My 4.5 year old has been with the same childcare center/pre-school for nearly 3 years. I've noticed that there is an increase in the level of mean comments the kids are making about each other and lately my little one has been dreading school. She has a little sister due in the next few weeks so I know that is also a stresser (but she is way more excited than jealous and has asked to be a part of shopping for baby items, decorating etc)
I overheard a little girl at my daughter's school call her "stupid" the other day because of the way she talks. We are having her speech evaluated in a few weeks through the school district, but she does well communicating with the kids in our neighborhood and a few kids at school she has been friends with for years. Both a teacher and the owner (who we think highly of) were defensive of the little girl saying they can't believe she said it. My daughter had been telling me about it for a week or 2 before hand, but I actually heard it one morning myself.
The school's attitude has shifted towards, well all kids say that kind of stuff, and the teacher started listing off all the mean things my child has said to other kids. I don't see this behavior at Sunday school, sports or neighborhood play but I am fully aware my child is not perfect. However we do punish her for when we hear she is doing it at school. I want to enroll my daughter in a more structured Pre-K program with clear standards on behavior. Is that an over-reaction to a normal situation?