Author Topic: Is there any good way to say something?  (Read 3359 times)

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beezelbear

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Is there any good way to say something?
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:04:05 AM »
My DD (age 7) has repeatedly mentioned that a classmate of hers smells bad.  Yesterday she came home and said a couple other girls were teasing this little girl on the playground about it.  From what DD has told me about the smell it sounds like it may be more a matter of a soap/shampoo/body wash interacting badly with her body chemistry rather than an unwashed type smell.  I have never met this child or her mother, however I do have her e-mail address from a birthday invitation my DD received from classmate earlier this year.  Would it be horribly rude of me to contact the mother and let her know that my DD has noticed the smell and that other kids are teasing her?  I don't want to offend the mother in any way, but I also know how vicious little girls can  be when they sense blood in the water.  For now I've told my DD that if she sees it happening again she needs to find a teacher or playground monitor right away and let them know about it. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 10:19:20 AM »
I don't think you should contact the mother. I'd go first to the teacher and/or the guidance counselor.


Otterpop

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:40 AM »
I don't think you should contact the mother. I'd go first to the teacher and/or the guidance counselor.

This^

cicero

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 10:22:22 AM »
I don't think you should contact the mother. I'd go first to the teacher and/or the guidance counselor.

This^
agree

Think about how you would feel if you were that mom. Plus, there may be things going on in the family that the teachers/school are aware of, and you aren't.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 10:31:20 AM »
I came back to say that I think I would make two points to those professionals.

1) that the girl's mother needs to be notified, and the girl herself should be encouraged and informed about how to take care of herself, so that *she* can be proactive in her own grooming and life

2) that I want my child to be in a school where this sort of picking-on people is discouraged, where playground manners are taught and enforced, and that I want them to work with the class in general to reduce or eliminate this sort of thing.


(I'd also be encouraging my child to be the good bystander--the one who says, "Hey, that was sort of mean" or "it's not good manners to comment on people like that." Good bystanders don't have to fight big battles, or even become besties with the people who are being tormented. They just have to indicate their disapproval. Even small things can have an effect.)

alkira6

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 10:39:02 AM »
Contact the school, specifically guidance, and tell them what you've written here.  I've had to deal with this situation previously and it is much better when it comes from an "official" standpoint rather than another parent telling you that your child smells bad.

m2kbug

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 10:59:16 AM »
I would let the teacher know and this way she can be on alert and see what the specific problem is and also work on the issue of bullying behaviors among the children.  They can contact the mother about the odor. 

Luci

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 11:14:45 AM »
I would stay out of it completely.

The teacher and other school personnel surely know and are aware of any teasing or ostracism and are probably working on it. Your talking to them would just take up more of their valuable time and make you seem more of a busybody than a caring other person. (And of course we know you are concerned because you do care.)

Contacting the mother would have the same effect, as well as embarrassing her and maybe the child.

(This is from watching a couple of generations of kids in the public schools.)

alkira6

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 02:49:47 PM »
I would stay out of it completely.

The teacher and other school personnel surely know and are aware of any teasing or ostracism and are probably working on it. Your talking to them would just take up more of their valuable time and make you seem more of a busybody than a caring other person. (And of course we know you are concerned because you do care.)

Contacting the mother would have the same effect, as well as embarrassing her and maybe the child.

(This is from watching a couple of generations of kids in the public schools.)

I disagree.  I am a teacher. We do not know everything.  We cannot watch everything.  I have many students in a classroom and sometimes I smell a body odor after the children have left and I have no idea who it is.  Also, if a student witnesses bullying behavior and tells a parent but not someone in authority at the school you have a situation happening that no one know to address.  A quick phone call to the school is not being a busybody.  Calling the school repeatedly, demanding updates, or coming to the school - that's a busybody.

TootsNYC

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 03:06:57 PM »
I know that I'd also be saying something to the teacher because of my 2nd reason.

I would want to send the message to the school that I *do* expect them to teach kids playground manners. Sure, I'm in charge of teaching my child right from wrong, etc., etc.
    But group dynamics affect how kids behave, and I can't create that (thereby offering my child a "learning laboratory"), and I can't coach them through it.

The OP's kid is observing that stuff. That makes her feel less safe (that's why she's talking about it at home). I'd want to send the message to the school that I was expecting some effort on their part.

beezelbear

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 04:51:39 PM »
I came back to say that I think I would make two points to those professionals.

1) that the girl's mother needs to be notified, and the girl herself should be encouraged and informed about how to take care of herself, so that *she* can be proactive in her own grooming and life

2) that I want my child to be in a school where this sort of picking-on people is discouraged, where playground manners are taught and enforced, and that I want them to work with the class in general to reduce or eliminate this sort of thing.


(I'd also be encouraging my child to be the good bystander--the one who says, "Hey, that was sort of mean" or "it's not good manners to comment on people like that." Good bystanders don't have to fight big battles, or even become besties with the people who are being tormented. They just have to indicate their disapproval. Even small things can have an effect.)

I've sent an e-mail to DD's teacher about what happened - I haven't heard back yet, but the school day just ended.  Our school's guidance counselor quit about a month ago, and as far as I know the position hasn't been filled yet. I'm going to wait and hear what her teacher has to say before I involve the principal or anyone else.

 DD and I have talked about about the need to speak up when someone is being mean to someone else, but from what she told me she was so taken aback by the meanness of it that she didn't know what to say or do.  DD's almost pathologically afraid of hurting someone else's feelings and I think to see someone do it deliberately kind of short circuited her brain.    Her plan for today was to invite classmate to play with her at recess, and stay far away  from "those mean girls". 

sammycat

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 12:45:09 AM »
Her plan for today was to invite classmate to play with her at recess, and stay far away  from "those mean girls". 

What  a lovey little girl you have there.  :)

I'm glad you contacted the school rather than the parent directly. Hopefully they can sort it out.

cicero

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 01:49:47 PM »
Her plan for today was to invite classmate to play with her at recess, and stay far away  from "those mean girls".
what a sweetheart!

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DanaJ

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 04:39:26 PM »
I came back to say that I think I would make two points to those professionals.

1) that the girl's mother needs to be notified, and the girl herself should be encouraged and informed about how to take care of herself, so that *she* can be proactive in her own grooming and life
Perhaps it's not a grooming issue. When I was little, there was a boy at camp who smelled terrible and kids wouldn't sit next to him. But it didn't seem to be a "poor grooming" smell.

Years later, when I was in college and I made my very first big laundry mistake, I realized the smell had been mildew. Our summers were really hot and humid. So with a clean dry shirt, he probably smelled fine at home, but once he left the house and got on the bus in the damp heat, it took only a few minutes to smell terrible.

Camp was only two weeks, so I don't know if his clothing got sorted out later.

bopper

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Re: Is there any good way to say something?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 05:13:19 PM »
I would contact the school nurse.