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So, my two boys are 3 and 4 and go to a private school that starts with Pre-K 3 and runs through 8th grade.  The boys are in separate classes but have recess together.  We got an email from our 3 year old's teacher today that there was a scuffle on the playground.  Apparently, my four year old was playing with a ball when a 3 year old came over and tried to take it from him.  My 3 year old spoke up and said that his brother was playing with the ball.  The other boy then proceeded to grab my 3 year old's face and start squeezing it, scratching him in a couple places.  So, the teacher was emailing us, to let us know "why my son was coming home with scratches on his face."

For the last couple of weeks, the 3 year old has told us that a boy was teasing him, and then last week he said that the boy grabbed his shoulders and shook him, "trying to give him a boo-boo." 

My concern is that the behavior seems to be escalating and becoming more physical.  I called the principal of the school who reassured me that, "they've spoken with the parents of the other child and are confident that nothing like this will happen again."  My dilemma is, at 3 years old, am I already having to talk with my boys about defending themselves?  Does a 3 year old even know what it means to defend himself?  

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6 minutes ago, jonrolly said:

So, my two boys are 3 and 4 and go to a private school that starts with Pre-K 3 and runs through 8th grade.  The boys are in separate classes but have recess together.  We got an email from our 3 year old's teacher today that there was a scuffle on the playground.  Apparently, my four year old was playing with a ball when a 3 year old came over and tried to take it from him.  My 3 year old spoke up and said that his brother was playing with the ball.  The other boy then proceeded to grab my 3 year old's face and start squeezing it, scratching him in a couple places.  So, the teacher was emailing us, to let us know "why my son was coming home with scratches on his face."

For the last couple of weeks, the 3 year old has told us that a boy was teasing him, and then last week he said that the boy grabbed his shoulders and shook him, "trying to give him a boo-boo." 

My concern is that the behavior seems to be escalating and becoming more physical.  I called the principal of the school who reassured me that, "they've spoken with the parents of the other child and are confident that nothing like this will happen again."  My dilemma is, at 3 years old, am I already having to talk with my boys about defending themselves?  Does a 3 year old even know what it means to defend himself?  

What we did with ours (11 & 7)...

Tell the other kid to stop. Use clear exact words- "stop doing...squeezing my face.. (or whatever). I don't like it and it hurts."

If it keeps going... Tell the kid you'll tell the teacher that he's doing x,y,z after  you told him to stop.

If it keeps going... Tell the teacher.

Imo, you don't want to start telling your toddler age kids it's ok to use violence as a viable approach to this kind of thing...especially in a private school.

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I decided to do some looking into the kid's parents.  The first thing I find is an article from 2.5 years ago detailing the Mother's arrest in a prostitution sting.  Apparently, she brought the boy along, who was a baby at the time, and left him in the bathroom while she turned the tricks.

 

It's not like I was blaming the kid for the behavior before, I assumed but it was a biproduct of his environment, but now I'm really feeling bad for him.  I can only imagine what this kid has been through.  But, that also doesn't mean I think his behavior should just be excused.  I appreciate the responses so far.

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52 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

At 3 I probably don't have that conversation. I would just say something like:

"If anyone ever tries to hit you or push you, go tell the teacher." 

 

"Never start a fight, always finish it."

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12 minutes ago, jonrolly said:

I decided to do some looking into the kid's parents.  The first thing I find is an article from 2.5 years ago detailing the Mother's arrest in a prostitution sting.  Apparently, she brought the boy along, who was a baby at the time, and left him in the bathroom while she turned the tricks.

 

It's not like I was blaming the kid for the behavior before, I assumed but it was a biproduct of his environment, but now I'm really feeling bad for him.  I can only imagine what this kid has been through.  But, that also doesn't mean I think his behavior should just be excused.  I appreciate the responses so far.

Wait ...she's hooking and yet still sending her 3 yr old to a private school?  Now, that's a hell of a parent.  

 

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17 minutes ago, jonrolly said:

I decided to do some looking into the kid's parents.  The first thing I find is an article from 2.5 years ago detailing the Mother's arrest in a prostitution sting.  Apparently, she brought the boy along, who was a baby at the time, and left him in the bathroom while she turned the tricks.

 

It's not like I was blaming the kid for the behavior before, I assumed but it was a biproduct of his environment, but now I'm really feeling bad for him.  I can only imagine what this kid has been through.  But, that also doesn't mean I think his behavior should just be excused.  I appreciate the responses so far.

Ugh. I grew up with kids like this... good kids, but never had a chance.

Great that they're in private pre-K. School is all about socializing and learning how to deal with different personalities and approaches at that age, imo. It's a small sample size, but so far my kids have used the method I described and not had any continuing problems with kids who've acted up with them at various ages. Kids are smart- tell them whats what, and they usually stop.

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2 hours ago, El Floppo said:

What we did with ours (11 & 7)...

Tell the other kid to stop. Use clear exact words- "stop doing...squeezing my face.. (or whatever). I don't like it and it hurts."

If it keeps going... Tell the kid you'll tell the teacher that he's doing x,y,z after  you told him to stop.

If it keeps going... Tell the teacher.

Imo, you don't want to start telling your toddler age kids it's ok to use violence as a viable approach to this kind of thing...especially in a private school.

Thanks.  This was the conversation I ended up having with them.  

I asked the 4 year old what he was doing when the other kid was grabbing his brother.... His response, "I stood there and watched".  I asked him why he didn't do something if he saw the other kid was hurting his brother and he said "I didn't want to make him sad".   I then went into what you said and basically told him that I would expect him to tell the other kid to stop hurting his brother.

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1 hour ago, Binky The Doormat said:

Wait ...she's hooking and yet still sending her 3 yr old to a private school?  Now, that's a hell of a parent.  

 

Around here, private prek is about 4k a year and it runs from 8am-3pm.  Throw in the after school latchkey program and you end up with a lot of parents using it as a cheaper form of all day child care as opposed to daycare.

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1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

Ugh. I grew up with kids like this... good kids, but never had a chance.

Great that they're in private pre-K. School is all about socializing and learning how to deal with different personalities and approaches at that age, imo. It's a small sample size, but so far my kids have used the method I described and not had any continuing problems with kids who've acted up with them at various ages. Kids are smart- tell them whats what, and they usually stop.

Ya, so I was looking at the Mother's Facebook page and her most recent status is "Home cooked meals are for guys who eat ***** and help pay bills". 

I was showing my wife and told her the same thing, that this kid is 3 years old and sadly, he probably has about a 10% chance.

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25 minutes ago, jonrolly said:

Around here, private prek is about 4k a year and it runs from 8am-3pm.  Throw in the after school latchkey program and you end up with a lot of parents using it as a cheaper form of all day child care as opposed to daycare.

ah. I'm in NYC- pre-k runs upwards of 40k... no joke. 

 

22 minutes ago, jonrolly said:

Ya, so I was looking at the Mother's Facebook page and her most recent status is "Home cooked meals are for guys who eat ***** and help pay bills". 

I was showing my wife and told her the same thing, that this kid is 3 years old and sadly, he probably has about a 10% chance.

holy hell :lol: gotta give her props for being up front and clear.

my friend James' mom came to school one day after he had been given speech therapy (around 8 or 9) to help him with his literacy skills. again- nice kid, but reeeeeaaally far behind with academics. mom shows up in work clothes- mini-hot pants, barely hanging on tube-top, extensions, huge platforms... screaming at our principal and making all kinds of threats. sheriff shows up, poor James is destroyed at the whole thing. mom lost it because she had sent James to our school based on it being progressive- and suited for kids really far behind or ahead, where each kid can go at there own pace at their own level, but still be in the same class as everybody else. she had misinterpreted the speech therapy as being for "special" students, which she didn't her kid anywhere near (previous school had put him in that kind of setup which only perpetuated his situation). 

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5 hours ago, ChiefD said:

 thatAt 3 I probably don't have that conversation. I would just say something like:

"If anyone ever tries to hit you or push you, go tell the teacher." 

 

I don't remember exactly when I had that conversation with my Dad--but it had nothing to do with telling the teacher. My Mom witnessed a  bus stop brawl when I was in first grade--the pickup was in front of the house and she was watching as I went after a bigger kid who was constantly picking at me. We wore suits and ties to that school and I know mine was torn up but he and I became friends after that. 

 

eta: I grew up with that conversation even at three--military family, back in the day. 

Edited by glumpy
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4 hours ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Pretty sure you're wrong.  I went to public school (pre-K) when I was three.  That was in Chicago.

OK, but that is extremely rare. Like super super rare. Hell, here in the Twin Cities we have public pre-K that is for 4 year olds, and that is an anomaly.

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3 hours ago, dawgtrails said:

OK, but that is extremely rare. Like super super rare. Hell, here in the Twin Cities we have public pre-K that is for 4 year olds, and that is an anomaly.

It probably is.  Usually, you have to be four by Sept. 1st or nearabouts to qualify.  But at that time in Chicago, you had to be four by December 1st.  SInce I'm a November baby, I got in.

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12 hours ago, jonrolly said:

So, my two boys are 3 and 4 and go to a private school that starts with Pre-K 3 and runs through 8th grade.  The boys are in separate classes but have recess together.  We got an email from our 3 year old's teacher today that there was a scuffle on the playground.  Apparently, my four year old was playing with a ball when a 3 year old came over and tried to take it from him.  My 3 year old spoke up and said that his brother was playing with the ball.  The other boy then proceeded to grab my 3 year old's face and start squeezing it, scratching him in a couple places.  So, the teacher was emailing us, to let us know "why my son was coming home with scratches on his face."

For the last couple of weeks, the 3 year old has told us that a boy was teasing him, and then last week he said that the boy grabbed his shoulders and shook him, "trying to give him a boo-boo." 

My concern is that the behavior seems to be escalating and becoming more physical.  I called the principal of the school who reassured me that, "they've spoken with the parents of the other child and are confident that nothing like this will happen again."  My dilemma is, at 3 years old, am I already having to talk with my boys about defending themselves?  Does a 3 year old even know what it means to defend himself?  

No one has mentioned this, but

 

The handsy 3 year old probably just wants to be included.  Kids who act out like this get into this cycle of being excluded, so they act out, so they are further excluded, etc

 

You might encourage your children to try and let him join in the game from the start, break the cycle

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11 hours ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Pretty sure you're wrong.  I went to public school (pre-K) when I was three.  That was in Chicago.

Wow ..that's great.

We just got universal public pre-k here in NyC a couple years ago, starting at 4. Had it at selective schools prior to that.

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23 hours ago, Vanilla Guerrilla said:

Paint the fence, wax on/wax off, crane kick.  Solved.

If do right, no can defense.

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