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5 Bumps

Parent volunteer confrontation... UPDATE on page 2! Please advise!

I am a single mom and have had no choice but to work full time until now. I'll be working part time so I can have more time to be a mom and just cope with the tight budget.

My son has severe adhd and anxiety. He has had problems in school and we've been blessed to have family take time off so that I don't get in trouble at work to get him to his dr's appts when I can't ask for any more time. I've made the parent/teacher meetings but otherwise, no one from the school ever see's me unless I have to get out of work early (if my family can't) to go get my DS from school after an emotional meltdown. He is in grade k.

The class has a lot of parent volunteers. They do need parent volunteers cos they have so many, too many students. To make a long story short, we have been typecasted and as far as other parents are concerned, his mother (me) is a young single mom who isn't involved in his education and he's a misfit who disrupts their child's learning environment.

My DS has expressed a strong resentment seeing the other kids with their parents in class and him being alone *which broke my heart to hear but I understand). He had been complaining about one of the parents who is mean to him and her daughter constantly tells him he's not liked or wanted. Because of this my sister has been going with him to school for the last week and will continue to do so until I can take over. Today the same little girl walked up to her and my son to inform my sister "We don't like him. He doesn't have any friends." My sister also met the mother when she walked into the classroom to find my DS in a chair in the corner with that mother standing over him and pointing in his face.

I'm not saying my DS is easy to manage and doesn't disrupt class but I am saying that if that mother thinks she can mistreat my DS and talk about him or down to him, she has another thing coming. I want to go to the class on the next day she volunteers and have a talk with her. I want to let her know he has a mother who cares and worries and will not let anyone mistreat him.

Any advice? Is it a bad idea? Should I just ignore it?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:13 AM on Jan. 28, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (24)
  • I wouldn't ignore it but I wonder, where is the teacher? Is she not in the room seeing the other mother treat your son this way? Why do the parent volunteers have that kind of control? I think I would talk to the teacher first and see what she has to say. Perhaps have a meeting with the teacher, you and the other mother just so you can't be blamed for saying things you didn't if the other mother gets defensive about her actions. Good luck to you. It sounds and appears that you care about your son very much. I hate when people just jump to conclusions and think they know what is going on in someone else's life.
    JamieLK

    Answer by JamieLK at 12:18 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I would talk to the teacher & maybe your sister should as well, since she witnessed the event. The parent doesn't have your permission to discipline your son. I"m so sorry that you're dealing with this.

    It's only nice to be a volunteer if you can treat the children with respect and compassion. It sounds like her daughter might need to be taught some manners and compassion. One of my sons had similar problems to those your describing. I was lucky enough to be a sahm mom, and to be able to pick him up from school as needed when he had a melt down, and to volunteer in the classroom, and I've often wondered what I would have done if I hadn't been able to be there as needed. You are very lucky to have family that cares.

    My heart is with you, and I hope you're able to resolve the situation. I do want to give you some hope. My son who had the challenges, is 21 in college, and no one would ever know that he ever had any challenges
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 12:22 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Wow! Ok, so you can understand where I'm coming from with this - I have an 11th grader and a 12th grader. We've moved a LOT over the yrs, and my kids have gone to a lot of different schools. I've always volunteered with the schools and with the classes in various ways (some places, only a couple of times a week or month, and some places, up to about 20 hrs a week...). So, basically, I have 12 yrs of being a school volunteer.

    That being said, can I say again - WOW - this is WAY out of line on the part of the other parent!! They are there to volunteer to help the class and the teacher, NOT to just help their kid and make it an extension of home and social status with the other moms. The parent volunteers should NOT be disciplining the child - including being "in his face" - in fact, most schools have a policy in place about this!

    cont
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:23 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I agree with PP, where was the teacher when all of this was going on? A parent volunteer has no right to discipline someone else's child. They are there to help the teacher not do their job. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I know how hard it is to be a single mom. I would talk to the teacher about it and let her know that you are not going to tolerate another mother being in your child's face. If she is not willing to do anything about it I would go to the principle. In no way is that acceptable.
    kmath

    Answer by kmath at 12:26 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • cont

    I get the frustrations that come from a child that can be disruptive, and also from parents that are uninvolved. BUT - I also understand that there are often reasons that people don't know about that are contributing to the situation, which is why we, as volunteers, are NOT involved in dealing with it. Because things aren't always what they seem to be!

    I would strongly suggest that you do NOT talk to the parent - what you do is you schedule a meeting with the principal and the teacher to discuss the situation, and how you do NOT want your child disciplined by volunteers. Also, that you are concerned that some of the volunteers and children are creating a hostile and isolated environment for your ds with their words and actions, which is only compounding his anxiety issues, and that you are bringing the problem to their attention, so that you can all work for a resolution, and that you want it addressed.

    gl!
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:32 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • The teacher is very sweet to my son but she is very busy. In the last few months 2 of her students had to be transferred out to the school for children with special need (the principal said "mentally disturbed") and she is 1 teacher to 26 5-6 year olds. So they really count on and need the parents. I know that his teacher has made efforts for the other kids to be nice to him. I really want to put this mother in her place though. I am sad and mad. And to ohwrite, THANK YOU! I needed to hear that your son is in college. Some days, like today, I feel absolutely hopeless.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:40 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I know how exhausting, and hopeless it can feel. Message me if you would like to, if I can be of any help, I'd like to.
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 12:46 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Ya, I can see where the teacher can't see everything. We had one really disruptive girl in our K class and I can tell you as a volunteer, I did see other moms (volunteering) being abrupt with her. I guessed, that they (sadly) didn't know HOW to deal with her and obviously felt that being very blunt and direct would do the trick. Not that it's okay. Is it possible this mother doesn't know how to handle the situation? Otherwise, I would most definitely confront her with your sister or over the phone. YOu can always pose it like "Hey, I'm so and so and I heard you were hovering over my child and wagging a finger at him. Can you please explain to me why you would handle him in such a manner? Did something prompt this response from you as well as from your daughter telling us NO ONE likes him?" Then you can explain you love your child as much as she loves hers!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:49 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Please don't let them make you feel hopeless! I agree with ohwrite - things can get better! My ds is also ADHD. He really had a hard time of it when he was younger, but now he's a Senior, gets good grades, is popular, involved in a lot of extra curricular activities, and is getting ready to join the Navy. There are a LOT of adults and older kids out there that have overcome this sort of thing and are doing great - and I have confidence that with the love and support he gets from you and your family, your ds is going to be one them!

    I know you want to confront the parent, but if you do, honestly, it's going to make it worse. She sounds like the type that's going to sit and talk about you to the other volunteers, being all dramatic and gossipy, and make it worse. Sounds like the teacher and principal will get on board with you though. Let them deal with her, that's part of what they get paid to do - esp, the principal.
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:56 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I have a feeling some of the other parent volunteers feel the same way you do, but are afraid to say something. I commend you on this. I worked full time when my kids where little too. My day off rotated and I always volunteered on that day. This other mom used to drive me nuts. She was in there every single day and she had this sharp angry tone to her voice with certain children in the class. I was angry with her and the teacher for not backing her off. Even all these years later I wish I would have said something to the teacher or the volunteer about the behavior. I think I felt like the teacher and this mom where super close, specially cause the mom did a lot of extra work for the teacher. But even still, that doesnt give her the right to be like that in class. Trust your instincts and go after what you believe. Good luck
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:30 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

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