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What would possess a child of 5 to be vicious enough to really hurt another child?

(64 Posts)
gebethonson Wed 14-Oct-09 20:18:34

My Neice came home from school today after another child had dared her to put her finger into a pencil sharpener! She then proceeded to twist my neices arm so that the sharpener cut her finger! I feel really quite sick that a child would even think to do that to another. What next? The teacher told my neice off for putting her finger into the sharpener and there was no mention about the manipulative little bully who egged her on to do it and then twisted her arm to actually cause harm. I really am beside myself. Should the authorities be involved? surely this is not normal behavior and is indicative of something much more sinister?

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 14-Oct-09 20:37:52

I think the school should be taking a whole lot more of a serious approach to this kid - at this age, it may have been just a silly game, but this bully of a child needs to have a very firm message sent that hurting others is not on. The problem is that if they don't check this kind of behaviour at 5, with firm boundaries, that kid grows up to be a nasty little thug. Ask to see the head, ask about the school's bullying policy and generally don't get fobbed off until action has been taken.

Littlefish Wed 14-Oct-09 20:54:15

Is this a one-off incident? In which case, it's not bullying. Bullying is when the behaviour is on-going, not a single incident.

You don't know for certain that the other child wasn't dealt with separately. Has your neice's mum or dad been in to talk to the classteacher?

No, the authorities should not be involved. You are over-reacting.

Lulumama Wed 14-Oct-09 20:57:22

at 5, perhaps your niece should know sticking your fingers where they'd don't belong ?

i agree with the littlefish

this was silliness on behalf of both girls and the authorities do not need to be involved

the other child would not have necessarily foreseen that your niece's finger would be cut?

it was a dare and it went too far, but it is not bullying

gebethonson Wed 14-Oct-09 21:00:33

My brother did speak to the teacher who hopefully tommorow will look into it in some more depth, as the incident occurred just before hometime. The child in question has always apparently been nasty towards my neice since pre-school, but the level nasty behaviour towards her is obviously escalting.
I simply don't understand, what would make a child 'feel' to physically harm another to such a degree.

Lulumama Wed 14-Oct-09 21:01:50

siblings are often mean to each other and will hit/bite/punch/pull hair etc... at a young age, children do get frustrated and daft and lash out and can't express themselves rationally

it sounds like a dare that got out of hand

colditz Wed 14-Oct-09 21:02:16

Don't be fucking ridiculous.

seeker Wed 14-Oct-09 21:02:39

I don't think you've met many 5 year olds!

I don't mean to be flippant, but unless this is part of a pattern of behaviour, it just sounds like a silly dare that got out of hand.

Who did you hear the story from?

gebethonson Wed 14-Oct-09 21:04:17

Maybe I am over reacting. Maybe I feel so disturbed about this because I too was bullied as a child and I know what the emotional and psychological damage it can do. Probably not helped by the recent media stories about children who go on to SERIOUSLY harm or even kill other children.

Lulumama Wed 14-Oct-09 21:05:55

i do think you need to get some perspective on this

am sorry you had a terribly hard time, it must be hard not to project that onto your neice

but as long as school are aware and the other child is monitored to ensure this is nothing more than 5 year old silliness, there is not a serious issue here

forkhandles Wed 14-Oct-09 21:06:35

My 6.5yr old DD sharpened her own finger at the weekend, seems she wanted to know what would happen, and yes it cut her and she bled!

seeker Wed 14-Oct-09 21:08:42

Who did you hear the story from? I'm not sure how the other child could have twisted your niece's arm so that her finger was cut - it does sound as if they were messing around together.

I'm sorry about your experiences - but I do think it's important not to project.

HuwEdwards Wed 14-Oct-09 21:08:52

gebethonson, really, you need to take a step back I think. You seem to be projecting all your fears and experiences into this 1 incident.

The school will speak to the other child and the parents of your niece need to have a word with her about how she might handle goading/coaxing etc from this other child, but honestly, what she did to your niece, although unpleasant, does not wcome anywhere near warranting the authorities involvement.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 14-Oct-09 21:09:20

They don't get it. They really don't get the possible consequences. They do it to find out a lot of the time.

What 'authorities' should be involved?

jobhuntersrus Wed 14-Oct-09 21:10:56

children hurt each other often because they can't control their own anger or frustration.

The particular incident you mention sounds like a dare or curiosity. To an adult it would be obvious what was going to happen but not to a 5 yr old. My children have often done silly things or hurt each other just because they hadn't thought through the consequences of what might happen.

gebethonson Wed 14-Oct-09 21:15:03

I don't really know (TheFallen...). I just know how I hate to hear of any child being hurt. Especially as they are so vulnerable. I don't know what I would do if it ever happened to any of my children. I'd like to think that I would deal with it rationally but I really do struggle with individuals being 'nasty'.

colditz Wed 14-Oct-09 21:21:42

It wasn't 'nasty'.

It was silly.

'Nasty' would be an appropriate word to use if they were 10.

5 year olds still believe in magic - maybe she thought her finger would turn into a pencil?

I distinctly remember being about 6 or 7 and being in a school swimming lesson. We had recently been taught some bible stories, and I wanted to walk on water like Jesus. So I put my armbands on my feet and went for it.

I nearly drowned. I could just have easily persuaded a friend to do it so I could watch.

gebethonson Thu 15-Oct-09 11:18:35

Colditz. 'Silly', is when something is funny. Causing someonelse to actually bleed is NOT 'silly!'. It may have been a dare that had gone wrong but, it WAS 'nasty'. I'm sure that teachers warn that it is 'dangerous' to do what my neice did, so the girl should not have egged her on to do it! I'm sure that my initial reaction was neurotic and I have reflected over the last 12 hours about it. I know that my own children would know that it is wrong to hurt (that is to cut) another child. Yes they argue and fight but they would know that it is a NO NO to do what the girl did.

Bramshott Thu 15-Oct-09 11:22:43

Ooh, I dunno. I am often quite tempted to stick my little finger in a pencil sharpener to see if I can pare a little bit of the nail off blush. I think it's quite normal to stick little fingers into small holes just to "see what will happen"!

overmydeadbody Thu 15-Oct-09 11:25:26

It wasn't nasty.

parker1313 Thu 15-Oct-09 14:01:00

I think it was nasty.
My ds would know at this age that a sharpener would cut the finger and that it would hurt.
Why didnt she stick her own finger in if it was just to see what would happen.Why get someone else to do it??!!

parker1313 Thu 15-Oct-09 14:05:51

Colditz I do not think there was any need to swear and be like that.
We are coming on here for gentle support and help.It really isnt nice to experience that sort of comment.
Iv come across you before and know you have been on here for a long time so you clearly feel very comfortable but it doesnt make it ok for you to say "Dont be fucking ridiculous"
I think an apology is called for

traceybath Thu 15-Oct-09 14:13:04

As others have said its not bullying if a one-off incident.

Always worth a chat with the teacher though but don't be surprised if it turns out your neice isn't a perfect angel - few 5 year olds are.

DS1 was punched in playground last week and had a nose bleed as a result so quite a hit. Well that was what he told me - turns out another child had been swinging his coat and the coat hit my son in the face causing said nose-bleed. Not nice but not such an aggressive act as being thumped.

As Lulu said - don't project.

parker1313 Thu 15-Oct-09 14:13:18

ps Iv just taken a look and the poster is new.Not a very nice welcome!

Jujubean77 Thu 15-Oct-09 14:18:33

I don't think you are over reacting at all. 5 yo is old enough by FAR to know this would cause pain to another hmm.

I think it was an utterly nasty thing to do.

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