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Should I confront, or shut up and get over it?

(30 Posts)
Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 20:11:27

It was dd's first day at pre-school today. She's started nail-biting and I specifically asked key worker to gently remind her to take fingers out of mouth periodically.

I was in the corridor maybe 7 mins early and peeked through the door. Dd had her back to me and was chewing on nails like no tomorrow. She chewed non-stop until the story ended.

I asked key worker if dd had been at her nails a lot. She replied that, no, she had not done it at all (highly unlikely). I replied that dd had been chewing throughout the last few minutes. Key worker said it was the first time that morning and only because she had seen me.

DD had not seen me. She did not turn around and does not have eyes in back of her head. Had she seen me, in any case, she'd have run over.

I am furious that key worker a) either lied, or didn't bother to notice dd biting during the session. (DD freely admits she did and her fingers are in shreds)

b) That she made that nasty, untrue and rather vindictive comment, alluding to the fact that dd must only nail-bite in my presence. Which implies that I am directly responsible for her nail-biting and that she does not need to do it if I am not around.

I am upset to the point of considering removing dd. If they are going to lie and attempt to patronise and belittle parents over the little things, what will they be like over the big things?

Am I being petty? Should I speak up? What do you think?

mrsruffallo Thu 10-Sep-09 20:14:25

I don't think you are being petty at all. I would not be impressed with that level of ignorance. The keyworker sounds a bit dippy to me. What an odd thing to say.

Overmydeadbody Thu 10-Sep-09 20:14:28

Oh for goodness sake.

You are being petty. You need to get over it.

Nursery workers have a tough job, they need eyes in the back of their heads just keeping all the children safe and happy, and you are expecting her to pander to your worries about a bit of harmless nailbiting?

Overmydeadbody Thu 10-Sep-09 20:16:19

Just put yourself in that keyworker's shoes for one minute. Lots of new under 4s starting their first day at nursery and you have to make sure it all goes smoothly while still covering all the objectives laid down by the government, one parents' concerns over nailbiting are hardly going to be at the top of your priority list are they?

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 10-Sep-09 20:16:57

I'm not being funny but have you ever cared for a large group of toddlers all at once? There are bigger things to worry about. She probably genuinly didn't notice her biting her nails to much. Your DD is likely to have started biting because she was sat still when you saw her, but would have been busy all day and not had chance to bite until she sat down.

If it bothers you that much, the best way to stop her is to ignore it anyway.

You took her comment way to personally. It was not nasty or vindictive, it was just what she saw.


McDreamy Thu 10-Sep-09 20:22:40

Pish please don't take this the wrong way but I would imagine today was fairly stressful for both of you? Do you think you might be overreacting a bit and taking it all a bit too personally because of this? Nail biting is a tough habit to break but I think removing her after day 1 is a bit excessive.

My advice would be, relax, calm down a bit, distract yourself with something else rather than dwelling on it (I always make problems seem so much worse but going over and over them in my mind).

I would suggest maybe reinforcing your wishes about discouraging DD from nail biting during the day would be the approach to take. smile Good luck!

ToAnswerYourQuestion Thu 10-Sep-09 20:25:06

I agree with OMDB and LPP I'm afraid. YABU on the whole.

However, I do understand why you would bristle at that "it's only because she saw you" comment. Not sure what you can do about it tho!

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 20:36:48

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, actually I'm a trained teacher and have frequently, over the last 10 years, had a large group of toddlers to take care of.

I think some of you are missing my point. The nail-biting is not the issue. I certainly didn't expect key worker to be on dd's case all morning. Just to be aware and to glance over once or twice.

If the key worker had said something like "actually, we've been so busy today I didn't notice" I wouldn't have minded.

It's not the fact that dd bit her nails all morning which bothers me. It's the fact that the key worker didn't tell me the truth and when I commented on it, she twisted it around to make it seem like my fault. A bit of a childish reaction really and not one I would expect from the person responsible for my child.

Quattrocento Thu 10-Sep-09 20:39:47

Don't sweat the small stuff - you'll drive yourself demented. So the keyworker is an arse. It happens. If you still feel this strongly in a week's time, write a letter to the preschool.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 10-Sep-09 20:43:07

I don't think she was saying it was your fault, but most of the annoying things kids do is too wind up their mum. It clearly does bother your or you wouldn't have noticed it in the first place. Maybe the nursery nurse has picked up on something you have missed?

Your being horribly unfair to the poor girl.

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Sep-09 20:47:39

i don't thnmk you're being petty actually.

it would annoy me too. the key worker has blatantly lied to you, and then made some crap up to cover up the fact she was lying.

FairyMum Thu 10-Sep-09 20:49:10

Is the key worker very young? I find that nursery teachers sometimes become a bit nervous and clumsy in their comments around me. The main thing for me is that my children adore them so much they talk about them as if they are family-members. Agree with others, don't sweat the small stuff.

hocuspontas Thu 10-Sep-09 20:49:53

Save the 'furious' for more important things. The keyworker had probably done her best all morning and said the first thing that came into her head. You're overthinking the 'belittling' and 'patronising'.

ThingOne Thu 10-Sep-09 20:52:22

I don't think you can expect them to ask your DD to stop nailbiting on her first day at pre-school when they're settling everyone else in at the same time. If you haven't managed to curb it I think it's not fair to expect her to deal with it on day one just as she's getting to know your DD.

It's annoying she replied as she did but I can't see what's nasty or vindictive about it. My children certainly do "naughty" things for me that they don't do for other people. It's very common and I don't think she's telling you it's your fault. I think she's probably also trying to cover her back for not bringing her up on it. But tbh, don't you think it would be a bit much to do that at storytime at the end of the first day anyway?

I too would just ask them to reinforce the ban again. But maybe next week rather than tomorrow.

PortAndLemon Thu 10-Sep-09 20:53:49

It would annoy me, but you're overthinking the "vindictive", "belittling" and "patronising". She wasn't being vindictive, she was being defensive when put on the spot. It is a bit crap, but you are overreacting.

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 21:02:03

Thanks again everyone.

No, she's not young. Apparently very experienced.

Quattrocento - I will try not to sweat the small stuff, promise. But would you leave your child in the care of an arse? smile

I do agree that I probably over-reacted. But I also expect the key worker to talk to me truthfully and not to tell me what she thinks I want to hear. I need to be able to trust these people.

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 21:07:57

ThingOne - Just to clarify. THE NAIL-BITING IS NOT THE ISSUE. I did not, nor expect, the pre-school to cure the nail-biting. I only asked nicely, if, whenever she happened to notice, she would gently remove dd's fingers from mouth. She makes them bleed. They get infected. Is this really too much to ask of the lady?

ThingOne Thu 10-Sep-09 21:21:02

Not quite sure what I did that deserved being shouted at. Don't you think you're been a little bit rude?

I don't think it's too much to ask them but I do think it's probably too much to expect them to tackle it on the first day. Which I believe is what I said earlier.

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 21:29:27

Sorry ThingOne blush, you don't deserve being shouted at. It's just that people can't seem to see past the nail-biting. Which really isn't the issue.

I didn't ask them to 'takle it'. I just wanted her to be aware. And not to lie when asked. What if dd was asthmatic and might, possibly, need her inhaler? Would that also be too much for them on the first day? Where, on the list from 1 to 100, do infected fingernails come?

Still, everyone deserves a second chance. Obviously I expect too much.

purpleduck Thu 10-Sep-09 21:35:36

"Is this really too much to ask of the lady? "

Erm,,,, yes!!! It is the first week, there are lots of very distressed/anxious toddlers. In the grand scheme of things, nailbiting is relatively harmless.

And perhaps as nail biting is often an anxiety driven behaviour, the keyworker feels that a virtual stranger bugging her about it will do more harm than good. Maybe now is not the time for her to address this.

I think YABU for asking more of the keyworker at a very busy time.

purpleduck Thu 10-Sep-09 21:36:14

"Is this really too much to ask of the lady? "

Erm,,,, yes!!! It is the first week, there are lots of very distressed/anxious toddlers. In the grand scheme of things, nailbiting is relatively harmless.

And perhaps as nail biting is often an anxiety driven behaviour, the keyworker feels that a virtual stranger bugging her about it will do more harm than good. Maybe now is not the time for her to address this.

I think YABU for asking more of the keyworker at a very busy time.

purpleduck Thu 10-Sep-09 21:36:51

oops-sorry for the echo

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 21:58:09

Then she should have said so. I always found that being honest with parents gained much more respect than assuming their stupidity.

I did not 'bug' the lady about my child's nail biting. I also find it a little alarming that apparently, I cannot expect my child's key-worker to retain any knowledge outside her immediate job description, during the first few weeks of term, when the children are at their most vulnerable. But as I said, I obviously expect too much.

Stayingsunnygirl Thu 10-Sep-09 22:47:47

Pish - perhaps she hadn't seen your dd nailbiting? Perhaps every time she had glanced over at your dd, she had been engrossed in an activity, and hadn't been nailbiting? Clearly she couldn't watch your dd all morning (nor, as you have said, did you expect her to) - so it's possible that your dd didn't bite her nails during the morning and only started to bite them when she was sitting listening to the story, or happened not to be biting them when the keyworker looked at her.

But, I think the comment about finding it a little alarming that you can't expect the keyworker to retain any knowledge outside her immediate job description, is actually rather unpleasant, and is not what other posters were saying to you. They were suggesting that it was a very busy time for the preschool staff, and that they had many other demands on their time and attention as well as your dd's fingernails - not an unreasonable statement.

Pish Thu 10-Sep-09 22:59:13

Stayingsunnygirl, I really do appreciate what you're saying. I KNOW it's a busy time for pre-school staff. However, this particular pre-school wasn't terribly busy today.

I understand that my asking for a little co-operation with regard to dd's nail-biting might have been a little unreasonable (although I would not have considered it as such, had a parent approached me, when I was teaching). It is the care-worker's response that bothers me.

Knowing my child as I do, she would have been at her nails all morning. Had the key worker looked, she wouldn't have missed it. I don't even mind much if she did miss it. She just shouldn't lie about it.

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