Playtime Bullying

Some of the sound bytes coming out of Cameron’s mouth have been less than cute lately. Tonight at supper he told me that he would hit me, and I would break into pieces, and then he would laugh. He runs around shaking things at me and the cat, saying, “I’m banging you! BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!” And last night there was, “I’ll kill you!”

Tonight I finally asked him who says these things. “Ethan says them,” Cameron told me, then stated something else he’s said frequently: “Ethan hates me.”

Ethan is the oldest kid in daycare full-time, only his sister Caitlyn is older, and she’s in school. They are the daycare provider’s children. In the past I’ve run into troubles with Ethan’s behaviour, or rather his mother’s inability to deal with it. When Cameron was waking up screaming at night that Ethan was hitting him for days in a row, and crying that he didn’t want to go to daycare, I asked the assistant at the daycare if anything was happening. She confirmed that yes, Ethan had been hitting and pushing Cameron and indicated that I should not talk with Lori about it, that she was dealing with the problem. Lori, however, denied it when I asked her as non-confrontationally as I could, and acted as though I had offended her. Alright, I get it, she isn’t the most secure person and has some troubles dealing with confrontation. I also understand that I’m no supermom, and that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

I think I could deal with this a little bit better if my child hadn’t had D O G written on his forehead in bright red marker when I picked him up yesterday. Caitlyn apparently thought it would be funny. Her mother seemed annoyed, and had tried to wash it off, but the letters were still obvious.

I’m trying to not over react to the problems at the daycare. In all it is a good one. I’m trying to not let this spin out of control and land me frantically trying to find somewhere else.

I know that at any daycare Cameron will probably find bullies. He will find them his whole life. It is part of human nature, sad though it is. Ethan isn’t a bad kid, he is probably only reciting what his sister has said to him. She is probably just reacting to pressures to fit in at school, perhaps is being picked on there and is retaliating on her brother.  I wish that their mother was dealing with this more effectively, or at least enough that it didn’t overflow to include my son, but there is really nothing I can say or do. My job though is to teach Cameron to deal with bullies, and teach him that their behaviour is not okay, and is not to be copied.  To teach him that their words and opinions have no bearings on who he really is, that they don’t get to dictate his self esteem.

In the meantime, it’s hard to drop him off at a daycare knowing that one of his ‘friends’ is saying such horrible things to him on a daily basis.

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7 responses to “Playtime Bullying

  1. Oh my gosh, i would be so upset by that. There are lots of things they are going to have to deal with in life, but i’m not sure they should have to deal with it at such a young age 😦
    I’m sorry…

  2. Just a question… what discipline is used at the daycare? And do they consider bullying to be worthy of corrective action? I think name calling and such is normal, but i think it should be corrected, not just ignored and allowed to become common acceptable behaviour. I have a very long story behind this (what happened to us over chirstmas when visiting the cousins) and learned the hard way that just letting the kids work it out on their own at this age isn’t always the right thing to do. I think grown-ups should be involved and reacting.

  3. I’m not actually certain about discipline for the kids at the daycare. She’s said she uses time outs… and who knows how she handles those with the paying kids. I’ve seen Ethan’s time outs – he gets put in the office, where he screams for less than a minute, his mom lets him out, he continues to act up, he goes back in and screams, his mom lets him out and gives up.

    Now, here’s where the stone throwing and glass houses come in. I’ve been known to forget about how to do time outs myself on occasion (mostly I forget to use them until I’m mad), when I’m frazzled. So I may have just seen this at bad times.

    In my current annoyed state, though, I’m inclined to think that this is typical of Ethan’s discipline, as he walks all over his mom.

    What happened with the cousins???

  4. I just sent you a long e-mail with the christmas story.
    I’m not always great about consistent timeouts either, but i think there’s a big difference in being lax about whining/yelling versus mean/aggressive behaviour. The mean/aggressive/bullying behaviour, as far as i’m concerned, needs to be dealt with every time.

  5. You know i’m usually very low key – but what you’ve described is *not* ok.

    I’m not gonna say the kids at daycare should never hit or anything – Lolo’s done it, all the kids have.

    But here’s what struck me: what should have happened when you arrived to pick Cameron up is they should immediately have told you a) what happened (facts only) b) what was done about it at the time and c) what’s being done about it ongoingly.

    when anything happens with lolo (either she hits, or other kids hit), i’m told about it immediately. My daycare does time outs and we work together on how we teach our kids about handling emotions.

    The boy’s mom being annoyed simply isn’t adequate, and the assistant telling you not to mention it is *highly* innapropriate.

    here’s me crossing my fingers for ubc daycare pronto!!!

  6. Yeah, I agree. Mel, I may not be a mom and can’t really speak from experience, but to me this situation is not okay.

    I know making big changes is not easy, and I hope that UBC will finally have a spot for Cameron but I wonder if it also might be a good idea to start exploring other daycare options?

    You’ve been treated like a scapegoat, called a terrible mother when you’re a fantastic mother, who knows how Cameron is treated when you’re treated like this and there seems to be an imbalance between how the paying kids are treated and her kids, you’re forced to take more time off of work when Cameron’s well enough not to force you to be home — yet there’s no daycare compensation if Cameron’s not there. Add to this Cameron’s facing two bullies who aren’t being disciplined.

    That’s not fair to you or to Cameron. Hugs my friend. I hope things improve, and I hope that a different opportunity opens up soon.

  7. so not OKAY what is happening. The caregiver is being completely inappropriate, is not modeling proper boundaries or consequences at all. Have you called UBC daycare? how long have you been on the list? I would call them consistently, it sometimes has an effect.

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