|Subject: teacher embarrasses child
I am confused and angry and in a situation that I
do not know how to handle. My 4½ year-old daughter goes to a class
every Tuesday night for 1½ hours. I work in the nursery while she is in
her class. Her teacher has two of her own children in this class. Her
son is a lot older than the ones assigned to this class. Also her
step-daughter helps her with the class.
My daughter got into an argument with the
teacher's son last week ... I always look in on her (she does not see
me). This week she was at a table all by herself - it made me feel very
sad for her. When I went to get her, I asked her what happened; she said
she put a dot on the girl's paper (this happened to be the teacher's
daughter), and another child told the teacher. The teacher took my
daughter's chair and dragged it to a separate table.
After I put all this through my thoughts I became
angry at this teacher. They are 4½ years old! My daughter is not in
school nor does she go to day care. She is an only child and I am a
stay-at-home mom. She was very good for the six months she has been
going. I get along with this teacher, and I do not want to over-react.
I am a very protective mother. She has always
slept with me. My husband does not like that. But I can not help it. She
was a twin and her brother died at birth. She is very loving. If someone
gives her a gift, she thanks and thanks them.
I feel like calling this teacher on the phone and
tell her to never put my child alone like that. How would she like it if
someone treated her child like that? I think there are other ways to
teach a child than to humiliate or embarrass her in front of her peers.
Have you read the letter and reply in my Parenting
Advice Column titled "Hitting and tantrums at preschool"? Also
look at the one titled "Temper Tantrums". In both of these
letters, there are some similarities with your situation.
As your daughter is an only child, she may seem to
be almost grown up compared to her infancy and toddlerhood. But looking
back in the years to come, you will see that four-and-a-half is very
young! It is unrealistic for our society to expect a child that age to
behave like an adult at all times. Otherwise there would be no need for
us to have a childhood! She's still learning about life and living. Any
"mistakes" she might make should be handled with compassion,
understanding, and gentle instruction. It sounds as if this teacher is
not able to do that.
Is it absolutely necessary for her to be in this
situation? My intuition tells me that the teacher must be having some
stress in her life currently and is unable to cope well at this time. If
you need to be away from your daughter on Tuesday nights, is there
someone more competent and compassionate she could be with? Could she
stay at home with her father, or visit at a friend's or relative's home?
Sometimes we require our children to do things
that we ourselves find difficult! A 1½- hour class is lengthy, even for
adults (most college classes are 50 minutes long.) If the class is
important to her, perhaps you can find a similar but shorter class, or
arrange for your daughter to stay only part of the time. If it is not
important to her, little real learning will take place anyway, and
"misbehavior" could become her way of expressing her
legitimate need to be with you. Children are little for such a short
time. Perhaps this and any other type of class needs to wait until she
is more ready for independent experiences.
It can be challenging and stressful when parents
disagree on important issues such as co-sleeping. Have you shown your
husband my article "Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to Your Child at
I hope this is helpful. You sound like a very