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People who feel they "have" to intervene - Page 8

post #141 of 160
I've been following this thread just because it is interesting, but I haven't had anything to add because my LO is just an infant and I haven't had to deal with anything like this yet. I'm not a teacher either.

So, take this observation as being from someone looking at this from an objective POV and some distance from the issue.

It seems to me that the "Baby" thing is maybe symbolic to you, the OP, and the SS teacher, of a bigger thing. Your original title is "people who feel they have to intervene". I am wondering if the real issue here is that you sense that the SS teacher questions your parenting decisions and this bothers you. It also seems like this is something that has happened a few times for you, since you have mentioned a couple other instances with your mother and with a friend.

It sounds to me like you feel that the teacher is trying to intervene/doesn't approve/etc. and it does sound a bit like that to me too. However, it also sounds like she has tried to be pretty respectful in general considering you may have an ususual style and an unusual child for the area in which you live and your DD has been in the class for a while now and it has been alright.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that if you wish to have a community of people around you, you do have to find a way to "fit in" or at least get along. You cannot expect the world to accomodate you and your DD and it does sound like the SS teacher has tried to meet in the middle overall.

It sounds like the middle ground for now is you staying in the class with her. But if it were me, I would try to work toward her being able to be without me in the class whether the teacher calls her Baby on not. It just doesn't seem like that big a deal. If the teacher is doubting your parenting style, so what? This is just part of the life of a parent, particularly if your style is unusual for the community you are in, right?

That is the way it is when you swim upstream, KWIM?
post #142 of 160
Is there any chance that people can not see eye to eye on this, without labeling people who disagree with them as "sad" and "uncreative?"

That's like saying there's one way to be creative (always following the child's way and never making distinctions). Which is...rather UNCREATIVE if you ask me. :/
post #143 of 160
To me, everyone is making this way to complicated and it's turned into a debate over respect, boundries, imaginative play, teacher stress and the kitchen sink, lol!!

To me, and maybe it's just me, but to me the bottom line is this: Baby, for better or worse, given name or nickname, is her name. That's the bottom line. She is called Baby. By family, by friends, by herself. That makes it HER NAME. I don't understand how it is disrespectful of the teachers boundries to ask her to call a child by that childs NAME, even though its a nickname. I've known kids with nicknames like pookey or pooh and even though privately I think it's silly, I still call them by it because its their name.

I don't believe it is disrespectful of the teachers boundries to call someone by their name. It boggles my mind that anyone sees it this way.

So, since my mom doesnt like my middle sons given name, should just pick something else to call him by even though everyone else calls him by the other name and that is how he self identifies? Because her liking or disliking of the name is more important that his sense of identity? I think not.

Otherwise, what's even the point of a name? Why don't one of you call me Susan and someone else call me Bob and someone else can call me Tara and so on. I mean, since it's about what other people THINK I should be called and not who I am or what my name actually is. That makes no sense to me.

Bottom line: It's her name. Why does anyone else get to change it for her? They don't.
post #144 of 160
**My own mother thought it was important for Christian parents to tell the truth about Santa clause from the start. *Otherwise the kid would grow up and say "mom lied to me about Santa, she probably lied about God too."

And my mom would have gone behind your back to "plant the seeds of salvation" in your daughters mind.*
To her making sure that your daughter knew the difference between "real" and "pretend", and that God and Heaven and Hell were real, not pretend would have been very important and from a very young age was better.
Of course, that's just the churches I grew up in.*

So maybe the SS teacher does believe it's an important thing. *Important enough to warrant being sneaky. *I personally know church women who would have in a heartbeat. *It depends on their personal beliefs.
post #145 of 160
Thinking something is important is no excuse for being sneaky, or for overriding the parents choice on the matter, or for not accepting someones right to decide what they want to be called no matter how old they are.
post #146 of 160
I agree with the poster who said DD should be able to be called by her given name for one hour but I don't like the way the Sunday school teacher went about it. If she wasn't willing to call your DD by the name Baby then I wish she would have just said that to you. I would have preferred her saying, "we don't use nicknames in my Sunday school class." I don't like it when adults take out on children the issues they have with what the parents are doing or not doing.

I personally don't like nicknames but if I'm introduced to a kid and the name is Pookie that's what I'll call him or her. In this day and age you can never figure out what's a nickname and what's on the birth certificate. My friends sister went to school with a child named Miss Marvelous. It was not a nickname. Her name on all official documents was Miss Marvelous. I wonder what the Sunday school teacher would do if Miss Marvelous was one of her students. LOL
post #147 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post
I agree with the poster who said DD should be able to be called by her given name for one hour but I don't like the way the Sunday school teacher went about it. If she wasn't willing to call your DD by the name Baby then I wish she would have just said that to you. I would have preferred her saying, "we don't use nicknames in my Sunday school class." I don't like it when adults take out on children the issues they have with what the parents are doing or not doing.
I've been thinking about this exact thing since the thread started, and I think way too often we (as individuals) are too willing to assume people know exactly what they're thinking and doing at any given moment. I know *I* don't always know my own mind right away; I like to think things over a bit before coming to a decision. It is entirely possible that the Sunday school teacher thought she could try it out and see how it went, then decide if it worked for her or not. Or maybe she thought it would be fine but became more and more uncomfortable with it.

I'm not ready to call her on sneaky tactics at this point.
post #148 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
I am a generally "go-with-the-flow" or "accomodating" person. I get frustrated because sometimes in a relationship I am the one who bends, because I am understanding and flexible. This is usually fine. But I feel like when I run into people who are quite assertive (like you sound), I am the side that is always acquiescing to your desires, and I am not being respected, but it is a "nickel and dime" thing - so no particular issue I can "confront" about.
Actually, I'm realizing that my current problem may be partly caused by the fact that, although I'm assertive "underneath it all" and can rise to the occasion when it counts, I actually come across as rather non-assertive in my demeanor.

I'm realizing now that by introducing dd with "She likes to be called Baby," instead of just matter-of-factly saying, "This is Baby," I probably gave people the impression that I was "asking permission" for my child to get to go by her chosen name in their setting. I'll just have to remember to give her name as Baby. period. in future, and I can prob'ly avoid all the hassle.

Quote:
You could see that the teacher was obviously uncomfortable addressing your DD as Baby.
Not exactly. I could "sense" that she saw me as a mother in need of her help in learning to "be the adult" with my child. On one occasion, she rather "casually" talked to me about how important it is to expect our children to rise to our expectations. She said they really will do what we expect them to ... and though it was casual ... yeah, I could tell that she thought I was in need of some expert guidance.

I just listened politely and nodded, because I could tell that she meant well.

Whether or not the teacher was uncomfortable with calling dd Baby -- what she actually said the other day, was that she didn't mind calling her Baby so long as dd knew that she wasn't really a baby.

Now, when my dd sees a tiny baby (she adores babies) and goes over to smile and interact with the baby, it's obvious to me that she sees the difference between her capabilities and the capabilities of this tiny, helpless little person.

But I'm at a loss as to how to persuade this teacher that my dd knows this difference. 'Cause dd just flat out isn't going to verbally-concede that she's "not a baby." And since we all "see" differently, I s'pose that even if the teacher had an opportunity to see dd lovingly-interacting with tiny babies, she still might not see this as sufficient evidence, since dd won't SAY, "I'm not a baby."

So, I think it all just comes down to me just giving her name as Baby from here on out.
post #149 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilly Milly View Post
It seems to me that the "Baby" thing is maybe symbolic to you, the OP, and the SS teacher, of a bigger thing. Your original title is "people who feel they have to intervene". I am wondering if the real issue here is that you sense that the SS teacher questions your parenting decisions and this bothers you. It also seems like this is something that has happened a few times for you, since you have mentioned a couple other instances with your mother and with a friend.
I'll admit that since I got the social worker visit last September, I HAVE had a tendency to think more about any interactions I have with people who disapprove of my parenting-choices.

I really think that the majority of people will just disagree and then go on about their own business, but having had one person in my life who took things a step further, I often find myself wondering, "Just how far might this individual feel she needed to go, in her attempts to get me to do things her way?"

Sometimes the fear makes me want to withdraw completely, and just not even take the risk of allowing people who think "too differently" from me, to get too much of a view into our private world and possibly develop "concerns." But I know withdrawal would be, and has been, very unhealthy for both me and my family.

So I'm trying to take these baby-steps of getting more plugged in and developing a relationship-network that extends beyond just dh, me, and our two girls.

Quote:
It sounds like the middle ground for now is you staying in the class with her.
Yes.

Quote:
But if it were me, I would try to work toward her being able to be without me in the class whether the teacher calls her Baby on not.
Or, I could just stay 'til dd is done being called Baby, and feels comfortable staying without me. I don't think this will be such a long time in the overall scheme of things.
post #150 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hablame_today View Post
To her making sure that your daughter knew the difference between "real" and "pretend", and that God and Heaven and Hell were real, not pretend would have been very important and from a very young age was better.
hablame_today, this may be a part of it. So far, I haven't heard her or anyone there doing the hell-thing. One reason we've felt so drawn to this Episcopal Church (I was reading their sermons online for a while before we visited), is that there seems to be such an openness to people with different outlooks on issues pertaining to salvation.

I am personally a Universalist and don't believe God sends people to hell -- and from my understanding the Episcopal church is welcoming to people like me, which gives me hope that maybe this won't be an issue that they give any specific instruction about, but rather that they'll leave it up to the individual to research and work out for themselves what they personally believe.

Not to turn this into a religion-thread, but when we were chatting about how each of us got drawn to the Episcopal Church, I discovered that she came out of a theologically-conservative background just as I did. But whereas I was the one who kind of catapulted my family onto this journey, in her case it was her husband and at first it was really hard for her but now she loves it.
post #151 of 160
Thread Starter 
Incidentally, the Sunday School curriculum is the Godly Play Curriculum, which was created by an Episcopal priest based on the Montessori method.

So with some of the Montessori ideas that I've been reading here, I'm wondering if she is very strongly into the Montessori method. I know the teachers go through a special training before they start teaching a class.

And it's also possible that she's a Montessori teacher in her fulltime job. I remember that she teaches at a private school but I'm not sure if it's Montessori or not.

I LOVE the Godly Play curriculum. Basically the children come together at the beginning for a Bible Story, which the teacher tells using manipulatives. Then they select what materials they want to work with during their playtime -- the manipulatives from that day's story are available for the kids to play with, plus lots of other manipulative toys and art and craft materials.

And I think there's a LOT about the Montessori method that is wonderful for my dd. I guess I can't quite get on-board with all the concern that kids need adults to explain the difference between fantasy and reality.
post #152 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
I don't believe it is disrespectful of the teachers boundries to call someone by their name. It boggles my mind that anyone sees it this way.
Yes. And thank you for helping me see, further up-thread, how I might have avoided turning this into a "boundary-issue" for the teacher, by simply saying, "This is Baby," and not approaching it so tentatively, as if I were asking for permission or open to compromise.
post #153 of 160
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
it didn't sound at all like the teacher had an issue with comfort, it sounded like the teacher felt that the child needed to learn that she had to do what whatever adult was watching her was telling her what to do.
This is my take on it, too, especially considering the conversation she had with me where she talked about children rising to whatever expectations we have of them.
post #154 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
I've been thinking about this exact thing since the thread started, and I think way too often we (as individuals) are too willing to assume people know exactly what they're thinking and doing at any given moment. I know *I* don't always know my own mind right away; I like to think things over a bit before coming to a decision. It is entirely possible that the Sunday school teacher thought she could try it out and see how it went, then decide if it worked for her or not. Or maybe she thought it would be fine but became more and more uncomfortable with it.

I'm not ready to call her on sneaky tactics at this point.

Good point.
post #155 of 160
I am SO annoyed for you! I am just imagining how your situation would be handled at my church and I cannot see any of our teachers causing such frustration for a child and a mother. When I taught in the Pre-K room (3-5), there was a newer child who I think was 3 at the time, and when her mom brought her in, the girl got onto all fours and started crawling around. The mom, half-embarassed I'm sure, said "She likes to be a cat right now." And she proceeded to tell me that she will be a cat for hours or even a whole day. I kinda chuckled, and said, Ok! And sure enough, the little girl spent a good part of the hour crawling under the tables and around the room, when it was story time and all the children were sitting down, she continued to be a cat. Big deal! I watched to make sure she wasn't hurting herself. She wasn't terribly distracting to the children. I think if her mother told me that she wants to be called "Kitty Cat"....and say she was about to get into some trouble, I might first call her by her real name, but then remembering that she won't answer to that I would think to call "here kitty kitty kitty!!" Sure it's a little silly, but "Baby" to me is just a term of affection that I feel comfortable calling anyone under 5!

I just can't believe that people who work with preschoolers don't have some amount of understanding that kids go through stuff like this. And we are Christians for pete's sake...show a little GRACE!

OP...I wish you could come to our church or find one like ours that would welcome you and your "Baby" with open arms!
post #156 of 160
Thread Starter 
Wow, Heather! You sound like a wonderful teacher.

I guess Kansas City's not near enough to St. Louis for us to drive out there every Sunday, LOL.

I guess the thing about people who work with preschoolers, is that we all have such different understandings about children. I worked in Early Childhood for many years before having my own family -- and I had some co-workers who thought similarly to me (and you) about these issues --

But it seems that this field also draws quite a few women who find it very rewarding to "create order out of chaos," if that makes sense ... to take a bunch of little people and within a very short time work the "magic" that has them all following directions and rising to the teacher's expectations.

I've met lots of early childhood teachers who take great pride that they were the one who got a 3yo started tying her shoes, or that they're the only one who can "control" a certain child.

So I guess it doesn't surprise me so much that someone in teaching would have her views.

And I usually got along just great with my coworkers when I worked in child care -- maybe because they weren't working their magic on MY children (since I didn't have any kids yet, LOL). So I imagine it will all work out.

I'll stay in there for as long as dd needs me. And she won't be Baby forever.

I mean, with my older dd we just talk over her experiences, with all different kinds of group leaders. And if she likes an activity enough overall, she stays in it and copes with the parts that she doesn't like so much. Or if there aren't enough positives to make up for the negatives, she doesn't go back.

And I'm sure that's how it will eventually be with my younger dd, at whatever point she's ready for that on her own timetable.
post #157 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Not exactly. I could "sense" that she saw me as a mother in need of her help in learning to "be the adult" with my child. On one occasion, she rather "casually" talked to me about how important it is to expect our children to rise to our expectations. She said they really will do what we expect them to ... and though it was casual ... yeah, I could tell that she thought I was in need of some expert guidance.
Off topic I know, but this bugs me. My dd takes dance class and the first semester ds wanted to do a class too so we signed him up for gymnastics class. He loved it at first. About half way through the semester it became harder and harder to get him to stay in the class, he really wanted to be out in the waiting area just free playing with the siblings of kids who were in the class. I let them know that that after the end of that semester I would not be signing him back up. The owner, who is half my age, has no kids of his own lectured me the same way. That it's all about setting the expectation and expecting him to live up to it yadda yadda yadda. Ok...umm...he was three. Really? Why do I want to work overtime to manipulate him into doing something he doesn't want to do? Something that is costing me money? Sure, let me spend my hard earned money to force my child to do something he doesn't want to so that...what? Why? We still go there because dd LOVES it and the teachers are all great, but I admit to feeling less than warm and fuzzy about the owner, who probably thinks I'm not "firm" enough with my children. Whatever.
post #158 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
I also don't understand why the OP's child has to be called her name of choice and be 100% respected as a child, but at the same time the DD doesn't have to respect the adults as is the cultural norm. It seems like a confusing double standard. If her DD insists on being called a pretend name that's fine, and why wouldn't she also have to call the adults ma'am and sir in return?
Where was it said that the adults requested that form of address and the OP's dd refused?
post #159 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
And I think there's a LOT about the Montessori method that is wonderful for my dd. I guess I can't quite get on-board with all the concern that kids need adults to explain the difference between fantasy and reality.
Just to let you know, at our Montessori there's no concern at all that adults have to explain the difference to kids (beyond, for example, not letting a 'dinosaur' (kid) bite his friend in the name of reptilian habits ). The kids are accepted where they are, even if they're kittens that day. It's just that the kittens have to wash their hands.

In terms of focus, I think it's more that Montessori presents the 'real' world first, as a part of the teaching. At ours they also read fairy tales and that, but the curriculum is focused on the wonder of the natural world - tadpoles changing into frogs, the solar system, and so on.

And the materials are focused on that kind of exploration rather than having castles and knights. As a PP said, the adults don't present gnomes as fact. They present caterpillars.

So although I think there can be teachers who are more rigid who happen to be Montessori teachers, I don't think it follows that she's a Montessori teacher therefore she's rigid.
post #160 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Wow, Heather! You sound like a wonderful teacher.

I guess Kansas City's not near enough to St. Louis for us to drive out there every Sunday, LOL.
Maybe that's the thing...I'm not a great teacher! I am a mom. Maybe the fact that your SS teacher is a professional teacher makes her feel like she has to do more than just teach the kids about God. When I'm the SS teacher, I'm just a mom sharing the love of God with my friends' kids. I have no other goal than that. I don't have any interest in teaching these kids how to tie their shoes or "fall in line." And it's not just me. Alot of our SS teachers are young women with no kids (and some are teachers!) But they don't have an agenda besides teaching the kids who God is and what to do with that knowledge.

Ugh, I'm just frustrated for you. I hope that this one person doesn't put a cloud over your church going experience. Hey--I'll pray for that!

And yes, KC would be a bit of a drive, but if you're ever in the area...
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