Friday, June 18, 2010

Fired from the Nursery

Since no one in my ward reads this blog, I thought I might share a little bit about my and Matt's calling.

Back in January, Matt and I were called to serve in the senior nursery (2-3 year olds). We were warned before we went in that there was a child who was biting the other children, but we accepted the calling. Nursery is actually a lot of fun. We get to play with the kids and feed them snacks and Nicole has really loved it.

But, this biter child has been a problem the whole time, we will call him Bryan. So, Bryan was biting the other children and pushing them and hitting them and he just played very rough. Matt took it upon himself to watch Bryan and play with Bryan and sit with Bryan so that he could field his actions and make sure that he did not hurt the other children. Bryan is not a bad kid. He isn't mean or malicious in his actions, he just plays too rough.

Bryan eventually gave up biting (yay!), but he turned to hugging. His form of hugging is putting the other children in a headlock and taking them to the ground. We had to make up a "no hugging" rule so that Bryan wouldn't hurt the other children. Bryan's parents are very protective. They stand outside the door during nursery and watch him through the window in the door. Then, when ever they want, they come into class and sit with Bryan. His mother was even there when he took a little girl to the ground and her response was, "Oh, how nice of you to give her loves."

After our no hugging rule, a meeting was called with the primary president and all of us teachers (there are four of us in the nursery of 13 children). We were told that we could not tell the children not to hug each other because Bryan's mother didn't want her child to think that hugging is a bad thing. Additionally, we were told that we couldn't discipline the children (like putting them in time out). Every time there was a behaviour problem, we were to take the child back to their parents and the parents would keep their child for five minutes so that we could calm the kids who were hurt.

So, we did it. We told Bryan to give "gentle hugs" and we took him to his parents when needed. Bryan's mother disagreed with this too. When I brought him to her, he immediately came back in the room; I asked her to keep him for a few minutes so that we could get things back in order. Her response, "Five minutes is too long for a three year old, what am I suppose to do with him for five minutes?" I said that all the other parents had the same rule and they didn't seem to have a problem, but if two minutes worked better for her, then she could do two minutes. Her response, "What I am suppose to do with him for two minutes in the hallway? He is three."

So, we cut the five minute rule for Bryan. Jimmy, another child in the class, broke his arm a few weeks ago. He came into nursery the day after he broke it. Bryan, picked up Jimmy and threw him to the ground. Jimmy wouldn't come back to class after that. The next week he was too afraid to come to class, so his mom came with him. The next week he came, but Bryan did the same thing again. Jimmy has not returned to class after that. The other kids don't play with Bryan because he hits them. They don't want to sit by him at the snack table because he hits them and takes their food.

Last week Nicole was sick and I went to nursery without Matt. Bryan hit another child with a toy and I told him no. His immediate response, "I sorry." Which is what he always says, but it doesn't stop him from repeating his action. I explained to him, that he had to be sorry AND not hit again.

I guess Bryan's mom was in the hall watching because she came in and said, "I heard there was a problem with Bryan, what is the problem."

I said, "He hit another child, but he said he was sorry, it wasn't that big a deal."

She said, "It IS a big deal because I don't think that he is being treated fairly." I just looked at her because I didn't know what to say to that. I have been bending over backwards to make her comfortable with putting her son in nursery. She continued, "Was he hitting or was he playing because there is a difference."

I said, "Well, if hitting is playing, then yah, he was playing." I guess this made her mad, but she was already snapping at me and I was losing my patience.

She said, "You don't understand, three year olds play a certain way, that is how they play." At this time I shut up because I was going to say something mean and I didn't want to. So, I ignored her because I had nothing else to say. She sat in class with her son the rest of the time (whatever that just means that I didn't have to police him).

I thought about going to the primary president with the problem, but ultimately decided against it because I didn't want to be the problem. I didn't want to be the one making a big deal out of a little disagreement. I guess I chose wrong because yesterday I got a call from the primary saying that they want to move us out of sr. nursery. I asked if it was because of Bryan, the response was yes. Apparently, the mother went to the presidency and she wants us out, she thinks we are being to harsh with Bryan. I guess we are if "too harsh" is telling him no when he hits other children and bringing him back to his parents.

I didn't know that a person could get fired from a calling. Or, a set of people rather because Matt and I are both getting the boot. Well, I decided to tell my side of the story because the primary is only hearing from the complaining parents. We go to meet with them tonight. If I get released, no big deal. I just think it is all very silly. These parents apparently think that they know better about where people are called to than the Lord does. The Lord called us to the nursery, but the parents know better.

I could see their point of view if I was being physical with Bryan or if I was yelling at him, but I'm not. I just talk to him like a person. I don't talk to him like a baby, like his mom does. But, he is three and he is going to be in primary next year, I thought that I was suppose to teach him how to behave in church and hitting other people is not how to behave in church. Unless I'm wrong...


Jenni Elyse said...

That is a bunch of bull crap! Ugh! I hate parents who are too lenient. I know I don't have children, so I can't really talk, but I think parents should realize that kids only do the things kids do because their parents let them. For example, on Saturday, I went to my great-niece's birthday party. My great-niece got a bunch of barbie dolls as gifts. She's three. So, what does she proceed to do? Put her barbie's hands and feet in her mouth and chew them as well as the brushes that come with them. I told my great-niece that she shouldn't do that. (I wasn't parenting her. I was just explain what would happen.) My niece looked at me and said, it's okay if she does that because that's what kids do. It's such a cop out!

Becky said...

Wow you read fast! You commented like two minutes after I posted this. But, I agree with you, parents use that excuse all the time. Bryan's mom has told me multiple times that that is what three year olds do. Which I don't get because the 12 other three year olds in the class don't do it. What three year olds is she talking about?

Sarah said...

She sounds like a whacko. If she's just standing in the hall stalking Bryan anyway why not just take him out of there. What a weirdo.

Marie said...

I think you should quit the church! It's can't be true if there are people like that in it!

Becky said...

You are hilarious Marie. But, some people do take stuff like this as a blow to their faith. I always know that it is the Lord's church, not the people in my ward's church.

Jasmine said...

This kid's mom is only setting herself up for HUGE problems with him once he gets into primary and especially once he starts school. It sounds like this kid isn't disciplined at home, and the parents are living in a dillusional world of perfect-child syndrome. Your presidency was right to start the five-minute rule, and those parents should cooperate with that.

His behavior is NOT "what three-year-olds do". It is what un-disciplined only children with overly-protective parents do.

Another thing -- If she can't handle him in the hallway for five minutes, how does she handle being a mom the rest of the week? There are plenty of ways to keep a three-year-old distracted for five minutes. Take him on a walk outside around the building, for crying out loud! Or, heaven forbid, they could use that time to explain to THEIR CHILD that it is not right or ok to hit other children, even if he is playing. Three-year-olds are smart -- if you explain that they need to play softly with other kids, they'll pick up on it. My not-even-two-year-old gets that!

And I'm with Sarah -- if she's just standing outside the room watching the whole time, why doesn't she just take him out? It's not like she's going to the other meetings, so she wouldn't be missing anything.

I could probably keep going on a rant, but I'll spare you. Needless to say, I'm on your side, and you shouldn't be fired from nursery.

Jasmine said...

One more thing to go with that:

So is she going to go watch him in class all the time when he goes to school? Is she going to go to college with him? It just sounds like she is paranoid and doesn't want to let go, nor does she trust other people with her kid, and that's so unhealthy.

Rachel said...

Very lame! It is supposed to be about doing what is right, not what others want us to do. You sound like an excellent nursery teacher and you should tell your side because if the parents of the other kids knew what was going on they would side with you. If Biting Bryan can't play nice, he shouldn't be in there.

And good luck on the job hunt! Job searching sucks.

AnneMarie said...

I think "Bryan's" mom lives next door to me! How frustrating for you to have to deal with this woman (not Bryan, he'd probably learn how to behave if his parents weren't holding him back). I bet his school teachers will have his parents on speed dial! Good luck.

Laura said...

Amen to all that was said.

Mc said...

Sounds like that woman is a #%!#$% 1$#%!@# ^%$ who @$% !^&*&^!#@% and that she should $!$%! &&!$ her $%^@$%! if she were !#@#!&&*@

Oh, in addition @!$#&7 ^$!%$@# *BEEP*
*BEEP* *Beepity*

I'm wondering why you didn't have someone from the primary presidency come and "participate" in your class one week so that they could witness his behavior...and hers. Stick her in a box with a window. She must have the attention span of a 3 year-old if she can't figure out something to do for 5 or 2 minutes. *BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP*

More importantly, you should start a grudge. A family grudge that will last generations! Gather people on your side against her. This is a classic theme that resonates throughout history, so it must be right. That's just what humans do!






See, I'm right.

Becky said...

I'm not sure what you are trying to say Mike. You are against her actions? Or my actions for posting about it? Or are you just trying to start a war?

And since when is summer and winter in a feud?

For the record, I don't hate this woman. I realize that she is just trying to protect her child, I just don't agree with the way she is doing it.

Mc said...

I demand a war!

And maybe you don't remember your time in Minnesota as well...but summer and winter HAVE a feud.

Kelli said...

What a royal pain in the butt. I'm so sorry my love, you already know the mom is nuts and that you're not overreacting. Good luck sweetie, and as always things will work out for the best. Love you!

Nate and Annah Butterfield said...

I feel sorry for that kids poor Sunbeam teacher in a few months! Sounds to me like he needs a swift kick in the pants. Sometimes I wonder if kids have ever been told no.

Reminds me of when I was subbing a sunbeam class a few years ago. This one kid would run around and beat other kids up every week, she would never listen to me and her parents didn't care what she did, so one day I picked her up, very sternly sat her down and told her no (she was beating another kid up). I got this look from her like she'd never been made to do anything in her life.