Please give me some advice. Ds 4.4 just told me that there are two little boys in his group who sometimes punch him. I don't know how much, I'm guessing surreptious odd punches, but they hurt, my Ds says. It is one boy mostly. They also sometimes laugh at him, eg. when he sat on a toddler chair at lunch, saying his red and white striped top is girly pink. This is bullying right?
Other than this its a good nursery, he has been very happy up to now, though I'm now struggling to get him to go. How should I go about handling this? What can I expect from the nursery teachers (one of them is fantastic, the others very average I think). ?
He will start school in September. I really want to encourage him to stand up for himself, but don't know how to. He is a little sweetheart, very gentle, quite shy - but I worry he will be easy pickings for bullies, if we can't get beyond this.
It's certainly undesirable behaviour and upsetting for your ds but I'd be cautious about labeling it as 'bullying' given the ages of the children involved. 4 year olds aren't very empathic creatures on the whole and not good at seeing how their actions effect others.
I'd have a quiet word with the fantastic nursery teacher to make her aware of the situation and ask her how she plans to deal with it. I'd also encourage your ds to let her know when someone's behaviour is upsetting him.
It may not be bullying but it is unkind behaviour that should certainly be discouraged. I have a DS at nursery and the teachers do tell them off for that sort of behaviour and I'd say most children do respond well.
I'd also encourage him to say "no" or "stop". I have to say I practice that one with my DS at home. It's either that or his DD will say punch them back :-)
I would mention it to the staff and ask them how they are going to deal with it. Tell them he is reluctant to go to nursey as a result. I dont agree its just boys being boys, thats not a good enough reason IMO.
My DS1 is 3 and his nursery would really pull him up (and inform me) if he punched anyone! Also agree with Heated about arming your DS with the right phrases.
Thanks for your replies. He is so small (as are the other boys) that I'm trying to equip him with responses he can remember when these situations occur. I've told him to say " X punched me" to the good teacher, but he says he is too shy. I've told him to say, in his normal voice to the boy, "Stop it".
We are practising speaking louder and clearer so he is actually heard.
I am sure if the pre-school are made aware of your concerns, they will keep an eye out for incidents. Obviously if it is done surreptitiously, it can be easy for staff to miss, but if they are warned in advance, it may make it easier for them to spot or look out for your DS when the other boys are with him.
For any type of incident, the pre-school will have an accident book where such things are recorded, which you have to sign. If you have not signed anything, it would seem that these attacks have not been noticed by staff. Does your DS cry when punched, because that would surely attract attention, wouldn't it?
The staff should report back to you, but sometimes there are two sides to the story so be prepared if the response is not quite what you thought!