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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.

Munchkinpumpkin · 26/11/2021 14:30

I think we would all want to believe our kids but i also think you need to be careful, they can surprise you

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Mydogmylife · 26/11/2021 14:34

[quote Lavender24]**@FromageRay* I can't tell if you're serious or stirring*

She's always stirring. This is the same poster who thinks children shouldn't share bedrooms because they will sexually abuse each other.[/quote]
Good grief! I must have missed that particular little gem!!

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Gliderx · 26/11/2021 14:45

Children do lie, quite often little children when they're scared or ashamed. They also misinterpret things or attach a different amount of importance to them than adults do. Going in all guns blazing as opposed to politely asking for clarification is usually a mistake. My DS has told me that his nursery teacher hit him before...she did, in the sense that she accidentally swung a small backpack into his head. She hadn't thought to mention it to me because he wasn't hurt or upset at all but it came out conversationally in the bath that evening, "X hit me today and knocked me into the wall" Confused.

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Explosionsinthosedays · 26/11/2021 14:59

I'd believe my child. She's brutally honest. If she was lying it would be because someone told her to.

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crowsfeet57 · 26/11/2021 15:01

I have caught teachers out in lies before and even two lying to back each other up. However I have also caught my children out in lies. So it's always best to look at each situation individually.

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crochetmonkey74 · 26/11/2021 15:09

it depends, having read your updates - it's probably somewhere in the middle. I have literally had this sort of thing this week

Child: Miss, remember when we were in Year 7 and went on his phone every lesson?
(makes me look like a terrible teacher)
Me : No, I remember That happened twice, and then he had a detention and his mum came in.
Kids are notoriously broad in their understanding/ descriptions of things- things become 'always' and 'every' easily
Also- kids understanding of things is not full- I have also been in the situation where in black and white one child in the class has 'got away' with something. Knowing the backstory of the kid, and also my own behaviour management thing, I may have tactically ignored it- or kept it for later to tackle but to the other kids someone has 'had one over on me' All things that may make a teacher look crap.

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crochetmonkey74 · 26/11/2021 15:19

I think the other thing that people forget that learning to lie, and how it makes you feel and it's consequences are a totally natural part of development and is to be expected at certain points in child/ teenage development

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SinoohXaenaHide · 26/11/2021 15:22

Either could be lying, or both could be telling the truth as they understood it having misunderstood/misperceived/misheard something.

It's not at all unusual for a child to have a parent who thinks they just wouldn't lie about something like this, when the child jolly well would especially if they thought they might get into trouble if the truth were known.

It's not at all unusual for a child to be only half-listening/not really paying attention and to think the instructions are other than they are, and thus be thought to be disobeying when they just didn't know.

It's not at all unusual for an ad-hoc hourly-paid teacher in the kind of private-music-lesson setup to be more concerned about ensuring that they emerge from any incident blameless, as anything negative might lose them precious income, and so might cast the best light possible on their version of events to ensure that any upset is assigned to the child's behaviour rather than to their own actions.

How big a deal is it though? How important is it that you get to the truth of the matter?

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AmaryllisNightAndDay · 26/11/2021 15:24

If a child tells one version of events and an adult tells another version of events

There are usually three versions of events - his version, her version, and what really happened.

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.

But on the other hand, does the teacher's version of events make your DD seem like not such a very good student? Even if she wouldn't get into trouble your DD doesn't want to look bad, any more than the teacher does.

Teachers are usually honest but then so is my child. So if there's a conflict I wouldn't automatically believe either my child or the teacher had the whole truth. From the very vague information you've given I can't tell who is more likely to be telling the truth.

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

I agree with pp about being cautious and not going in all guns blazing.Why woulld other people would think your DD is not telling the truth - how would they even know about it? It sounds as if you might have asked the school about it in a way that puts your DD in a difficult position.

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prettyteapotsplease · 26/11/2021 15:55

That's the difficulty, isn't it? It's 'her word against his' is a phrase that's bandied about so much - as though her word has less weight than his which always infuriates me.

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TangerineDreams · 26/11/2021 16:15

Before DS one had a certain primary teacher I would tend to believe the adult. However, my attitude changed when it became abundantly clear that this adult had an issue with DS because I presume, she didn't like me. I had been forced to repeatedly contact the school concerning a bully. It was an almost daily mix of things my son told me about or more often than not, things that other kids, school parents or I myself had witnessed, not to mention the physical cuts, bites and bruises on my son and scribbled on work as proof. The bully was well known as such both inside and outside school.

The problem is, she liked bully kid and was good friends with his mum, who, as one would expect after the complaints I had to make, hated me.

DS's teacher gave him an awfully negative report that didn't resemble my child in any way at all. During parents evening I asked what behaviour issues she meant and she told me with a head tilt how DS told a lot of lies. Not fibs or tall tales, lies. We left it at that and moved on even though I had never known DS to be anything but truthful. DS (who was present as per school requirement for parents evenings) talked about something related to their upcoming topic that had happened that week and she smirked, did the fucking head tilt, and said, "See, this is what I'm talking about. Telling lies"

DH who is usually so chilled he's half frozen was pissed off at this. It was a completely true event DS had recounted. It made us question everything teacher had said that night. His second teacher (they had two in that class) gave a completely different report singing DS's bloody praises.

So, fuck that bitch. Even 4 years later it still pisses me off. DS has never, ever had any behavioural issues at school or at home and is very well liked by all his other teachers. I will always ask for my children's side of things now and won't automatically believe an adult.

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Toohardtofindaproperusername · 26/11/2021 17:40

@HarrietsChariot

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

Gosh that's quite extreme. I would consider children much more vulnerable than adults generally.. bit would like to think there is something yo be said about seeking to understand both.
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secretllama · 26/11/2021 17:48

In primary school I had a teacher make up a complete lie about me, saying I done something I didn't and repeating it multiple times. I still get angry about it when I think about it over 20 years later 🤣 so I definitley believe teachers are capable of lying. Luckily my mum believed me.

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DIYandEatCake · 26/11/2021 18:18

I’d tend to believe my children (or at least it will make me suspicious there’s something going on) - but would also tend not to ‘take sides’ and get into an argument but just try to resolve any situation that needed resolving. I’m a private music teacher and some things can be lost in communication when you’re school-based - I would hate to think a student or parent was unhappy and would like to think they’d contact me directly if there was an issue. Maybe email the teacher diplomatically if you’re concerned. If they are trying to save face and cover up an error, they’ll know you’re onto them. If not, then they will at least know there’s been a misunderstanding and will hopefully think about how they communicate. Some examples of things I’ve had to put straight - ‘X said he’d fail his grade 5 so shouldn’t do the exam, I’m furious you entered him when he wasn’t ready as we’ll lose all the money’ (following a lesson when we looked at the marking criteria as a wake up call for a student who had alarmingly stopped practising - he wasn’t going to fail but some areas were hovering near the pass/fail borderline and I wanted to be clear about that to get him practising again). ‘X said you told her not to come to her lesson today because it was in PE but we’ll still be charged’ (X didn’t arrive for her lesson, I spent 15 minutes traipsing round the school trying to find her, finally found her in the gym in the middle of a basketball game as unbeknown to me the student’s timetable had changed, by which time it was 3 minutes before the end of her lesson. Really not my fault!)

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DIYandEatCake · 26/11/2021 18:21

Obviously though there were elements of truth in both the above examples.

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PlanktonsComputerWife · 26/11/2021 18:35

Bollocks was there a panda.

I don't know, OP. My DD is astonishingly truthful. But apparently yesterday she told her teacher that once Daddy smashed a wine glass and then attacked the Christmas tree. Shock Um, did not happen! She's adapted a funny video clip we saw few years ago and turned it into a memory!

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supersop60 · 26/11/2021 18:35

@Yourheartwillleadyouhome

I wonder if this is a music exam situation where the child said "Mrs X never told me how to do the aural tests/sight reading/scales" after they got a disappointing result.

I often ask kids "Have we tried this before?" when we practice, for example, sight singing and they VERY often say no even when my records and their notebooks show that we have been working on this for weeks.

I think they just forget, that's why we go over and over what to expect in the exam.

This, absolutely.
"Did you bring your music?"
" no, you didn't give me any" (Lie)
A good job I keep notes.
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EllaVaNight · 26/11/2021 18:41

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. WTF how is that good practice?! Teachers lie just as much as anyone else!

Of course if a child has done something wrong they should be suitably punished for that. But from a safeguarding perspective they need to know they will be listened to.

Our science teacher was a paedophile. He did weird things to many girls. He did unspeakable things to some of us and his own daughters. He got a 2year suspended sentence. A fucking suspended sentence! Probably partly due to attitudes like yours and for children feeling like they can't "get away with challenging adults". Please do some safeguarding training.

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TitoMojito · 26/11/2021 18:45

It absolutely depends. When I was at school, I had a teacher who was truly horrible to me and when my dad went to the school to speak to her, she stood there wide eyed saying how she just couldn't understand why I would say something like that! Her? Horrible? Where on earth did I get that idea from?!

Except she was infamous for how hideous she was. Every kid who had ever had her as a teacher was scarred from the experience.

So it depends. Teachers are humans and they can gaslight just like anyone else.

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TitoMojito · 26/11/2021 18:46

@secretllama

In primary school I had a teacher make up a complete lie about me, saying I done something I didn't and repeating it multiple times. I still get angry about it when I think about it over 20 years later 🤣 so I definitley believe teachers are capable of lying. Luckily my mum believed me.

I feel this. I still hold grudges against my teachers for stuff like this hahaha
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Missmissmiiiiiiiiisss · 26/11/2021 18:49

You say it’s a black or white issue so perhaps doesn’t apply in this case, but generally speaking the truth is usually at some point between the two. If a child says they didn’t do something and teacher said they did, often the child did do it but not maliciously. If a child says a teacher was really rude/shouted etc often they were pretty cross and maybe weren’t the best version of themselves but didn’t totally lose it as much as the child felt they did…. For example.
Really it’s not much different from any other situation where two people remember different versions of events. Eye witness testimony is notoriously unrealiable.

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XelaM · 26/11/2021 18:52

Child! Teachers can get the wrong end of the stick and sometimes plain lie to cover their backs. I would believe my child

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BearBirdBaboon · 26/11/2021 20:23

OK, here's another attempt at an analogy. Child says tennis coach uses a squash ball to teach tennis for about half their lessons. Teacher says this is not the case and that they use a tennis ball to coach tennis in 100% of the lessons.

I have a pretty good sense of when my children are trying to pull the wool over my eyes, but having spoken to my DD again, I'm as satisfied as I can be that she is being honest with me.

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00100001 · 26/11/2021 20:35

So ... .is. Teacher using a keyboard instead of a piano sometimes... Or what?

Why not just tell is what DD is telling you? Confused

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sonjadog · 26/11/2021 20:57

From the squash ball/tennis ball thing, I would wonder if it is about perspective. Is the squash ball actually a squash ball or is it a tennis ball that looks different and your DD has drawn the conclusion from her own experience that it must be a squash ball, when someone who knows more about this kind of ball knows that it isn't?

I have worked in education at different levels for many years, and sometimes there have occurred situations where pupils see things and from what they know and from their perspective, they draw one conclusion, while when you are in the teacher's position and you know a lot of other things about the situation you see it and understand it in an entirely different way. So no-one is lying about what they think is going on, but the conclusions drawn on what is going on can be entirely different.

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