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My girls, who will be three in August, started Montessori school in June. So far they have been pushed down, hit on the head with sand toys (repeatedly, even after the teacher had intervened), had walnuts thrown at them, pinched and called "stupid head" (which was funny in the sense that my kids didn't even know the word "stupid"). Their belongings have been thrown over a fence into the parking lot. Most of this is perpetrated by the older students, 5 and 6 year olds. The teachers say their approach is to try to teach the perpertrators compassion and the "victims" to defend themselves with words (such as "No, stop!"). The occasion I witnessed, the perpetrator was asked to apologize. She did so very reluctantly and unconvincingly. When outside, sand "castles" are routinely knocked down by other children. When inside more sneaky aggression takes place, such as students "accidentally" bumping into each other.

So, I kind of thought this might occur between the younger children. And my girls are no angels...they push, bite, pinch, grab each others toys, and so on at home. But I was surprised to find that some of the older children routinely are bullying the younger ones. I guess I assumed the older children in the M environment would be the ones modeling respectful behavior toward each other. And that there would be some sort of more effective approach to prevent one child from repeatedly bullying another.

Any thoughts?
 

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I don't think that sounds like a normal amount of aggression. If my child had experienced that on a regular, consistent basis I would be speaking directly with the teacher and explaining my concerns.

Are you friendly with any of the other parents? Can you talk to them about their experiences? I know that I can be very sensitive when I witness dd going through playground growing pains. I try mindful of what it is that is coloring my perspective, and sometimes speaking with other parents can help. I also try use the guideline about wether or not she is likely to get physically injured or hurt from whatever is occuring.

Although it pains parents to bear witness to the emotional bumps and bruises every child faces growing up...there is a big difference between that, and chronic bullying or abuse.

Of particular note, I would ask the what the school does when a younger child uses words like "No" "Stop" to no avail. How are the older children redirected to make sure they are being respectful? If there is a particular child your girls mention, ask them for examples and discuss them specifically.

Sorry you are having a rough go...I hope you find a solution!
 

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No, that does not sound normal. "Teaching compassion" sounds nice but your kids shouldn't have to suffer while they learn. The teachers need to be better supervising the perpetrators, so they can stop incidents quicker. If it were my kids, my inner "Mama Bear" would be coming out.

ZM
 

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I would have a meeting with the teacher regarding your concerns, then ask to be an observer for at least a day, preferably a few. You will get a better idea about the classroom dynamics through observation. Depending on what you see you can formulate further steps, another meeting w/ the teacher, other parents, or administrators in the school. This is not an acceptable amount of aggression.
 

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I kind of feel that this is a normal amount of aggression, in the sense that many children will exhibit this amount of aggression if clear boundaries are not set and enforced.

KWIM?

The teachers are not doing their jobs, IMO. How is it that a child KEEPS getting hit after a teacher has intervened? I'd like to know more about that situation, as it seems that the teacher isn't taking the aggression very seriously.

It's very traumatic for a child to feel that they are so vulnerable and powerless against this kind of aggression. I can't believe that the children are left to fend for themselves to this degree. : (
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Delacroix
I kind of feel that this is a normal amount of aggression, in the sense that many children will exhibit this amount of aggression if clear boundaries are not set and enforced.

KWIM?

The teachers are not doing their jobs, IMO. How is it that a child KEEPS getting hit after a teacher has intervened? I'd like to know more about that situation, as it seems that the teacher isn't taking the aggression very seriously.

: (
That's what I was thinking (but duh, forgot to write), the kids seem to be running the show. Observing the classroom will give you your own perspective on the situation, not just your girls' or the teacher's. Then you have a foundation to start from. GL
 

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I agree in that it sounds sort of "Lord of the Flies" -ish to me. I believe our job is to teach kids to channel & refocus aggression. Yes, I teach my children to meet others' aggressive behavior by using their words or walking away. BUT, I also teach my children not to BE aggressive & that there are consequences of some sort for that behavior.

I feel for you in this situation. I'd definitely have a calm focused chat w/the teacher/principal. Make sure you've written down incidents and dates so they'll take you more seriously.
 
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