More Bully Troubles

I’m going to have to do something, and I need advice.  Cameron’s having more troubles at daycare.

Cameron just spent the last hour sobbing, clinging to me, because “Ethan wasn’t nice today.” When I got him calmed down, I gave him the only advice I could think of. “Just walk away from him, Cameron. Tell him you won’t play with him until he plays nicely.” This just brought on more tears, “Lori said to go somewhere else. Ethan came too!”

I know from experience that Lori won’t react well to any discussion about her son picking on mine. It won’t be a productive discussion. And I have no other choice right now for daycare, short of hiring a nanny.

Now, this could be partially because of being tired. It could be that he’s doing everything in his power to stay awake (wide wide awake and it’s 10:30). It could’ve just been a reaction to me confirming that yes, he has to go to daycare tomorrow. But when I picked him up today after work he burst into tears and burrowed into me, shoving his hand down my shirt front – a sure sign that he’s really upset.

I can’t take him out of that daycare. I can’t think of anything I could say to Lori. I don’t know how to teach Cameron to deal with Ethan now, or the Ethans he’ll run into in the future. Hell, I don’t even know if Ethan is really a big problem of if Cameron’s just learned that this gets Mommy’s attention. No … while I do think that’s a part of it, there is something going on.

Is this how it starts? Cameron encounters his first bully, his Mommy reacts the best way she knows how but it’s inadequate, and this sets him up for years of being a target for bullies? (yes, I know I’m over reacting, but it’s what’s on my mind)

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11 responses to “More Bully Troubles

  1. Is Ethan the only child at the daycare? Can Cameron play with the other children?

    I will have to ask Wylee about this to see what he suggests.

    I have similar fears. Not that Allie gets bullied, but that she IS the bully. She’s so aggressive. Allie would stomp on this little punk Ethan!

  2. There are quite a few other kids, though only one really at Cameron’s age full-time. And I know Cameron mostly plays with her, so I’m not sure what the dynamic is. I /think/ that Ethan just sticks with them, and my guess is that he feels left out of their friendship. Cameron’s “girlfriend” will drop whatever she’s doing when Cameron arrives, they each mope until the other gets there in the morning. Heh. Fighting over the girl starts already?

    I worry about Cameron turning around and bullying the younger kids in imitation of Ethan.

    But I guess maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about him being a target. I mean, he makes friends easily. And heck, he’s the one with the girlfriend 😉

  3. I have no advice to offer, other than daycare hunting? Is that even possible?

    HUGS though my friend. And big hugs to Cameron.

  4. I am going thru similar shit with Quinn at school. Some ki tattles on Q and his friends, saying they are bullying him, and ‘targeting’ him, but in fact it is the other way around. This other kids is used to manipulating and getting his way… very frustrating.

    We keep telling Q to walk away. Just like you did. Harder to do in a daycare setting, but if Lori sees this enough, she may catch on on her own. We tell Quinn we will always help him, but that is it easier to help him when we know the whole story, and the true story.

    Does Lori keep a journal for Cameron? Telling you what he did, who he played with, any high/low points for the day, what he ate? If not, that might be a good approach.

    Good luck. I’m thinking of you. Keep us posted 😉

  5. It’s always worth trying *something* right?

    And you only confirm my impression of you as a smart and compassionate parent by suggesting that it might even be just Cameron looking for attention.

    and i’m thinking, that’s your way in to the conversation with Lori?

    I’d start by telling her the results – how Cameron is very upset about daycare, before and after he goes.

    Ask if she can keep them separated for a week and see what happens so that you can go from there.

    Tell her that you’ll check in with her at the end of each day to find out what happened (tell her this in advance so she knows you’ll she’ll be accountable for progress)

    It’s ok to be a demanding parent. It’s my job to make sure my kid’s still alive at the end of the day – but if i’m paying someone more than my rent every month, they can tell me what happened at the end of the day.

    I suspect at the end of the week, if she actually keeps this kid away, that Cameron will be fine.

    If that’s the case, tell her that at the end of the week. Very casually throw into your happy “yay” speech something like “well the good thing is, if he’s acting crying like that again, we know to do!”

    ok, it’s a little passive aggressive.

    in the meantime: start looking into the recourses you have through the licensing board. The reason we can have licensed family daycare is because there’s people who make sure no one’s being stupid about it. Don’t wield repercussions as a weapon with Lori.

    But it’s possible that the board can help you find a new daycare based on the misconduct of the one you have? they would probably know of any family daycares that are a) opening up or b) expanding their license/hiring new caregivers and can take on more kids.

    get them in your corner and don’t let them tell you that they’ll have a word with the daycare – you and i both know that doesn’t work. i don’t know how the license board works for that.

    also, i’ll have a word with my daycare provider (a licensed family daycare) and ask what options are available.

    ok, enough out of me. my short answer is “lemme at ’em”

    *hug*

  6. Regardless of whether its productive or not, you need to have a discussion with lori. It is not right to be putting cameron through this. She has a responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment, which she is not doing at all. Have you called the campus daycare folks? Carly has all the right advice.

  7. Oh my gosh, Melanie…. i just feel sick for you and Cameron. I can’t imagine how hard it is to send him in every morning – whether the complaints are 100% accurate or embellished.
    I have to words of wisdom other than to try to find another place for him. I do think it’s going to be necessary to talk to the provider and let her know that you know what’s going on and that you need a gameplan to fix it. But if she’s the type of person who would let this go on in the first place… i’d be looking for alternatives. That said, i don’t know how hard it is to find good daycare, so that’s probably much easier said than done.
    I’m really sorry he’s getting bullied and feeling sad about going in. Damn, i wish you could just send him here to play for the daytimes! 3 hours is just too long for a daycare commute, though, huh?
    Hugs to both of you.

  8. Carly- this daycare is not licensed.

    Hmm. Mel, I have an idea.

    Beth will be joining Grace at Lori’s in April.

    What if I go pick up Grace a bit “early” on Monday so Beth can get familiar to it, but my real motive is to observe how Ethan interacts with Cameron and what is done should there be any “bullying” type behaviour?

    Ethan is quite energetic and I would say “aggressive” in his play. The question is, is he targeting Cameron or is he just being aggressive generally? ETA: I just asked Grace, and she says that Ethan is “a nice boy” who doesn’t hit her, but he does hit Cameron. I wonder if it’s because Cameron is there every day, as well as because he is a boy.

    Geez. How to deal with this and future bullies. I wish I had an answer. I know in Mexico I saw that Anna is much more aggressive than Grace. She was pulling her hair and pushing her. Grace kept ignoring her and walking away, until Anna pushed her once too much and Grace flattened her. Is is awful that I (silently, of course) applauded her?

    I have heard that sometimes you have to let boys “figure it out” for themselves. But I don’t think this applies to older boys and younger boys. The older boy needs to be taught that it’s not cool to pick on little kids.

    Hmm. I have to think about this more. I hate that this happens. I know that at preschool there are some boys who hit. It seems to be a natural part of growing up that needs to be corrected. I wonder if we are doing them any favours by saying “walk away”. Should we be teaching them to fight back? It’s the only thing that stopped Anna.

    Damn.

  9. What about voicing your concerns to Lori and suggesting some sort of co-operating games? (I can’t think of any off the top, but might be worth some research). Games where they have to work together to be successful? You might be on to something with him feeling left out. Also, imagine having to share you mommy virtually every day- Ethan is a little boy, too.

    I think wherever Cameron goes for daycare, there will be bullies. I see it at Grace’s preschool. Pulling him and putting him somewhere else may not solve the problem. We cannot have Cameron being a victim, ANYWHERE. What about giving him phrases to yell “STOP BULLYING ME!” “NO HITTING!”

    This makes me sick that we even have to think about it.

    *sniff*

  10. You know, there’s something to be said for Joanne’s suggestion. I was a lot older than Cameron but was in grade school. I was getting teased and I remember my dad teaching me to say firmly “I don’t care what you think because you don’t count”. I remember using it and it helped me deal with things. I wonder if you could teach Cameron something simple like Joanne suggests??

  11. YES!
    Role play with him at home! Have him practice what to say when Ethan bullies him so he’s prepared.

    Hmm. Another thought I had is that if Ethan is doing this because he feels left out, perhaps Cameron might try inviting him to play with them (might not be easy if Cameron doesn’t like him- I’m just brainstorming, here!). Maybe send him with some cars or something and have him ask Ethan “Do you want to play with me?” I could see Ethan acting out because he feels left out.

    In the end I do think you will need to talk to Lori about it, but be sure not to put her on the defensive regarding her son. Maybe if you approach Lori with some solutions rather than accusations, she might be more open?

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