Tuesday, September 7, 2010

There's no place like home (even for a pirate)

Mr3 went to preschool in pirate regalia today. Striped shirt with skull-and-crossbones. Bandanna around his head. I drew the line at the sword and he lamented long and loud that he couldn't be a real pirate because he had no parrot on his shoulder, but we got there in the end. He arrived with a hearty 'shiver me timbers' to much admiration.

It was a far cry from the sad scrap of misery that greeted me when he awoke this morning.

"I don't want to go to preschool," he said.

You're going.

"I've got a tummy ache," he tried.

You're going.

"I'm really not feeling very well," he reiterated.

You're going (albeit with a surreptitious feel of the forehead in case he really was sick).

It wasn't until we got out the front of the preschool that he admitted he was worried. One of the bigger boys in his class was being 'mean'. My heart sank. My poor little pirate. The idea of him battling along alone made me feel sick. Three is really very small.

We had a little talk about what 'mean' things had been taking place. We had a little talk about what a good thing it was that he'd told me so I could help him. I had a little talk with his teacher, drawing it to her attention. I didn't even have to mention the other child's name. Several complaints have been made. She's worried that if she can't help him with his behaviour he'll be labeled all through school.

I'm worried that if she can't help him with his behaviour my pirate won't be very hearty about returning to preschool next week either. All I can do is focus on helping Mr3 with his responses and reactions. He was happy enough when I picked him up, though sans bandanna as he'd 'got hot'.

Mr3 told me that there'd been a little talk at morning meeting this morning about the importance of being kind. And about the importance of telling the teacher when you were worried. Would he be okay to do that? I asked.

He sighed. "It's okay now," he said. "I'm home with you tomorrow."

{image: idsfabric.com}


  1. Oh. That's so hard. And three is so little to be dealing with it. (Sorry, I'm absolutely no help here ... ) Hang in there l'il pirate.

  2. Gulp.

    That last line.

    I hope, truly hope, all these little talks work out.


  3. It's always so awful when you know your child is the target of someone being mean even if they aren't the only target.

    Whenever one of my kids is the target I talk about how it makes them feel and then about how awful the bully must be feeling to have to take it out on them. It reminds my kids that it's not them who has a problem or isn't 'right' and teaches them empathy. Helps shift the focus to finding solutions as well rather than just feeling sad. Of course at 3 your pirate my be a little young for that tack as yet...

  4. We're not going to focus on it too much. Now that so many little talks have taken place, we'll just see how things pan out next week. But I'll be keeping a close eye on the situation... (sans piratical eye patch)

  5. Oh poor Mr 3. That's so hard for him - and for you.

    Hope he recovers his swashbuckle very soon and the meanie walks the plank.

    Sounds like the teacher's got her head screwed on.

    That last line had me gulping too.

  6. Poor little one and poor mama, it is so hard to see your child unhappy. You could try looking for opportunities when your son is playing to model/reinforce strategies he can use for dealing with the types of conflict which are occuring.

  7. Bless him, the poor little pirate. I do hope next week is better.

  8. This is surely the hardest possible part of parenting. Little and alone and the world is a very big and sometimes mean place. Sigh.

  9. Al, you reminded me with your last line why I LOVE your writing. Not that I'd actually forgotten I hasten to add. 3 is small. These are the times I want to go in as Captain Hook with a crocodile that eats bullies. I am so glad he confided in you. That's the most important part in some ways. They feel better knowing you know and even though you don't it does make it a wee bit easier for them knowing that mum is there for them.

  10. Al, we are going through the same sort of thing. My little 'pirate' is 9 and is 'special'. He's the one who has hs head shoved into the ground because the other child is trying to help my 'pirate' calm down. Keep on top of it. Many thoughts. xx

  11. That is so very hard - I have dreaded finding a situation like that with my daughter's preschool but so far it has not happened. At our school if a child continually behaves badly the school will ask them to leave but at some point beyond preschool if not before there will be at least one such child for my daughter to deal with. I think your approach is wonderful, I am sure the pirate outfit helped a great deal as did your talk with the teacher.

  12. Oh that's so sweet but also so hard. Poor little man. I don't have kids so I can only imagine how tough this situation is.

  13. Bloody bullying starts young doesn't it? What is wrong with these kids? Where are their parents and why isn't the pre-school having 'a little talk' to them? So annoying!

    I run the bullying and harassment workshops at work (not teaching the 'how to' of bullying rather the 'dealing with' lol). It is prolific in the adult world too. Makes me sick.

    Poor Mr3! Tell him to hold on to his museli bars :)

  14. Poor little tike. Amazing how even at that age they come up with the "I'm sick" line when the problem goes deeper.
    Hope he has clear sailing from now on.
    (Lame seafaring joke, couldn't resist)

  15. POOR little pirate! He has all my sympathy (as do you) because I've been through this over and over.
    This is the biggest issue in education right now, and it's being swept under the carpet in favour of laptops, websites, and buildings.
    At least his teacher sounds switched on. Hopefully you'll have a peaceful rest-of-year.

  16. We are in the same situation, only it's been going on all year, with one boy routinely aggressively picking on Mr 4 and his two friends (among other kids). We've talked with the teachers on numerous occasions, they are doing all the required stuff, they seem to realise this child has behavioural problems,but short of asking him to leave seem to think there's nothing more that can be done. The next step for me is to go over the director's head and contact the area manager - I am afraid of setting up a confrontational situation with the pre-school and have been 'seeing how it goes'. I was at the end of my tether when it seemed to improve somewhat. Mr 4 said he thinks the boy in question is nasty "because he really wants to be friends and doesn't know how else to do it". He has developed his own strategies to cope. Recently however he broke his leg and says he doesn't want to go back to pre-school with his cast on in case this boy hurts him and he can't get away quickly. Mr 4's friend, on being told of Mr 4's leg, said "Oh no, only 2 of us left to fight X." Sorry for the download just wanted you to know you are not alone! And in a way it has gotten better because Mr 4 has had to learn how to cope using some of his own resources and has seen me defend him at every step, and is always able to talk to me about it, I think this alone has increased his confidence (broken leg notwithstanding!)


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