Small boys, rough play and being kept in at playtime...

(169 Posts)
Pantone363 Tue 11-Jun-13 23:16:10

Ok I want honest opinions (OP you are a twat and in the wrong are fine grin).

I had a phone call after school today from DS teacher regarding an incident yesterday.

DS and some other children were playing tag (although more likely the grab each others coats swinging them round kind of tag). Some girls were playing too. DS caught one girl and pushed/pulled her to the ground (there's no evidence today she wasn't playing along doing the same thing to the boys). The girl then says that DS and 3 other boys kicked her whilst she was on the floor. DS admits pulling her to the ground but says he didn't kick her.

All 4 boys have lost their lunchtimes today and tomorrow and then breaktime for the next two days.

I have a few problems with this

1. She was playing along fine, if it was my DD I'd be telling her not to play tag with the boys if she can't suck it up if they get a bit rough.

2. DS swears blind he didn't kick her

3. Nobody else saw the kicking, theres no evidence other than this girls report to her mother.

4. Where were the playground staff?

5. I can't see that keeping 4 boisterous 5 yr old boys in all day is going to help anyone.

I've made DS write the girl a card saying sorry for pulling her over.

Am I being a job for thinking this is poorly handled and just point the finger at the rough naughty boys?

MERLYPUSS Sat 15-Jun-13 11:26:46

Pantone
I have only read a bit of this thread so far so cannot comment on everything (go on roast me on a spit everyone else)
In our school the boys generally DO race around like monsters and swing each other by the hood/jumper. I have 5yr male twins and they are the same.
They play with the girls doing the 'race round thing' but I have watched the girls assess the game before deciding to join in. Just like when they play scooby doo and zombies.
Kicking is way out of order but I am sure (by the amount of kneed out trousers and scraped knees from the boys) many mums of boys would agree there IS a certain ammount of pulling onto the floor and rolling around type of play. My 2 are a perfect case and I have never had letters form the school.

JohnnyUtah Sat 15-Jun-13 08:25:12

OP - he felt that he should tell you, and he knew he'd done wrong. Those are both massive pluses. Five year olds are bonkers, that's why these playground rules exist. You might want to rethink the wrestling at home a bit - that's quite a mixed message you are giving him there.

WafflyVersatile Fri 14-Jun-13 22:35:44

they are not being kept in for rough and tumble they are being kept in because the girl was (allegedly) kicked. Kicking a child on the ground is not 'playing tag' which is presumably what the girl signed up for.

It's not the end of the world that he's being kept in for a few days. He'll live.

There is a line between rough and tumble and real aggression. Kicking would cross that line. R&T and play fighting plays a significant role in child (yes, particularly boy's) social development. There are rules, negotiated between the individuals and the culture they are brought up in, such as the school playground. The teachers play a role in setting and maintaining those rules otherwise it can all get a bit Lord of the Flies.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:39

My arse the teachers should have remained neutral as it was her word against theirs and how dreadful if the boys were to be labelled as bullies.

The girl had just been had a group of boys kicking her as she lay on the ground. The teachers would have known she was telling the truth because she was probably absolutely hysterical.

BashfulBunny Fri 14-Jun-13 19:16:50

Fair point cory

cory Fri 14-Jun-13 17:32:45

Bashful, I think that is why a lot of us would go for a policy of remaining neutral: neither double punishing or assuming that the school was wrong to punish in the first place. I've lost count of the number of times I've said to dc "well, I can't really know who was right, because I wasn't there". It's about letting go and accepting that somebody else is in charge when you're not there.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Fri 14-Jun-13 15:21:47

This thread is why any kind of tag/physical game is banned in dds school.

pictish Fri 14-Jun-13 14:18:42

I've mentioned it twice, and I'm sorry that you feel offended by it, but up until this thread, you didn't care who your son's behaviour hurt or offended whatsoever...in fact, it was their own fault for being a wuss wasn't it? Don't come crying to me etc etc... hmm

I'm very pleased for you, and especially your son, that you have seen the light, but you said it was fine to tell you you were being a twat, and on this thread you have been, arguing your son's right to push other kids over in the playground.

Excuse me for finding that a very aggravating trait in a fellow parent.

I won't say owt else.

BashfulBunny Fri 14-Jun-13 13:34:43

IMO I think the OP has handled this (as it has developed) correctly.

Firstly, I do agree that rough play should be discouraged, no question. But I completely disagree that when her DS was insisting he hadn't kicked, that she should have called him a liar (in the absence of any reason) by punishing him for it anyway when you don't know what actually happened.

All that teaches is that you get punished regardless of whether you misbehave or not, and that your mum doesn't believe what you say. A desire to prevent rough play should not come at the expense of encouraging honestly and a fair hearing.

As it was, he owned up, showing that he knows it was wrong and that he knows he should tell the truth. If he hadn't, then a frank conversation about why kicking would not be acceptable gets the point across without presupposing dishonesty.

Agree with Rain

RainSunWind Fri 14-Jun-13 13:02:00

I still think the school should find a way of addressing this though. Not just "don't kick - don't push" etc but talking about being kind, everyone enjoying the game, if someone has an accident who will help him/her (ie the girl falling over). What should they do if someone is sad in the playground. etc etc. It is really positive that your DS has admitted he kicked. He's only 5, he obviously got caught up in the moment. But the group shouldn't have been allowed to get so rough and be pulling each other to the ground (especially with clothing) it's an accident waiting to happen, it's not play.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 14-Jun-13 12:48:00

Definately speak to the instructor, I am a martial arts instructor and we would gently have a discussion before the lesson with all the children about it, not naming your son but in a what should we do right choices kind of way.
Our lead instructor stopped older children from taking gradings if it was persistent but for little children a discussion was enough.

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 12:38:57

Good plan re the instructor. I think he is perfectly capable of learning where it is and isn't permissible to have physical contact, so long as you are clear and consistent too!

Pantone363 Fri 14-Jun-13 12:36:43

Pictish, you've mentioned the piss off thing a few times now. I get it, you don't want my 'type' of child around yours. You don't need to mention it again.

Pantone363 Fri 14-Jun-13 12:34:44

We've reiterated again and again how disappointed and disgusted we are at what happened.

I'm not sure what to do now about his Muay Thai classes. On one hand he loves them and they give him a physical outlet and on the other I don't think he is getting sanctioned fighting and roughness in the playground. I might speak with his instructor, he has always been very strict about fighting outside of the club.

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 11:03:03

And if you take stuff away, in his mind that equals I did X so Y happened, not I did X and I feel bad so I'd better not do it again. Punishments cancel out wrongdoing, not prevent it.

pictish Fri 14-Jun-13 11:01:33

Agree with Hully.

This is an opportunity, not a disaster!

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 11:00:19

Well done Pantone, it's always a shock when we discover our beloved dc are as human as the next child.

I'd say he did it because they were all hyped up, and he was joinging in mindlessly with the others.

Which is precisely why this sort of play can't be allowed...!

And personally I wouldn't have taken stuff away/punished. Just talked a lot about it and how he felt, the other child felt etc so that he really understood. His own feelings and your disappointment are his punishment.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 14-Jun-13 10:53:40

Yes sorry I have now, I know OP has accepted she was wrong now but only because she found out her son had kicked, its the general attitude though that made me sad. She obviously did not believe in the first post there was any way her ds had kicked and clearly thought the child was making it up to mum.

She was angry that her ds was being punished because a child had dared to join in a game that had got rough and she thought a child who had become hurt should "suck it up" because she had joined in a game.

It was this bit really "I just don't think that all their behaviour should be curtailed to the gentlest child's liking." "this is poorly handled and just point the finger at the rough naughty boys"

She believed if a child joined in a game and it got rough (to the point of pushing to the ground and kicking a child I might add!) it was their own fault for being too gentle and they should suck it up and was annoyed her child was being punished.

I have worked in schools and honestly if a child had pushed another to the ground and kicked them they would not be missing just one playtime.

Maybe I cannot be objective because dds infant days were made hell by a child who was just being "rough" and who couldnt have possibly kicked/hit/bit her and I cannot post objectively.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 14-Jun-13 10:38:49

Blackpool have you read the WHOLE thread? It's moved on a lot since the OP posted her original message

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 14-Jun-13 10:37:04

The thing is OP, where does it stop? My dd then age 8 was playing a game of tag with boys, she was pushed to the ground and another child then kicked her and jumped on top of her, this resulted in permanent damage to her eye, a scar under her eye, her whole face swelled up/scraped and bruised so that she could not eat for two days (just liquids)

The boys were 7 so not massively older, was it dds fault she was playing tag with them, should they not have been punished?

pictish Fri 14-Jun-13 10:21:05

No smoke keepcool - only a little steam. smile

And I'm glad she gets it now, because yesterday she really didn't.

HighInterestRat Fri 14-Jun-13 10:09:22

Agree KeepCool - my son is large and boisterous and can give as good as he gets with regards to rougher play but a smaller, shy child would be upset so it's best if these games are calmed down immediately when they start really. Again, children get overexcited when playing and school staff can't be everywhere so things like this will happen sometimes. The school has dealt with it, you as a parent are dealing with it and that's the end of the matter. He's five not fifteen. grin

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Fri 14-Jun-13 09:53:58

BashfulBunny - Excellent thread.

Pictish - I think OP gets it now. I can almost smell the smoke coming off your computer for heavens sake!!

In my view after hours and hours of observation on playgrounds, particularly after school when children have had a long day of concentration etc., a lot of them like to burn off steam and sometimes this can be in the form of what I term 'super-hero' play. From what I have seen this invariably ends up with someone ending up getting hurt. A lot of the time the big for their age children can take a lot of the 'pummelling' and are not so affected by it, however when a 'smaller' child ends up getting hurt (and this isn't necessarily intentional but due to the sheer size and strength of the bigger child), all hell will then ensue!

So long-winded, but my view is categorically no rough stuff, simply because someone always ends up getting hurt.

Bringing up children is a learning curb for each and every one of us, we all have our burdens to bear whether we have big or small children, but we hopefully get there in the end.

Good luck OP.

BashfulBunny Fri 14-Jun-13 09:39:49

yoni not at all.

Credit to OP for posting what her son said, but in response to what was originally posted, I stand by my comments which I still think are more rational than those implying this is the beginning of her DS becoming an abuser and the girl being scared to report abuse in future.

In the light of her latest post, yes her DS should and had been punished.

Moral is more that more information is important when dealing with issues.

Your reply -possibly tongue in cheek- simply reads like someone who puts the verbal boot in rather than physical.

brettgirl2 Fri 14-Jun-13 09:25:59

I think it is important to not label girls as 'victims'. Dd (4) behaves differently with boys to girls, then when they start being boisterous (which is how she was behaving hmm) comes to me crying. She isn't weak, or a victim but learning social rules. I do try to talk to her about it but it doesn't always go in grin

A couple of times I've had mortified mothers running over to me to find out what happened and the answer really is nothing.

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