Sunday, November 4, 2007

The importance of size

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Mrs. Coulter said...

Have you talked to her teacher yet about this problem? Lyra is also very small for her age (at 3 1/2, she is wearing 2T, with no sign of outgrowing it). People also guess that she is younger than she is, but that changes as soon as she opens her mouth (then they are befuddled by the itsy-bitsy kid who talks like a little grown-up).

She's done the daycare thing now for several years, so she's a bit of a pro at protecting her stuff, but there was a time when I was worried that some of the bigger kids were pushing her around on the playground (not to mean, but just as part of normal play, but it worried me because they are a whole head taller than she is). The teachers were very on top of it--they told me that they would be vigilant for such happenings and help to teach her strategies for dealing with such unwanted attention. If the teachers refuse to address the situation (some adults seem to believe in might makes right amongst children, for some odd reason), then you should work your way up the school food chain. At this age, kids can go to teachers with a problem without being labeled as a tattle-tale, so make use of it while you can.

KLee said...

Mrs. Coulter has a good point -- if weeMiche feels threatened or bullied, she can probably get the teacher to address it by letting her know the problem is happening. We try our best to maintain good behavior in (and out of) the classroom, but we can't see everything, and lots of little guys have already mastered the skills of waiting until the teacher is otherwise occupied, and THEN striking. If this is the case, don't mince words with the teacher, or with weeMiche. Let BOTH of them know that it's okay to tell on bullies, and that you are very concerned that your child not get steamrollered. I would naturally come over all Mama Bear as well, had that been my situation.

Andrea said...

It is tough.

I don't have much in the way of advice, but I do have sympathy.

I think this will get easier as wM adapts to daycare. She's used to being surrounded by people who put her interests first; it's going to take a while for her to get used to being surrounded by people who put their own interests first. At least, that's what I've seen with Frances.

Miche said...

Wow. Thanks everyone for your terrific advice and for sharing your experiences!

I should add, that I don't think wM is being bullied during school hours. I, in true Mama Bear fashion, had a chat with the teachers prior to the start of the school year asking them to be aware of this familiar pattern of behaviour.

My main concern now, is in the "unsupervised" hours -- especially in the playground after school. Things only seem to resolve themselves in a good way if I end up disciplining someone else's child. And let me tell you, I hate disciplining someone else's child. (And I have to acknowledge that I can't be around to run interference forever. I hear they frown upon parents doing that in college.)

The other thing that works well is if an older kid in the playground takes wM under their wing and defends her. But I can't count on that happening.


I'll have a chat with the teachers and see if they can help me coach wM with some skills.