It’s who they know

If you have a child that you find yourself saying their name quite a bit, be prepared to have parents upset that HE is always hurting their children. 

Be very careful that you look at this child from a step back and wonder why YOU are saying his name so much.  Is he just active?  Or is he truly hurting children in a malicious way?  Or is he so active that he’s more like a bull in a China shop where he pretty much runs into other children without really understanding what he’s doing?

I’ll tell you a story about my little friend Alex.  Alex WAS that child who I said his name quite a bit.  He was also that child that parents saw bouncing around when they dropped off their children.  He was ACTIVE, but the LAST child to intentionally hurt another child.

I had a parent come to me one day and pull me into my office (yes, I was a VERY lucky preschool teacher that actually had an office as well were I could work on lesson plans and assessments).  She was so upset on this Friday that she had picked up her child, dropped her off at home, then came BACK to school to speak with me


She started off by expressing her anger over the fact that her child had come home with an ouch report EVERY DAY that week and ALEX had been the cause of ALL of them (see why we keep those things quiet and confidential, although we know they walk out and ask their child).

I get her anger.  If I thought that Alex had harmed my child every day that week I would be upset, too.  However, I am a preschool teacher.  I also know without a doubt 100% that Alex had NOT pinched her child that day (I’ll let you know why in a second).

I began by asking her who had told her Alex had done all these things to her child.  She responded that her child had told her.  Now I know that it’s not one of my staff members breaching confidentiality so I can move forward.

I questioned, “Okay, and she said that Alex pinched her today?” 


Interesting because Alex wasn’t here today.

I then went to my ouch report log that I keep for myself that is more detailed so I can find patterns of behaviors or injuries (has all the children involved, where, which teachers were involved, etc…).  I discovered that of the FIVE ouch reports, Alex was responsible for ONE of them…and it was completely accidental.

”So, you’re calling my child a liar?”

No, I wouldn’t call her a liar.  I’d call her a three year old.  I don’t know the reason she said Alex did all those things, but I can tell you that only ONE of those incidents were a result of Alex’s actions, and that was a complete accident of circumstances.  I can also tell you that Alex was not here today or yesterday and could not have possibly injured your child those days.

What I will continue to tell you is about the development of a three year old.  It could be that, at three, when she gets hit in the head with a ball from behind, she looks up in front of her and the first child she sees is the culprit.

It could be that Alex is the only child’s name that she knows and is the only child’s name that she associates with chaotic moments in the classroom which includes getting injured.

It could be that she is picking up on the way you are asking her who hurt her and knows what you expect to hear; therefore will say what she knows will please you in a way.  Or, it could be that she likes the reaction and protective nature you go into when you hear that it was Alex that hurt her.

So, let me ask you, and mind you I am NOT saying this child did this, but if she had told you that Maddy had pinched her today, would you be in my office right now?

Well, no, Maddy wouldn’t do something like that.  Maddy would never hurt another child.

Interesting because, again, I am not telling you which one, but Maddy IS responsible for one of her injuries this week.  I will also let you know that it is a different child every day this week involved in each of these ouch reports.

That parent was given the information she needed to take a second look when hearing Alex’s name from her daughter after each injury for the rest of the year.  I didn’t hear many more complaints from her or other parents about Alex after that.

Alex was that active child.  But be careful to not let the children associate one child with injury…it’s not fair to them or that child.

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