Friday, January 26

A Kid at School

My oldest child is such a friendly girl. She really is. You ask anyone who has ever met her and they will tell you that she is just friendly. Social doesn't even begin to describe how she is. If we see someone in the grocery store that she think LOOKS familiar, she will tell me to go say hi.
Here is the usual conversation:

Avery: We know her (motioning about a lady nearby)

Me: No we don't.

Avery: Yes we do. I've seen her at my school.

Me: Well, I don't KNOW her though.

Avery: Mom, go say hi.

Me: (Kind of annoyed) Avery, NO. I don't know her just because you have seen her once.

Avery: (Looking defeated) MOOOM.

Me:(walking over to the lady) Hello, I'm Nicole and Avery goes to (schools name) and she wanted to say hi.

Avery: (waving while standing 3 feet from the lady) Hi.

See. So Avery likes people. All people. Wants to be their friend. And here is where we run into the problem.

LET ME SAY: We love Avery's teacher. She is a great lady and we have been pleased with her up till this point. With that...

This year in Avery's class, Avery has had some trouble with a kid in her class. It really bothers Avery that this boy is mean to her. She came home about a month ago and said that he called her a "cracker". I was shocked. Of course my poor child has NO idea what he meant by that. She probably thought that he was calling her a thin, crispy, small piece of bread. She said that he was laughing and asked why that was funny. My face said it all. I just told her that it was not a nice word and to not talk to him again. She did NOT like that idea. She wants to be his friend. Glen went up and talked to the teacher about it and the teacher said that "He is just a mean child". Well, REALLY???? She said that she would watch the situation.....OK.

Then, yesterday she came home and said that he called her a "man" and that he bothers her and she cannot concentrate. I finally told her to ask the teacher if she could move. She did today after he called her a "he/she". Avery also said that this kid keeps telling everyone that "She likes - likes me!!" And the teacher said, "I doubt that." I doubt that???? Am I weird for thinking that that is a strange response to a child that you KNOW has been harassing someone? I am not a 4th grade teacher, so someone else might think that is the most ingenious thing to say, but I just thought that it was strange. Through it all Avery insists that being his friend is the right thing to do. I have a hard time with that. I just don't want her to hurt and she is when she is around him.

I have a feeling that I am going to have to go talk to the teacher and/or the principal. It is just to the point where I think that it is affecting Avery's school work. She needs all the help she can get, NOT distractions from a fellow student. I KNOW that there are some teachers (you know who you are) that read this blog and I would LOVE to hear what you have to say. Am I being to judgemental about the whole thing?

Avery has been praying for this child. She also prays for his parents to have soft hearts towards him. I am proud of her for realizing that God can help her AND him AND to pray for the people that are mean to us. She is a good example to me. My little social girl.


  • Awww! She IS a sweet girl! Such a hard situation. I've never been an elementary teacher, but I student taught 3rd grade for a while. Those little kids can be SOOOO mean! All day long you're hearing complaints of who touched who and who said what. It could be that the teacher isn't understanding that this is a bigger deal than what she hears all day long.

    In middle school we'd sometimes have to bring both sets of parents in b/c those kids can be relentless. I don't know if that would make things better or worse for your situation. It doesn't sound like the teacher is much help. Maybe the principal would be willing to set up a conference if you're willing to face the parent. In the very least I'd think both kids should be pulled in for some sort of formal meeting if it's a serious issue. Sometimes formal conferences will have more of an effect on a kid than just pulling him aside and scolding him.

    This probably is no help, but maybe it will trigger some better thoughts from people who work with younger children. Good luck!

    By Blogger Girl In Her Underwear, at 11:31 PM  

  • I bet Avery's Grandy wouldn't mind talking to the teacher!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 AM  

  • I think I'm gonna start calling my kids crackers now. But I'll tell them it's a cool name for cool kids.

    By Anonymous Kristi, at 1:20 AM  

  • How precious is that that she is praying for that same little boy who hurt her... what a BEAUTIFUL heart she has!!

    Thanks for the congrats!! You'll have to give me pointers ;)


    By Blogger {Karla}, at 1:32 AM  

  • I love that she not only is praying for the boy, but for his parents, too! What an awesome child you have!

    I hate hearing about kids having trouble in school with other kids- it breaks my heart because I know that where it all starts....and I feel like if the negative kids could be stopped right then and there, they'd grow into much more compassionate and likeable adults!

    By Anonymous Jessica, at 9:24 AM  

  • Just wow.
    I can only hope my Avery grows up to be like yours. But she certainly wouldn't inherit it from me :)

    You have done an amazing job with her.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 9:53 AM  

  • Your daughter sounds like an amazing young lady that I would LOVE having the opportunity to teach! :-) I teach at an inner city school, so unfortunately I see more of the types of kids she is having troubles with!

    She is probably having to sit near the boy b/c she is one of the few kids in the room that can sit by him with the least amount of confrontation. (All the "good kids" usually have to do "time" by the not so nice kids to keep the peace in the room. (This is something teachers can't really admit to parents!) HOWEVER, if it has been brought to the teachers attention what has been happening, she should definately MOVE her & ask the little boy to stay away from her.
    There really is no easy solution. As teachers we can't monitor every move, but we sure have to try and stop "bullys" before it is out of control.
    You are the only person that can stand up for your daughter - that is your right as her Mom. If you aren't satisfied with the way the teacher is handling the situation, go to the principal! Especially before it gets out of hand!
    And reassure your daughter that she has NOT done anything wrong!! You should be so proud!!!
    Ok - enough from me & I hope I helped from a teacher's point of view - or maybe I just rambled but I was so impressed with how your daughter was handling the situation!!!

    By Blogger Lori, at 10:27 AM  

  • Wow...she sounds like such a sweet and thoughtful little girl! I hate it for her that the boy is taunting her like that! We've had some troubles with boys as well. One in particular happened to be the vice principal's son whom everyone thought was just the sweetest kindest kid around...they were WRONG!!! I think Emily ended up just totally avoiding him and finally it stopped although the other day he saw her in the hall and called her a loser. I don't get why kids have to be so cruel! I hope it gets better for her soon!

    By Blogger mom of 2, at 10:51 AM  

  • know how I feel about this, we have talked about it several times. I think talking to the principal AND the teacher..probably at the same time would be a good idea. I understand kids can be mean to eachother...I get that. But...this kid seems to have singled her out..and is affecting her desire to be at school..and her ability to do her work. That is crossing the line. Something needs to be done about it. I know you guys will do the right thing, you are both awesome parents.

    Avery is such a sweetheart..I always tell you how much she reminds me of my Cami. She has such a sweet, innocent heart, I just love her!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 AM  

  • She does sound like such a sweet girl. I hope my little girl is that way! Although her in school makes me nervous already... I would be heart broken if kids were being mean. I can't believe how mean kids are to eat other! Sounds like she is handing it very well.

    By Blogger Lisa, at 11:56 AM  

  • She sounds like an amazing girl and you are raising her in the way that is right! so good on all of you!
    as for the teacher, I think if she isn't listening then you have to go to the principal!

    By Blogger Lala's world, at 11:59 AM  

  • Mean kids suck. There are lots of good suggestions already in the comments, so all I'll add is that if the teacher doesn't seem responsive, go over her head - principal, then school board - as needed.

    By Blogger Beck, at 12:48 PM  

  • You know, as a teacher, I usually side with the teacher....BUT not in this case. I do not think she is being sensitive to Avery's needs. What might not seem as a "big deal" to her is a very BIG DEAL to a 10 year old little girl. She needs to be on TEAM AVERY and put that bully in his place. I am surprised she puts up with it really. When I taught I had the motto that our class was a family and we were to treat each other with love and respect. Yeah, it did not always go that way, but boy I did not put up with ugly words.

    Since she is not taking the proper actions in this situation, I believe, as her parent, you need to take further action and nip this real quick. First go to the teacher (and be sturn and VERY serious)....then if you dont see results in a few days, go straight to the principal.

    You may be doing several kids a favor by getting that bully taken care of. Cause if he is doing it to Avery, I am sure he is doing it to other kids too.

    I'll drive to Abilene and go with you! :) That kind of stuff really gets under my skin.

    We all can learn so much from Avery. What a sweet and gentle spirit she has. I am in awe of her maturity. She should be so proud of herself. She has taken the high road!!!

    By Blogger Allison, at 1:43 PM  

  • I loved reading your blog. It is my first time here. I too have daughter that is very nice and extremely social. Her father and I are biting our fingernails as she just turned 13 last summer. YIKES!

    I will be back...great blog.

    By Blogger Anna, at 2:14 PM  

  • Wow. She should be a good example for the world! She sure understands things beyond her years... an old soul maybe. What a joy:)

    By Blogger DramaMama, at 2:21 PM  

  • kids are, have been always, and always will be, quite mean.

    By Blogger Brooklyn Frank, at 2:58 PM  

  • Your daughter sounds like my nephew. He's all into geography, so when he sees people at the grocery store or at Wal-Mart or at the mall, he wants to ask them where they're from.

    It brothers my sister-in-law much more than it bothers my brother.

    I mean, would you be threatened if a five-year-old little boy asked where you were from?

    By Blogger RWA, at 3:31 PM  

  • I would LOVE to meet Miss "A"! She sounds like a wonderully sweet and super smart little angel! I am so sorry these to her kids are being so mean to her, I would be angry if anyone (even another kid)called my baby a name! Some children are just cruel!
    I thnk she is taking the "road less traveled" by praying for this child... what an amazing soul she has!

    By Blogger Lindsay, at 5:38 PM  

  • It's sad but they are going to have to deal with mean kids all though life even as adults. I do think you need to talk to the teacher and if she isn't doing anything then go to the principal. Since this does seem to be a big deal to her. My Princess is very friendly but NOT SHY AT ALL. Princess is very out going and has more friends then anyone I know. She is a sweet girl, but she isn't overly sweet and she doesn't put up with junk from anyone. So if someone is being mean to her she tends to put them in there place right away. Not Mr Man though he would get his feelings hurt by this sort of stuff and it would bug him night and day.
    I think a teacher has to look at the kind of kid Avery is and since she knows this other kid is going to be mean she should look to put him by someone who won't get there feelings hurt by him
    That is what Princess teacher just did this week. They have not so much a mean kid as an very annoying kid in there class. I guess they have moved him so many time they lost count, because he is doing gross and annoying and some sort of mean stuff like name calling and such. They have spoke to his kid over and over but he is just annoying. So at the start of last week the teacher moved this boy next to Princess. Princess being my out spoken one wanted to know what she did wrong to have to be stuck next to this kid so she asked her teacher. The teacher took her aside and explained to her she wasn't being punished but they were hoping she could help them out. They told her that they can't seem to get him to stop bugging the people he sits by and they knew that she wouldn't put up with his junk. So they placed him by her in hopes that she could put him in his place. Then they told her don't worry if she has to get a bit mean to him either(UGH nice thing to tell a kid)that she wouldn't get introuble.
    Not sure how I feel about them having Princess do there job, but I know she can handel it, if he starts talking junk to her she can give it right back to him.

    I hope you get this thing with the mean boy and Avery setteled soon.

    By Blogger KC, at 8:35 PM  

  • It's so hard when mean kids pick on our babies. SlowMo had her first incident with mean girls last year. I was so sad for her. The mean girl was talking about her, and so SLowMo went up to her and asked her why she was saying mean things about her, the girl denied saying anything and then they all laughed when she walked away. She was so sad about it. TheFm was so angry, because this girl was another pastor's kid. He wanted to call her parents but I woulnd't let him. They ended up being friends, but it is so hard for me to like that little girl!! They are so much more forgiving than we are aren't they?? We can learn so much from their little minds!!

    I think with your situation, I would talk to the teacher. I had a boy that bothere me like this when I was little, and nothing got handled until my mom finally went to the school and told them how angry she was. Especially if it's affecting her school work, he needs to be talked to and/or disciplined.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:48 PM  

  • Sweetheart. Kids can be so meant. I cantimagine what it will be like when mu kids go to school and what I will do when someone is mean to my babies. Sigh.

    By Anonymous lisa, at 8:53 PM  

  • Your Avery is a great role model for kids AND adults. That said, it's hard when we see other people (mean kids, gym coaches...) being ugly towards our sensitive kids.

    By Blogger Elle*Bee, at 9:19 PM  

  • What a special person she is! I think we can all learn from the fine example Avery is setting.

    I hope you can find a solution with the principal and teacher. I am so sorry the teacher hasn't been cooperative. Poor Avery!

    By Blogger Gina - Liam's Mom, at 1:07 AM  

  • Oh Wow! It's great to have a sociable kids and you know what Nicole? This is a skill which she didn't learn from school but within her, congratulation!

    Some teacher are at a 'lost' when it comes to handling situation like this. It happens when my girls were at pre-school too Nicole. Hope it improves now.

    By Blogger Shionge, at 3:20 AM  

  • I so sorry she's going thru this, but she is a sweetie at heart for praying for everyone in that child's life. I just wonder how many of us would have thought to do that?

    I would talk to the teacher and the principle TOGETHER. Then, if it keeps going, you can go back to the principle and say "Why hasn't this been worked on yet?" If the principle doesn't know what's going on, then he (or she) won't know that there is something that needs to be worked on. Then if the problem is not worked on, you can start going up the ladder of the school system.

    We had a situation like this and we had to talk to both. I think (hope) we have finally gotten thru to them. I think it kinda spooked the teacher when we wanted the principle in there too, but then she knew we were serious.

    Hope this advice helps :)

    By Blogger Gretchen, at 10:30 AM  

  • Nicole its an awlful feeling when your babies are picked on at school. It really can make you so upset. Mitch starts school today for the first time and it worrys me that he will be picked on. Some children just can be mean. The worst thing its out of our control because we are not there to protect them. Your daughter seems so beautiful. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Kim's Life, at 3:10 PM  

  • nicole,

    I was trying to send you an email but had no idea what your address was. So I figured I would leave a post. We are prob traveling to Dallas for part of our Spring Break and I was wondering what fun things you would suggest for kids to do? I want to go to Ikea but from there I have no idea.???


    By Blogger Jenmomof4, at 3:35 PM  

  • It sure sounds like you've done a great job raising Avery. It's hard to be nice to someone who's consistently being mean AND distracting.

    I hope that her prayers bring about a good resolution soon. I'll add one of mine for her as well.

    I remember being in about 5th grade and there being a boy that was always bothering me. It really bothered me a lot but I never did anything until one day he said something about my mom, and then I didn't pray for him, I think I punched him. (I know, not good).

    By Blogger sari, at 4:57 PM  

  • So happy to hear Avery is taking it okay by praying for the boy. Most kids would tease or taunt right back

    By Blogger Tasha, at 5:00 PM  

  • As an administrator in schools, I can tell you that you can totally go talk to your principal about this without them giving you a weird reaction. Even on the middle school level, we probably have some type of bully situation at least 3 times a month that is brought to the office.

    I would say that you should talk to the teacher one more time. At the end of the meeting if you are not satisfied with their answer, I would just tell her that although you have a lot of respect for her and appreciate all she does for your little girl, you will be getting another opinion becuase you have to protect your daughter.

    Kids are so hard on eachother. What a tough little world to raise kids in! Just make sure and give her lots of love at home and especially reaffirm the child of God that she is.

    You are SUCH a great mom!

    By Blogger Ashley, at 7:44 PM  

  • Finally got to this bog. You already have so much good advise. Here is some more for her Grammy. Since Glen has already made the teacher aware of the situation, I would either call for a conference with the teacher AND the principal or just the principal. This has been going on for some time and action needs to be taken quickly. Avery loves everyone and totally does not understand this situation. I stood back when my little girl was in a situation at school and tried to let the teacher handle it on her own. SHE DIDN'T. I have cried buckets of tears over not getting something done quickly and going to the principal. You are her only TRUE advocate. The teacher apparently is not. When a child, especially one who knows better and is in the fourth grade, behaves in this way and the teacher does not take a strong action against this child, you must take another course. He at least should have been sent to the office. Teachers should not punish the good sweet students, just because the teacher needs someone to sit THEIR problem students beside. There are always other places in the room to put the problem students. Avery has a HUGE heart and that is shown in the way she takes care of her brother, when Tidy Marvelous is around, praying for this child who is so mean to her, and just in the way she IS. Miss Avery is a wonderful daughter, sister, friend, and grandgirl. Everyone who knows her loves her! You go fight for this baby! You go GIRL!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:33 AM  

  • We have had a problem with my daughter's "best friend". When Liv ,who is almost 9, did something that her friend didn't like, this girl would abuse her, pinching or poking her, storm off making her feel bad.
    When this happen when she was 7 we stopped them playing together for a while. When it happened again, this time she,frien, told someone else to go and kill my daughter. They again stopped playing together for another little while. We as her parents, stressed that we really did not like her being hurt by this friend and teaching her the value that God has for her and He doesn't want her being mistreated.
    Now my daughter has learned to stick up for herself and not be manipulated by her friend. It is really neat to see, when our kids learn that their father in heaven have good things in store for them.
    A mom in Ontario,
    btw I found you through lala's blog

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 PM  

  • I think that children that are gifted have different emotional needs and reasoning. Try encouraging her to have relationships with other children that have her mind set. Get her involved in a summer camp for gifted children. We are in the same boat with our daughter and son.

    I spoke with our principal yesterday about breaking up these bullying cliques within the classroom. He was very supportive and said that he needed to be aware of the problem groups for classroom assignments next year. On a whole, the bullies need to have the proper tools given to them to express their feelings too. Do you have a school counselor that is trained in this area?

    When you talk to the staff at the school approach from the positive aspects of compassion and understanding for both sides, but be firm that there needs to be action taken.

    Good luck :)

    By Blogger Sue, at 8:44 AM  

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