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Son hates one of his teachers

My son who has SPD hates one of his teachers, it's getting in the way and starting to affect his behaviors at school.  He doesn't want her to touch any of his things and today at lunch, he said he did not want to eat b/c she was at his table.   Does anyone have any suggestions to heal this rift?  He's six and very stubborn and I've reminded him he's not going to like everyone he comes into contact with including teachers, etc.  Ended teh week with a bad day at school.  The teachers expresses concern, mentioned oppositional defiant, but he's not oppositional to everyone and it's not consistent.  
14 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
It sounds as if the teacher could help more , she is the one in my opinion to change her attitude and be more helpful.Is there a principal you can also speak to ,does she have to touch his things ?
Avatar universal
Maybe I should ask that she not touch his things.  It's just been a rough week. I Hope next week is better....  I am going to be more assertive talking to the teacher about things, etc....  Thanks, Margypops.
973741 tn?1342342773
Well, I have my sensory kid as well.  He gets something in his head and has a hard time letting go of it.  I don't play along.  Life invovles having those in your life that you do not like and how we handle them is a life skill lesson.  I'd ask your OT about this.  Honestly, I would think this comes more from the assault that happened to him from the babysitter and he may have some internal issues from that.  And then his inflexibility due to sensory is also playing a hand.  

I agree that discussing this with the teacher is a good idea but I'd not term it in the way you did here.  I'd let her know that he is having some boundary issues and ask her what can be done to respect that so that he is more comfortable at school.  Then give an example of what she did that upset him.

I do think you must get a handle on this because "hate" is something a 6 year old should not be starting with authority figures.  I'd again, start to work with the counselor at school, his OT and any therapist (does he do any psychological counseling) he sees.  As I said, I think it could also stem from the abusive baby sitter that hit him in the not so distant past.  I'd go ahead and start researching opppositional defiant disorder not because he necessarily has it but you may get some tips to nip this in the bud.  I've spent many a day in a 1st grade classroom and usually kids of 6 are still extrememly compliant with teachers.  So helping the teacher set up boundaries for your son is good but he needs boundaries as well that include not acting out or being rude to adults.  This is tricky because he was abused.  See what I am saying.  I think I'd consider some expert guidance in this situation.  

Ugh.  Why is it so darn hard????  But you are doing a great job of handling it all.
535822 tn?1443976780
Rough weeks will do that lol , yes speak to the teachers get a handle on how they can help , Instead of not touching his things she quietly asks him if she can look at it, share it so its up to him if he feels like saying yes or no .good luck ..
Avatar universal
Thanks, guys, Yes, it is very hard to work on changing his mind, he's very stubborn.  He's not like this to everyone.   He sees the school psychologist, but they told him he cannot say this and if he does say hate about her, he loses a point.  I've read up on Oppositional defiant disorder and will take him back to acounselor if need be. I've taken him to counselors in the past and not necessarily found them to be very helpful.  

I will ask the OT what to do about this.  It's just scary when your kids act in undesirable ways.  You worry about them.

He says that she threw away some of his artwork and that's when I first started hearing about it and it has escalated.  

As usual, not an easy situation!!  Why does everything have to be hard???
Avatar universal
He has a male teacher in teh classroom and he's the head teacher and the psychologist suggested he spend more time with my son.  He loves this teacher and he loves the other female teacher as well, but one female teacher he doesn't care for.  
973741 tn?1342342773
Ya know, I don't know why it has to be so hard.  I ask myself the same question often.  I know you are a single mom and I just hope that once in a while you take a break just for you and do something special for yourself.  Moms need some TLC too and especially when our world is filled with struggle and worry so often.

That sounds like a good idea for the male teacher to get more involved.  It is such a hard thing because we have kids that have a developmental/processing issue.  Yet, we still have to raise them to be in the world they live in and be socially acceptable.  I have found the most success with my son by being rule bound and firm on some things.  I was wondering what he would say if I told him someone "hated a teacher and talked back to her".  So I asked him this afternoon.  He said flatly "that isn't allowed".  That idea of something just being a rule and not allowed has worked for him when it comes to some behavior things.  I know that I always want to just change something or fix it to make the problem go away but unfortunately, it does not work like that.  So, just making it so he has less contact with the teacher is kind of giving into the problem.  It wouldn't be the best thing in my opinion.  I'd also would be firm when he talks of her to you that we don't "hate" people and that we have to learn to get along with them.  Throw it back to him, what is good about her?  What can she do to fix the situation?  Etc.  

I wonder what sets him off about this teacher.  It really does make me think he is having reactions after the baby sitter abuse.  I haven't taken my kids to a child counselor but imagine it is like everything else, good ones and bad ones.  But it is not unreasonable to think that he might have some bad reactions to females that remind him of this babysitter and that is called projecting.  For that, I do think a therapist (and I'd make it a "clinical psychotherapist" specializing in children or a psychiatrist) would be helpful.  

With my boy when washing hands was the trigger and would ruin his days and cause terrible meltdowns.  It crossed my mind, just give the kid hand sanitizer and leave it alone.  But . . .  this would not have solved why he was having the reaction and that he did have to learn to function inside of the rules set forth for him.  

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on it.  It is really hard.  It is a fine balance and as IF you need something else to concern you, right?  

Wish we could get together over coffee sometime to talk sensory kids!  It is nice to have support and I do wish you well and that it gets easier from now on!!
535822 tn?1443976780
If she threw away his art work that could be a reason he does'nt like her ,she is the teacher, ,she is the adult ,its in her hands really how she responds back to him,not meaning to demean her but it could be she does have an attitude ,I find it speaks volumes if he gets on okay with the others and not her .Good Luck
Avatar universal
I am firm with him when he says he hates her and tell him I do not want to hear that kind of talk.  Also, his school is giving him consequences when he says it as well.  That's really all I know to do.  I just worry this is going to blow up into something worse.  I just keep reviewing we don't say hate and we don't like everyone we meet, but we all have to work together. I don't like some people at my work, but I have to work with them anyway.

I took him to a therapist to talk about what happened with the sitter.  By the way, now we just found out about a week ago it is going to trial. She plead not guilty and wants to take it further to a jury trial... Great... They said most likely I will be subpoened into court.  

I did talk to him about what could make the situation better.  He said for her not to throw away any of his things again.  He said she is bossy and I agree she is the most authoritative of all in teh class.  But in a classroom, order must be kept.

I just wish things didn't have to be so difficult.  I'm a single mom and my ex has relapsed onto alcohol again, he was doing better, so once again no help, not that he was much help before.  

I just wonder sometimes if I've done all the wrong things and it's all my fault.  I know I'm not perfect. I get really tired a lot too.  But I try to be strong and I';m always involved and trying to do the best for him.  

Does anyone know much about big brother/big sister programs, would this be beneficial to provide male support.  


Maybe this is just another "phase". Its always something.  ON the bright side he's had a pretty good day today.
973741 tn?1342342773
Well, first let me say that it is not your fault at all!  You clearly love your boy and do your absolute best with him!  And look how far he has come since last school year!  Much to celebrate with that.  With sensory, our occupational therapist says that there will be bad days here and there with the goal to have as few as possible.  I know when you've had a rough patch with a child it is kind of like always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  So when a problem begins we feel a sense of dread. I had one of those last week into early this week.  I was not yet in panic mode but close.  Then we kind of resoved it and I now have hope again that things will be fine.  So, my point is that while things happen and we have to handle that situation, please don't feel like you will slide backwards with the progress you've made.  


Now Margypops brings up a good point, I don't think it is mandatory for this teacher to throw away his art work.  I didn't see you had written that.  That is personal and when a child takes pride, that kind of stings to see it being thrown out (at my house, things might "disappear" but no one can say for sure . . . shhhhh . . .).  My son's 1st grade teacher periodically cleans out the kids desks.  I've actually helped her and we threw away a great many things, took pencils and supplies out that were in excess of what they should have, threw away old papers, and she looked if any pictures were inappropriate which is anything depicting violence.  Let's just say a LOT of 1st grade boys had pictures of star wars and super heroes that had weapons of some sort and she threw them all away.  If it bothered my son . . . I think I'd ask for something else to be worked out.  So, I do think you can ask for that.

And you are doing the right things by just not allowing the word hate.  Also be really positive about her yourself.  Okay------------ tip that might help.  Start saying to your son---------  oh boy, someone was saying really nice things about you today!!!  He'll say "who" and you say this teacher.  Then throw out some compliments.  Make it up if you have to!!  I know, white lies but this will often change someone's dynamic with another.  My son was having issues with another boy in his class and this is what his teacher did.  Do you know they are now buddies.  The boy never really paid my son any compliments but his teacher told him he did and my son's attitude and thoughts about him changed.  

I am so sorry about your son's father.  Alcoholism is such an ugly disease.  May he get sober and stay sober for everyone's benefit very soon!  Big brothers/sisters is a great organization.  I have utmost respect for them.  I know you live far from your family-------- would you ever be able to live closer to them?  Just a thought as I'm sure you could use some support and you had said he gets along well with your mom.  

Ugh.  I think you are doing the best you can here and just keep at it.  Let us know how it unfolds and glad today is a good one.  
Avatar universal
Thanks again all.  I talked to him about talking back to adults and he knows it's not right, so he knows that concept.  I don't know for sure she threw away his work, but that's his perception and I've heard it talked about on more than one occasion.  IN fact, his other teacher gave hima  special folder to put things into b/c one day on pickup he was upset. so maybe he feels like his stuff is not safe with her. He's very funny about people getting into his things, etc....

I know the desks sure get dirty and lots of paper.

I have thought about moving closer to my family, but right now, I don't want to do that with my son in the middle of his therapies, etc.  Also, I'm not sure how supportive my family is willing to be.  My mother said she did not want to babysit and my sister has never volunteered. No one has volunteered to help me make the transition and I would need help.  I feel like they do not understand what I go through and it hurts a lot.  I wrote my mom an email about the trial with the babysitter and she never responded, neither did my sister.  Just seems odd to me.  I get more supportive comments from my ex's parents!!   I don't have the expecations they will all be built in babysitters, but it would be nice to hear would love to have you come back and we can help some.  I know I would say that to someone in a situation like myself.  I also asked my mother if she wanted to visit in the summer time and I might have to work one day, but she could spend it w/my son, but she did not seem interested. Guess I could offer to get a babysitter.

Maybe one day when things clear up, I will be able to help others.  I know how hard it is.
Specialmom, thanks for your kind words, they help so much and for taking the time.  And margypops too!  It all helps to know others want to help.  
Avatar universal
Yes, I forgot to add, it puts you in crisis mode, I feel like are we backsliding, is it going to get bad like it was last year?  I can feel myself panicking...
535822 tn?1443976780
You are doing very well I like the way you are talking to him focusing on his positive side , children respond to it, I am glad the babysitter is getting her just deserts , reading about it in your post made me feel there was more to it others did also .May be harrowing going to court but necessary.,we always blame ourselves, I think you have done all you can now .
Avatar universal
My son is very stubborn, so not sure I am making much difference, but I will keep workign w/the school.  Ultimately I know this is something he needs to learn to deal with and he's young. Just keep hammering at it and workign with the school.  Ultimately also the school has to learn to deal with it too.  I cannot be there to help him there, I can just reinforce what I want when he is with me at home.  

Yes, going to court is not waht I look forward to.

Thanks as always Margypops!!
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