Sunday, March 1, 2009

To Hit Or Not To Hit...That is the question

The past couple of weeks, I've started to notice a difference in Dalton. His attitude, his demeanor...everything He's had more melt-downs and temper tantrums in the last couple of weeks than he's had in his entire 4, almost 5, years of life!

I would take him to daycare in the morning, and notice that all of a sudden he wants to take the baby to his room first. Then he would need to go potty. Then he would just stand there at the door to his classroom without going in. I'd practically have to push him in. When he would go in, he would pick a table or a seat that didn't have anyone at it, and sit down all by himself. He was ignoring the kids that were normally his friends.

I thought it was definitely odd, but I figured he was just going through a phase. Turns out, that a kid at school is bullying him. Which upsets me, of course. I can't overreact though. It's just time to teach him conflict resolution. Then I come to find out that this same kid is not only calling him names and pushing him, but he's also slapping, kicking, hitting, throwing toys, and ROCKS at my child!! At this point, I am absolutely furious!

It is the daycare's job to watch the children in their care. If they had been paying attention, this never would have happened, and it certainly wouldn't have happened more than a couple of times! My child has bruises all over his body from being pelted with rocks. He has a cut on his face from it as well. Now I know it is difficult for one or two people to keep an eye on 15 children on a playground. However, it is their JOB to guarantee the safety of the children in their care.

So now, it is WAY past the point of just teaching Dalton how to deal with a bully. Both his father and I are teaching him to defend himself. We are also telling him that it is ok to hit back if he is being hurt. I don't like it. I've never believed in teaching a child something like that. It is a fine line between teaching a child defense and teaching him to turn into a bully himself. How do you balance it? How do you tell him it's ok to hit back, but turn around and tell him it's not ok to hit people? It seems confusing. He's almost 5, but at that age, they don't grasp the concept of different situations.

He knows right from wrong. But when you've been teaching them their whole life that it's not ok to hit, kick, or bite people, it's confusing to turn around and tell them it's ok to hit back! I am comfortable with my decision to teach him to defend himself, but I am also nervous about the future. What if I'm creating a monster, so to speak?

I am going to have a LONG talk with the daycare director in the morning. She will absolutely need to guarantee his safety, or I will pull him out immediately and file a complaint with the state. I hate to be "that mother" who never lets the child work out situations on his own. But I draw the line at letting my child come home with numerous bruises and cuts.

Sure, I understand that in school he will have to eventually deal with bullies. However, he is FOUR years old! And in daycare...not school. This should not be happening.


Ashley said...

Goodness! Poor thing!

My ass would totally be up at that daycare ASAP!

Let me know how the discussion goes

Shauna said...

Yeah, I was ALL over the daycare director this morning! lol Apparently, other parents and kids have complained about the same kid, and the director said if he didn't stop pretty damn quickly, they're going to kick him out.

They're going to do in-class observations for the week to see how this kid interacts with Dalton and the other kids and to make sure that he's not hurting anyone.

She apologized about a hundred times, and swears that the teachers never saw him hurting Dalton. (which still upsets me a bit)

I'm satisfied for the moment, though. Today Dalton came home and said school was fun today. No tears, no melt-downs, nothing. :-)

So, apparently, it was a good day. We'll see how it goes, and if I have to jump all over her again, I will.