Does not play well with others

When I picked up Anna yesterday on her second day of class, I asked how she did at school. I was surprised by the teacher’s reaction when she leaned in and said quietly, “We had a little incident today. She scratched a child.” OK, that’s not good. Then she proceeds to tell me, “If you could please talk this over with her at home that would be great.” I look at her and say, “Um, she’s 2.” I’m thinking to myself, how do you discuss something that happened an hour ago with a two-year old. When I asked the teacher about their discipline policy, she says they use positive reinforcement, but no time outs at the school. So, I sigh and get Anna and we go on our way.

As we’re waiting in the lobby for Alex’s class to finish up, I see another mom whose boy is in Anna’s class. I say hello and explain they must be in the same class and introduce Anna and myself. I ask how the boy’s first week was and she says, “Good, although, he got a little beat up today.”

My first thought is, crap, I bet it’s my kid who did it. So I say, very nicely, “Man, I’m so sorry. What happened? Did he fall or get hit or something?”

She says, “No he was scratched by another child.” Great. Lovely.

So I smile and chuckle and say, “Oh, I am so sorry. That was Anna. I apologize. I didn’t hear what happened, but she tends to be a bit aggressive since she has an older brother. They play pretty rough sometimes.”

She smiles back and says, “Yeah, he has an older brother too and tends to play on the rough side as well. I was worried about him beating up other kids.” So we kind of chuckle about the situation and that’s it.

This was my biggest fear with her starting school--not being beat up, but doing the beating up. Anna, as sweet and loveable as she is, plays like her older brother.

Then later that evening at Parent’s Night, I hear mother talking to the teacher about the incident. Apparently, Anna and her son fight over who plays in the kitchen. You know, the whole “mine” phase of every two-year old as I know. The teacher explains that she’ll keep a better eye on the children when they’re in the kitchen and try to break up the fights before they happen. While I agree my daughter does need to work on her temper and be better about sharing, I recall my son doing something similar at this age. His teachers would say the same thing. He went to school and learned if you did this, there were repercussions to your actions and possibly even a beating by a fellow classmate who wasn’t going to let you take the truck. School at this age is about learning to socialize and play well with others. Yikes! (This may come back to haunt her during an employee performance review.)

As we’re leaving for the evening, the mom comes up to me and says, “I don’t want you to worry about this. We will work through it.” Andrew looked a bit shocked at her statement, and I had to explain who she was and what Anna did.

This morning, we cut her fingernails.

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