Mothering Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>So, here's the story:  My DD, 5, came home from Kindergarten on Tuesday and Wednesday and said kids were making fun of her.  I sat down with her, got her to talk with me more.  After I did that, I emailed her teacher this note:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><em>Hi Teacher,</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p><em>DD came home yesterday and said kids were teasing her, but I couldn't get her to say anymore about it.  Again today, she said kids were making fun of her, so I got her to sit down with me and talk more.<br><br>
She said that yesterday, during seat work time, three kids - X, X, and X - were calling her ugly.  Then today, X was making fun of her during snack time.  I couldn't get her to explain more.<br><br>
I was wondering if you observed or know about either of these incidents and what we could do to resolve the situation.</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I was still upset when I wrote this, and hadn't really thought the whole situation through yet.  I received a response saying the teacher wasn't aware of this and would keep an eye out, thanks for letting her know, tell DD that she can come to her if it happens again and they can work on it together with the kids involved.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>After I calmed down, I thought through things and read this article on Love and logic called "<a href="http://www.loveandlogic.com/pages/teaseproof.html" target="_blank">Teaseproof Your Kids</a>."  I liked the idea, and the next day (DD was off school) I did a role-playing game with her dolls based off the article.  In the game, one doll "Polly" teased doll "James" and said, "James, your shirt is ugly.  You look stupid."  Then I said to my DD, "Polly is trying to hurt James' feelings, isn't she?  But James knows his shirt isn't ugly and that he isn't stupid, so he doesn't care what she says."  Then I had James act cool and say to Polly, "Whatever."  Then I said to DD, "James is letting Polly know that he doesn't care what she says."  We did the game several times, also role-played ourselves, talked more about the idea of acting like you don't care (the article calls it your "cool look"), even if you have to pretend a little, is a good response for teasing, and that just because someone says something, it doesn't make it true, etc.  DD liked the game and seemed happy with this.  I had gotten the impression from the teacher's first email that she wasn't going to do anything at this point, which I was good with, because after thinking it over I felt it is better for DD to learn to handle this on her own, with my help.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So this morning I get an email from the teacher saying she had a talk with DD and told her to respond, "That's not nice.  Please stop." and to come get her if she is teased again.  Then she had a talk with the whole class and another with the kids involved.  I appreciate that the teacher wants to be proactive, but I feel like this response will just set my DD up to be teased more, not less.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What do you think?  I'm leaning towards talking about both responses with DD this weekend and asking her which one she feels would work better and helping her think it through, but I'd love some input from other parents on this.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
<p>The kids are young enough that it could go either way.  I definitely see why you're concerned, and I think that the teacher handled things poorly, particularly (you didn't say if she actually did this) if she singled out your DD.  But even if she didn't, the kids in question probably knew what the teacher was talking about.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think you did the right thing, both in alerting the teacher and in doing the roleplaying.  I haven't read the love and logic thing about bullying, but it sounds like the wonderful Wondertime article about bullying (called "how to bullyproof your child" if you wanted to search for it) and I really love that article.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
<p>I think it depends on the age of the kid. At older ages, your "cool" response makes a lot of sense -- the teasers are looking for a reaction, so don't give them one. At younger ages, though, I think it's more likely that the kids are exploring what words mean and what effect words have. So telling them -- that the words aren't nice -- seems perfectly appropriate.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
<p>And I don't think that they have to be entirely mutually exclusive.  Your DD should know that she can go to adults if she can't handle a situation.  You gave her some tools that will hopefully help her handle a teasing situation on her own.  If it doesn't work, and things escalate, and she feels that she can't handle the situation, she should flatly tell the other kids to stop and tell the teacher.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,109 Posts
<p>I agree "not nice" is an okay response in my book for a 5 year old. Although I'd prefer something like "I don't like that" instead which allows the child to own the feeling. "Not kind" would be an improvement over "not nice", but "not nice" is okay. I think the "whatever" response will be more useful later on. I could see my 9.5 yr old needing that one, but I think my 7 year old could still use a "not nice" one.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
<p>I think both of those approaches are perfectly fine and your dd might use them in different circumstances. The teacher's suggestion gives her a tool for confronting the teaser and your approach helps her to react confidently, without feeling overwhelmed and upset (which might make her more likely to be teased in the future). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>My kids (age 4 and 7) have both been taught to use "I don't like that. Please stop." But it works best when the teacher establishes this as the classroom expectation from the beginning of the year. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,542 Posts
<p>I don't see these as mutually exclusive responses. Your DD can try providing feedback ("I don't like that. Please stop.") and if that doesn't work she can decline to give a reaction ("Whatever." and walk away). She can go to the teacher if it escalates. I think arming her with multiple responses can only be a good thing, especially if she might not be able to convincingly convey that she doesn't care. 5 and 6 year olds can still be pretty literal.</p>
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top