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Ds gets punched at preschool

(15 Posts)
Elephantsbreath Thu 10-Apr-08 17:01:52

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.

wb Thu 10-Apr-08 17:43:26

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.

wb Thu 10-Apr-08 17:44:02

'affect' even. I think

hercules1 Thu 10-Apr-08 17:46:47

Bullying is repetitive incidences over a period of time. This isnt bullying. It's 4 year olds. I'd probably casually mention it in passing.

SmugColditz Thu 10-Apr-08 17:48:24

Talk to the staff, ask that the situation is monitored and name names./

OverMyDeadBody Thu 10-Apr-08 17:48:56

I'd be cautious about labelling it as bullying too. Mention it to the teacher, but be prepared for the "oh it's just boys being boys" thing.

Elephantsbreath Thu 10-Apr-08 17:54:36

I don't think how it is labelled is the most important aspect here. The same kids over a period of time have been punching and laughing at my ds. I'm worried about how to encourage him to handle it.

wb Thu 10-Apr-08 17:56:07

It is just boys being boys but I don't think that that means it should just be allowed to continue unchecked. May just need keeping an eye on rather than big guns blazing, tho.

Elephantsbreath Thu 10-Apr-08 18:02:08

ok sounds like I'm being a bit sensitive from what you're all saying.

Mind you I'm gonna grab the little tykes by their ears if I catch them punching my ds!

SmugColditz Thu 10-Apr-08 18:32:40

Encourage him to handle it by telling his teacher and making sure his teacher hears him.

breeminor Fri 11-Apr-08 21:52:17

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 :-)

Heated Fri 11-Apr-08 22:01:52

Ask for the situation to be monitored as ds becoming worried about coming into nursery.

Also arm you ds with the right phrases. 'So what do you say very loudly if X hits you and it hurts, "No, don't hit, it isn't nice'"

Pannacotta Fri 11-Apr-08 22:09:39

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.

Elephantsbreath Fri 11-Apr-08 22:35:59

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.

Thanks again smile

dippymother Sat 12-Apr-08 12:03:05

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!

All the best.

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