To speak to teacher before speaking to the mum?(13 Posts)
Daughter is 4 yrs old, in reception class, and generally happy, funny, annoying - all your typical 4 yr old things.
She has a close friend at school who we have been wary of for a while - she reports differences of opinions and clashes (described as 'X being mean again') quite a lot, so we've stopped inviting the girl over and encouraged other friendships. Never said anything bad about the other child (who we have seen act out quite a lot, but she's still very young as well, so didn't think too much of it), but offered advice - 'if she's mean to you, go and play with someone else' - that sort of thing.
About two weeks ago, she was reporting the latest incident (where she ended up in tears and other girls came along and looked after her) and mentioned that the girl got physical with her. It turns out that if the girl is unhappy with her for whatever reason, she gives her 'hard hugs' and then makes aggressive faces at her. It made us a bit more concerned, but we explained that if people are touching you or being physical in any way that you don't like then the first thing you should do is tell them to stop, walk away and tell someone in charge. Figured that they're only 4, so likely to be tired, emotional, exaggerating, etc. And they do need to learn to deal with these things themselves...
Anyway, this weekend at another child's party, I saw girl in question shove and make a horrible face at daughter, who then cried for about ten seconds. I was too far away to do anything about it, and she recovered quickly so I was going to leave it. Then during the food, I was standing nearby chatting to girl's mother, and girl hit my daughter. Daughter didn't cry or react or anything - other girl was shouting at her and getting very agitated.
The mum just said 'oh no we don't do that do we', knelt down with her daughter and tried to calm her down and find out why she hit. At no point did she tell her off or make her apologise - I could feel myself getting really angry so I didn't really say anything as I didn't trust myself to. The girl kicked off a few more times during the meal for various reasons - so she was obviously having a bad day, but still...
The whole time this went on my daughter just sat there passively. Very strange. Later on she asked me to look after something of hers and to hold it up high 'because x is trying to take it and I don't want her to.'
The strangest thing is that daughter hasn't mentioned it since, didn't tell DH, etc. So does that mean she's used to it and only bothers telling us when something really bad happens?
Sorry for long post, but basically I want to know if I'd be out of line to ask teacher to keep an eye on them without talking to the mum about it first. As - quite frankly - she seems to be a bit pathetic when it comes to discipline so what's the point?
Speak to the teacher if happening in school. If happening outside school speak to the mother or distance your child to make it clear you are not happy with the behaviour.
Don't fixate on the mum not getting the child to apologise - parties can be high stress stuff for all.
Do speak to the teacher about your concerns about your child's experience at school - your child doesn't like tight hugs and finds this one child a bit too cuddly so could school keep an eye on please.
Thanks - this is first 'thing' we've had to deal with and thought there might be a parent-first etiquette or something!
Am not going to skirt around the issue by saying child too cuddly though. I think that sort of thing is more spiteful than lashing out as it's more devious / less impulsive. Think this kid has had enough excuses made for her behaviour already!
Definitely not parent first, op. The teacher should always be told first and then it's up to them to speak to the parent. Parent may then approach you and it's up to you if you communicate with them or not.. keeping things open is easier in the long run (if other parent is reasonable) as you will have a long time standing in the playground, attending parties etc with these people.
Your child seems to have learned that she has to accept this behaviour. I find that horrific. Yes, talk to the teacher. The other mother's approach to discipline is not your business, but the safety of your child is.
Yes tell the teacher not the parent, always.
Yes mrstwee that's exactly it! I don't think anything would change if I spoke to the (perfectly pleasant) mother so wouldn't be safeguarding my child at all.
Thank you all - going to send an email now
This is very common, though upsetting with girls. It starts in reception and only really settled down for us in y5.
Girls tend to be bossy boots or passive people pleasers (or somewhere in between ). The bossy boots just take advantage of the nicer kids and to us seem to get away with it.
Definitely echo others, smile at the parents but do not engage in chatting about behaviour, it never ends well.
Instead do as you are doing, encourage other friends and have them around to play. Talk to the teacher, not in a complaining way but just can she discreetly keep an eye and if any teams/working in pairs to give your DD someone else to work with to give her a break.
Both DD now in senior school, this rumbled on for us all through primary school but by keeping the horrors at arms length and encouraging the nice kids, DDs are now confident kids with loads of nice friends. The bossy kids from primary still playing the same games, making people miserable.
Thank you liquorice, it's nice to know that we're doing roughly the right thing and that it doesn't go on for ever!
The little girl is by no means always horrible, and my daughter adores her, but the whole thing just rings massive alarm bells for me.
FWIW the mother has chatted behaviour with me a few times outside school - made me feel like she was getting her excuses in early and that was before I knew about anything physical!
No advice really, but am reading 'Little girls can be mean' at the mo which is interesting in school dynamics for girls.
Thank you, will take a look
I know kids can be mean and petty and it's all part of figuring out who they are but I am very strict about hands to yourself etc so that's never been a problem for us. I don't want daughter just to accept being hurt though! Tricky one to navigate...
Update for anyone else who might have similar concerns.
Spoke to teacher who was super-understanding and sympathetic to the situation. Said she could totally see how that would be the case and would make sure my daughter got some breathing space. Also said she'd chat to my daughter to make sure she knows she can always come to her if/when anything happens in the future.
I feel much happier knowing we aren't overreacting and the teacher will be keeping an eye on the situation now
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