Hitting at preschool -- how long do you let it go on? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 08-24-2011, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Last year, DS (3) started preschool two mornings/week. All the kids in the class were great, except one. DS has a history of following the strongest personality, and this kid was "it." So DS got in trouble for leaving the reading rug a few times, etc. No big deal. He also reported periodically that the other kid, B, pushed him/didn't share/grabbed toys. Whatever, they're 3. I tried to talk to him each time about remembering to use his words, so when friends did something "not nice" like grab or push, he should tell them instead of pushing/grabbing back. By the end of the year, his teachers reported that he was doing that consistently.

Fast forward to this year. It's the second week of school. B is in DS's class one day a week. Last week, they were happy to see each other in the morning, but when I picked DS up he told me B hit him b/c they were fighting over a toy. I reminded him to use his words, not grab and fight back, and that if B wasn't being nice that DS could go find someone else to play with. Last weekend, DS brought it up again, and said, "B isn't my friend. I'm friends with kids who are nice to me."

Today was the second time they were in class together, and when I picked DS up, there was an incident report in his cubby. B had smacked him again, this time hard enough to warrant ice and a report.

I spoke to the director on our way out (teacher was already gone for the day), and she basically said they were handling it the way I was: By telling DS to use his words to let B know his behavior wasn't nice. She was very vague about how they were handling it on the other end. It made me feel like they are putting it all on DS to not engage. He's 3! And I could tell that he feels like they're blaming the victim.

I do want DS to learn to speak up/stand up for himself. I do know that it's hard to get the full story from a 3-year-old. But another mom told me last week that her DD reported being smacked by the same kid. At what point is the teaching 3-year-olds to use their words not enough? It's a long process to get them there, and it's worth it, but how many bruises is DS going to have to suffer for these "teaching moments" before something else needs to be done?

I'm waffling between outrage that more isn't being done when at least 3 incidents have occurred in one week, and just hoping that this will be a valuable learning experience for DS. But right now I just feel like he's feeling pummeled and unsupported, like B is being allowed to continue hitting, and DS is being scolded for not telling him right away to stop pushing/hitting.
swd12422 is offline  
#2 of 13 Old 08-24-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My kids were hit.DD in preschool and ds in public K. You can complain but if the kid is still allowed to hit you should pull your child out after giving it a bit of time. The damage is done once the other child hits yours.To me it got pretty old to hear the kids tell me every day so and so hit them,and when they told the teacher the teacher told the other kid to not hit.Next day same thing.It never stopped for us,and we finally moved on. Yes it is a shame YOUR child suffers by having to leave,but the alternative of getting hit daily is just not worth it.If the school does not ask the other child to leave after repeated efforts to rectify his poor behavoir then it is better to move on.

 

 

I gave the preschool issue  a month and the ps K issue a few months. I tried to be patient,but in the end it was far too stressful on our family.We moved on and found better places.If you are forced to remove your child be sure to let others know about the issues you had.Hopefully the director will learn it is best to remove the hitters if needed rather than force parents to remove their vicimized children.

mattemma04 is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 09:35 AM
 
joensally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I think you're entitled to reassurances from the preschool that they have a behaviour plan for B that is the responsiblity of the teachers and B, not your child.  I would ask them explicitely what their strategy is to prevent this.  They have to protect the other child's privacy, but can certainly say things like:  "we recognize that there's some tension, so we're working to have them sit separately" or what have you.

 

My son was a hitter in preschool.  We worked extremely hard on it, and he ended up having an aide or being shadowed a lot so that other kids wouldn't be hit while he was learning self-regulation and impulse control.  Shadowing is where a teacher is always close at hand to provide guidance and diversion.  If the preschool has two teachers, one teacher does it.  So, in circle time, one teacher is leading circle time, while the other teacher is in proximity to a child who predictably needs help with sitting still or controlling their hands, while also singing along and engaging with the kids.  It's a commonly used strategy and is taught in ECD classes.  Lots of kids who hit are really predictable, and for instance might hit during transitions - so the teachers provide extra support and have strategies to help the child through transitions. 

 

If you don't see evidence of the staff being proactive and having strategies, I would be very concerned.  If the preschool staff lack strategies, there may be a program in your area where they can consult for ideas (likely through Early Intervention).


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

joensally is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 11:38 AM
 
NZJMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had a similar situation sith my son 2 years ago. After a couple weeks of trying to resolve the issue the other child was removed from my son's class. I was not okay with him coming home everyday telling me that so and so was "bad to him". I witnessed a couple instances while volunteering and I expected a consequence beyond "use your words" or "don't hit".  I would expect the school to keep you informed on the progress and what the plan is on the other end and if there isn't an improvement relatively quickly I would insist that they take some action or find somewhere else for your son. Our preschool took action when the situation didn't resolve and I was pleased with how it worked out. I just figured that he was 3 and this was his first school experience. I wanted it to be positive and if they couldn't make that happen, than I would find someone who could.

 

 


Proud Mommy to my amazing boys (6 and 4) and my precious little girl (18 months).

NZJMama is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Now that joensally mentions it, I believe the shadowing method is what they did in his class last year. I'm pretty annoyed, though, that all the director could say was that the teacher this year is new to the students and doesn't know their personalities yet. Um, yeah. I get that you don't take the new teacher aside and say, "That kid over there is trouble." But how about starting out with a helper shadowing to nip things in the bud before a parent has to complain and three kids are spending their time at home asking Mommy why so-and-so hits all the time? They're 3. It's not like a hitting issue is going to magically resolve itself in 3 months.
swd12422 is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Well, I guess it's pointless now. After sitting in the parking lot with DS this morning, practicing what to say to the kid (even though today wasn't one of the days they are in class together, b/c DS wanted to be prepared), I found out from his teacher that B is no longer coming to school. She struggled with telling me that much b/c of "confidentiality" issues but let me know that the director and B's mom agreed that it couldn't go on that way. Um, okay. I get why the director didn't come right out and say, "Don't worry. We're kicking him out." I get that they want DS and the other kids to learn how to deal with these types of situations b/c they will come up sooner or later in school and elsewhere. But how is it a breach of confidentiality to tell me the kid is being suspended?

 

I don't need to know WHY they think B is hitting (home environment, developmental issues, whatever else it could be that is intensely personal and private for him and his family). But I do think that as the parent of one of the kids involved and apparently emotionally affected by B's actions, I have the right to know what is going to be done to keep my child safe from further harm, whether it's considering suspension/expulsion, having a helper shadow the boy for awhile, providing extra attention/counseling, implementing a different reward/punishment system, whatever. Why is that confidential?

 

I'm feeling pretty let down that the director gave me the impression that very little was to be done at this time, and within a day the child is out of school for the forseeable future. And had no intention of telling me that was the case. Does this seem strange to any of you? Wouldn't the school want the parents to have the impression that they were concerned about the situation and were going to act on it by doing xyz, rather than sending home a bruised kid and a mom who has no idea what to tell her son as far as how he can be kept safe at school?

swd12422 is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 05:57 PM
 
lindberg99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I'm feeling pretty let down that the director gave me the impression that very little was to be done at this time, and within a day the child is out of school for the forseeable future. And had no intention of telling me that was the case. Does this seem strange to any of you? Wouldn't the school want the parents to have the impression that they were concerned about the situation and were going to act on it by doing xyz, rather than sending home a bruised kid and a mom who has no idea what to tell her son as far as how he can be kept safe at school?

 


Don't be so sure the school asked him to leave. After all, they had him there all year last year and it sounds like there were problems with pushing, etc. then. There was a situation like this when my son was in preschool with the boy getting out of control and hitting, running off, etc. The mother chose to pull her child out because she thought it was the school's fault for being unable to control her son. I didn't know the mom that well but had talked to her a couple times and she was very upset with the situation. She said her son was also at a daycare center (she worked full time) and he had never had any problems there. The only way I heard this boy was leaving was from his mom or actually maybe it was from another mom who she had talked to.

 

If the parents did pull him out, the school probably won't ever tell you the reason. Just like they wouldn't tell you why anyone left unless the parents want to make it known (eg, if you couldn't afford the school anymore due to a job loss, you might want to leave quietly whereas if you were moving, you might want to have a little good bye party and let everyone know). I know that this boy was affecting your son more than a friend who had to leave the school due to financial problems, but I still don't think they have to tell you why.

 

So I would keep talking to your son about what to do if this happens again (because it might with someone else) and try not to worry about this other boy. Hopefully he will not be returning to the school.

 

lindberg99 is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 08-27-2011, 07:55 AM
 
Emmeline II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post

If the parents did pull him out, the school probably won't ever tell you the reason. Just like they wouldn't tell you why anyone left unless the parents want to make it known (eg, if you couldn't afford the school anymore due to a job loss, you might want to leave quietly whereas if you were moving, you might want to have a little good bye party and let everyone know). I know that this boy was affecting your son more than a friend who had to leave the school due to financial problems, but I still don't think they have to tell you why.

 

Ds had particular issues with one boy last year; I didn't find out the boy had moved to the other class until I asked ds if the boy had bothered him that day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422  But I do think that as the parent of one of the kids involved and apparently emotionally affected by B's actions, I have the right to know what is going to be done to keep my child safe from further harm, whether it's considering suspension/expulsion, having a helper shadow the boy for awhile, providing extra attention/counseling, implementing a different reward/punishment system, whatever. Why is that confidential?

 

I've been on both sides of this situation and ultimately your focus in on your child. If your child is doing the hurting you are working with the school on prevention, and if your child is being hurt you are talking with your child about their experience that day and getting daily reports from the teacher about what did/did not happen to them that day. But, ds was in K (5.5 -6yos) and 1st grade when this was an issue. I would expect more supervision/shadowing of 3yr olds.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
Emmeline II is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 08-27-2011, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
It was a mutual decision for him to leave at least for awhile. He will be able to return later in the year if they can help him get his impulses under better control. At least that's what the teacher told me (in confidence, of course) and that sounds about right to me given the little I know of the mom -- she is a really super nice woman and last years' teachers told me how hard she was trying to work with him on these issues. I certainly don't expect anyone to tell me more about the child, his situation, or where he's going from here, but it just seems odd to me that a big picture isn't even provided. And the teachers have no intention of providing me with a daily update, unless I request one. Obviously, that's no longer necessary, but it would have been nice to have been told after the first time it happened that no injury occurred (unlike the second time), but they would be keeping an eye on it. Of course I will continue to focus on DS and teaching him how to respond, b/c there will be other kids (heck, he has a little friend outside of school with whom we have similar problems at times, but the mom is always there to intervene). But it's also good to know that I don't have to expect him to come home next week with another bruise and incident report.
swd12422 is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 08-28-2011, 10:33 AM
 
lindberg99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

It was a mutual decision for him to leave at least for awhile. He will be able to return later in the year if they can help him get his impulses under better control. At least that's what the teacher told me (in confidence, of course) and that sounds about right to me given the little I know of the mom -- she is a really super nice woman and last years' teachers told me how hard she was trying to work with him on these issues. I certainly don't expect anyone to tell me more about the child, his situation, or where he's going from here, but it just seems odd to me that a big picture isn't even provided. And the teachers have no intention of providing me with a daily update, unless I request one. Obviously, that's no longer necessary, but it would have been nice to have been told after the first time it happened that no injury occurred (unlike the second time), but they would be keeping an eye on it. Of course I will continue to focus on DS and teaching him how to respond, b/c there will be other kids (heck, he has a little friend outside of school with whom we have similar problems at times, but the mom is always there to intervene). But it's also good to know that I don't have to expect him to come home next week with another bruise and incident report.


I guess I don't get what you mean by them providing you with a big picture. Do you mean you want to know under what conditions he will be allowed back or something? If it is bothering you, maybe it would be good to talk to the director?

 

lindberg99 is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 08-28-2011, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I meant big picture when this first started this school year. B had trouble with hitting, pushing and grabbing last year (DS was in the same class). I had lots of conversations with the teachers about DS's mirroring this child's behavior and they kept me up to date on how things were going. (Of course I was working with DS to show him that he could use his nice manners even when others weren't, etc. but they let me know when that didn't work for him and when he succeeded on a day-to-day basis.) This is not happening this year.

 

The first time it happened, DS came home and told me. The teacher didn't do an incident report b/c there was no injury. I have no problem with that, but a note or two seconds to chat at pickup to tell me it happened would have been nice. At that point, I would have said, "Yeah, those two got into it together last year, too. I'm not sure if you were aware of that or not, but what helped was when they had an assistant shadow whenever they got together, and reminding DS to use words instead of grabbing back really helped. By the end of the year, he was more comfortable doing that, but I'm not so sure he won't need more reminders for now." Then she could have said, "Oh, I had no idea. No one told me that." or "Yep, the director was on top of that and let me know it could come up again. Now that it has, we'll be keeping a closer eye. Here's how the school usually deals with issues like these, although they rarely come up." SOMETHING like that. Anything would have been preferable to feigned or real ignorance and then when it happened again, an apparent lack of concern and no indication that any plan would be designed to work this out. Then to have the kid suddenly removed with no warning, and no one was going to tell me unless I asked... I don't know. It seems like the parents of all the kids who were hurt by him should have been told what the plan was and what was happening.

swd12422 is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 09-20-2011, 08:27 PM
 
gailsdaughter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

How do you find the school that has a zero tolerance hitting policy? and a gentle environment.  My husband scoffs that I will change schools and we will have the same problem anywhere. 

gailsdaughter is offline  
#13 of 13 Old 09-21-2011, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Zero tolerance really doesn't mean much, other than 1 strike and that particular kid is out. Apparently, DS got smacked in the stomach with a broom handle on Monday.... (different kid) It's the nature of the business, so to speak, but for us it's the communication about handling situations as they arise that is the problem.

swd12422 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off