The Naughty Kid
At 2pm I went into school today to pick up Arthur.
I get to the classroom and he is sat with all the other children singing a song, he’s delighted to see me and comes up and gives me a great big hug.
I ask if he’s had a good day.
“He had a fantastic morning, but….”
my heart sinks.
The Teaching Assistant calls a little girl over and shows me a great big bite mark on her face.
That afternoon he had bitten this little girl.
I’m told it wasn’t aggressive. He was actually giving her a hug at the time.
I’ll be honest, that didn’t really make me feel any better.
The teacher comes in and tells me that she wonders if it is a tactile thing with him. Whenever he has bitten someone (never has it been this hard as to leave a mark) it has never been in an aggressive situation.
I get to the car and start putting the boys in their seats.
A grandma of one of the kids says hello.
“I want to meet the famous Arthur”
I laughed. This little boy in particular I see Arthur playing with at school. I figured it was because they are friends and maybe he talks about it at home.
“Arthur I hear you two are fighting.”
There’s that heart sinking feeling again.
She goes on to say that her grandson tells her all the time that Arthur fights him.
She is trying to keep it light hearted, so am I. I don’t think she realises how mortified I am feeling. She is just trying to make her grandson happy after all.
I’ve had never heard of an incident with these two boys. I try and say that kids have fallings out all the time, I think they are friends.
We finish getting in the car and cry all the way home.
Arthur in the meanwhile, falls asleep in the car, none the wiser of how I am feeling.
How it feels when your child is ‘The Naughty Kid’ in school
I guess I’m writing this post, to share how it feels when your kid is painted as ‘The Naughty Kid’.
Knowing that children and worse other parents are talking and thinking of your child in that way is the most devastating feeling.
It’s safe to say, that we have all judged naughty kids, when we were in school ourselves and as adults. I certainly have.
It’s not just the naughty kids I have judged. I’ve judged the parents. They must have done something “wrong”.
Let me tell you something about my own ‘naughty child’. We raise him to be kind, caring and loving. He is those things, and much much more.
I am not defending the things that he has done. I am devastated and embraced by those actions, believe me. But, we are working on the root cause of those, trying to figure out what is going on. Why he is behaving that way.
The teacher very kindly tells me that there is no such thing as a naughty child. It is all communication.
While that is lovely of her to say, sadly that is not what the world sees.
I’ve heard parents, discussing a child (not mine) and years after an event happened still labelling them as ‘naughty’.
To think that people will do that about my son breaks my heart. To think that people judge him, and judge our family is a very sad and isolating feeling.
How to speak to a parent of a ‘naughty child’
I’m not saying all parents are the same. I’m not saying that there is one specific way how to deal with or approach another parent about this situation.
What I do want to say, is to remember that that parent has feelings. If your child is having a hard time from their kid. Remember that they are probably already more that aware of the fact that there are issues. They are probably embraced and sensitive to it.
If they are totally unapproachable, and you are very concerned, perhaps try and arrange a meeting with the teacher.
Mostly though, please don’t judge them too harshly. We are all trying our best with our kids. No one is deliberately raising their kid to be naughty.