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Uncomfortable with nursery...

(13 Posts)
Tissy Tue 08-Feb-05 10:53:01

dd (just 3) has been at the same nursery full-time since she was 4 months old. She has recently "graduated" into the 3-5 year old room, and seems to have settled well, although she is the youngest of a fairly big class. Having said that she is happy and confident, and very good verbally- can easily hold her own in conversation.

Yesterday, she was playing on her own in the sitting room, putting 2p pieces into and out of a little purse. She dropped a few on the floor, and said to herself "you stupid little girl", before picking them up. She said the same thing when she stumbled going up the stairs this morning.

I'm certain that dh and I have never used those words at home (we might use the word "silly", but never "stupid"), and can only assume she has picked them up at nursery. I was intending to have a word with the nursery manager when I dropped her off this morning, but she (the manager) wasn't there. When I took dd into her room, there were 5 or 6 other children there already. The nursery nurse was being a bit abrupt with them, and her assistant (a very young girl)wasn't helping much. For some reason, when they arrive, they have to get their name off a board with all the names on, and put it on another board (a kind of register?). When she was asked to do this, dd clung to me, and asked me to get her name. Another little girl, even helpfully told her that her name was blue, but she still wouldn't get it. When I had handed the name to her, she happily ran and put it on the second board.

What I'm not sure about is whether the two are in some way connected? Dd can recognise her own name when it is written down, but I would understand her having difficulty if it is mixed in with 20 other names. It seems to me that someone (the abrupt NN?) has called her stupid sometime in the last few days , and now she is repeating it at home. I have told her that she is not stupid, and that if anyone tells her she is, she should just say ^I'm not stupid^, but am now worried she'll get told off for being cheeky.

Should I just ignore this, and wait and see what happens, or should I make a point of speaking to the manager, even though I have no evidence at all, just a feeling of uneasiness?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 08-Feb-05 10:54:56

I'd ask the manager ... but this sort of language may well not be coming from the staff. Other kids' parents are not as careful as you - I know that DS has learned to say "stupid" from school (ok, and from the original Thomas books - grr), even though the teachers certainly frown o nit.

Marina Tue 08-Feb-05 11:05:00

Really agree with NQC - a lot of language/behaviour your child picks up at nursery or in the early years of school comes from little friends. I am simmering at resentment at the ignorant thoughtlessness of one of ds' schoolfriend's parents at the moment - their views (bigoted is putting it charitably) are being parrotted by their son at mine and it has had him in terrified tears at bedtime.
I'd have a word with the manager to check that they have a policy on the use of stupid and ask them to investigate this, though. Sorry she is struggling to settle Tissy

handlemecarefully Tue 08-Feb-05 11:39:06

Certainly raise it with the Nursery Manager to set your mind at rest, but as suggested by the others the phrase might have been picked up from a peer rather than one of the staff.

At your dd's age she is probably old enough and reliable enough to answer some direct questions about Nursery. Does she say that she enjoys Nursery?

I was thinking of having a word with my Day Nursery Manager as dd has started to say "Stop talking!!"...

batters Tue 08-Feb-05 12:28:38

Agree with all the other posters Tissy. I do hope your little girl settles soon. I'd also do as HMC suggests, ask her directly if she likes nursery, and see how she responds.

Marina, really sorry to hear your little boy has been upset by something another child has picked up from his parents and repeated. It's awful when things like that happen.

Bozza Tue 08-Feb-05 12:30:48

Tissy we have the name board thing too - but they are coupled with a photo of the child.

Blu Tue 08-Feb-05 12:51:12

Tissy - having had to spend the last two weeks 're-settling' Ds into nursery, i can completely understand your dicon=mfort and anxiety. there seems to be an x factor of something that strikes once they get into that pre-school room.
I spoke to the manager about a number of things we were concerned about - and wrote them out, too - but emphasising how happy we were with individual staff etc. the results have been immediate and effective - so i honestly wouldn't worry about pressing your point. At DS's nursery, they work hard to discourage kids from calling each otehr 'naughty' - and i'm sure it won't be policy at your DDs nursery to have words like 'stupid' used, whether form staff or other children, so talk to room staff and the manager in the spirit of 'they might want to know...so that they can look out for it and encourage more positive language'.

Marina - that sounds horrible. How are you handling it?

Marina Tue 08-Feb-05 13:02:01

Little pal went home and told his parents that my ds has an imaginary friend (whom I have posted about before and to whom we are curiously attached as a family). Little pal, who is spoilt rotten and clearly the product of some questionable parenting choices, then informed ds that his parents think it is wicked and evil to make up imaginary friends, that ds was a liar who would go to hell, and that there is no way Randall exists.
Stupid I know, but this really struck home with ds - no-one has ever challenged him on this before and Randall joined us about the time our son was stillborn . So we have never pressed the issue. Ds was very, very distressed about it.
For days ds mournfully informed us Randall had had to go away etc, but children being resilient, thank goodness, he's back now. Apparently.
We have to bite our tongues constantly when confronted with information on how these parents run their home life. We never, ever criticise them to ds' face, or their son's behaviour come to that. But it is a struggle! (End of hijack there).

WideWebWitch Tue 08-Feb-05 13:33:08

Tissy, poor love, I agree, speak to them and see what they say and keep reinforcing it at home too that she's not stupid. Marina, your poor ds and what horrible parents. Have you got I am too absolutely small for school by Lauren Child? You may well have but I thought I'd mention it since Lola has an imaginary friend called Soren Lorensen in it, very sweet. I'm glad Randall is back. Bless.

Blu Tue 08-Feb-05 13:42:25

Oh Marina, poor DS.
I think I would be on the phone - or doorstep - to LP's parents - facny anyone describing a child as wicked!
However, I am sure you will handle the whole thing in your usual perceptive, strong, compassionate style.
Love to DS and randall.

Tissy Tue 08-Feb-05 19:41:37

Thanks, everyone.

Nursery manager wasn't there when I went to pick up dd, but I did speak to two of the NNs that were there (and that dd likes). When NN asked her who had said she was stupid, dd named the NN who was there this morning , which she had not done, when I asked her, so I'm not sure that it is entirely accurate, but then, I haven't actually caught her lying about anything else yet!

NNs said they absolutely didn't allow language like that, and asked dd to tell them if anyone used those words again. As for the name board, they agreed that she is too young to be able to read her own name, and will help her in future if she seems stuck.

Feel a little happier, and agree it might have come from another child (but why then blame NN1?). I do like the other two NNs who are in her room, so will keep an eye on the situation.

Thanks so much for "listening".

Marina, I think Randall is definitely to be encouraged. Dd is an only child (and will always be one), and I sometimes worry that she will be lonely. I wish she would find an imaginary friend to talk to at those times when i just can't give her 100% of my attention.

Marina Wed 09-Feb-05 09:04:16

Very glad you have been able to speak to a member of staff - she will almost certainly know if what your dd is saying is the literal truth, Tissy! I think if it is two likeable onto one questionable NN in the room, then they will keep an eye on their colleague. Some people surprisingly really don't see the big deal about "stupid".
I know how hard it is when they make a bigger than usual leap into the next room. Dd is loving her new space, but we have to get to know a new (and seemingly lovely, as usual) team of NNs. If it helps at all we had really grave misgivings about one of the NNs in dd's old room but she turned out to be very good and on-side when you got to know her better.
Randall is a bitter-sweet thing, Tissy (thanks all for kind comments)! He does a lot of naughty things that might otherwise be attributed to ds...

Blu Wed 09-Feb-05 11:36:55

V pleased to hear the nursery responded so well, Tissy. Well done!
(oh, and you can join Batters, Sis and I in the 'one child and that's the way it's staying' club!)

Marina - I was wondering this a.m whether we need a new acronism on MN: DIF - dear invisible friend.

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