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Need advice quickly so posting in Aibu. Bullying problem in pre school...

(121 Posts)
Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:16:42

I finally know why my ds2 is so distressed about pre school all of a sudden
He is being bullied
I just fucking knew it.
A child does not go from happily running in every morning to clinging and begging me not to leave him for no reason!
At night time he is crying he doesn't want to go sad
I had a word with pre school last week and they said no problems.
So I accepted this.
Then today I took him to a messy play session for kids and mums run by the pre school in the afternoon...oh my god
One child who hasn't been there too long (conincidentally after he started was when Toby began to be upset) was simply vile to him and his mother just sat there.
I am so upset and angry and dh is away and I don't know what to do.
I can't go through this again. Ds1 was badly bullied from nursery right though to year 2 by the same child and school always played it down. This has had serious effects in ds1. At age 6 he was showing symptoms of clinical depression. (I took him out btw and he is now happy at a new school)
This child took every toy Ds2 had, snatched, pinched and crushed his hand.
ds2 shares well and gave the child the toys without complaint but it broke my heart. Ds2 went outside to get away from him and he followed and again snatched all the toys ds2 was playing with.
The child ended the session by having a screaming fit and throwing a brush across the playground. His mother then stepped in. Oh, and she is a teacher apparently (this is relevant bear with me!)
After the session I spoke to the manager and said "well, now we know what the problem is!" She said this child had never behaved like that before and that his mother works full time so it was perhaps because she was there?
Was that a dig at me because I am a sahm? Whatever, it's a pretty feeble excuse IMO.
I am so angry with the pre school...there are only 8 kids to 2 key workers most mornings so there is no excuse for missing this.
Aibu in keeping him off tomorrow. -this child goes on a Friday ?
Do I send a letter?
Phone the manager?
I don't know what to do or even whether to tell dh as he is working away....
Feel very alone and sick with worry.

gordyslovesheep Thu 27-Sep-12 17:22:44

I think you need to take a deep breath and calm down - I think your feelings are being hightend by your first childs experiences - I can;t see anything in your post that shows dd2 is being bullied - not saying he ISN'T but there isn't anything there except one silly toddler incident which the teacher said was a one off.

Why would you send him to the same school if it was so bad?

Speak to the teacher, ask for a meeting - ask you child

you don;t say how old he is but all of mine have gone through a clingy phase at 4/5

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Sep-12 17:27:19

Major over reaction on your part OP...perhaps understandable if your DS1 had problems with another child.

But really kids aren't 'bully's' in pre-school....they're finding their own feet and have to learn to socialise.

Some children find this hard and others don't.

Keep on at the staff about it though.

But I have to ask, surely you didn't sit there watching all this without getting involved?

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:27:35

He isn't at the same school....?
Yes I realise that my experience with my eldest son is colouring my view somewhat but I cannot let my schools be treated like that.
Would you?
It seems rather Odd to me that ds2 became distressed after this child started...and after what I saw today I think I understand why ds2 is reluctant to go now....

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Sep-12 17:29:34

How old is DS2?

gordyslovesheep Thu 27-Sep-12 17:30:37

you saw one incident - the teacher said it had never happened before what does you son say ?????

BillyBollyBandy Thu 27-Sep-12 17:30:51

Actually if the child is only doing this to your DS he is picking on him and it should be stopped. I would not be happy and would have intervened today if a child kept taking things from mine. I assume he is 3/4 so should realise about sharing, or be old enough to have it explained to him.

I would speak to the keyworker, but try and build ds2's confidence at home, and each him to walk away from this child or bring the matter to the attention of the teacher.

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:31:31

Worra....I didn't know what to do tbh...
Kept moving ds2 to another activity/outside...this child just followed and started again...
Yes I do call it bullying...he physically hurt my son twice...
He was 4 this week.

BillyBollyBandy Thu 27-Sep-12 17:31:43

Sorry, am presuming this is what has been happening at pre school when you are not there

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:33:08

Yes, it was all aimed at my son.
There were 4 other kids there.
I don't feel it's my job to discipline other people's kids.
I feel the manager should have dine something but as she said, you assume the parent will step in.....

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:34:14

Don't know what's been happening what I am not there...that's the worry I guess.
If he could be like that to da2 with me and his own mother sitting there what in earth is going in what we aren't??
I have asked him if this child is mean to him and he says yes.
That's all I can get out of him.

Harleyband Thu 27-Sep-12 17:35:07

It's not uncommon for preschoolers to love school at first and then get clingy and upset as the novelty wears off. They eventually come back round (all 3 of my DCs did this). Children this young don't bully- they don't have enough awareness of others to bully. They do snatch toys they like, though! If the teacher says this is a one-off then it probably is- especially with the child to carer ratio you give. I know it must be very hard for you to watch especially after your experiences with DS1, but if you are really worried, could you ask to spend a day at the school to see what really happens (sitting in a quiet corner or watching through the door)?

BillyBollyBandy Thu 27-Sep-12 17:35:37

Just say "no darling ds2 was playing with that" while fixing him with a steely grin. I would ask the manager what they do about instances like this. If they do not try and control bad behaviour that is an issue full stop.

TiggyD Thu 27-Sep-12 17:36:37

"She said this child had never behaved like that before and that his mother works full time so it was perhaps because she was there?"
That happens a lot! The child starts behaving like a sod because they know they can get away with it because the staff don't want to tell them off as that would be like telling the mother she can't control her child. Which she can't. Some parents you have to try to get out the nursery as fast as possible.

gordyslovesheep Thu 27-Sep-12 17:37:12

have you asked him - away from school and in a calm manner, why he is being clingy - see I think you are making fairly large assumptions

you are seeing fairly normal, rough, kids behavior (yes it was wrong) and deciding
a) it's happening all the time (teacher says not)
b) that's why he's clingy
c) it's bullying

I have an image of yo being a bit handflappy and OMG my husband isn;t here how will I cope ...just communicate with his key worker, the school and your son - start THERE

IvorHughJanus Thu 27-Sep-12 17:37:22

Talk to the school. If you don't feel satisfied with the response that the staff member today gave you, then speak to someone higher up (do you have room supervisors?). Tell them that DS has seemed reluctant to go and upset etc. and ask them whether or not he has been upset when he's actually there. (I realise you've said you spoke to them last week, but tell them there's been no improvement from your point of view and so you are concerned).

If you are upset that no one intervened during today's incidents, then raise that too. If you don't feel that you would be able to dicuss this with them without becoming upset or angry (which probably won't get you very far) then put it down into a letter or email for them.

It's horrible when you fear that your child is unhappy or being hurt and there's nothing at all unreasonable about wishing to work with the school to resolve it. However, if you are satisfied that they are a good pre-school; that prior to this, you were happy with DS attending there, and you would like him to continue to attend once this issue is sorted, then bear in mind that running in guns blazing may not be the best way to go.

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:39:23

I tried billy.He just ignored me!

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Sep-12 17:40:18

It's not acceptable but it's not bullying.

I don't want to sound pedantic but I think it would help you to sort this if you see it for what it actually is...instead of thinking he's actually being bullied.

Have another word with the teacher but please try to listen to what they actually tell you.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 27-Sep-12 17:44:30

You are reading too much into the comment about the Mum working. I think it was probably just the manager thinking out loud, and not a dig at all. It is quite common for children to behave very differently when their parents come into their school/preschool.

I would be reluctant to call it bullying to the school, because while the behaviour might come across a bullying, it is not right to label a 4yo child a bully unless in very extreme circumstances. Using that word belittles your argument and can make you appear like you are over reacting, when actually you have a very valid concern.

I would email or write to the manager informing her of your ds's reluctance to attend preschool recently, state why you are concerned about the behaviour you saw take place when you visited, and ask them to provide a written plan of action to prevent your son being further distressed. There are plenty of things they could do, and they may need to be prompted into doing them. Ask if they have a conflict management plan for the children.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 27-Sep-12 17:44:39

I wouldn't call the other child's behaviour bullying, especially not at this age. He sounds like he hasn't learn how to play "nicely" yet. If you observe behaviour like that, you need to step in and show the other child how to play kindly, which will be a good learning experience for your DS, too. If he ignores (and I wasn't sure whether you meant the other child or manager had ignored you), say again and again, and if necessary, tell his mother in a calm, measured way. I think yo'ure letting your DS1's experience cloud your judgement here.

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:47:03

Yes I could well be.
However, I am very upset at what I saw this afternoon.
Perhaps I am too soft, but its very upsetting watching your child being...well, I think it's being another child.
It's not the child's fault. He is 3, but that doesn't mean he gets to treat my son like this.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 27-Sep-12 17:50:19

No, of course he doesn't get to treat your son like that, but someone (ideally his mother, but if not then, I'm afraid, you!) needs to teach him how to play properly. I think if you keep saying it's bullying it kind of deflates your argument, cos it makes you sound a bit mean talking about a 3yr old being a bully. It is upsetting, but you have to take positive steps to stop it smile

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 17:52:08

But the manager was downplaying the incidents.
That's what really worries me.
I have been there before.
Oh it's ok mrs xxxx ds is quite happy when here...
I can't ignore what happened this afternoon - I just don't know what my next move is....sad
Wish dh was here...

Mollydoggerson Thu 27-Sep-12 17:55:11

If it was me I would:

1 - Intervene when I see the bullying. Tell naughty child to stop x/y/z. In front of naughty child, I would tell my child if x is naughty again you come and tell me or the teacher and we will sort this out, then I would give death stares to naughty child. If naughty child's mother then intervened, I would say, 'goodness it is a full time job controlling these children, isn't it' smile and then toddle off.

2. I would bring my chilld to pre-school tomorrow and would tell the staff what is happening aand I would insist that the bully is controlled by them. It is their duty to do it.

3. I would also tell hubby when he gets home, nothing he can do at the moment.

I think children get courage, and become rightous about protecting themselves and others against bullying if they see adults take action.

I think you are teaching your ds's to be victims by teaching them to allow others to take toys from them. The other child should be told Y is playing with the toy, when he is finished you can then get your turn.

Pancakeflipper Thu 27-Sep-12 18:01:05

This is typical 3 yr old behaviour, them pushing the boundaries. Yo have to push the boundaries back.. It is not bullying and you have to stop thinking of it as bullying or you will project a whole load a crap into your kids which will not help them.

You are taking a horrid experience and colouring everything else with it.

Please calm down.

Have you had a chat with the pre-school team about your son and why he's been not so happy to go to pre-school? He might be getting a bit bored? He might be having separation anxiety, he might just hate it.

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