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AIBU to think my DD is telling the truth, not the teacher?
277

BearBirdBaboon · 26/11/2021 09:56

If a child tells one version of events and an adult tells another version of events, I think people automatically think the child is lying. A situation like this has come up at my DD's school, during a private music lesson, so only my DD and the teacher were there, so only they know what went on (nothing bad).

My DD is rarely dishonest and there's no reason why she would lie, as it's not something she would have got into trouble for.

Anyway, I think now that people would think that my DD is not telling the truth and I don't think that's fair.

Are you more likely to believe a teacher's version of events or your own child's version of events?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Gonnagetgoing · 26/11/2021 11:39

@CoastalWave

My child is being bullied by their teacher.

Despite her behaviour becoming increasingly concerning (and showing clear evidence of bullying) AND i've told the school, they've simply said it's HER who's the problem and not the teacher.

Fuming.

@CoastalWave - how and why? Have you complained to the school? I was sort of bullied at age 9 because I wasn’t good at maths (yes I tried) and also due to eyesight wasn’t good with coordination and catching a ball in PE. Sadly this teacher’s comments and behaviour stayed with me for years afterwards.
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CoastalWave · 26/11/2021 11:41

@MrsMo21

Yeah I followed until the Panda example and now I’m completely baffled.

Children do lie - I’m a teacher and I’ve had some really bonkers lie said about things that happened in class/between children which aren’t the case. Parents tend to always believe their children, which in certain cases is fine but can be really difficult when their child has lied and the parents don’t believe they have. However, I’m the adult (and usually more logical/level headed than child and parent) so don’t take the outrage too seriously, I’m a Mum and I know that as a parent you do what you think is best. It is as it is.

However, if what your DD is saying is not outrageous and seems plausible then it may well be. Especially as it’s just a 1-1 scenario with no witnesses. What I would say is that if you bought it up with the teacher - what would you like to achieve by pointing out said lie? Do you have plans to remove your child from being taught by this person? Do you want your DD to be shown how to challenge authority? Whatever your plan is, have a good think about the learning point for your DD and set a good example.

I have no problem with being challenged as a teacher (I think all adults should face challenge by children tbh it’s a good thing) but I do cringe when a parent is ranting and raving in front of their child as it doesn’t teach that child how to be calm, logical and articulate in voicing their opinion.

So how you would suggest I deal with the fact that the teacher is bullying my child? We have evidence from numerous children over many years that this is not an isolated incident. My child is a shadow of her former self.

The teacher sneers at me as if to say, you've got no chance of anyone taking his word over mind.
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WhenISnappedAndFarted · 26/11/2021 11:48

@CoastalWave first thing I'd be doing is removing my child from the school and putting them in a new one.

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MrsMo21 · 26/11/2021 11:49

@CoastalWave first of all, I’m so sorry your child is going through this. As a parent, it must be harrowing and the emotion in your post tells me that you too, are suffering.

My advice would be to take it to the governors and make a complaint. It has to be formally investigated that way. If you need any help or advice with this then please DM me, I’ll do my best to help in any way that I can.

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Rosebel · 26/11/2021 11:50

I usually think both are telling a version of the truth but putting a slant on it so they don't look bad.
If my children told me something I try to clarify from the teacher what happened too and sometimes it's a misunderstanding but I know at least one teacher has lied about my eldest.
So listen to both sides and make a decision then.

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higibpg · 26/11/2021 11:57

@HarrietsChariot

I'd always side with the adult. Children lie and are fundamentally dishonest because they know there is no real sanction if they get found out. If the teacher lies, they could lose their job.

It's good practice to always believe the adult anyway, even if it turns out they are lying, because otherwise children will think they can get away with challenging adults.

I was once pulled into the headteachers office at primary school for something I didn't do, All the adults including my parents believed her. I got into a lot of trouble. It's ended up being the only memory I have of being at primary school and I still think of it sometimes. It was the first time in my life that I realised adults can lie and it confused me for months why the headteacher would do what she did. I also looked at my parents differently for thinking I could do what I was accused of doing.
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JudgeJ · 26/11/2021 12:00

@LuaDipa

I would always believe my children.

More fool you!
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Newrunner29 · 26/11/2021 12:00

I had a parent speak to me as a teacher, as there child had told them my ta was alseep in the corner all day, the day before and they wanted to check they wasnt! I wont assume my child is always truthful but i think that depends on their age !

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CoastalWave · 26/11/2021 12:03

[quote MrsMo21]@CoastalWave first of all, I’m so sorry your child is going through this. As a parent, it must be harrowing and the emotion in your post tells me that you too, are suffering.

My advice would be to take it to the governors and make a complaint. It has to be formally investigated that way. If you need any help or advice with this then please DM me, I’ll do my best to help in any way that I can.[/quote]
I'm actually not coping very well at all. Child is only 7. Basically, teacher is mean and apparently very nasty behind closed doors (changes her behaviour when / if a TA is in the class which sadly isn't very often)

I've had x1 meeting with the school which brought my concerns initially.

Child shows all classic symptoms of being bullied. General demeanour has completely changed. Is angry, is upset, crying a lot, not wanting to go to school. Also now rude, aggressive to other children, crying in class, answering back (which child has never ever done)

Previous years all teachers have loved child to bits - reported as a lovely happy kind child.

I'm just so angry that it's got 100 times worse since bringing it to the school's attention. Child is now blaming me for complaining about it saying I"ve made her worse towards him. Her attitude shouts that she honestly believes she is untouchable.

Got a meeting next week with the Head but I'm not confident it will be anything other than a , your child is the problem what are you going to do

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alloalloallo · 26/11/2021 12:05

I try not to automatically believe either side, but I do know my child, and while she’s no angel and I’m realistic, lying doesn’t come easy to her for various reasons.

I had a telephone conversation with a teacher when my DD was at secondary school that she (teacher) bare faced lied about - she told me that she wouldn’t be following the access arrangements that school had given my DD with SEN and a hidden disability as she “didn’t deserve special treatment”

When I when I made an official complaint about her (for about a million other reasons as well) she denied she said it and lied that I was abusive on the phone (I wasn’t, I was very polite). She lied about a whole raft of things - lots of stuff that I had in writing on an email to DD or I, or messages that she had sent DD through the school messaging app (she went back and deleted those, but I had screenshot them).

She was a truly horrible, ableist teacher

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MrsMo21 · 26/11/2021 12:08

@CoastalWave I have a daughter and I can imagine how it would make me feel so I wholly understand how it must be affecting your home life.

Good start to see the head - go in with an open mind but make sure you write down all of the incidents that your child has reported and the children who have witnessed them. If the head tries to fob you off (try to go in with an open mind, a collaborative attitude does help) then write a letter to the Chair of Governors citing your concerns with a statement from your child. If you feel the head mishandles your concerns you can also complain about them to the governors and they have to hold formal investigations about both members of staff. If nothing happens after this, you can also complain to your local authority.

There is always pulling your child out but to be honest I don’t always think it’s as easy as that for families, especially ones who have siblings in the school/childcare arrangements etc.

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sparepantsandtoothbrush · 26/11/2021 12:12

@CoastalWave

My child is being bullied by their teacher.

Despite her behaviour becoming increasingly concerning (and showing clear evidence of bullying) AND i've told the school, they've simply said it's HER who's the problem and not the teacher.

Fuming.

This happened to my DD. I complained to the teacher and it just got worse for DD. I complained to the SLT and was told there was no issue. I complained to the head who said he'd sat in the classroom one day to watch and didn't think there was an issue. Then the teacher in question bullied my DD in front of the head. I was told my DD was at fault (she genuinely wasn't!).

I ended up moving DD at her request as she was so utterly miserable and making herself ill. When I told the head we were moving her he said DD was the one with the problem and this issue would follow her!

She was 8 at the time
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CoastalWave · 26/11/2021 12:17

[quote MrsMo21]@CoastalWave I have a daughter and I can imagine how it would make me feel so I wholly understand how it must be affecting your home life.

Good start to see the head - go in with an open mind but make sure you write down all of the incidents that your child has reported and the children who have witnessed them. If the head tries to fob you off (try to go in with an open mind, a collaborative attitude does help) then write a letter to the Chair of Governors citing your concerns with a statement from your child. If you feel the head mishandles your concerns you can also complain about them to the governors and they have to hold formal investigations about both members of staff. If nothing happens after this, you can also complain to your local authority.

There is always pulling your child out but to be honest I don’t always think it’s as easy as that for families, especially ones who have siblings in the school/childcare arrangements etc.[/quote]
Thank you. I'm going to pull together a statement of sorts this weekend. Last meeting I just spoke from the heart and I thought I had done really well tbh (I was very open, not confrontational in the slightest etc)

Child's behaviour is deterioring massively and is affecting my other child now.

I'm just angry that they're trying to turn this into my child BEING the issue rather than my child is now behaving in this way as a RESULT of being bullied.

We have night terrors now and even an issue of self harming last week (after googling 'How to hurt yourself enough to miss school' ) 7 years old fgs.

I can pull child out. That's actually not a problem but would have to pull both out. But I feel that that would be running away from the problem rather than getting the issue addressed.

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LettertoHermoine · 26/11/2021 12:18

@BearBirdBaboon

Thank you for the sensible replies. Without divulving the precise nature of the situation, I want to say that it isn't an interpretation issue and my DD wouldn't gain/lose anything by telling me what she told me. The situation was very black and white. A bit like my DD saying there wasn't a panda in the room, but the teacher saying that there was a panda in the room! Perhaps my DD just didn't see the panda? Something like that...

Would the teacher have anything to gain/lose from lying?
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MrsMo21 · 26/11/2021 12:21

@CoastalWave Do you have a partner or friend that can go with you to the appointment? It may help to have someone else witness your discussion as then they can’t dispute what you say or you can’t be said to have misinterpreted their description of your child.

You absolutely shouldn’t have to do all of this but there are ways to use the proper channels to make a change. Your DD is very lucky to have a Mum who cares so much about them; weird thing to say but I’ve seen lots of children over the years in teaching who don’t.

Again, my PMs are always open if you need advice etc.

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Lostmyheart101 · 26/11/2021 12:26

It’s likely I would believe my child over an adult I wasn’t familiar with, as I would know my childs character better and be more familiar with her judgments and from previous experiences if she has been right or wrong.

I wouldn’t trust an adult just because they are a adult, that’s stupid!

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BearBirdBaboon · 26/11/2021 12:28

@LettertoHermoine
I think the teacher disagrees my DD's version of events because if she agreed with it, it would show that she wasn't a very good teacher, which she would want to avoid.

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AllThingsServeTheBeam · 26/11/2021 12:28

@Lavender24

AllThingsServeTheBeam

I genuinely think she is on mumsnet just to troll.

They must be surely?
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JumparooSavedMyLife · 26/11/2021 12:34

@HarrietsChariot that attitude is precisely why people have and still do get away with abusing children. I do hope you aren't a parent or work with children.

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HardbackWriter · 26/11/2021 12:35

I don’t actually agree with the notion that kids lie. I think they are generally very truthful as they have no reason to lie. They may misinterpret things, in the same way as an adult, but they don’t lie.

My three year old told me he hadn't had any of the chocolate yet while chocolate was smeared round his mouth the other day - surely he's not some unique master of deception?!

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Kotatsu · 26/11/2021 12:38

Coastal, this happened to my son at about the same age - and she did lie. Things like he told me that the class had done an activity where they got to thumbs up or thumbs down other students which I obviously raised, she initially said no, then admitted that yes, they had done this.

My son turned from a happy, engaged child to one that sat alone in the playground and burst into tears when he saw me walking through for yet another meeting about it. Luckily he'd only moved into her class part way through a year (a thing I think upset her), and she went on maternity leave before the end of the year (and never came back - it turned out she wasn't happy in her job and others had complained to).

Every other teacher he has ever had has given him excellent reports, hers stands out as looking like a completely different child. Thank goodness now, 5 years later, he gets a little frown if he tries to remember, and just describes her as 'the angry teacher'.

Can you take him out? Have him moved to a different class? It's a terrible thing to do to a kid, and I don't think it can be fixed, just worked around.

As to the OP, it would depend on what it is, and which child. Eldest would always be truthful. Youngest is known to be much more creative!

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Arethechildreninbedyet · 26/11/2021 12:39

@Lostmyheart101

It’s likely I would believe my child over an adult I wasn’t familiar with, as I would know my childs character better and be more familiar with her judgments and from previous experiences if she has been right or wrong.

I wouldn’t trust an adult just because they are a adult, that’s stupid!

This really.

If the situations are POLAR OPPOSITE and I believe my child isn’t lying then I will side with them always.

I’m not going to take the word of a random stranger over the word of my child who I know better than anyone else does and believe wholeheartedly they are telling the truth, particularly about important things.

Children tend to lie for self gain and self preservation (not silly little things like I had chocolate ice cream and not strawberry or I had no one to play with) if this is a situation where DD literally has nothing to gain then why would she lie?

Bearing that in mind I would also take the entire situation with a grain of salt. There’s three sides to every story.

His side, her side and the truth.

What happened OP. Beyond the panda analogy because that’s not really helping anyone’s clarity.

Did the teacher say she gave DD a message and DD said she didn’t?
Did the teacher say DD learnt a certain thing and DD says she didn’t?
Did the teacher say she was being naughty?
Did she say she stole something?
Did she say she was rude?
Or is this far more serious entirely?
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Branleuse · 26/11/2021 12:40

id try and work out what i think was most likely to have happened.
Kids lie but so do adults. I think id like to hear both sides in general if I really needed to take a side or my opinion on a disagreement between teacher and child was relevent.
Its also possible to believe the child and yet try and encourage resilience about things they think are unfair, especially when its about someone who is in a position of authority over them.

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Arethechildreninbedyet · 26/11/2021 12:41

@HardbackWriter

I don’t actually agree with the notion that kids lie. I think they are generally very truthful as they have no reason to lie. They may misinterpret things, in the same way as an adult, but they don’t lie.

My three year old told me he hadn't had any of the chocolate yet while chocolate was smeared round his mouth the other day - surely he's not some unique master of deception?!

I agree to an extent. They don’t tend to lie purposely.

They will lie to get out of trouble, to save face, to get people to feel sorry for them, to get people to like them but they’re not like adults they won’t lie for the sake of lying.
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Heepers · 26/11/2021 12:42

Obviously, this question is really contextual. But as a teacher I can say that parents who "always believe their children" are a pain in the neck when trying to issue sanctions.

I think perception of a situation goes a long way to explaining differences and also that people (young and old) will lie to avoid getting into trouble.

I'm Obviously not talking about abuse and I think there's a very strong presumption that the child is being truthful is these circumstances.

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