DD in trouble: called the dinner lady a....and now is in trouble.

(40 Posts)
Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 09:56:46

fat lady

I was mortified when the teacher told me this morning, it was her and another child. The dinner lady was very upset.

DD is 6 years old and although me and Dh are 'normal' weight' there are some overweight family members in the family and overweight friends so I do not understand where all this bullying came from since we don't mock people at all, never mind regarding their weight.

So the kids were made to apologise and lost some play time to think about it, but today after school I will ask DD to make a card to give to the lady tomorrow along with flowers. Is it over the top?

Seeline Mon 30-Sep-13 10:01:43

I'll probably be flamed but I think it may be OTT unless DD was really saying it to be horrid.
We encourage our children not to lie and be truthful. We wouldn't complain if she said it was hte dinner lady with blue eyes or curly hair. If the most obvious feature is that she is vastly overweight, then to a 6yo that is the easiest way to describe her.
Maybe a chat about being careful about how to describe people, and hurting people's feelings might be a good idea.
Obviously if she was actually intending to be rude and hurtful, it is an entirely different matter....

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 10:09:22

Thanks Seeline, and apologise for my OP very bad written.

It happened on a Thursday, there was no school on Friday and I wasn't there on Thursday pick up time and that is why the teacher informed this morning only.

Looks like DD wasn't just describing the dinner lady as a fat lady. Her and other child were calling the dinner lady fat and the teacher repeated at least 3 times that the lady was feeling hurt and upset.

The teacher said that DD assumed she did this and apologised.

I told the teacher we were going to make a card and the only things I think about saying in the card is: I am sorry.

But should I tell DD to write something else and will be some flowers or a small flower pot OTT??

I wouldnt get them to write either, but because I think its been dealt with and it might not be best to bring it up again if you know what I mean. Im sure your dd didnt mean to upset her.

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 11:09:01

But I want to teach DD that this is unacceptable.
I know it has been dealt with at school, I wonder if a chat with DD is enough or not.
Obviously she apologised, she was at school and the teacher told her to do so, but is it enough?
Or should I just ask her what does she want to do to make mends?

Tak3n Mon 30-Sep-13 11:18:23

I would say some punishment at home to supplement the schools punishment is sufficient, however as it happened several days ago she may not understand why the punishment...

I think flowers are OTT and would just let it go, she is only 6 and at that age I am not really sure how their words can hurt...

I think just a explanation how people are all different shapes and sizes would probably be appropriate

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 11:18:34


Yes, I`m sure it is. I would have a chat with her as well. But, if the dinner lady was really upset about the comment she may well feel embarrassed if you make a big show of it, or she might not have been overly upset and then bemused if you make a big show, or she might like it, you just cant tell.

I`m sure your dds lovely and just made a one off mistake.

PeterParkerSays Mon 30-Sep-13 11:20:36

Don't do flowers or a plant, that's OTT for a verbal comment from a small child.

The best thing you can do is address the issue with your DD - "your teacher told me this. Aunty Vi is also a larger lady - how do you think she would feel if someone said that to her? What you said made the dinner lady sad" etc.

She needs to know that she shouldn't say it, but I'd leave the school response as it is.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 30-Sep-13 11:29:15

Be careful - my the 11 year old son once mentioned the 'tache on a teacher (I found out afterwards it was in response to a nasty personal comment she made to him). I went ballistic and had him write a letter of apology - he wrote, without realising the wording, 'I am sorry to have to tell you you have a moustache'. As we found out why he said what he did before the letter was sent, I was actually torn as to whether to send it or not, as she did actually deserve what she got. grin

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 11:30:48

It's not bullying behaviour, it was a hurtful comment.

Make it very clear at home that she is not to make personal comments about people as it is not only hurtful it is rude. Ask her how she would like it if someone said something about her hair. Don't tell her off, genuinely ask her.

No to flowers, it's ott but a nice thoughtsmile

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 11:33:28

I think a card with 'sorry I was rude' is fine btw. She was told 3x to stop and she didn't.

Bloody kidshmm grin

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 11:34:00

The funny thing is, she is lately being worried about what people will think about her, comparing herself to peers and and worried if kids will laugh at her. It started on Y1, before this she was a very confident child.

So I have been working on her issues and I think what happened will help me get through her issues and behaviour.

WorriedMouse Mon 30-Sep-13 11:34:22

I would say a card is a lovely gesture. It sends the message to your daughter that what she said was unkind without further punishment (she's had that at school). It also shows your daughter that you support the school's discipline and take it seriously. School will also appreciate the support as more often than not in our place we have parents challenging discipline. If it was my daughter, I'd ask her to make the card.

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 11:35:55

oh no, she wasn't told to stop 3 times...valiumredhead

The teacher mentioned to me 3x during the conversation this morning, that the dinner lady was upset.

Bad English.

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 11:40:09

Oh sorrysmile

I'd go with the card.

EverybodysStressyEyed Mon 30-Sep-13 11:41:37

My ds was very rude to a teacher at that age. Completely out of character and I came down on him like a tonne of bricks. I asked him to write a letter of apology which he did in his own words. I then gave it to his class teacher. I don't know what she did with it

We haven't had anymore of that behaviour and he seemed to understand that he had been disrespectful and how that could have made the teacher feel.

I think flowers are ott though

WetGrass Mon 30-Sep-13 11:43:29

Ha ha - I opened this thread expecting your cherubic 4 year old to have called her a bitch!

'Fat' is factual - and tactless rather than rude from a child!

SpookyNameChange13 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:45:04

I think a note of apology after explaining to her why it is unkind to speak to people in that way would be a good idea.

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 11:50:43

Yes but dd wasn't be factual, she was using fat to be nasty. Big difference.

clam Mon 30-Sep-13 12:04:01

Yes to a nice written apology, yes to a firm discussion with her about the difference between speaking the truth and keeping quiet about personal features, no to flowers.

Hopemore Mon 30-Sep-13 12:40:56

Ok. No flowers.
I'm glad I asked.

Elibean Mon 30-Sep-13 12:45:15

Hopenomore, if your dd is starting to worry about what others think of her, I wonder if someone has said personal things either to her or to others in her peer group within her hearing?

As well as dealing with the incident in question (card and no flowers sounds lovely smile), I would gently talk to her about how children can sometimes be a bit silly about teasing/noticing differences or things about each other - and see if she brings anything up that is bothering her.

Only because kids do act out what they experience, and she may have been doing that - sort of an unconscious way to bring something to an adult's attention, iyswim.

Retropear Mon 30-Sep-13 12:49:25

Make a card saying sorry(so she has put effort in and has to go through giving it to her).

Flowers too much and she'll get the glory mummy has bought her.

I made my son make a card for his teacher once(talking and not listening I think when she was which I thought was rude).

He was mortified but didn't do it agin- job done!grin

MadeOfStarDust Mon 30-Sep-13 12:51:18

I'm guessing the dinner lady hasn't been there long?!? When I was a FAT dinner lady if someone made a comment, the stock answer was "That's a mean way to put it - I prefer cuddly thank you...." Kids say it like it is, and sometimes it is mean.... but upset by it? really?

I had a written apology once for a child throwing their food tray on the floor and saying "Go on then, you're paid to clean it up..." (straight to the head and they got to clean it up, help clean the hall after lunch for a week and write the apology) but "You're fat" ... hey ho....

lljkk Mon 30-Sep-13 12:51:38

I think school have handled it & I would do nothing further other than sternly tell the DD she should be more respectful of adults & considerate of people's feelings.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 12:59:40

What happens in school stays in school, if at all possible, if they think you will be cross too, they won't tell you anything.

Also, some lunch supervisors are not the easiest people for DCs to deal with. Our was prone to dealing out red cards when the teacher wouldn't have done.

Dropping DDs DF in grief from his dad (see above) he absolutely didn't deserve.

clam Mon 30-Sep-13 14:03:00

"What happens in school stays in school"
I disagree. I think parents and school need to support each other in dealing with any issues and nipping anything untoward in the bud.
What deters some children from confiding in their parents is more likely to be if they feel that they're not being heard, or that their parents might leap to conclusions before hearing the whole story. If we listen carefully, and take appropriate and fair action, then there's less likely to be an issue.

Retropear Mon 30-Sep-13 14:11:25

What Clam said.

I want info,if my dc were being little buggars I'd want to know with bells on.

Rudeness sorry but I will come down on like a ton of bricks.I don't want my dc thinking it's just school who care about being rude,I also want them to know I will back school up 100% in something like this.

5madthings Mon 30-Sep-13 14:16:09

i would have my child write a note apologising and i have done in the past. flowers are ott but a note is fine.

and i agree with clam i think parents need to back school up, when my ds2 had issues wuth behaviour we worked with the school and followed up with consequences at home ie no xbox or doing work at home if he hadnt got it done in class. the school were very appreciative of our efforts.

StitchingMoss Mon 30-Sep-13 14:21:59

Can't believe some posters are saying its ok for children to call adults fat and that it's just factual shock.

Children at 6 are more than capable of understanding and being made to understand that it's rude and hurtful of they'll turn into the type of delightful teenagers that feel its acceptable to mock fat people in the street.

OP, think u've handled it well and I'm sure your DD has learnt a valuable lesson about respect.

WhereMyMilk Mon 30-Sep-13 14:34:38

When DS (6) had a pissing contest (height up the wall) with his mate, I lectured talked to him about it and made him write an apology to his teacher & the caretaker.

He hasn't done it since!

avolt Mon 30-Sep-13 15:09:33

I think I would make mine write a note of apology actually. It just reinforces that it's not acceptable and you won't tolerate it.

It also goes some way to rebuild the relationship with dd and the dinner lady.

Chocovore Mon 30-Sep-13 18:05:28

I think I would leave it tbh. This is the generation who have been exposed to 'the Fat Controller' in Thomas the Tank Engine. How are they supposed to know the difference at 6?

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 18:10:39

No one calls the fat controller fat in a negative way. Anyway, he's called Mr Tophamhat now iirc.

SoupDragon Mon 30-Sep-13 18:14:35

I do not understand where all this bullying came from

It's not bullying! It's just a 6 yr old making an inappropriate comment.

rockybalboa Mon 30-Sep-13 18:17:52

I think flowers and a card is way OTT. No, it's not nice to call someone fat and you've explained that to DD but if she's apologised and now understands why she shouldn't call people names then that's enough.

Wellthen Mon 30-Sep-13 19:10:05

I think you should be teaching her that its not ok to comment on people's appearences. 'Nice tits' is no better than 'hey fatty' even if it is meant to be 'complementary'. It also takes the emphasis away from the lady's weight as you say your DD is getting sensitive about her own looks. The message should be: no one has the right comment on how you look so dont do it to others. Everyone is beautiful, people do not look the way they do to please you.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 23:00:48

Serious stuff needs solidarity between home and school, minor stuff should not come home.

Chances of getting a coherent story from a six year old who's afraid of getting in more trouble are small.

Chances of being told important things if you always side with the school/other adults very small.

It's a difficult balancing act. I've seen DCs get in huge trouble at school because parents were in denial and I have had a boy say to me (as a helper) "what's the point in behaving Mum has already taken all my nice things off me".

He needed her to get off his back and find things to praise him for, but I doubt he came from that sort of home sad

maizieD Tue 01-Oct-13 11:25:43

Hopenomore, if your dd is starting to worry about what others think of her, I wonder if someone has said personal things either to her or to others in her peer group within her hearing?

I was just beginning to think that myself when Elibean said it!

The fact that she was saying things in concert with another child makes me suspect an element of copying peer behaviour.

I'd also be slightly worried that the loss of self confidence may be a result of peer bullying; it may be worth following that up if possible. (Though it may equally well be a complete misconception on your dd's part)

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