I had my first parent teacher meeting this week to see how child 4 was settling into his new class. I was surprised to receive the "invitation" as we have our termly meeting booked for just after half term, (the end of the honeymoon period meeting) and I haven't heard of any major issues.
All in all the meeting was just an update, no concerns with his academic achievement, although completing homework, especially his spellings has been a little tricky, his success in class means that we don't have to worry too much. Child 4 is struggling a little with the expectation to sit down and work but nothing unusual for a 6 year old little boy. His teacher is really impressed with his ability to not only recognise the need to apologise after an incident but also the need to put things right, once he has calmed down. We have worked very hard on saying sorry is good but how do you show someone that you mean it, especially if you struggle to not repeat the action. Obviously, the eventual aim is is that child 4 can control his anger but we have to work with what we have got.
When I asked if there had been any major issues, I was relieved to hear that not really. During the summer term, it had been noticed that 12.30 to 1pm playtime is the time that most incidents involving child 4 occurred, so a TA has been monitoring and supporting him during this time. Sometimes they set up games to play but generally they are just there to step in if child 4 needs support in dealing with a situation. it also means that he isn't being labelled, at least by the school as a naughty boy, and the staff know exactly what is happening, they are not reliant on what the children say. This has helped him hugely and the school are leaving this support in place for the foreseeable future.
However, the teacher did mention that a few parents had been in to see her at the beginning of term asking if their child and child 4 could be kept apart. Her response had been that the school encourages the children to find ways to get along with each other, to be kind and friendly with each other. Not to separate them. I know that there have been some concerns with child 4's behaviour but what had been picked up pretty quickly was that he tended to hurt other children in retaliation to something they had done. Not that I'm condoning his behaviour, I understand that to throw a rock at the child that has destroyed your tower or to hit someone with the tennis racquet because they have run off with the ball is not acceptable but I do understand why he does it. That is exactly why we have been working on sorry is not always enough. Luckily, the school understands too, so they work with all the children on how to behave.
Understandably, I am upset by the fact that parents are already trying to alienate him. He is 6 years old, he is your stereotypical little boy and he had a crap start in life. My biggest fear has always been that he would be alienated by his school friends, I hadn't thought that it could be parents encouraging the alienation. How on earth do I prepare for that?