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Discussion Starter #1
I am really hoping for some good advice, because I am so confused about my child's behavior at school today. When I arrived to pick her up, the teacher asked me to stay to talk to me about what my daughter did to another kid. The situation was that one of the boys in her class was having a coughing fit from asthma after playing outside. He was getting a lot of attention... I guess during music time he was coughing a lot... apparently my daughter got up, went over to the boy and spit in his face!<br><br>
I am so shocked and angry and disappointed, and also so confused by her behavior. She has never done anything like this before and is usually very empathetic, plays really nice with other kids, and loves school. When I talk to her about it, she says she was annoyed because he was coughing so much and wanted him to stop. The teacher says my daughter said she didn't think he should be getting so much attention. She was put in time out at school and I have taken away her tv tme and her favorite toy and talked a lot about how she would feel if someone did that to her, and why that behavior is not ok... does this seem appropriate? How long do I enforce a punishment? Any other ideas for appropriate consequences? I am completely at a loss!<br><br>
I also keep asking her why she did it and she says she doesn't know. She seems remorseful, but I think only because she is in trouble, not for what she did. Also, it sounded like the other kid didn't get upset, so she must be confused why everyone else is upset with her, and and he didn't seem to care. She also didn't understand that he was sick (has asthma).<br><br>
Help! Any insight would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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<p>4 yr olds do strange things. When my daughter was almost 4, (she's 5.5 now) I picked her up from the childcare in my gym, and found out she'd bitten another child's face. I was horrified. What I did was tell her in no uncertain terms that is was NOT ok, and gave her some ideas on what to do instead. I reminded her everytime i dropped her off for awhile, and never did it again.</p>
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<p>So, I think I'd leave it at what you've done so far, with maybe a little more talking to her about it.</p>
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Nice to know kids do strange things. I just wish I could get into her head and understand what made her do that! I can't imagine why she would spit in a kid's face who was clearly having a hard time coughing and breathing. So strange and disturbing. <img alt="greensad.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/greensad.gif">
 

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<p>There's NO getting into a 4.5yo's head to understand ANYthing! lol. i believe they really <strong>don't</strong> know why they do things sometimes. in your case, your daughter had a valid reason (in her mind). he was coughing and she was annoyed. 4.5yos are still learning social propriety rules and impulse control and it's all that it could be. i think getting a timeout at school was enough "punishment" for her and you did well by talking to her about it. i would remind her again before drop off tomorrow morning and then let it go. i think.</p>
 

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<p>Off the top of my head, maybe she was trying to "shush" him and it just went wrong. Kids don't always realize they've got spit in their mouths--think about blowing out candles.</p>
 

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<p>Have you ever blown in someone's face to get them to swallow/pause?  A baby perhaps?  Just the thought that came into my mind when you described it.  Sometimes people do that, and maybe she thought she'd be helping/getting him to stop by blowing at him (and then she ended up spitting...).</p>
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<p>IDK.  OTOH, kids do sometimes do horrible out-of-character things.  My DD went postal on one of my DS's dumptrucks one day and she is SOOO not like that.  I cut that off and was clear that it was to never ever happen again and it hasn't.</p>
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<p>Tjej</p>
 

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<p>If the school put her in timeout, there's the punishment done.</p>
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<p>Seems like plenty enough to let her know that's not an appropriate way to handle things. If the teachers were dealing with an asthma attack, any number of other things could have been going on with the other kids. There's not much way to sort out what was happening with her around the time it happens.</p>
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<p>Let it go.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much everyone for the wonderful comments! After talking a lot about it, it seems like my daughter really didn't realize spitting in the boys face was so mean, she really wanted him to stop coughing, and she didn't know he was sick... When I explained what an asthma attack was, she got really sad. I think she learned her lesson and I am confidant she isn't turning into a mean kid <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif">
 

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<p>When other people have a cough or hiccups, or any other annoying sound I want to slap the snot out of them.  I know they can't control it, but it annoys me SO bad anyway.  At age four... I might have been a little light on the impulse control too. </p>
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<p>I'm not excusing her behavior.  But, I bet that boy was annoying.  </p>
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<p>I would separate the actions.  Spitting is never OK.  Spitting in his face was REALLY unacceptable.</p>
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<p>But, it's OK that she felt annoyed by his coughing.  She just chose the wrong way to express it.  Maybe there are better ways to say you are sick of listening to him hacking and coughing during a good story time????  Maybe she wishes she'd thought of something better before she snapped and spit at him???</p>
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<p>Then, she obviously needs to work on empathy.  Sure, maybe she's not cut out to be a school nurse.  But, that doesn't mean she has to beast on everybody who irritates her either.  Something in the middle would be nice.</p>
 

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<p>Has she ever spat before? Is spitting "the thing" I nanny a 6 yo and he went through a phase where when his older sisters would pester him he would spit in their face, more specifically, their mouths. It was a sure fire way to get them to stop because it would get me involved and I would send all parties to rooms etc. Things would escalate from sitting quietly to spitting in faces in the time it takes me to come around the corner to see what's going on.</p>
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<p>I have never ever heard of that. I do know if you blow in a dogs face you will get your lips bit off! I think animal vegetable or mineral, you don't want someone to blow in your face.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tjej</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283935/four-year-old-s-unusual-behavior-at-preschool#post_16098576"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Have you ever blown in someone's face to get them to swallow/pause?</p>
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