Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1st Grade Conundrum

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So I have a strong willed Seven year old. She is bright and loves to sing. She is a bit of a drama queen at times,but who wouldn't be if they were the youngest of 5 girls?
She loves her friends at school and thrives in social situations. She is funny, takes ballet, loves to work out with me and adores her older sisters.
I think her teacher hates her. Okay maybe hate is a strong word, but i certainly believe that she does not like my child.
She sends me an email at least once a week telling me of arguments that Anna has gotten into with her friend, one of her good friends.
Little girls argue. The little girl she plays with we will call her “Caroline”, has a tendency to pull on Anna’s clothes when she wants her attention at recess. Anna Doesn't like to be touched like that so she will pull away and say stop. “Caroline” will start yelling in Anna’s face that she just wants to play with her. Anna will then plug her ears because she doesn't like being yelled at either
.If you ask Anna why she continues to play with this little girl she will say “Because she is my best friend!!” Seven year olds don't know hate. She doesn't dislike her friend at all even when they argue. At this age I believe they want nothing more than to play with everyone, but I know for Anna it's overwhelming to have more than one person at a time wanting to play with her.
“Caroline”  will tell on Anna for saying “Caroline I don't want to play with you right now or Anna will plug her ears when “Caroline” is Yelling at her because she is mad that Anna won't play with her…...ANNA will get into trouble and i will get an email from her teacher that my child is causing problems and not communicating well. Really?
This has been happening all year with all the girls. To the point that all the girls had to sign a contract stating they would get along or lose a recess. Okay, okay, i can handle that, i can handle what she is trying to do there. She wants the girls to talk to each other without arguing and work out their problems by talking to each other or lose a recess. I totally get it.
Today however When “Caroline” was the one being bullied and pulled on by another girl, and walked away crying, and Anna went over to see what was wrong, the girl that was bullying came over , Anna Said to her (okay yelled at her,cause she was upset her friend was crying) that it is “Not nice to pull on people”
Bully went running and told on Anna for yelling. Anna lost her recess.
Yet the girl who was being Physical and putting her hands on another child did not lose her recess, as far as i'm aware nor did any of the other girls who were in the middle of it as well, have to stay in from recess.
Her teacher emailed me and said “Anna wanted me to let you know she is spending afternoon recess with me today.  It sounds like there were some issues with some other girls pulling on "Caroline" during lunch recess.  Anna was not involved in what happened but when the girls were trying to process she came over and tried to be in the middle of them to be the mediator.  She said she was yelling at them and trying to help solve the problem.  So, she is staying in and we had a talk about not putting yourself in the middle of others problem.  She did her part to not be involved but given the history she doesn't need to step in and mediate.  The other girls need to work together to help solve their own problems.  She realizes what she did and said she should stay in.  What a great job of letting me know what happened and accepting the consequences.”
Wait what?
Are you kidding me?
When i asked Anna if she chose to stay in from recess, she said “No, my Teacher told me i had to stay in and I said Okay”
I asked Anna if she asked the Teacher to send me an email. She said “No my Teacher said she was going to email you and i said Okay”
I believe my child, no seven year old would ask her teacher to email her mother and tell her she was in trouble. Why was she in trouble, seems to me she was trying to do the right thing by comforting her friend and telling the bully to back off. Isn't that what we want our children to do. Stick up for people, for what they believe in.
Anna is in trouble for sticking up for her friend.
Anna gets in trouble for sticking up for herself.
Anna gets in trouble for covering her ears because someone is screaming in her face.
The girl however that is screaming in Anna’s face ,the girl who is physically touching and pulling on another child, doesn't get into trouble.
Those kids don't lose a recess?
Those kids aren't signing contracts?
I'm sorry but i'm confused?
I believe that kids of this age are just learning problem solving.
They are just learning how to be social.
Anna has never been physical with anyone.
She has never called anyone a name.
She has never deliberately been mean to anyone. At least none of the emails i have received have indicated so. It's usually an email about Anna talking in class, But seriously do i have to get an email every single week about the fact that Anna is a talker? Does she not think I know this about my child. I do my best to teach her about the appropriate times to talk to her friends when at school, but she is seven , and a little girl who loves to talk. Its tough to sit still , let alone be silent for an extended period of time
However Anna just keeps getting into trouble.
How do you parents of what i like to call children with strong leadership skills, handle a teacher that doesn't appreciate the self confidence your child has?
I have Six children and i have done my best to teach them to be strong , independent , free thinkers. Who
1. Always stick up for themselves.
2. Always Stick up for others, especially the under dog.
3. Always admit when they are in the wrong
4. Respect their elders.
As far as i can tell Anna has exhibited all four of these attributes, and at the young age of 7.
Is she difficult at times?
yes.
Is she loud?
Yes.
Is she still learning to have a good sense of conflict Resolution?
Absolutely
But is reprimanding her for every single little tiny thing that her little brain is trying to figure out necessary?
As a parent i am just so frustrated.
Help parents Help? I am trying to teach my daughter NOT to be a Bully, but to be an individual who is able to make up her own mind and be strong and stick up for herself and others and i feel like this teacher just really picks on her.
It's hard not to take it personal.
It's hard not to get upset when your little says “Mommy i feel like i can't do anything right at school.
Anyway it has resulted in me setting up a meeting with the Principal and the Teacher to figure out just what the heck is going on.
Any advice is welcome!!!!


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