a good idea from MummyNoName. Could you ring up now and see if you could see the head teacher after your usual appointment?

RosemaryandThyme Wed 20-Mar-13 14:51:52

Good point - hadn't thought to make sure the letter is past on - will put that on my list of things to say right now.

It is not common for teachers at this school not to be there at parents evening, all other class teachers will be there, it is the case that in the four years I've had a child at this school this teacher hasn't attended a single parents evening.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 20-Mar-13 14:57:46

Moving schools is in the back of my mind, DH is against it as he has a "out of the frying pan into the fire " mentality.

If it comes to moving I would like to feel that I'd tried everything I could to resolve it first.

With constant repeats to Ds that mummy is on his side and will get this sorted out we've had our first morning for a week with a clean bathroom !

rottenscoundrel Wed 20-Mar-13 14:58:40

oh that's excellent news Rosemary! I hope it continues and you get somwhere this evening...

RosemaryandThyme Wed 20-Mar-13 17:25:05

A bit of progress at parents evening.

Teaching assistant had my letter, it had been discussed with Headmaster and she was prepared with a list of things the school were going to do.

The first few things were activities the children have always had ie a football and goal, praising children for good play, etc
I heard the words "fobbed-off" from this post, and pointed out that these made no difference and what would they do that was new.
She said the children would have ELSA review, I'm guessing this is some kind of circle time for the class, I pushed her as to when and she said this friday, other than that they would be providing a box of cars outside and extra high levels of praise and clamping down on the rough and tumble..... I said thank you for taking it seriously, that the measures were less significant and direct than I was hoping and whilst I doubted they would make much difference was prepared to give them a chance to embed.
She was a bit taken aback.
I asked to review progress one week after easter break and we have booked a follow-up meeting.
It was all a bit hostile (from my side) and a bit "gosh this parent isn't going to capitulate", from her side.

acebaby Wed 20-Mar-13 18:41:33

well done for standing your ground. I have found that helps to go in very early to speak to the new teacher about issues that may well persist. The teacher will be less defensive, if you are talking about problems that did not start under his/her watch, so to speak. So you may well get much further early next term.

The only other thing I can think of that you could do is to send in your DS with a 'topic of conversation'. When my DS1 was having trouble settling into a new school, I sent him in with a 'Where's Wally?' book to look at if he didn't have anyone to play with, and he told me that a few other children came over to have a look. I also subscribed him to Minecraft (very popular computer game for his age). He is now much more integrated - although will never be the popular cool kid!

clam Wed 20-Mar-13 20:57:16

Sorry, but this school sounds shite. Firstly, what the hell are they thinking of sending a TA to do parents' evening - even if this class teacher is leaving, then a summing up of progress so far would be nice. I'm staggered to read that the teacher has not attended them previously either. It is an expected part of a teacher's role.
Poo-smearing is extreme behaviour and they (in partnership with you) should be taking serious measures to get to the bottom of what's troubling him. This means the Head Teacher should be going out of his/her way to help too. I would bypass the teacher/TA at this point and make an appointment to see the Head asap. Do not wait until next term - it might be a while before the new teacher gets her head around the situation. Act now.

RosemaryandThyme Thu 21-Mar-13 12:40:35

With taking things into school - this is an irritation to me - basically the school ban absolutley anything (other than show and tell items) at all times - I have in the past snuck books, mags, top-trumps etc into their zippies with the throught that they might find a child with similar interest or just to pass the time - each time my children have been reprimarnded, had the item taking off them and passed back to me at collection time.

Today both boys are on a school trip - three hours on the coach - neither wanted to go, it has taken two weeks to persuade them and over an hour to drag them through washing and dressing this morning - when I said to them pop something in your pocket to do on the coach they froze, oldest Ds (8) said they were too frightend in case they got told off.

I pointed out to them that on the trip before christmas they (my ds's ) had told me other children had toys from home on the coach and they said "but school says WE are not allowed - I couldn't make head nor tail of this.
Ds 8, said he thought it was because Three years ago in reception he had lots a bit of lego in the playground and the teacher was furious that he asked her to help find it....jeez the more I think about school generally the more I thinking there is a whole load of tripe going on.

acebaby Thu 21-Mar-13 19:56:29

sad that's a shame. It does sound like the school are particularly inflexible. I hope the trip wasn't too bad. Three hours on a school coach sounds grim!

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