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Poll

If your child complained that a school friend of a parent you knew well had pushed them at school would you

Discuss with the parent
1 (25%)
Mention it to the teacher the following morning
3 (75%)
Write to the head
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Voting closed: November 26, 2014, 09:12:59 AM

Author Topic: Dealing with complaints about a school friend  (Read 6065 times)

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Offline Happimamma

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Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:12:59 AM »
The head had a word with me this morning because when my daughter came home from school, she was distressed because she said that one of her friends had pushed her at school and usually he wants to play with her.  I said "Are you sure" she said "yes"

I know the Mum well - Our kids have play dates all the time and she lives 5 doors away so i gave her a ring to discuss it - to ask if she could ask her son so we could get to the bottom of it.  I was definitely gentle and un-accusing and she replied that "It doesn't sound like him" but she would have a word.

She phoned me again later to say that her son denied it.  I put this to my daughter whilst still on the phone and she said that maybe he hadn't pushed her then but he still wouldn't play with her. (Arggghh)

So i said to my friend "Yes, it seems that he didn't push her.  I thik that she was upset basically because he didn't want to play with her - Thanks for asking your son, I'll talk with her now"

She said "No, problem - See you tomorrow"

This morning the class teacher asked me what happened and then the head caught me going out to ask if in future i would please deal with these things through the class teacher"

I must say i feel that people are a bit precious.  Until now, that's how my friends and i have dealt with these things - usually ending in an apology from one or other child.

Has the world gone mad or do i have boundary issues?

Offline WT4

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 11:46:21 AM »
Nope, if the issue is with a single child and is a one-off it's always better to tackle the issue head-on with the other parent ... all in my own (not so) humble opinion, of course.

The school would be well advised to avoid getting involved where parents are on top of things .. the resultant paperwork is a burden I'm sure they'd be happy to avoid.
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Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 12:08:22 PM »
Oh I'm glad at least one person agrees with me!  Thanks WT4

Offline Ms_wormwood

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 12:28:14 PM »
OK, I voted before I read the post. I think that is a difficult question.
With M, when she has reported such stuff to me I normally try to keep it between the two of us, but when it gets prolonged or violent then I mention to the teacher (or afterschool club person) so that they deal with it, as they are there when it happens and 'should' be impartial.
Normally when M is moaning about another child, I dig down and find out that it's pretty mutual to be honest...
Onwards and upwards.

Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 12:58:41 PM »
Thanks Ms W,

That is two good reasons for mentioning it to teacher (impartiality & being there when it happens) I think it's also good for a child say 6 or 7 upwards to learn a bit of independence by approaching the teacher themselves at the time!

I think many parents who know each other probably do sort these one to one conflicts out outside of school or at the gates etc. but i was just a bit shocked that i had been so unbiased and gentle with this parent basically saying "I'd like to get to the truth of the matter, that's all.  I don't know if it's him, her or 6 of one etc..." and at the end she had said it was "no problem, see you tomorrow" and when i went in this morning she had had a word with the teacher and it had been passed to the head!!!  no accusations - just that she didn't want anyone to think it was her child in the wrong.

Maybe i under-estimate how deeply some people take these things to heart.

I also probably like to retain control as a parent and not give it all over to the school.

Offline Cushion Plumper

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 09:00:15 PM »
I've done exactly what you did Happimamma on many occasions.  I've always wanted the other child's parent to know I'm approachable and don't condone these behaviours and that I'm willing to try and sort it out nicely rather than just let the school deal with it and let them think I'm not bothered what my son gets up to.  As a result I've ended up with some good friendships with the other mums and the kids have known they can't get away with stuff because their mums will find out!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 01:02:21 AM by Happimamma »
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Offline LAK

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 09:14:19 PM »
If it happens at school then I let the school deal with it.  If I thought that the teacher needed to know something then I would let him/her know.  I wasn't there and other parents are not there and it's so easy to get into this 'my child wouldn't do that' situation.  The teacher often already has an idea about what happened and knows both children. 

It's good if the child can let the teacher know if anything happens BUT if you've ever been in a classroom in school time.... well I don't know how teachers cope with all this 'she did this, he did that, he looked at me, she called me a name'   ;D
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Offline scatily

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 09:53:31 PM »
Unless it was a prolonged reoccurring problem I wouldn't do anything. I also encourage J to take responsibility for reporting what he considers serious issues himself and have always found the teachers have dealt with it well, even when one of his best friends was involved in proper full on bullying of him. To this day the other boys mum and I have never spoken about it, it was dealt with by the school and the boys managed to rescue their friendship themselves. They were 7 at the time.

I wouldn't have liked to have received that phone call tbh. Recently one of a J's friends tried to get himself out of trouble by lying. However, if the mum stopped and thought about it the actual facts involved don't fit his version of events at all. The other mum can't/won't see the full picture because her son 'was so upset by his mistake' (scared of the trouble he was going to get into if he told the truth more like)! The boys had forgotten it happened the next day so I never pointed out all the whacking great holes in his story even though it caused my son a great deal of upset that night. I just told J it was clear what the truth was due to X, Y, Z and that I was glad he had told me the truth. I think you need a super strong friendship to take on kids rucks directly and survive!

Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 01:01:32 AM »
That's my ideal situation Cushion Plumper and it has worked for me up until now.  I'm beginning to think it might be something to do with moving to a small school in a small village - not that i want to be prejudiced against people who live in small villages!  but there does seem to be a different way at looking at things than I'm used to.  Also, having home-schooled and part-time Montessori until fairly recently I think i just haven't seen so many squabbles on a daily basis.

I think LAK and scatily I'm beginning to get the idea - kids at school have plenty of fallings-out and making friends again and i think I'm going to let many things pass in future.........

Thanks for all the comments

Offline mumtoattitude

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2014, 03:53:21 PM »
Some parents though seem lovely, but are then deeply defensive of their own, can't do any wrong, child.  Most aren't I nkow, but I ahve come unstuck witht his before, and then let the school deal

Offline annie10

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 08:55:21 AM »
Firstly it's great you took action immediately. And since you are friends with the mother I would say it makes sense to go directly to her. However, logging it with the school probably is wiser. I think parents' would likely be defensive about their children. Although sensible parents' who get a complaint about their child should take it and get to the bottom of it.

My worry is that children who bully have issues at home or have parents who have similar natures so it is learned behaviour.

I would go directly to the class teacher and if nothing is done then to the head. Children should feel confident , secure and happy in their day to day lives at school. I feel strongly that bullying erodes their confidence and then their school work can suffer also.

In this instant you can't really be sure if the boy did give your daughter a slight nudge because he didn't want to play with her. You cannot be sure. Parents usually see what they want to see.

Annie
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 11:37:18 AM by Silky »

Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2014, 01:27:03 PM »
Thanks Annie & MtAttitide,

It transpired that the boy screamed in her ear and it felt to her like a push.

The boy is a good kid - He's 7 and got a bit over-excited.

I think you are right Annie - It's wiser to tell the teacher and good points re bullies / parents of.

I didn't anticipate that this Mum would let it prey on her mind so much - I think that most of the other Mum's wouldn't have but who knows?  I've concluded that to only discuss directly with actual good friends is the way to go.   

Thanks All!

Offline Sqizzer

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 12:18:42 AM »
If I knew the parent well I would certainly approach them first. If prolonged I would add the teacher into he mix to observe and provide unbiased opinion as to what is going on. If I didn't know the parent then yes the teacher would be my first port of call. Too complicated otherwise - no need
be KIND... for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about!

Offline Purplejay

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2014, 11:02:48 AM »
If it was a one off, I would probably discuss with M how he could deal with it in school i.e. Tell the teacher or not spend time with that child so much if they didn't like their behaviour. I want him to be able to handle things himself wherever possible.

He is pretty good at this. In particular, a boy in his class stole his rubber, spent the day waving  it at him and refused to give it back. He did try telling the teacher but she misheard and he didn't go back for another try. At the end of school and before going to his dad (who was picking him up), he went straight to the other boys mum and told her what happened. She promptly frisked her son, told him off and returned the rubber. Result!

If the pushing or whatever happened again or I was concerned and I knew the parent I would speak to them, but if I didn't know them I would speak to the teacher. I think what you did was fine. It was also ok for her to mention to the school as she may now be concerned about her childs behaviour.

Our school has asked in the newsletter for parents to discuss issues with them rather than confront the other parent and this is probably in response to some trouble between parents.



"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2014, 12:03:22 PM »
Hmm.  It's funny because i personally would feel a bit offended if a parent i knew well took something up with the teacher instead of me.  This is because I pride myself in being fair-minded and realise that it is in both kid's interests to get a fair resolution.  I guess many parents are defensive when it comes to their kids and they hear what they want to hear -

"It may be x or it may be y or 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, i don't know" gets translated as "YOUR kid may have done something wrong and everyone in school will think he's a bad kid"



 

Offline Purplejay

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 09:46:18 AM »
I think if you know the parent you can make a judgement about how best to deal with it but if you don't there is a risk the other parent may sit firmly in the 'my child never does anything wrong' camp.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline Happimamma

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2014, 10:44:18 AM »
Thanks Purplejay - That hits the nail on the head really - You have to make a judgement about how that particular parent and i made the wrong judgement in this case!

Offline Purplejay

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Re: Dealing with complaints about a school friend
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2014, 04:40:44 PM »
I think you did the right thing. She may have made a fuss at school may have said very little. Seems really that the school could have handled it better. Hopefully they will still be friends and this will blow over.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

 

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