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Can I ask my Y1 daughter's teacher to seperate her from another child?

(21 Posts)
B4r4joon Tue 02-Oct-12 14:20:26

Finding it crazy or not, there is a child in my daughter's class ( a bit older than mine) with a very challenging behavior...she is very mean to the teacher, but she approaches my daughter very nice and friendly...There have been many occasions even in reception that this has caused problem for my child too. She threatens her that if she doesnt follow what she says, she wont be her friend anymore...recently my daughter told her once that thats okay and she doesnt want to play...but the result was that the girl went to some other kids telling them to be mean to my daughter.

It might sound so silly and naive, but it is affecting my child enormously ...and I am not happy either.

I want to know if I can ask the teacher that in a subtle way separate them. I am all new in this country and don't know about the education system. Is this within my rights as a parent to ask this. Any comments much appreciated.

DeWe Tue 02-Oct-12 14:35:21

I would go and talk it through with the teacher. Not the "mean to the teacher" bit, but how it's effecting your daughter.

But if they choose to join together at lunch/break times, it can be very difficult for the teacher to interfere.

My dd had a friend (A) who had a similar relationship with a child. They called themselves best friends, but there were a lot of big issues of the other child controlling in a bullying way.
The problem was that they migrated together all the time they could, even in different forms they get together.

What has helped was giving A means to deal with it. She learnt to stand up for herself, and say when she didn't want to play, and things like that. She's now in year 4 and the two girls are still close friends, and issues continue to rise, but A is much less effected by it.

B4r4joon Tue 02-Oct-12 14:42:59

Thanks DeWe for your comments. In the classroom, I can ask the teacher to seperate them, can I? She recently told my child that her mum died ( a lie) , and mine was so devestated.....she still checks me up at night if I am dead or alive...or thinking about what she should do if I die, etc etc...I told my child that lying is bad and lies of this extend are very not forgivable and encouraged her not to play with her...Hope it works... but the teacher need to know as she is trying to get them sit on the same table...

dikkertjedap Tue 02-Oct-12 16:44:31

I am afraid that in all likelihood your dd is going to come across quite a few children like that.

The standard threat is usually amongst girls 'If you don't do as I tell you, I won't be your friend anymore'.

I think it is best to teach your dd to stand up for herself. No harm informing the teacher that this is going on but I wouldn't go as far as trying to separate them.

letsblowthistacostand Tue 02-Oct-12 17:05:56

I've just spoken to dd1's teacher about this very issue. Teachers were aware of it and have been separating them as much as possible already.

alvinchip Tue 02-Oct-12 17:12:05

My experience is that teachers will separate dc if they think they are having a problem. But not necessarily just because the parent says they are.

No harm in mentioning it to the teacher though so that she can keep an eye out.

sazale Tue 02-Oct-12 19:17:34

I think it's also a good idea to mention it to the teacher not only because of the effect on your dd but also because I'd be concerned why a child felt the need to lie about her mum dying! When my DS was in year 2/3 he had a big problem with a girl and it caused him lots of stress and as she was a girl, it compounded the situation as he felt unable to retaliate and staff dismissed it. This girl was bringing in presents for him some days and then other days was very aggressive and mean to him. I highlighted to the teacher that I was concerned for the child and that by them ignoring it they weren't helping either of the children. The behaviour was erratic, rather like in an abusive relationship. It turned out there was a lot of violence going on in the family. This little girl also said her mum was dead and that's why she lived with her Aunt/Grandad but the truth was her Mum was drug and alcohol dependent and she was a very unhappy child. I'm not suggesting for one minute that any of this applies to the child concerned but that by highlighting it to the teacher it will make them aware and they may have their own concerns, I hope you get it sorted.

AbigailS Tue 02-Oct-12 19:33:40

Certainly a good idea to have a chat with the teacher. It does sound like a situation that is upsetting your poor daughter.
When you say separate them what do you mean? Not sit on the same table? That is certainly possible. But it is impossible to keep children away from each other all the time as they move around the room. Things like collecting equipment, passing where she is sitting to get to the loo.
If the problem at playtime it is important your child plays their part as well. I have done my best to keep child A from child B, when child B's mum asked. But if child B want to play with child A and won't follow the imstructions to play in a separate area of the playground I cannot shadow her every move to keep them apart. It is really difficult when the friends have to make a choice between the two children. I can't tell the others they can't play with child A if they want to and then child B gets upset because a certain friend wants to play with her. I can faciliate negotiation between the group, but asking the other child/ren to play with different a different child each day didn't go down well with their parents.

yellowsun Tue 02-Oct-12 20:06:24

It's very difficult for a teacher to keep children apart if they want to play together. They can be kept apart in class, but if they are in the same ability group then they may need to be sat on the same table together sometimes.

I would definitely go and speak to the teacher to make her/him aware, but also help your child to stand up for herself as there are often children like this in schools (and life!).

B4r4joon Wed 03-Oct-12 10:40:07

Thank all for your great inputs. I take them on board when talking to the teacher. The situation is the girl (as you hinted Sazale), has lots of family problems, I knew her from the toddler age. I have never seen her mum, I guess she is not allowed contact (due to drugs etc, dont know exactly) and poor girl has been fostered for a while, but at the moment lives with father. Last year (at reception) there was another instant with my child, and she made her do something horrible, which was not appropriate. I do feel for her so much, but I am not in the position to help her, but I can help my daughter.

They are not the best friends...I guess the friendship is shaping and I want to stop it. My daughter is very outgoing and has many friends, and sometimes is happy to play on her own. But she started all this drama, and it is also me being scared of any closer friendship shaping. right or wrong I told my daughter, that lies of this big, would stop my relationship with my friends and brought examples of my friends and the way we trust each other and lying is very bad etc.

I do not want to stigmatize her, but I do not know how to deal with it at this very young age.

B4r4joon Wed 03-Oct-12 10:45:54

And by separating I mean, not having them sit on the same table, and not encouraging them to do something as a team, or so....I understand that I can not expect somebody to watch them all the time at playtime etc..

alvinchip Wed 03-Oct-12 11:05:24

I think as they get into year 1 they start choosing their friends a bit better. Sticking to ones who are kind to them, a bit like them, enjoy the same things. That's what I found anyway.

Also they start to get put in groups academically and if they're not on the same level, they aren't very often in the same groups in year 1.

I don't know if you have just one form in the year or more, but one of the things that helped us with a similar situation was that they were put in separate classes the following year. At this age the friendship can very quickly dwindle if they aren't in the same class any more.

Having read more of your posts, I think it would be well worth asking to see the teacher for a chat. But your dd may well work out herself that this person isn't being kind to her and move on to other friends.

Having had a couple of similar incidents like this in reception, my dd is now in year 2 and has 4 very nice friends with lovely parents. It's taken a while to get here but it has sort of evolved, with a bit of intervention from school and a few chats at home.

Pippa6774 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:36:51

The thing is no-one else will want their child on her table either...

B4r4joon Wed 03-Oct-12 11:48:48

Pippa6774, it is not entirely true, not all the people know and have had the same experience...perhaps part of me being nervous is the past experiences...but you are right, it might eventually be the case.

Jojoba1986 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:00:15

Having been through an experience like this as a child I can tell you that it's likely to be very difficult to separate them. I was also in a situation where my 'friend' was very friendly at times but then suddenly all the girls in my class were refusing to talk to me because of something she told them I'd said. To this day I have no idea what I'm supposed to have said/done on any of the occasions when this happened! My response to this was to try to get her to like me because she repeatedly demonstrated that she had the power to make sure I had noone to talk to. It's all very well suggesting that children will want to be friends with those who are nice to them but it's difficult when all the nice children are being told that you're nasty & you have no way of defending yourself!

My parents/school didn't handle the situation well at all. My mum told me 'girls are just nasty to each other sometimes' & 'try to ignore it' & a senior teacher announced that she 'can't force people to be friends' 5 minutes after leading a no-bullying assembly! This continued right up to my 18th birthday when she happened to decide to throw a party on the same day so she could force her boyfriend (a close friend of mine) to not come to my party! I haven't seen her for 8 years

B4r4joon Wed 03-Oct-12 12:10:39

Jojoba, I am very sorry to hear this and the fact that this can carry on... They are only 5 year old now, and although some who have older siblings know more about this and that...but I would do anything I can, even if that means changing her school or our house.

Jojoba1986 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:11:09

Oops, posted too soon!

I haven't seen her for 8 years now & just writing this has made me cry! Ridiculous, I know but it's the kind of thing that can really mess a person up!

Yes, you need to speak to the teacher but more importantly, you need to talk to your DD regularly & make sure she feels able to come to you about it. My parents' reaction made me feel like they were bored with my problems & that I should just bottle it up & get on with life.
Hopefully this will resolve quickly & easily for your DD but do keep an eye on it & don't be tempted to assume that she needs to learn to deal with people like that. School is a very different environment to the real world - I can't imagine 20 adults spontaneously ignoring me on the say-so of one person!
Don't be afraid to say enough is enough & consider a change of schools. I knew some really lovely people at another school but my parents refused to let me move because they thought that would teach me to run away from my problems!

Apologies for the ridiculously long rant but I hate to think of my situation happening to anyone else! Speak to the teacher & don't be afraid to fight for what's best for your daughter!

B4r4joon Wed 03-Oct-12 12:27:39


Thanks a lot for this...It gave me an insight, to trust my instinct and do something about it. I had the conversation last year with the reception teacher, but she told me I can not wipe off people who I dont like, so I need to get my DD equipped with how to deal with it... which is true, but there is red line too. I think the teacher perhaps was afraid of the impact that this kind of report could have on the other child as I guess she might be taken away from her dad too and be given to social services....I dont want to be the cause of that. On the other hand (a good sign) is that the other child is not very popular, so I hope that it won't be the case that she get many kids to ignore mine.......Hopefully...but I am talking to the teacher today....

B4r4joon Fri 05-Oct-12 10:32:47

Thanks a lot everyone for your comments. I talked to the teacher and agreed (but not guaranteed) not to encourage this friendship. SO hopefully my DD have less stress over it.

scootle Fri 05-Oct-12 11:19:39

I think it is absolutely fine to tell a teacher if your dc is getting upset over another child. I spoke to dd's teacher yesterday because one of her good friends was excluding her. She had talked about it every day for a week - wasn't a big issue but dd's teacher said 'thanks for telling me; I will keep an eye' and dd came home the same day saying everything was much better.

DD1, on the other hand, had an issue with another dc that went on for years. We moved school for other reasons, and it has been a huge relief to get away from that child. I was too hesitant about approaching the teachers in the first place - and when I did they talked mostly about her troubled background. Sad for the girl, but no reason why my dd should have taken the brunt of it. I should have been more persistent.

And yes, I second the advice to keep talking to your dd - and coming up with strategies to help her manage.

scootle Fri 05-Oct-12 11:20:38

The reception teacher sounds crap, by the way.

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