How Not to Handle A Problem at School

Kids learn a lot at school, but so do parents. School, preschool, and daycare have taught me quite a bit so far. And the learning continues…

How I Handled a Daycare Problem the WRONG Way

When my kids were little I worked full time. My kids went to a fantastic little preschool/daycare near our house in Atlanta. Everything was fine, until I had a problem with something one of the teachers did. It wasn’t terrible, but I worried about pissing her off and then leaving my helpless baby with her. So I thought the best thing to do was go to the director.

I made a terrible assumption. I assumed the director, whom I admired tremendously, would handle it anonymously. That did not happen. Ultimately, the teacher was pissed at me and I had to leave my helpless baby with her. It sucked, people. I wish I had just talked to her directly.  Lesson learned: Start with the teacher.

A Recent Elementary School Problem

If you happen to follow on Facebook then you probably read about what happened to my daughter (7) on Friday. A little girl invited my daughter over to her and her friend and then for no apparent reason grabbed my daughter’s nose and twisted it causing a horrible nosebleed. This happened right as school let out on Friday before Spring Break Your Nose – as I am now calling it (though nothing is broken).

I was mad and not sure what to do about the incident. My first instinct was to call the parents of the other child. Uncertain that was the right course, I consulted TheMommyhood via Facebook, and I am so glad I did.  Your advice led me to make a different decision than I would have made on my own.  I am so glad I talked to you guys about it. Thanks VERY much to everyone who weighed in, I read and thought about what each of you said.

Thanks to you guys I realized that conversation would not have gone well. Also, I wasn’t motivated to call the child’s parents out of care or concern for the other child.  I wanted to contact the parents because I was PISSED and I wanted to DO SOMETHING in defense of my sweet girl. And by do something I mean ensure some consequences for the child who hurt my baby.

But the girls normally get along just fine, and, now that I have calmed down, I think this was probably one of those unexplainable dumb things people just do for no reason – just a turd of a kid not keeping her hands to herself. I’m not excusing her behavior, but I am so glad I didn’t do anything while I was upset. I certainly don’t want to create a problem between my daughter and this child.

My plan is to work through the teacher and make sure a proper report is filed with the school. The school is supposed to notify all parties involved, so the parents will hear about it (after Spring Break Your Nose is over).

Lessons learned:

1) Don’t take action when you are mad.

2) Consider asking other moms/parents for advice before you decide what to do.

3) Work through your teacher and make sure an incident report is filed.

4) This isn’t directly related to my course of actions from this situation, but it’s something I learned from talking to other parents about this situation. You can actually request a child not be in the same class with your child. (I had no idea you could do this and wanted to share this information in case any of you need it).

 Have you learned any lessons from dealing with issues at school?

6 Responses to How Not to Handle A Problem at School

  1. LuAnne March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Proud of you Heather!!!!

    • Heather March 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks, LuAnne! Hope you are having a good week.

  2. Anne March 21, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Good for you. It’s been challenging at times for me to just step back and let children handle small conflicts themselves, whether it’s siblings or classmates.

    • Heather March 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Hiya Anne,
      Thanks for stopping by. There actually was no conflict. And since my daughter was physically harmed, parental involvement is absolutely required. I just can’t let 7-year-old children work it out when someone draws blood. What I keep hearing in my head is my husband’s voice when he told me her clothes were covered in blood and she looked like she’d been punched.

      I’m going to stop thinking about it because it stresses me out.

  3. Jennifer March 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Good for you! I’m glad you handled it so well. Great advice about not acting when you are angry. Of course, I think I gave you really bad advice when we discussed this incident:). I tend to act when I am angry.

    • Heather March 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      I gotta say, your first instinct was the same as mine. It’s really frustrating when you are limited in what you can actually do. But I guess I just have to get used to it. The older she gets the less control I have. Not that I can’t/won’t be involved, I will, but it’s weird that at some point you realize your kids are living their own lives and walking their own path and you can’t be there to protect them at all times. That said, I gotta be honest, I’m thinking about karate.

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