Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Mess With My Kid

Today Julia was back at preschool after last week's vacation. Afterward, when she was hanging around the kitchen waiting while I fixed lunch, she said--and all names are changed here--"Today at first Oscar was touching me nicely, but then he hit."

Sigh. The first instance of some other child--not a playgroup buddy, not a friend's child, not a cousin, just a child from school I don't even know (is he a bully in the making? run-of-the-mill aggressive? or a sweet boy who didn't mean to?)--being mean to my kid.

First I thought I'd better get some clarification, though. "He hit YOU?" I asked.

"Yeah," Julia said. "He hit me and I fell down."

"What did you do?"

"I just got back up."

Of course by now I was Mama on a mission, intent on somehow getting all the details. "Well....did you say anything to Oscar?"

"No."

"Did anyone else say anything?

"What?"

"Were the teachers there?"

"I was over somewhere else."

Um....

"Did you tell a grown-up what happened?" I persisted.

"What, Mama?" [Here I started to get the feeling Julia was less than enthralled with the whole conversation...]

"Did you tell a teacher that Oscar hit you?"

"Miss D-- told Oscar not to hit," Julia explained.

"Did she ask if you were okay?"

"Yeah, she did."

"Did she make Oscar tell you he was sorry?"

"Yes."

"OK. But honey, if Oscar does that again, I want YOU to say, 'Don't hit me, that's not nice.' OK? Do you understand?"

She said yes, but I don't know. She's a meek little baby rose at heart, and she doesn't often stand up for herself, despite parental coaching. I also told her maybe it would be a good idea to keep her distance from Oscar for the time being, until he learns how to be nice and not hit.

It's hard to face the reality of someone else being mean to your child. Can you imagine anyone intentionally knocking sweet little Julia off her feet? Can you imagine the look on her face when it happened? In her world, the idea of anyone being mean or aggressive is just...well, unimaginable. Except I guess now it's not.

2 comments:

donna said...

I know how you feel. My daughter was bit at daycare. (She did nothing to provoke it.)

I don't need to tell you this, but Oscar's behavior will pass - with the right instruction and guidance by the teachers and parents. Remember you carefully chose this preschool over the others because you were confident in the staff at and philosophy of the school.

My advice: Be sure the staff knows about what happened (even though J told you that the teachers know, since you didn't get the report from the teachers, it's best just to mention it casually) so they know to keep an eye on "Oscar."

They learn good things and bad things at preschool. And as long as they are learning more good, then it's okay.

Hang in there. (And good job on coaching her on what to do - no, it doesn't mean she WILL do it next time, but she needs to hear about proper ways to handle such situations for herself.) E-mail me anytime.

Shan said...

Hey Donna! Thanks for the reminder to mention this to the preschool teachers. I might not have thought of that, given Julia's statement that the teacher stepped in. But you're right, I should. Yep, it's all normative and part of growing "up" and going to school. But....bummer! (Bummer about the bite, too! Yikes!)