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How do dc in your 6 year old's class behave towards each other?

32 replies

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 08:34

I know this sounds like a weird question but dd is very unhappy with the behaviour of her class-mates, not just towards her but towards each other generally. She likes her teachers, learning and the school but not really the class. She's asked me to change her school but her school is probably the nicest I'll find here and we live in what is considered a nice area. I'm a bit at a loss about how to deal with this.

There is, I find, quite a lot of physical aggression (kicking, pushing and shoving, hitting, even throttling) but none of this is directed against dd personally. However she is very upset about it. There is a lot of what I would call cattiness among the girls which I wouldn't have expected in 6 year olds. Souns like the kind of thing teenage girls did when I was at school. Is this just the way it is these days?

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FioFio · 26/03/2007 08:36

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 08:37

Yes, she's an only child but she was in kindergarten for 4 years before starting school

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FioFio · 26/03/2007 08:39

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 08:44

Hmm well there was that at kindergarten too to a degree of course.

Is it normal that dc come home from school at this age very upset about how "mean" the dc are? Do you get this all the time, every second day or so? She wants me to teach her at home but I'm afraid HE isn't an option here, so I can't even consider that.

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cazzybabs · 26/03/2007 08:53

Have you talked to the teacher about it?

seb1 · 26/03/2007 08:59

Young girls can be nasty, I have 2 dds (6 & 2) and judging by the fall in and outs I hear about, by the time they grow up I will have UN peace keeping skills.

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 09:00

Just after she started school (they start here age 6) I called and spoke to her. She was lovely. She explained she has rules she calls the "heart rules" which are supposed to govern how the class interact with each other and they are reminded of those from time to time. I found that a nice idea. She also said the class will take time to grow together and after the first year she hopes they'll feel part of a team.

At our last parent evening, she said everyone was achieving well but didn't comment on the class behaviour other than to say there was a lot of bitchiness going on between the girls but she was keeping an eye on it.

Don't know what to think. She's been off sick but I do plan to call and ask her how she sees things once she's back. Hope she doesn't think I'm a total nutcase.

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 09:01

seb so maybe it is just the usual scenario and dd will be confronted with it whatever school she attends pretty much.

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frogs · 26/03/2007 09:21

SSS, I think there maybe a German angle to this, inasmuch as the teachers are less likely to see behaviour as their responsibility. In UK schools, because most of the children have been there since nursery/reception, a lot of the work that goes on in the early years involves socialising children into the school's expectations, whereas German 6yo are being thrust headlong into a much more arm's length educational institution.

Plus IME German parents are possibly likely to be more laid back about children acting out their feelings physically. The only kiddie punch-up that has ever taken place in our house involved the ds of a visiting German relative blacking my dd1's eye and giving her a nose bleed. Parents were apologetic, but much more laid back than I would have been in their position.

My dc go to a v. mixed inner-city school, and on the whole the behaviour is pretty good. The problem behaviour tends to be concentrated in nursery/reception, where there have been instances of kids attacking each other and/or the teachers, chair-throwing, swearing etc. But by Y1 the children have largely calmed down and are (most of the time) able to behave reasonably well. Aggressive behaviour further up the school has been mainly playfighting that has got a little out of hand, but is taken v. seriously by the school.

I think the worst dd1 ever encountered was children taking her glasses off her and running away with them. Ds has been occasionally kicked or scratched by one particularly disturbed boy in his class; this has been dealt with by making the child's mother take him home for lunch and bring him back for afternoon school.

LIZS · 26/03/2007 09:30

dd is in year 1 and the boys do play fight and generally can be fairly physical towards each other but it is not allowed whilst in class and actual violence such as kicking nd hitting is against the playground rules, which they learn early on, and not tolerated. I'm not aware the girls are catty but it may simply be that dd avoids those that are (some come across as rather more "sophisticated" than others). How frequently do they remix the class and/or change teachers - does she face the same for next 3 years or so ? I'm sure over time she'd acclimatise and select friends with similar attitudes but it might take a while.

princesscc · 26/03/2007 09:37

Are you sure it is as bad as she says? I find it hard to believe that a school would let children get away with this behaveiour in this day and age. They must has an anti-bullying policy as those things are bullying. Also if you say the school nice and in a good area, it can't all be quite that bad. BTW, my headteacher said to me once - 'you think girls in year 2 are bad, you wait til they get to year 5!!' (We also go to one of the nicer schools in the borough)

indiajane · 26/03/2007 09:38

SSS, in Austria it seems to be very similar to Germany - far more physical stuff going on. My DD's wouldn't know about any bitchiness because they still don't understand the language. I can say though that in the UK, they both go to an all girls school and the level of bitchiness is pretty high. Lots of clubs, lots of in and out groups... girls who have big sisters are so sophisticated in the art of put downs etc.

So from my experience, the German/Austrian style of school is inherently more physical in the playground/cloakroom than UK schools but probably not any worse in the other areas.

shouldbedoingsomethingelse · 26/03/2007 09:39

When my DD's were that age there was loads of cattiness and bitching. It seems to be when the "oh where did you buy that?" and the "my trainers are designer, so I cant talk to you as you where daps" all begin!

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 09:41

Thanks frogs and LIZ - that helps me to put this in some kind of perspective which is what I think I really need at the moment.

LIZ, the class has the same teacher for Y1 and 2, but gets a new teacher for Y3. I don't know if they change every year after that. She would be with the same class for another 3-5 years. With remixing do you mean seat allocation? If so, I don't know how often the teacher does that I'm afraid.

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 09:47

hi princess, yes I don't think she is exaggerating. No, as far as I know there are no anti-bullying schemes operating in schools here. At least I've never haard of them but I don't think dd is being specifically targetted and bullied really.

Thanks for the posts everyone! (I'm half-heartedly trying to cook, so I'm in and out!)

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TrinityRhino · 26/03/2007 09:51

dd1 (7 on thurs) was crying at bedtime on friday because her 'best friend' had said she eats lke a pig

unfortunately I think kids are like this at this age.

LIZS · 26/03/2007 09:54

By remixing I mean regrouping the actual classes across the year group, so if there are parallel classes do they shift children around every year or two - could help to break up personality clashes and disruptive influences. Is there a problem particulalry with boys perhaps being "held back" from their peer group academically so some are much older than the average and are physically more dominant ?

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 09:57

There is no regrouping of the parallel classes at all LIZ. Everyone stays in their class till they've completed primary school unless they're being kept back a year , but I think that's quite rare. Perhaps you're right and differing ability within the class causes some of the problems.

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wpcanniecartwright · 26/03/2007 10:08

there is one girl in my dd's class who told her "my mummy doesnt like you"... which was upsetting for me... i think it is just girls, unfortunately. my other dd was given a hard time at that age but we moved and is now ok, hopefully itis just a stage. when i asked teacher she said towards the end of the year they get fed up with each other a bit. have yo talked to teacher? are there particular girls who are bein mean?

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 10:32

I haven't spoken to the teacher yet. Don't know if she's back (she was off sick). I'll find out when I pick dd up. If so, I'll call her tonight and see what she thinks about it all.

I am seriously considering changing schools but the only option I can see is a private British International school and I'm not that keen on it because they are a bit isolated from the community at large. I will have to make an appointment to see the Head there and look around the school, try and get a feel for what it's like. I think I may feel more comfortable with their approach to these kind of problems.

What I find hard to decide is whether to change schools if the teacher confirms what dd says. If I move her, which is of course disruptive and means being the new girl in a class where friendships have already been formed, what if she doesn't like the new teacher or just has the same issues to face in her new class? Oh for a crystal ball...

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 10:33

Eek! My mummy doesn't like you! Wouldn't like to hear that one!

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hippipotami · 26/03/2007 10:46

SSS, I grew up in Holland and Germany (due to my dads job) and found school a scary place. There was a lot of teasing going on, and the teacher just shouted if someone mis-behaved. There was (certainly in those days)no emphasis on 'relationship' with classmates, and how to behave in a group.
I was bullied regularly.

In contrast, my dc are in school here in Surrey. Right from nursery (which works closely with the reception class in this particular school) the children are tought how to behave towards one another, there is a lot of emphasis on teamwork, and how to be kind to one another.

In addition, when the children transfer from nursery to reception, the 3 reception classes are formed by the nursery teachers who create classes based on which children will work well as a group.

I can't comment on a British International School. I went to an International School in Germany and found the problem to be just as bad. In fact, if you were not American or one of the 'cool' kids the bullying was horrendous...

I don't know what to suggest. If you get no joy from the teacher, then perhaps you need to 'toughen up' your daughter. Which sounds awful, sorry. All I mean is that to cope with that environment she will need to learn to cope with it.

Sorry if this ramble is of no help whatsoever...

princesscc · 26/03/2007 10:54

Get this one! DD in year 6, one of the girls in her class called her a dirty slut!!! My plan was to go into school next day and find out all the facts and take action. When we arrived at school dd was chatting and laughing with someone and I asked her who she was and she said, 'oh, thats the one who called me a dirty slut!' So most of the time I take things with a pince of salt now. Also had a my mummy doesn't like you situation, only she claimed that her & her mum thought my dd was a bitch! We do go to a nice school - really! Sadly boys, kick & thump and forget and girls just bitch!

SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 10:56

hippi I love your name

No, it's a big help but it does confirm my worst fears. Sounds like you had an awful time

Well on children's tv (which I was watching by myself whilst I did the ironing, so maybe my entire family is a bit WEIRD?!) there was a report on a programme called "not with me" or "not with us" aimed at toughening kids up to face these kind of problems at school. Did ask dd how she felt about attending one of those courses and she wants to do it, so I'll have a google and see if there's anything round here.

Bit sad to think of toughening her up at 6, you know.

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SSShakeTheChi · 26/03/2007 10:57

princess I am totally dreading teenage years, as you can imagine!

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