I'm confused!

@SViswan (12071)
India
August 18, 2008 11:21am CST
Most of you who have responded to my earlier discussion about a girl in my kindergarten class will understand what I am talking about. If you haven't seen the previous discussion, you can check it out at http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1601275.aspx Now,here's what got me confused. We had a 'Sing along with Mummy session' last week. And the girl's mother turned up. It was to be held in a group but this girl's mother came a little early because she had an important meeting at the same time we had planned the session and she didn't want her daughter to feel bad that she didn't turn up. Since she came earlier than other parents, we got a bit of time to talk too. But the maid had warned us not to tell the mother anything negative about the child for fear of the girl being spanked. But when I met the mother, I got a totally different picture. She was a wonderful lady who knew exactly who her daughter was...and all her talents. Even before I could speak, the mother told me how well her daughter draws and what a wonderful child she is. The only thing that she thought was a matter of concern was the fact that the girl was too restless and just couldn't sit still for a minute at a time (which was obvious even at the time...and it was the same thing that I was thinking about). Of course, I didn't mention anything since the maid had asked me not to....and anyways I didn't think it was necessary because the mother knew the daughter really well. Now, I don't think the mother is the kind of monster the maid made her out to be and if the child is being spanked, I do think that it might be for something really necessary and not a daily affair (as the maid made it seem). And since I met the mother, I have been watching the maid interact with the child and realized that she tends to pamper the child too much. They live right opposite the school and the maid carries this 4 year old home!!! And she is just too sweet to the little girl (which is making the child dependent on her and the girl is capable of doing things on her own). lol...now I think the child's behaviour (and maybe even the spankings) are the result of the maid pampering her and not really the mother being too strict. I found the mother to be a level headed person...and am glad I got to meet her and not have only the impression the maid gave me. Now, do you think I need to let the mother know when something happens? Or tell the maid that what she is doing is counter productive?
5 people like this
13 responses
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Keep watching ya never know the maid might be the one giving the spankings behind closed doors and has told you this so to put the blame off herself!. Ands mybe ya ought to telthe mother she needs one of those hiffen cameras around the house to see what goes on when she isnt aro0und!
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
Oh my God! It didn't cross my mind that it could be the maid. But she shows so much affection to the child...it's just possible that she's the one trying to cover up and not the mother. Now, I'll need to watch really carefully.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
19 Aug 08
havent ya ever saw on the news where the parents catch the maids or babysitters beating the kids!? They have hidden cameras to catch them. Of course out in public they are all sweet and honey but ya dont know what has gone on behind closed doors and yup the maid could be covering for herself when the kid comes up with brusies! I hate to say it but there are aot of mean people out there.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
Yes, I have seen cases like that in the news...but it never crossed my mind. Like everyone else, I felt that it could happen to others but not my kids (my students are my kids too).
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I'm not sure that I would do either one. Does she carry her home every day? How does she carry her? Is it what we call a piggy-back ride where the child sits on her shoulders? I would not see any thing wrong with that, as it would help the maid get home faster and back to her work, as well as giving the girl a treat and allowing her to see better what is going on around them on the way home. If she carries in in some other way, I might take issue with it. But how could this observant mother not know that she does this and wouldn't the mother handle that herself if she thought it was a problem? When I will little my mother had all the teachers fooled into thinking she was this wonderful, stable, caring person, when actually she was quite violent and erratic. I would still stay out it if it were me. But after observing for a while longer, you will know what to do and I am sure you will do the right thing.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
I know...it's confusing. The maid carries her like she would carry her a child her age..not a piggy back. Frankly, I don't think it's necessary. According to the maid, she has all the time in the world because she gets all her work done when the child is at school. There were quite a few incidents which I didn't think about too much...but I now think I should watch this maid and child carefully. There was an incident where the girl bit another child...which is so unlike her. But in such situations we usually inform both sets of parents so that they are aware. This happened when I wasn't at school and the assistant teacher could let me know about it only the next day AFTER I met the girl's mother. That morning, the maid had spoken to the teacher and asked her not to inform the mother about it (I wasn't aware of it when this happened) and so the assistant teacher didn't tell. I'm not going to observe everything...and there are a few things that I think the mother should know and maybe I can generally speak to the mother and ask questions about the maid and how the child spends time with her (a teacher's concern) and then get to know a little more. If I think it's something I need not poke my head into....especially if the child behaves in the class and is learning...then I will let the matter rest.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Now I share your concern to a greater degree. How one normally carries a 4-year all child in my culture is NOT AT ALL, except for giving piggy back rides or if s/he is asleep or injured or being snatched out of harm's way. I guess knowing this, the next time I saw the mother I might mention that I noticed the maid carries the child instead of allowing her to walk by herself and ask if the girl has some injury of which I was unaware. When I was four if someone tried to pick me up and carry me that way, I would have wiggled right out of their arms while yelling "Put me down!" Sounds like the whole family might be a bit squirrely.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
The girl is so used to being carried by this maid. She doesn't ask to be carried at school and is a very independent child (who forgets where she keeps her things...but that's normal for a 4 year old). My 21 month old son expects to be carried when he is with his father or me....but never asks his teacher or the help at school to carry him (though she does carry him to the toilet when he has thrown up or needs some help on the playground). Kids know what to expect from who and they learn that very quickly.
• United States
20 Aug 08
Since the mom seems to be able to really hear you, you should tell the mother what the maid said, what you thought was happening then and that you now think it is the maid's behavior that is causing the problem.It was the mom who hired the maid so it should be the mom who should explain what she is doing is the problem.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 Aug 08
I don't think I'll be as direct....but I plan to ask questions during the parent-teacher meeting and try to understand a little more about the situation (from the mother) and in the meantime, I'm going to watch carefully how the maid is with the child. I don't think it's abuse but a power control game going on.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Aug 08
Great idea.I don't think there abuse either . I think the maid is just spoiling her. I think if all three of you, Mother, Maid and you can get on the same page the little girl will be better off. She will know she is loved at home and at school. Good Luck.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
That is what I am trying to do:)
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
19 Aug 08
Hmmm. And the plot thickens! I remember your last post on this and it is fortunate that you have been able to personally meet this little girl's Mother. Part of me immediately thinks to "beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing" because some people are absolute masters at disguising who we truly are; yet another side of me wonders what this maid's motivation may be to come up with something like this? This is a really difficult situation. At what stage does your role as this child's teacher allow you to step in to mediate something like this? Or are you entitled to at all? This is one of those situations were you may be damned if you do and damned if you don't. I guess all you can do is keep an eagle eye on the child until such time as any more serious signs show themselves. Of course I hope they don't; but if they do then maybe the only choice is to get all three of you together and hit the nail on the head once and for all.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
I agree it's not my business what happens at their home if it doesn't affect the child and the child's behaviour at school. But there was an incident where this girl bit another child (it is so unlike her...and it happened the day I wasn't at school). Now, this is a situation which the parents need to know no matter what the maid says. But the maid asked the teacher who was present not to mention it to the mother when she came. And since I wasn't aware of it at that point of time, I didn't either. I don't think the maid needs to ask us to cover that up. And she holds us responsible for the girl's lost jackets and shoes!! When the girl once couldn't find her shoes when it was time to leave, we found a pair (that looked like her's )and showed it to the maid...who said it wasn't her's and that she had seen another child wear it on their way out. So, we decided to wait a day or two (the child who had taken the wrong pair would return it the next day). But no one returned any pair of shoes and 3 days later the mother came in and picked up the very same pair that we had shown them and said it was the girl's! I've asked the maid (because she's the one who is always complaining) to label every single item (including shoes and jackets that the girl tends to keep taking off). I even showed her how I had done it on my little one's clothes and shoes. It's been 3 weeks and nothing has been done and she still keeps losing jackets. We don't let her take off her shoes except at carpet time and I make sure she puts it on as soon as we are done. Anyways, I have 2 more weeks to watch and observe this girl....but if anything at school happens that I think the mother should know....I'm going to let her know. The girl might get spanked at home...but I don't think I can help it anymore.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
19 Aug 08
I feel for you as it must be an extremely troubling situation to be in. I had my own child several years ago being bitten by another child at day care and it was a really difficult situation to find a solution to. The boy that was doing the biting ended up having to be removed from the centre becasue he was doing it to many other kids as well. None of us never really got the chance to really understand why it was happening but for the safety of the other children there was just no alternative. In hindsight all I was concerned about at the time was my own little boy; but looking back I feel exceptionally sad for the child that was doing the biting also. I hope that this all works out just fine for everybody concerned and wish you all the luck and guidance in every form there is.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
There is a child in the toddler class (my 21 month old son's classmate) who also happens to be a teacher's son who is biting many kids. There was a big hue and cry about it from one parent because her son got bitten twice. Since the mother is a teacher there, I can see how she handles the situation and I can see it isn't right...I've tried to put it across to her a couple of times. The final verdict from all quarters was that the teacher's son was teething and the solution was to get him a teether....which didn't work..because he threw it off and would bite a child. From my experience, most kids who are aggressive (especially the ones who are very young) are so because of their situations at home and how they are handled when they are first seen doing it. My younger one would bite too....but I believe in nipping things in the bud. He still does bite but I find that he does it when he's really hungry and he isn't getting the attention he needs. It doesn't happen at school though....because someone gives him what he wants when he asks for food. When I'm really busy at home and think that he can hold out a few more minutes while I finish my work, he gets really angry and bites me. I don't have anyone else but myself to blame for that because he's just 21 months old and when he's hungry, he's hungry and when he asks me nicely, I ought to get it for him. Coming back to the discussion, this girl isn't the kind who needs to put out of school (the biting happened just once) but there are other kids (including the teacher's child) who needs to be kept at home for the safety of other children...but I don't think that's going to happen. I worry more after school when we have to work for another 2 hours and my son (who isn't talking yet) is left to play on his own and other kids trouble him. I can't take care of him all the time and neither can I concentrate on my work.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I'd most definetly would let the mother know what is going on and how the maid is babying the little girl. I wouldn't tell the mother what the maid said but only what the maid is doing as well as the little girl. It's the only way the mother is going to be able to correct the problem. She can't correct something that she doesn't know about, right? So yes, I'd tell the mother as well as the maid about how you see things to be and go from there. Go with your gut instincts, you're the one there and you see what's going on so go with your gut instincts, most of the time you're right.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
I'll really watch carefully now. There is a parent-teacher meeting coming up in two weeks and I'll try to put my point across without pointing fingers. The mother seemed pretty level headed to me. And a mother who is working outside the home full time and is too tired when she is back...wouldn't have been able to make the kind of observations about the child as this mother did. And the mother made it a point to come early for the sing-along with mummy session because she didn't want the child to feel left out (she had an important meeting at the same time as the session and she could easily have missed our session if she wanted to).
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@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
19 Aug 08
She does sound like a caring mother which is a really good thing. Also, she could be so tired that she spanks the child a little harder than she would normally do when she isn't tired. It's really hard to tell when it's behind closed doors. The reason I say this is because I had a teacher (4th grade) who hated my guts because I needed special treatment due to my handicap and she hated it and would always mistreat me and then tell lies to my mom and get me into a lot of trouble. I was afraid of my mom and the teacher so I couldn't defend myself no matter how hard I tried. I still remember this teacher and her name and if I ever see her again, I promise you, I'll ask her if she remembers me and then tell her who I am and then I'll knock the living sh!t out of her! I tried looking for her to see where she went to teach next so I could inform the principle of her wrong doings towards me so she'd be watched and hopefully fired.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
My husband always talks of teachers like that. But I've been lucky to come across very good, caring teachers (well some were a little too strict, but I don't think that's a bad thing). I don't think the girl is NEVER spanked at home....but I don't feel it is for every single thing either(like the maid made it sound). And if a child was spanked that way, I'm sure that the child would have other problems besides just being able to sit at one spot for a few minutes. This child is a very social and friendly child. I don't think there's any abuse to speak of.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
18 Aug 08
This goes to show how you can't take everything at face value. Just because the maid says it, doesn't necessarily mean it is true. It is good that you got to meet the mother and notice the differences in how the maid deals with the child. Maybe the maid pampers her because she doesn't have a child of her own, and really wants this girl to love her? Whatever the case, I would tread carefully. Probably from here forth it is best to speak directly to the mother whenever possible. Regarding the maid, I would maybe bring it up to her, or maybe talk with the mother about it. Let the mother decide whether the things the maid does are appropriate or not. It seems like speaking directly to the maid may not do much good, since she apparently has a different way of looking at things. Then again, the mother may have been putting on a show for you. Lots of parents do that, they act like model parents in public and are very different in the privacy of their own homes. It could be that the maid coddles the child because she feels bad about the poor treatment she gets from her mother. I would continue to get to know the mother, and the father if possible, to try to get a feel for what may really be going on at home.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
18 Aug 08
You are right. I can't take anything at face value and the mother could be putting on a show. But I was quite impressed by how much the mother knew about the child though the child spends most of the time with the maid. I felt that the time the mother spent with the girl was well spent....and not like many stay-at-home moms who hardly knew their kids (I'm not trying to put down all SAHMs here....I was just comparing the difference between this working parent and a few other parents of my class). Anyways, we have a Parent-Teacher meeting coming up in two weeks and then I'll get to meet the mother again and will see how things go from there. This little girl BIT another child the day before the 'Sing along with Mummy' session....and that was so unlike her. I wasn't in school that day and the assistant teacher understood the situation and told the maid what happened....the maid asked her not to tell the mother because the girl has never done it before and the mother would spank her. I got to know of it only AFTER the session because the assistant teacher and I got busy with our work first thing that morning and didn't get time to talk till later that day. Usually we inform both sets of parents about such incidents (even when there is no injury)...but I didn't mention it since I didn't know about it.
• United States
18 Aug 08
Follow your instincts. Often as teachers, since we meet so many parents, we can tell when a parent is being genuine, and as you said, how well they know their children. Have you ever noticed if the maid seems to know the child as well as the mother does? I'm curious if she pays as much attention or if she thinks everything the child does is ok.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
18 Aug 08
The maid doesn't really know so much about the child. She doesn't seem educated and is just lavishing love on the child. And like many people in previous generations, she feels pampering the child is how she can show her love and affection. There have been 2-3 incidents where she expects up to keep an eye on the child's stuff and holds us responsible when the child has misplaced it (each child has a cubby and they all know theirs and where to keep their stuff).
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@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
23 Aug 08
I think that you should keep out of it. Now that you have established that the child is not at risk... it is not your role to meddle in their life. If you do... the maid risk losing her job... and the child will lose her nanny... which obviously she loves.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Aug 08
Oh, I definitely do not intend to go poke my nose into their lives. It is only the child that I am worried about. But there was also an incident where the girl bit another child....I didn't know of it at the time...but the assistant teacher didn't tell the mother because the maid forbade her to. I think that wasn't the right step. The school policy is to inform both sets of parents about incidents such as this so that they are aware. I will be bringing it up in the next parent-teacher meeting. We can't go ahead doing our job fearing the girl will be spanked. Even though the mother is working, I keep seeing more of her and can see that she is involved in the child's life (which I feel is appreciable considering the stressful job she has)...and I think she ought to know how the girl is at school and I shouldn't be covering up just because the maid says so. Of course, any child will love someone who spoils them....but as a parent, I believe that love isn't to be expressed by spoiling kids....but by teaching them how to behave well and be independent.
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I would caution you to remember that things are not always as they seem. First, anyone who DOES abuse, also does everything in his/her power to appear normal to the world. He/she will also make sure that no marks are visible on the person being abused. Secondly, my son had to be carried at that age. After being in pre-school all day, his legs ached horribly. The docs said it ws just growing pains, and it did eventually get better. But I would not assume that the maid is pampering without more information. I would trust the maid over the mother for the time being, because doing otherwise COULD harm the child. If you were in the US and were told that a child had been abused, you'd be obligated to report it. When I taught pre-school (3 1/2 year olds), there was a little girl who wiggled and squirmed and could not sit still. Sometimes she popped out of her seat too. Her mother always appeared to be Mrs. Perfect. In fact, the administrators loved her because she gave extra money to the school for special projects. One day, the girl went to the restroom and didn't come back right away. I had another teacher watch my classroom, and went to see about the girl. She was standing in front of the mirror trying to see a huge bruise on her butt. It was the most horrible bruise I've ever seen - the size of someone's fist. But to be that black and blue, the child would have had to be punched in that same spot repeatedly. No wonder she couldn't sit still. No wonder she popped out of her seat. The law said I had to report that bruising, but when I went into the office to use the phone, the manager tried to talk me out of it. The girl had told me that her mother punched her.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
The girl doesn't have any bruises and doesn't seem like she's not sitting still because it hurts somewhere. And the maid's pampering is not only in the girl being carried....she's a very active child and doesn't complain of any growing pains. We have a half day kindergarten. She comes in at 9 and goes back by noon. But I've seen the maid interacting with the child and the pampering is a little too much (I feel). But that's not really my concern unless THAT is what is affecting the girl's behaviour at school. Another thing that got me worried is that the girl bit another child sometime last week. That is so unlike her....and I was surprised when I heard about it (I wasn't in school when it happened). There are kids who are naturally aggressive and she isn't one of them. Usually kids who are abused are either very quiet/scared or very aggressive. This girl is neither. She interacts with everyone including me. But I do agree that I can't take everything at face value. I'm going to watch closely for another two weeks. I don't want to hide any information that the parent should know just because of what the maid said.
@lingli_78 (12836)
• Australia
19 Aug 08
well, i won't bother with what the maid is telling me at all unless if i find enough evidence on the child's body that she is being abused... i never take other people's words just like that without evidence... and i won't even bother to question the maid or tell the mother unless some incidents happen relating to the child... i find that people tend to exagerrate a lot when they are telling story... in this case, i find that the maid is exageratting... take care and have a nice day...
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
There was an incident when the girl bit another child. I wasn't around when it happened and didn't get to know about it till AFTER I met the mother. Usually we inform the parents of such situations but the maid had asked the assistant teacher not to inform the mother and she didn't.
@aseretdd (13736)
• Philippines
19 Aug 08
I remember that discussion and i think i even responded to it... but at this point... i think you should stop listening to the maid since you yourself witnessed how she is pampering the child... which i think is not good... and if something happens... you should definitely tell the parents... because they have the right to know... and as you have seen... the mother is a level headed person who knows her daughter very well... and it should be brought to their attention how the maid is counter productive to their daughter...
@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
Yes, you did respond to the previous discussion. Another thing I got to know (late) was that there was an incident when the girl bit another child. I wasn't informed about it till after the mother met me. I admit it is very unlike the girl to do it but usually when such a situation happens at school, both sets of parents are informed....even if it is a first time incident. We might tone down the intensity so as not to get either set of parents worried....but we feel we need to inform them. But the maid had asked the teacher who was present (I was absent that particular day) not to tell the mother when she came to school the next day. I don't think that's right. This and several other incidents make me wonder. It's possible the maid is trying to protect the child because of the mother's behaviour (which at home could be very different from what I saw at school) or it could be that the maid is trying to take over the mother's place by over-pampering the child. Anyways, it's none of my business if it wasn't affecting the child. I have 2 more weeks to watch and observe before I see the mother again for a parent-teacher meet.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I would be telling her mother and not the maid. The maid is just her helper, there to take care of her while her mother works. Anything concerning the daughter and her schooling should be told to the mother I would think.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
19 Aug 08
I'm going to watch carefully now. It's only because I think that the child's behaviour school is related to what is happening at home...otherwise, it is none of my business. I have two more weeks before I get to meet the mother again. I will observe the girl and then decide on what I need to say.
@riyasam (16570)
• India
19 Aug 08
discipling is good but too much will lead to abuse.i would keep quiet for some time.but i think the maid is pampering the child too much and that her parents should know of childs progress.
• Philippines
19 Aug 08
hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh