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DEARSUGAR Needs Your Help: Watch It Kiddo

DEARSUGAR and Maddened Mommy need your help. She has a young child in school who keeps getting slapped and having her toys being ripped away from her by another child. She doesn't know what to do about the teacher who doesn't seem to be of any help in this situation and she is looking for some advice.


Dear Sugar
I have a five year old little girl who just started kindergarten. She used to love pre-school but she is really having a tough go at school this year. It appears that there is another student in her class who constantly slaps her and tears her favorite toys, crayons and stuffed animals away from her.

She has asked her to stop, she has cried to the teacher and she has even slapped her back once (which I didn't approve of). I am really quite upset and concerned why the teacher doesn't punish or reprimand the bad little girl. Do you moms out there think that I should go to the principal about this, or do you think I should contact the child's parents? Maddened Mommy

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lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
Megan37, you all "feel horrible" about feeling impatient for the child to leave? as a teacher you should accept that you won't see eye to eye with all the parents. the fact that you have had meetings to talk about this is really disturbing. 1 little child vs the rest of you all day; niiiice. the parents didn't put you in that position, they disagreed with how to solve a problem and as parents that is their prerogative. parents are the child's best resource so you might remember that the next next time a disagreement comes up. i could give a crap if the teacher likes it if i go to their higher up. if they had a better grasp on what was going on in "their" classroom i wouldn't need to do it. if i found out meetings were taking place of the nature you describe i would be out for some jobs. it sounds like "circle the wagons" at your school but this shouldn't be a fight; you should be working "with" the parents. no wonder there is a problem in your classroom.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Do something about this NOW.
Megan37 Megan37 9 years
As a teacher myself I think that you should go in and speak with the teacher before you do anything else. She knows the situation best as she is the adult in the room all day with both children. I would ask her if she has time available to meet to discuss the issue and if she thinks it is necessary or a good idea to request that the other parents attend. I think going to the principal is jumping the gun a little. Basically find out as much information as possible before you make any rash decisions. Depending on the size of the school the principal may not even know your daughter or the other child and won't be able to do much in this situation to appease you except possibly putting pressure on the teacher. I think it is unfair to go to the principal assuming that the teacher is doing nothing to resolve the issue. You have to find out the whole story before you jump to conclusions based on what your daughter says. I do not think that you should take this situation lightly and I am not saying that your daughter's feelings and worries are false but please remember that 5-year-old children do sometimes have a tendency to exaggerate especially when upset. Go to the teacher, find out everything you can and try to agree on a plan to solve the problem. Ask to be updated on the progress at pick up time a few times a week or even every day. If you are not picking up your child ask that a quick note be sent home every few days or if there is any significant change. The teacher is the one who cares for your daughter during the day and you don't want to burn any bridges by going over her head to the principal before giving her a chance to work out the problem. A teacher I work with was put in a difficult situation when a child's parents did not come to her with their worries at all and went right to the principal. In this particular situation the parent's concerns were extreme and the best solution for everyone involved was for that teacher to not work with the student anymore (we have classrooms with multiple teachers) even though the teacher had done nothing wrong. This situation has caused all of the teachers working with that particular student to be somewhat uncomfortable around her. We have all found ourselves looking forward to when this student leaves our classroom so we don't have to deal with her parents. We have talked about this as a team of teachers and we all feel horrible about feeling impatient for the child to leave because she really is a wonderful child but her parents put us in such an unfortunate situation. We have all vowed to think of the student herself and not her parents and to talk frequently about the situation. Please try to resolve the situation with the teacher because unfortunately not all teachers can separate their feelings about a student's parents and their feelings about the student. Good luck!
cgmaetc cgmaetc 9 years
DO NOT contact that child's parents. You many make a bad situation even worse! Unfortunately, it sounds like this problem is bigger than your daughter. This kids obviously has an issue and it typically wouldn't involve you as mich as you might think: As a former teacher, I'd appreciate it if you came to me first before you head to my principal. A good teacher should be able to handle this in-house. Be sure to put in writing you concerns (make a copy) and hand deliver it to the teacher. Ask the teacher: What steps are you taking to prevent this behavior? What are the classroom rules and consequences for hitting? When my daughter gets hit, what do you say to the other girl? The teacher should reprimand the child by isolating her to an area of the room away from other students (a corner is always good) or benching her at recess or play time. She should explain to the girl why she's punished and have her apologize to your daughter. If the behavior continues, the teacher should contact the girls parents and demand a conference with them about their child's behavior. Personally, I wouldn't allow the child back into my classroom until I spoke to the parents. I'd send the kid to another classroom (let's see if she misbehaves there too!) or to the principal. If that doesn't work, the next step is for the principal, the teacher, and the girl's parents to resolve the issue. And if all else fails, then they should involve you. See, if you make it about your daughter, then the parents might unreasonably blame your child for provoking their girl. You want to create a situation where it's all about the girl's behavior, and not who may or may not be something to her. Oh, and be sure to document every conversation, phone call, and make copies of and date and notes you may send to the teacher. -the ceeg
JessNess JessNess 9 years
Yes there are lots of bullies in school and a child needs to learn how to deal with them but physical abuse is not acceptable. You need to arrange a teacher-principal meeting to discuss how to help the situation. You may want to look into switching the kid into another class or if the school just doesnt seem proactive then switching schools all together
rubialala rubialala 9 years
Go to the teacher, then the principal if that doesn't work, and then I'd switch schools. If they aren't going to work with you and your child then why do you want them teaching her?
rbuss05 rbuss05 9 years
i like the "authoritative voice" concept. in theory this is a great idea to help your child become more confident, while teaching the other child a lesson (your lesson) about how to treat other children. if that doesn't work, speak to the teacher. if (when) the teacher fails to correct the behavior, try to speak with the parents of the bully. if you still have problems, arrange a meeting with the principal of the school. at this point you can say you have addressed all other possible avenues to correct the situation, without any luck.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
I agree with Valeri (as always). If it were my child getting bullied at school, I would go straight to the principal and demand that some type of action be taken. After all, with schools these days, if a certain child is proving to be a harm to other students, they're usually expelled. However, most principals are reluctant to take that kind of action. Either demand that some action be taken or have them move your child to a different classroom.
ikitty13 ikitty13 9 years
The mean little girl sounds like she'll grow up to be a big bully if someone doesnt fix her attitude and behaviour soon.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
try sending a note to the principal telling them that your pediatrician was "very concerned" about the marks left on your child's face from the last hit. ask that you be contacted immediately next time as the doctor wants to "continuing documenting" with pictures so you'll need to take her right in "should there be another incident". i would also ask what the school's policy is on physical aggression. there are times when a child's lack of verbal skills cause them to act out, but no other child should have to take the brunt of that. i feel bad for your daughter. i think would actually move my child rather than have them be afraid to go to school. there are to many indulgent parents out there. hopefully they will get their "reward" for lack of attention to their children's issues in the teenage years and our hard work will be reflected.
Bonne Bonne 9 years
And it only gets worse in the future - there are a lot of bullies in schools. Practive her 'big girl voice' says the other child that that action is not allowed and please give it back or state "you are not allowed to hit me. Do not that again." I've found when children use "authoritive voices" with other children, that the other party will listen and obey. Yes, goto the principal - you may not be the only one having this issue.
nicole815 nicole815 9 years
Being a Kindergarten teacher I know sometimes things of this nature are out of our immediate control. If I were this child's teacher I would have already made some calls home to the parents. Check with the teacher to see if she has already done so. If not, call the principal.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Talk to the teacher first. Arrange a meeting with her and explain calmly that the situation is unacceptable and something needs to be done. Hopefully at that point she will suggest inviting the other childs parents to a meeting where you can discuss the situation. Only if the teacher doesn't put an end to the problem would I go over her head to the school principal. You're a good mom for pro-actively helping your daughter with this situation, kindergarten should be a carefree time for children.
honey31 honey31 9 years
You need to go and talk to the teacher and the parents of this child!
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