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Comment to my daughter. Would you be annoyed with this?

(45 Posts)
TheStoic Sun 12-Nov-17 12:54:10

My 12yo son is particularly good at maths and has won some awards etc. My 10yo daughter struggles with it and has said before that she thinks she’s stupid.

Daughter is getting some extra maths help in class with a teacher’s aid. Another TA is listening in one day and says ‘Oh wow! Your brother would have finished that in seconds, wouldn’t he!’

I thought that was a spectacularly unhelpful thing to say. Daughter wasn’t particularly fazed. She said ‘well, it’s true!’

Would you be annoyed? If so, would you do anything about it?

GeorgeTheHamster Sun 12-Nov-17 12:54:50

Yes I'd be annoyed.

No I wouldn't say anything.

TheQueenOfWands Sun 12-Nov-17 12:57:03

The TA is in the wrong job.

She should be a demotivational speaker. Or a judge on The X-Factor.

MrsJayy Sun 12-Nov-17 12:57:42

Yes i would be annoyed and i would say something your Dd needs the extra help she doesn't need her brother dangled infront of her face it is unfair and will affect her self esteem imo

LouHotel Sun 12-Nov-17 12:57:43

I would be annoyed and would politely mention that you think it was a helpful comment to make whilsy encouraging your dd at Math.

I dont think its something to go nuclear over.

LouHotel Sun 12-Nov-17 12:58:03


AlexanderHamilton Sun 12-Nov-17 12:59:47

Similar type comments about me to my brother led him to completely give up on school as he felt he would never be as good as me so what was the point in trying.

Luckily he blossomed once he left school in an apprenticeship involving lots of mathematical calculations.

BaronessBomburst Sun 12-Nov-17 13:00:06

I would be annoyed, and yes, I would say something.

DF and DB are both spectacularly good at maths, and in fact most things, leaving me always to believe that I wasn't. I still get wibbles and panics about my ability to do things and I'm now in my 40's.

OuchLegoHurts Sun 12-Nov-17 13:01:25

Teachers should NEVER compare siblings. T.A.s are no different. You should definitely say something so that she learns for future reference.

Undercoverbanana Sun 12-Nov-17 13:03:20

"If you were cleverer/could afford to study/went to a posh school etc you might have been a teacher instead of a TA."

TheStoic Sun 12-Nov-17 13:03:35

I asked her if her actual TA said anything in response, she said ‘he looked a bit cross but just ignored her and kept teaching me.’

I’ll say something to her teacher.

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 12-Nov-17 13:06:05

Your dd sounds like she absolutely has her head screwed on in her response ‘well, it’s true’ - it doesn’t sound like it phased or hurt her, I think it’s good for them to recognise that they have different strengths/areas to work on and she is obviously mature about it.

TA was out of line to say it though.

NovemberWitch Sun 12-Nov-17 13:07:46

DS was often compared unfavourably with DD throughout state schooling. From around 6, his default response was ‘You do know I’m a different person?’ A line given him by DD. Usually shut up the critic.
No, it’s never ok to compare siblings, any more than you would unrelated children.

Glumglowworm Sun 12-Nov-17 13:07:53

Yes and yes

I'm sure the TA thought of it as a fairly harmless throw away comment. But those throw away comments build up.

Teachers/TAs shouldn't compare siblings, whether positive or negative, it's unfair to both children.

DearMrDilkington Sun 12-Nov-17 13:10:18

That's really insensitive and an awful thing for a TA to say. Way to stomp on any confidence your dd had left.

I'd definitely say something.

Squeegle Sun 12-Nov-17 13:11:03

I think it is definitely worth mentioning in a letter or in a conversation that comparison is very unhelpful for siblings. They should know this but sounds like this one needs reminding!

Angelicinnocent Sun 12-Nov-17 13:11:28

Since your DD has her head screwed on well, I'd leave it.

Different matter if she had been upset.

StrangeLookingParasite Sun 12-Nov-17 13:16:43

From around 6, his default response was ‘You do know I’m a different person?’ A line given him by DD. Usually shut up the critic.

Excellent response.
The comment itself is so redundant I'd be tempted to reply 'And?' I mean, what is she supposed to do/say? The TA obviously has trouble filtering what runs through their mind before it leaks out their mouth.

Intercom Sun 12-Nov-17 13:17:02

Mentioning to the teacher is the right thing to do IMHO. If they aren't aware of a problem they can't address it.

NataliaOsipova Sun 12-Nov-17 13:22:32

"A professionally qualified teacher would know better than to make such a spectacularly crass remark, wouldn't she?"

Giraffesarequitetall Sun 12-Nov-17 13:26:48

I’d have a quick word, comparison isn’t helpful.

We had similar when DS2 was doing his yr6 SATS, a TA said to him that he needed to do better than his brother who got a level 5, so DS2 needed to get the level 6.

In this case DS2 was clearly more able than DS1 and we knew already that he would likely get better results but hadn’t discussed DS1s results with him as we thought it wasn’t fair to do the comparison. So he hadn’t known what his brother got and we certainly didn’t want him gloating as we could sense DS1 was beginning to realise he was the less academic sibling. DS1 was still bright and we didn’t want him to feel overshadowed.

We didn’t make a big deal but just said to the teacher that we didn’t want them compared and she understood and I think went on to have words with the TA. I think it is important that they realise that isn’t appropriate or helpful.

Bambamber Sun 12-Nov-17 13:27:36

I think if it's a one off remark, I wouldn't say anything. If it becomes a regular occurrence I would say something, as from experience, although your daughter was unfazed, it can be hurtful in the long run.

TheStoic Sun 12-Nov-17 13:28:43

Thanks everyone.

I feel like she’s ‘decided’ that she’s no good at maths, and comments like that really don’t help.

MrsJayy Sun 12-Nov-17 13:32:41

If the op says something now then it is nipped in the bud. The TA maybe thought she was helping or tryi g to gee her on but comparison helps nobody she wouldn't say well random in the year above did better comparing siblings is no better.

BackforGood Sun 12-Nov-17 13:34:09

Agee it was a spectacularly unhelpful thing to say, and - as it seems she doesn't already know that - then her line manager needs to let her know that. Therefore,yes, you should have a word with the line manager. No need to fury or anger or any of the other MN words that are often used in these circumstances grin but it is better for all future pupils if she is made aware of how unhelpful it is.

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