How do you handle namecalling related to pa?

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 9:33am
pitterpat's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

I honestly can't believe that my 4 yo is being teased already about pa. I guess I forget that kids are already doing that at 4.

There is a boy in her class that calls her "peanut butter ball" and it is upsetting her. The teacher said she "freaked out" when he said it. The teacher didn't get on to her, but tried to calm her and tell her not to let it bother her. I honestly don't know what she did to the boy.

Any suggestions to offer?

Thanks
Patty

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 10:07am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Personally?
Would it be okay to tease another classmate about a disability, hidden or not? I think it is high time for a bit of sensitivity training.
Something tells me that jokes about obvious limitations ([i]"Hey, gimpy![/i] to a mobility impaired classmate, or [i]"Retard"[/i] for a classmate with Downs, for instance) wouldn't be tolerated in the same way. I'd mention it to the teacher (and if need be, to a supervisor) if it doesn't stop.
The child doing the taunting needs to understand just how hurtful and nasty such things are. Do NOT allow this to go on-- it is teaching your child that she can expect to be treated badly because of her PA and that it is something she just needs to "deal with."
{{hugs}} to your little one-- school shouldn't make you sad.

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 10:13am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I think you need to find out how the teacher dealt with the boy, and how she will deal with it next time. Not to go overboard, but teasing is never okay, and teasing about a medical condition is terrible. The teacher should be taking immediate corrective action, such as a time out.
As far as your daughter is concerned, I would find a time when things are quiet and relaxed and listen to her about it. You can just say something like, "Your teacher told me that so-and-so was teasing you. How does that make you feel?"
Try not to offer advice at this point, just listen and support her. Whether she's angry or sad or scared, make sure that she knows you understand. You can share times from your childhood where you were teased and how you felt, but don't try and solve her problem yet.
And I wouldn't be surprised if some of what is happening is her dealing with the fear of her allergy. My son was four when he started to talk about the possibility of dying from an allergic reaction. Even if you've never said anything, somehow they pick it up. So be prepared with how you'd respond if she does ask about dying. (For a child age four, I think the best answer I've heard was "Mommy won't let that happen").
After you've let her talk about her feelings, then is the time to strategize what to do next time. Ask her for ideas first - it will help her take control of things.
Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 10:55am
TwokidsNJ's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Question: If your child (say K or 1st grader) comes home and says that "Johnny" was teasing/bullying him about his peanut allergy, what is the next step? Do you immediately report that bullying to the teacher? the principal?

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 11:02am
Greenlady's picture
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I'd go to both immediately, but my 1st grade son experienced "teasing" that included a boy putting a peanut into his lunch so I have zero tolerance for any kind of teasing.
If your child is covered under a 504 (and maybe even if he's not), teasing about PA is teasing about a disability, which in my school district is taken very serious and involves a visit to the vice-principal and a call home. Repeated offenses could result in suspension.

Posted on: Sat, 08/26/2006 - 5:55pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
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I think what I found most disturbing was that the teacher evidently told the child being teased that she should just ignore it.... not let it bother her so much...
(and something tells me there wasn't much "left out" or modified in the telling of that part)
It took me a while to figure out why this bothered me so much. Now I've got it, though. This is telling the child that her feelings about this kind of "teasing" are not valid. And they are.
This is quite separate from dealing with the child doing the teasing. KWIM?

Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2006 - 12:34am
Arlene's picture
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Joined: 11/03/2004 - 09:00

Is there anyway you can speak to the childs parents? Are they in anyway approachable. Depending on the type of parent i think this can be good. This is a horrible thing for your child to have to experiance -no matter what the reason..taunting and teasing for a child is a no-go area for me...I hate it. If you get no where with the teacher i would speak to the childs parents and let them know whats happening. I agree with others speak to your daughter and see how she feels about this..Maybe even have a joke about it with her...I mean what is a peanut butter ball anyway? What a silly name to call someone...and it makes no sense...something like that.

Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2006 - 12:49am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I think what I found most disturbing was that the teacher evidently told the child being teased that she should just ignore it.... not let it bother her so much...
. . .
It took me a while to figure out why this bothered me so much. Now I've got it, though. This is telling the child that her feelings about this kind of "teasing" are not valid. And they are.
This is quite separate from dealing with the child doing the teasing. KWIM? [/b]
Wow. . . .nodding emphatically . . . excellent point.
One of the goals we all share as parents is to empower our children so that they can eventually manage their allergy on their own someday. Instilling in them the importance of trusting their feelings is so important. Mariah is nearly 13, and the skill she relies on most now is trusting her feelings (re saftey) and not cave into peer pressure. "Ignoring" [i] feelings [/i]is counterproductive to teaching our children those self-advocacy skills that are so vital.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 27, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2006 - 4:20am
pitterpat's picture
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Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

1 - I think my daughter is a VERY sensitive child. She does need to toughen up a bit because everything anyone says makes her "sad" she tells me. We've talked about this and other things that happen at school extensively. DD is very verbal and we talk through lots of things.
2 - I don't think the teacher completely dismissed her. I think her teacher was compassionate and was trying to help her understand that everyone isn't as nice as your Mommy is. I also feel certain that she dealt with the child doing the bullying. I have been quite impressed with this teacher so far and would be surprised if she didn't take action. She said she feels the boy was being mean so though I don't know what she did, I know she doesn't allow this in her classroom.
3 - I have since found out from another student at the school (who is 10) that Sara was in the bathroom crying with more than one teacher comforting her. The school is a small private school so everyone knows everyone else's business. It was nice to hear more though because dd didn't tell me she cried.
4 - I've decided if it happens anymore I will go talk to the teacher. Together we might be able to come up with something that can fix this. I do agree that it can't be allowed to continue.
5 - I don't know the boy's parents so I can't say whether I could talk to them or not. I will be on the lookout for them though [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Thanks for the thoughts. I felt like I was silly to be bothered so much. I mean, if dd picked her nose at school and people teased her for it, I wouldn't care. This brings out the Mother Bear in me though!
Patty

Posted on: Sun, 08/27/2006 - 7:32am
Arlene's picture
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Joined: 11/03/2004 - 09:00

Its only natural that this bothers you so much. For me i over protect my son when it comes to the allergy, i think we all do. If the allergy causes a problem we go doubly out of our way to make it right. If my son did not have allergies and wanted ice cream i would go to the shop to buy it..if they didn't have any then he couldn't have it..end of story. But because he can't have it due to his allergy, i would drive quite a distance to buy him a safe ice cream.
I hope you manage to get through to the little boy how much this is hurting your daughter.

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2006 - 5:55pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

pitterpat,
Sorry that this happened. I realize that the child involved is 4, but if this persists, then the school needs to handle it as forcefully as necessary to end it.
Check out my post from 12/04 in this thread just so you are aware of the law:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001696.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001696.html[/url]

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