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Ds 5 bit another boy. What do I do? Sorry a bit long.

(44 Posts)
MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 09:52:11

Posted this in behavioural but no replies and as I spent the whole of last night in tears I could really do with some advice.

Ds in year 1. Bit another boy, left a red mark on boy's arm. Ds apologised to boy immediately and was sent to see the head.

I was called by his teacher and I spoke to ds that evening but couldn't find out why he had done what he did. I also emailed the boy's mother to add my apology.

Had a reply saying that I should know that ds pulled this boy's ear at rugby camp this summer and that he was very very upset and hurt. No one mentioned this to me at the time despite getting daily feedback from the coach.

Ds has never behaved like this with anyone else and didn't even retaliate when he was targetted by another boy repeatedly last year (I had a word with the teacher only after ds nearly lost a tooth).

What do I do? I have written to the class teacher to ask her to ensure that ds and the boy he hurt do not sit together in class. They don't play together so the only contact they will have would be in the classroom.

What else should I do? If someone's child had done something to ds that I didn't like I would have mentioned it when we next saw each other (she didn't).

It obviously concerns her and because of that it worries me. Her ds is bigger than my ds and I know that he slammed a door into ds's face at a birthday party the day before the rugby incident (I was told by another parent at the party as I only saw the aftermath). I haven't mentioned it to the boy's mother and I can't see a reason to, although in hindsight it might explain why ds's bad behaviour seems to be directed to this one child.

He is supposed to have a sleepover this week at another boy's house (both ds and other boy very very keen to do this). I am thinking I should cancel in case he does something bad there too. Not sure I can cope with anymore at the moment.

Scootergrrrl Mon 21-Sep-09 09:53:55

Could you tell him you can't let him go for the sleepover unless he can try to explain to you what happened with the biting incident? And give him some ways to cope if it is the case that he's being targeted by this boy?

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 10:04:59

I think you've done everything that you should. You've spoken to your son and, even if he can't tell you why he bit the other boy, he now understands that such behaviour is not acceptable. It's also to his credit that he apologised immediately.

It's done now, but I always think that in these situations where there's biting/hitting/other aggression at school, it's better to leave the school to deal with it. Which they will (unless they're incredibly lax). I really don't see what the other parent hopes to achieve by mentioning something which happened months ago and, presumably, was dealt with by the rugby coach at the time. And, anyway, I thought that ear-pulling and the like were a feature of the game (although maybe not at the age of 5)? That's not to excuse it, but I'm assuming that anyone who enrols their son for rugby (I'm speaking as a totally non-sporty mother of a girl) is aware that it's a contact sport.

I can understand that you feel mortified but I think you have to work on the basis of a fresh start. I wouldn't cancel the sleepover.

All the best.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 10:11:33

I was shocked when she mentioned the other incident and I wonder if she is wondering why I didn't apologise about it at the time. The coaches were excellent so I am really amazed that they didn't mention the incident, especially as the other boy was so upset over it.

I have told ds to not sit near the other boy or play with him (I don't think they play together anyway). I have written a note to the teacher requesting this. I have also been told by another parent that this mum is quite PFB where her children are concerned. Doesn't excuse ds's appalling behaviour at all but might explain why she has chosen to mention the other incident now. I haven't told school as I would also have to tell about the door slamming incident and it would just escalate into he said she said and no one will benefit.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 10:22:34

I agree. This is why the Head at the school where I'm a governor always tells parents to talk to her if they're concerned about another child's behaviour towards their child. Some parents get incredibly angry about the smallest thing that happens to their child or react very defensively if told their own child has behaved badly - that's why it's best to leave the school to get to the bottom of who did what or who provoked who.

In my experience, schools don't tell parents about every bit of bad behaviour. Partly (I guess) because in a class of 30 there are too many little incidents to report them all and also because once an incident has been dealt with, the school considers it closed and sees no need to go over it all again with the parents. Perhaps the rugby club felt the same way?

If the other mother says anything more to you, I would just say that you are working with the teacher to ensure there's no repetition and the teacher will be monitoring both boys' behaviour. I wouldn't let her think that her boy is an innocent babe!

Elk Mon 21-Sep-09 10:26:05

I would imagine that both the incidents were dealt with by the relevant people at the time. They are now in the past and you have to move on. Concentrate on praising your son for his good behaviour. If this boy brings out the worst in your son there may be something else going on between them so encourage your son to stay away from him (as you already have). If the other mother is being PFB you are not going to get any sense out of her so I wouldn't even bother worrying about her reaction.

Please remember he is still only little and is still learning to control his impulses.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 10:49:27

I suppose I'm unfortunately in the parenting camp of always assuming the worst where ds is concerned and if he does get hurt by another child then also assuming he played some part. Doesn't sound very good when I write it down but I trust ds to know how to behave and usually he gets it right. Hence my complete shock over these incidents.

He is the sort of child who will go up to another child who is upset to find out what is wrong and/or take them to a teacher. I hate to think that he has really upset this other boy and I knew nothing about it.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 10:54:18

Elk's right, you know. You have to move on. Your son's behaviour was out of character and I'm sure that, between you, you and the Head have made him understand that there must be no repeat. Focus on his good behaviour.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 11:06:12

Good advice I know. I do need to focus on the good and I will do. I suppose I am also a bit sensitive being a lone parent so I am concerned that others may think that I am failing if ds behaves badly.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 11:13:23

Well, it seems to me that you can hold your head high. Your son is not constantly behaving badly - this was out of character - and you were quick to discuss it with the teacher and with him. You've offered the teacher a plan for ensuring there's no repetition. You went further than you needed to, by also apologising to the other mother.

If she is very PFB in her attitudes (I don't like using that expression because I only have one child and so she will spend her life as a PFB, but I know what you mean) then there's probably a large dose of judginess in there too. But don't waste your time and energies worrying about her and her hang-ups. You've done the right thing and can (should) be proud of that.

posieparker Mon 21-Sep-09 11:18:14

One offs just need stern telling off and gentle steering in the right direction. No point dwelling on it or labeling your ds. I would take the email from the other boys mother with a pinch of salt. Two incidents in 2/3 months really is nothing to worry about. I would use words like shocked and disappointed. Perhaps the other boy bullies your ds all of the time, but is rather less obvious?

If anyone's judging you it's because they're looking for an outlet for their own shortcomings as a parent.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 11:48:47

Other mum has emailed and asked me to speak to her. She said she mentioned the earlier incident as if her dc had done something then she would want to know. I completely agree but I'd want to know at the time not weeks later. What do I say? Do I tell her about the door slamming? It made ds cry and not want to go to the party but I didn't mention it at the time as I didn't see the point. He can't remember anything about the incident so it is hard to punish him now for that.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 11:51:45

I should also add that ds never mentions anything about school so if there was more subtle stuff going on I will never know. I do know that ds seems to be attracted to boys who don't like him (well one boy in particular). Ds thinks that he can win people round - invited other boy to his party as he wanted to be friends with him. hmm

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 12:30:18

I think I'm monopolising the conversation here and I want to leave space for others to have their say. But if I was in your shoes I would keep it very brief and simple. I would reply by e-mail saying that of course I'd been concerned to hear of what my son had done ... have reminded him of how I expect him to behave towards other children ... have discussed with teacher ... have confidence in the school to enforce its behaviour policy and will work with them and support them in that ... but also remembering that five year olds are still learning about how to behave and this was out of character.

I would avoid getting into any sort of discussion with her and, especially, going back over things that happened weeks ago and outside school. It may not be possible to dodge this women at the school gate, but have you got a friend there who could be there as a (silent) moral support, just in case she decides to harangue you?

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 12:54:32

Mad I am lucky (or maybe unlucky) that I never do school pick up and rarely do the drop off. Ds is at before and after school care most days or his grandma collects (not at the moment as she's not well). I don't think she would harangue me but I really don't want to enter into a debate about ds's behaviour.

He has apologised, I have apologised, I have explained that he is taking time to settle in school this term (not an excuse). I haven't mentioned that ds is very very worried and upset that his grandma is in hospital (planned op) and is currently quite a sad little boy.

I'd rather not call her at all tbh firstly because I don't think it would help and secondly because I don't have a moment in the day at any civilised time to make such a call.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 12:58:40

I'm sorry to hear about grandma.

I'm more and more convinced that you should e-mail her (if you do anything at all). Don't ring her. E-mail gives you much more control of the conversation. The last thing you need is an earful of abuse.

giantkatestacks Mon 21-Sep-09 13:04:09

I dont really understand what this other mother thinks she is going to get out of such a phonecall? I would never think of calling another dcs mother about something that happened in school - that is the schools responsibility not yours - it would be different if it happened on a playdate.

All you can reasonably say is either - lets help them work through it together or lets try and keep them apart as much as possible.

I think you've already gone above and beyond tbh.

I know what you mean about the lone parenting though - we are the only 'blended' family in our year at school and you dont want people to label your dcs because of it...

Pannacotta Mon 21-Sep-09 13:07:18

I agree with Mad.
I think she is overreacting a being a bit precious tbh.
I have a nearly 5 year old DS and this sort of behaviour wouldn't surprise me, though I do agree that it's right to explain to your DS that biting/ear pulling etc isn't acceptable.

FWIW a friend of DS's recently kicked and slapped him in front of both me and his mother and she didn't do/say anything (I whisked DS away sharpish though), the point being that 4/5 year old boys are often a bit rough.

I wouldnt get into conversations with this woman and neigher would I suggest punishing your DS for what he has done.

mackerel Mon 21-Sep-09 13:12:05

I think if you have apologised and chatted to DS then you need to draw a line under it and make sure it doesn't get blown out of proportion. All children do things they shouldn't, and small boys in particular can be very physical. I spent 2 years worried about my DS needlessly. My friend always thought it was my DS fault if something happened like a bit of rough and tumble which went slightly over the top and it was a nightmare - I really spent a lot of time worrying about DS. She always wanted to unpick what had happened and ask the whys and wherefores. He was 4 or 5 and it was just pointless. My DS bit someone in reception - never before or since - and he saw the head teacher( we were there too and were suitably mortified). Our DS had already apologised to the boy and I saw his mum and said I was very sorry and that we had talked to our son about it. We left it at that.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 13:20:46

I've punished him for the biting - cancelling his favourite weekend activity and also cancelling our plan of camping in the garden this weekend. I can't punish him for the ear pulling as I don't know for definite that it happened and if it did it is too long ago.

I will email and just say that I'm happy with the action that I've taken and hope in the future that the boys can be friends. I also know that I am very sensitive regarding ds's behaviour. I have high standards and expectations regarding behaviour/manners etc and usually ds lives up to them easily.

My mum was boasting yesterday about how lovely all the nursing staff think ds is and that is the child I am used to.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 13:23:17

Good for you!

giantkatestacks Mon 21-Sep-09 13:27:10

Drawing it out works sometimes in our house when ds gets aggressive or frustrated - it might be a good outlet for any fears/confusion about granny?

Elk Mon 21-Sep-09 14:32:28

I see no need to get into long involved discussions with the other mum about what has happened. One incident was in the summer and the other was (presumably)last week. They have both been dealt with by you and the school so there is no need for her (or you ) to continue going over it. If you feel the need to e-mail the other mother then do so, but I do think it is more important that you and your son move on, concentrate on enjoying each other and on his grandma recovering from her op.

MollieO Mon 21-Sep-09 15:34:29

Just had a call from the school. He has done it again to another boy although no mark. He has been sent to see the head. He said it was an accident but he knows that a deliberate act is not an accident. He is apparently sobbing and very upset.

I have cancelled his sleepover and asked his teacher to ensure he misses playtime tomorrow. What do I do now? shock sad

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 15:43:39

Oh crikey.

This time I think you do need to hear from him what this is about. Asking him a direct question probably won't help - how about the drawing technique which giantkatestacks suggested? Is there another adult whom he would trust and to whom you could both talk together - his teacher or the teaching assistant, perhaps?

How is the Head handling it? I'm sure the school have been through this many times before, so don't be shy about seeking their advice.

This too will pass. Good luck.

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