Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Momma Bear

A few months ago, I shared with you all that Brianna and I had been attending a Mommy and Me Music Class once a week. It has been going really well for the most part, and Brianna LOVES it. She is really starting to participate in all the activities, and it's so cute to watch.

Today, however, things did not go so well.

The class has about 7 or 8 students in it. We really like most of the kids (well, Brianna likes all of them), but there is one little boy in particular who triggers me. This little boy is between 2 1/2 and 3 years old, and doesn't always (often?) act nice. We'll just call him John Doe for the purpose of this blog. There have been several times that I have called Chris after class and griped about this kid. He's rough with the other children, he doesn't listen, he races around the room and screams during the activities, he has meltdowns almost every week, and he doesn't know how to share. I'm pretty sure he has no idea what the word 'No' means.

Now, is Brianna perfect? Of course not. But, I do tell her 'No' and enforce it. I do let her know who is the boss and who makes the rules. She knows that I expect her to sit and participate in class. We certainly have lots of fun, but she is not permitted to run around like a wild woman acting all out of control, and she knows that. Sometimes she tries her limits (she is human, after all), but there are consequences when she does.

A couple weeks ago, John Doe didn't get the drum he wanted during one of our free play times, and screamed at the top of his lungs during the entire song. Last week, he ran around and around and around the room until he fell and hit his head on the wall. Then, of course, he screamed at the top of his lungs for 5 minutes. I'm not saying that I think every time a child whimpers or cries a bit that they should be taken out of the class, but when it goes on and on and on and is obviously disrupting class, then yes, I think the child should be taken out.

Anyway, on to today's issue.

Today, John Doe was being mean to the little boy his age that he usually plays with. So, that little boy wanted nothing to do with John Doe. John Doe then decided to turn his aggressions to Brianna. At one point during class, he ran up and slapped B in the back (trying to push her down), then ran off. She didn't fall down, just stumbled a bit, then looked around the room completely stunned. About 2 minutes later, John Doe did it again, this time putting a little more shove into it. I grabbed Brianna at the same time that John Doe's nanny grabbed him. He was told "ohhh, no, no" is a soft sweet voice and let go again.

Then, during our scarf exercise (about 3 minutes later), John Doe ran up to Brianna and slap/shoved her in the face! I now understand what people mean when they say the 'Momma Bear' came out in them! Several in the class (including the teacher) saw this little move. John Doe's nanny grabbed him and scolded him in his ear, then tried to make him sit down. Of course, he didn't. Instead, he started throwing the toy percussion instruments everywhere. Our teacher kept saying things like, "Oh no, John Doe. We have to be gentle." and "Oh wow, John Doe is a wild man today." I think she wasn't very happy with his behavior either. However, never once did his nanny take him out or make him behave.

I was so mad! I didn't know what to do, so I just tried to keep Brianna away from John Doe for the rest of the class. Before, John Doe's behavior was just obnoxious and annoying, but today it was aggressive and dangerous. If he acts like this next week, I'm going to have to say something to the teacher and/or his nanny.

Of course, the nanny issue is a bit complicated in my opinion. Perhaps she is just going along with how his parents want him to be "disciplined". Also, she doesn't speak much English, so I'm not sure how effective it would be to talk to her about the issue. I don't know.

What would you do?


Cayce, Sara, and Lily said...

Have you had a conversation with the actual teacher? In our babygarten class at the library (sounds a lot like your mommy and me class) the teacher was clear at the beginning about the behavior expected. Babies cry that's fine, but screaming babies need to leave the room.

I would first speak with the teacher b/c it *is* her job to ensure everyone is having a pleasant experience. If she doesn't take the matter in hand. i.e. ask John Doe and "nanny" to remove themselves until John Doe can calm down I would then attempt to address it with the "nanny." Aggressive behavior is not acceptable at any age, and the sooner it's curbed the better.

Russ said...

Ask your hubby to come along, next time he can take little "John Doe" for what we call an "attitude adjustment." =)

Lisa said...

Teach Brianna to punch him in the face!!!!

I think the Momma Bear in me came out while reading this. For real, though, I would try to keep Brianna away from little Johnny. Keep yourself in between Bri and Johnny at all times if you can. Also, telling a child who is not your own "No" does work. It's not liked by the other parents, but *sometimes* it will stun the child enough to make him behave (at least to your child).

Or maybe the teacher needs to hear the complaints of the other parents before they can do anything about the unruly child.

Sara said...

Ugh that's a hard one, I would probably try to keep my girl as far away from him as possible!! :(

Jamie Lee said...

Way to stay calm Chelley, I would of totally let the teacher out in me and had to get onto the little guy. I would of probably told him no and told his nanny that she needed to do something. I don't have kids though, so it may be different when I do. I think it's a good idea to talk to the teacher of the class and ask her to ask the nanny to remove the child if he gets to be to bad. The crazy thing is that sometimes kids like that are just begging for discipline and waiting to see who it is going to come from. Don't know if this helps, but hang in there momma bear an definately keep B away from wild child.

Kasi said...

I would talk to the teacher but also if the little boy does something to Brianna I think it's perfectly acceptable for you to say something to the child, like firmly telling him "do not push her, that is not nice". I have said things to other people's children many times if they are being aggressive towards my children and their parent/guardian is not stepping up.

Emily said...

oh my....that's the tough thing about having our kids get older - dealing with the kids who aren't disciplined! i've dealt with this issue with a friend's child who hits kye and isn't punished very harshly for it. I decided that I had enough and was planning to discuss it with the parents in the event it happened again. Well guess what? Last time we were together Kye hit THEIR child!!! I secretly thought that the child totally deserved it but instead took it as an opportunity to show them how they SHOULD be reacting to it. I disciplined Kye very harshly and made him apologize! I have also had this happen often at playgrounds. The kids will be misbehaving and Kye will go to join in the "bad behavior" but I'll stop him and say LOUDLY "NO Sir do not (blank) Other people may (blank) but that doesn't mean we do" It seems to make the parents be a little bit more on their toes ;) Don't even get me STARTED with the nanny situation...that explains a LOT of what is wrong with the child in the first place!!!