Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do you think FireGirl is getting Bullied at PreSchool ???

I'm starting to wonder. I guess I need to set up a conference with her teachers.
Or maybe I'm over-reacting.

What do you think?

So a few weeks ago she started hitting and pulling hair, right? But just me. So I think, oh it's just the terrible twos, and it's only directed at me, and I'm the mommy (ie authority figure), so this is part of her figuring out her boundaries, who she is, etc. No biggie.

Then we get out the Barbie. She pulls her hair, saying "Ow!" as she does it. Like she's trying to hurt Barbie. From the very beginning. Like that was the first thing she thought of doing when she saw the doll. I asked her if she wanted me to show her how to do her hair nicely. She said "yes". I showed her. Gave the doll back. She proceeded to pull & yank on Barbie's hair, saying "Ow!" repeatedly as she did it. Then she started pulling Barbie's arms and saying "Ow!", like she was really starting to hurt her.

Earlier this week she hit FireKitty with a toy bowling pin. Hard. FireKitty was sleeping on the couch, and FireGirl picked up the pin, reared back and hit her full force. And laughed. When I explained to her that she hurt FireKitty, that now FireKitty had an owie because of what she did, and didn't FireGirl feel bad? "Nope". Not gonna lie, that kinda freaked me out.
FireKitty is her kitten, and she has always been very gentle & tender w/ her, carried her around, wants to hold her, pet her, love her. This seemingly-out-of-nowhere hitting, and then showing no remorse even though she's told she hurt her beloved kitten? Yeah, kinda freaked me out.

So this morning, we're getting ready for preschool.
Me: "Are you going to read books?"FireGirl: "Yep"Me: "Are you going to sing songs?"
FireGirl: "Yep"
Me: "Are you going to play?"FireGirl: "Yep." {{makes raspberry, her way of saying 'horse'}}
Me: "Are you going to ride the horsey?"FireGirl: "Yep"
Me: "What about the other kids? Are you gonna play with the other kids?"no response - face is dead-pan
Me: "Are you gonna play with the other kids today?"FireGirl: "No" {{starts whining}}
Me: "why not?"
FireGirl: {{starts crying & walks away}}
a few minutes later
Me: "Are you gonna ride the horsey today?" (she loves the horse toy they have there)FireGirl: "Yep"Me: "What about the other kids? Don't you wanna play with the other kids?"no response - face is dead-pan
Me: "Are the other kids nice to you?"no response
Me: "Are the other kids mean to you?"no response
Me: "Are you gonna play with the other kids today?"FireGirl: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooo!" {{runs off crying}}

So I take her to preschool. We're a few minutes late, the last ones to arrive. When you first arrive, the students have to wash their hands before joining the rest of the class. We wash our hands. I ask FireGirl if she wants to go play and point to the classroom thru the half-door.
I open the half-door. There are two kids standing right on the other side of the door, but with enough room between them for us to get thru.
She. Won't. Budget.
Won't go near them.
I have to take her hand and lead her thru the kids.

I lead her over to the horsey, and she climbs on happily. I hang up her diaper bag & sweater. I have to stop by the office to pay this month's tuition, and to get out of the building I double-back by FireGirl's classroom. I peek over the half-door.
The rest of the class is sitting at a table listening to the teacher read a story. I don't see her. The teacher sees me, and gestures to the corner.
FireGirl is sitting by herself in a corner, "reading" a book.
The teacher looks at me & shrugs. I shrug back. Because after my conversation with FireGirl this morning, I know she doesn't want to play with the other kids. And if FireGirl doesn't want to do something, well, she ain't doin' it.

So, what do you think? I mean, I know she's shy, but she's been at this school, in this class, with these teachers and these kids for over two months now. She knows the kids by name, if you ask her. So it's not like it's strangers.
I'm really kinda worried that with her new outburst of violent behavior, plus how upset she got when I asked her about playing with the other kids, that something is happening or has happened to her.

Do you think she's getting bullied?


Melissa said...

I don't know if she is being bullied, but kids that age do need to be taught how to share and play and I am sure some are more aggressive than others. I would set up a conference just to make sure that she is adjusting socially to the class. She is probably a quiet child and may be "overlooked" because she doesn't require as much directing as others, but may be on the other end of why kids are being redirected during play time. I am sure that if there were any concerns from her teachers you would have been contacted by now. But I would go ahead and voice your concerns to the teacher so that she can keep a closer eye on her throughout the day.

areyoukiddingme said...

I have two thoughts on this - first, my daughter is "slow to warm up" which means it took her probably 7 months (from 15 months to 22 months - for 11 hours/day 4 days/week) to decide she liked her teacher at the daycare. So, I think two months for a 2 year old is not a huge amount of time. She may still be adjusting.

Second - boundary testing really rears up in the twos (and gets worse when they're three), so she may be watching other kids do these things (not necessarily to her) and trying it out.

But, just to make sure, you should definitely talk to the teacher about your observations. And talk to your daughter about it too - even if she won't tell you what's going on. Give her tips on what to do if someone pulls her hair (although plan it out, because I accidentally told my daughter to hit back before I thought to tell her to go tell the teacher).

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