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sister from hell

(28 Posts)
Yummymummy24 Sat 07-Jan-06 20:59:23

I was at my mums yesterday and my sister who was up visiting from plymouth was there. My ds of 5yrs was with me and was sleeping at my mums, so i did his reading book at practiced his spellings with him for about 30mins. Then i said he could go and watch tv. My sister the teacher then proceeded to go on at me saying that i didnt care about his education and i dont put a big enough emphasis on schoolwork and being the best in the class. I got quite annoyed especially when she said he was below the standard he should be at. I'm now worried that what she said was true however i just love him for who he is and feel that 30mins homework a night is adequate. I dont want him to feel bad and have low self esteem this is what she said would happen to him if he wasnt clever at school. I thought he was average in the class but i feel really guilty now. Am i doing things wrong? Should he be doing more than that at home? Who thinks its true that kids at the top of the class have more self esteem?

hercules Sat 07-Jan-06 21:01:01

Think that's all rubbish. 30 minutes is too much imo unless just reading for pleasure at that age.

ScummyMummy Sat 07-Jan-06 21:02:04

I think your sister sounds like an arse from what you've said. A rude arse at that. Ignore her.

getbakainyourjimjams Sat 07-Jan-06 21:04:01

which school is she a teacher at? (so I can avoid it ) 30 mins is more than ample at 5.

MrsSpoon Sat 07-Jan-06 21:04:09

I presume your sister is childless?

flutterbee Sat 07-Jan-06 21:04:15

Being the top of the class at 5 years old is just stupid, do you really think that a 5 year old cares about it. Your sister is being an idiot, I can just imagine her with kids coaching them 24 hours a day telling them that they must be top of the class, they are the types of parents that cause children problems.
To me it sounds as though you are doing just fine, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Miaou Sat 07-Jan-06 21:04:47

Yummy, deep down you know the answers! At 5, 30 minutes homework is plenty. Doing more homework will not make your ds top of the class, just tired and irritable, and will take the fun out of schoolwork for him.

Children at the top of the class do not have more self-esteem (or less, for that matter) - both my dds are top of their age group (mixed class) but one has high self-esteem and one is more wobbly - much more to do with their personalities!

And to be honest, you pushing him to work harder and going on at him about being average rather than top would damage his self-esteem. Encouraging him to always try his best and praising him for his effort, regardless of where he sits on the league tables or whatever, will instill in him his own sense of self worth.

Oooh, I'm all riled now. I presume your sis does not have children of her own to berate.

joanna4 Sat 07-Jan-06 21:06:45

You are a good mum and you have hit the nail right there on the head you love him for who he is -a 5 yr old child!If you are really worried a little word with his teacher might reassure you but i agree i think she is being an arse!
I work in reception and we never would expect 30 minutes is far too much good for you for putting her straight.

coppertop Sat 07-Jan-06 21:23:53

Your sister sounds quite mad IMHO. 30 minutes is more than enough for a 5yr-old. There iare also far more important things in life than being top of the class.

Yummymummy24 Sat 07-Jan-06 22:29:23

Thanks so much ladies yes i do agree triple arse. She has no chidlers what a suprise!!! We were made to do much much more as kids so maybe she gets it from my mum. I was also worried about his self esteem cos he weed in his pants when the head teacher shouted at him. I rang school in a rage and was told he did it because of a terrible insecurity problem (which would add up due to problems in family life 2000 to 2003.)However i think she just scared him so much that she made him wee. This was soooo traumatic for me as well as him, i don't shout at him enough to scare him. I don't agree with it, do you think it would make him tougher if i did? I try to praise him a lot. He's going to play therapy next week has anyone got experience of this?

PotPourri Sat 07-Jan-06 22:38:07

Seriously, she is just a silly cow, ignore her. What the hell does she know - of course you know best! Mums always do! I can't stand the way teachers treat kids, so much so that I am thinking of home educating (another story - and controversial at that - am bracing myself for the shouts from my family).

Anyway, the point is, you work hard at making him a happy little boy. Grades don't matter until they are at least at high school. And strong confident children are not built by nasty troll aunties like your sister. I hope I haven't offended, but comments like that drive me batty - I mean come on! He's only 5 FFS!!!

Yummymummy24 Sat 07-Jan-06 22:40:37

no you've not offended me, i feel so much better for getting it all out. Thanks girls and please feel free to insult said troll bitch from hell auntie that i do love but can be such a stupid tosser.

mummytosteven Sat 07-Jan-06 22:41:50

Agree with other posters. Your sister sounds obnoxious quite frankly. I was very academic at school, and even so, found my mother's pressure on me to be top of the class demoralising. Academic success means surprisingly little once you start your first proper job anyway; IMHO social savvy and good organisation get you a lot further anyway.

KateF Sat 07-Jan-06 23:02:08

I think you are doing more than enough and you sound like a great mum. I'm about to start training to teach Foundation Stage and I'm very surprised at your sister's attitude - hopefully your son's teacher doesn't share it!
Also, if the Head knows your son is a bit insecure she shouldn't be shouting at him. Poor mite

Caligula Sat 07-Jan-06 23:05:39

When I was 5 I got no homework at all.

And my DS had 5 minutes when he was 5. Now he's 6, he gets between 5 and 10 minutes each evening, with about an extra 10 minutes per week.

Children don't get their self-esteem from being top of the class, they get it from knowing they are loved and valued, and being able to do things for themselves and function in a social environment.

I do hope your sister's not teaching reception class children.

Freckle Sat 07-Jan-06 23:06:37

My older sister is a teacher - deputy head of a fairly large primary school. I find that whatever I do regarding my children's education is always wrong. She will give advice (often unasked) and then get huffy and sarcastic when I don't take it.

I think (no offense to any teachers out there) that teachers spend all day being more knowledgeable than those they teach and they find it hard to switch off when dealing with adults.

Caligula Sat 07-Jan-06 23:06:51

Why was the head teacher shouting at him? How very undignified. I can't imagine my DS's head shouting.

nannyme Sat 07-Jan-06 23:19:54

Ignore your sister.

Change school, or at the very least change class.

I am not being rash in my opinion, I mean this with all my heart.

And make sure you follow up with a full complaint.

Will watch this thread as I am so angered by what I have just read and feel huge sympathy for your poor little boy, and you his loving mummy.

God, some people make me weep.

NotAcow Sat 07-Jan-06 23:22:59

yummymummy - your sister is an arse. and the headteacher sounds like they have an anger managment/communication problem too.

you sound like a fantastic mummy, carry on doing what you do and your little boy is very lucky to have you.

good luck with the impending birth too (i just saw you on another thread )

Yummymummy24 Sat 07-Jan-06 23:49:00

Thanks everyone, it does make me very sad that he had to go through that i hate his headteacher. His class teacher is quite good but still shouts at the kids i saw her pointing in one childs face and shouting in front of the parent!! Head shouted at him for throwing ice at a lttle girl he said he was just playing, he's a bit thoughtless but wouldnt try to her anyone on purpose. It makes me feel quite sick to think of it all really, but i dunno about changing schools he's already been moved once due to moving house.

Caligula Sat 07-Jan-06 23:57:28

I'd change schools tbh. Headteachers and primary teachers shouting in tiny children's faces is simply unprofessional and shows some kind of chaos going on in the school.

And tbh, 30 minutes homework for a 5 year old is also bloody bizarre.

Changing school again would probably be less damaging than leaving him in a place run by loonies.

Caligula Sun 08-Jan-06 00:01:10

I would complain about his headteacher. To shout at a child so that he wets himself, is unacceptable.

A letter to the governors is in order, imo, unless there have been developments since? Has she explained what the circumstances were? I just can't imagine my DS's headmistress losing control in that way and making a child so frightened that he wets himself. And for her to use the technique of blaming you - he wets himself because his homelife is shit, not because his teacher's behaviour is shit - is bloody manipulative. I'd be getting angry about it if I were you.

nannyme Sun 08-Jan-06 03:57:47

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish about the home life being to blame.

Sorry too for me making a mistake and thinking it was the class teacher. If it was the head then definitely change school.

I had a number of appalling teachers - one who called me aimless instead of aimie and another who shouted at me when I wet myself at school waiting for her to notice me asking permission to go to the loo (permission to wee, ffs??! please excuse my french).

Tbh, although I have overcome my feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem now as an adult, I fought with this all through my young life until Uni and even now I have a pefectionist personality which I partly blame on my miserable life at school.

I have asked my mum as an adult why she didn't move me as she is a very loving and perceptive mum, but she says she thought it would be more upsetting to change school.

How wrong she was.

Okay, so it may sort itself out, but if he is already so traumatised as to be wetting himself in fear then enough damage has been done imo and it is time to put an end to it. He is only 5, he has the time to learn good things about people who he trusts, don't let it go on for another term.

My children have been through hell and back over the last four years at home. Their Dad upped and left one day and then their new step dad became very ill ansd spent three months in hospital. If that isn't enough to make a child insecure i don't know what is. Okay, I have protected them a lot and have remained very strong but I don't doubt the effect all this will have had. However, my kids don't wet themselves in fear. That is the fault of your son's wicked, unprofessional, incapable headteacher not you.

Even if you don't feel you can change school (and I really would move hell or high water to) then please do something for your boy to make life at school tolerable.

Neither you nor he should be in this position and I feel really sorry for you.

Yummymummy24 Mon 09-Jan-06 20:12:13

Thanks nanny im going to my parenting group tomorrow she is sort of working with us out of the group too (arranging play therapy for him) so i will talkj to her about it as i feel really worried after reading what you said. id hate for him to feel so bad. its hard to know what to do for me as ive made really bad decisions in the past which have affected him and i dont want to do the same again.

nannyme Tue 10-Jan-06 10:19:51

Yummymummy, I don't expect making any decisions or even following them through to be really easy. So, if you need a sounding board for ideas, please CAT me if you need an extra opinion than the ones you get at Parenting group. Remember, your decision is the right one and although other people can be really helpful in helping you come to this, nobody else is 'right'.

I was involved with Parenting Groups when I lived in the North West. The play therapy and parenting group should be really helpful as it sounds as though you might be picking yourselves up a bit following more difficult times.

I obviously don't know the whole picture as far as school is concerned, but the one incident you describe sounds horrific.

You sound as though all your confidence in yourself has been sapped. Please still believe that you are perfectly able to make excellent decisions for you and your son despite having a 'know it all' sister and 'blame it all' school!

If you look at it one way, I could say I made some really bloody stupid decisions hence having a husband that was shoddy enough to walk out in an instant or picking a partner who turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Were these things really my fault though? No, I don't think so, and I seriously doubt the bad decisions you say you made are really the cause of all the basd things that may have happened to you.

Maybe I am deluding myself, but I do know that I love my children the same as you do and that I would never have willingly made any choices that affect them badly, same as you won't have.

Keep in touch, and enjoy Parenting Group.

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