Should I Email the Teacher?

Updated on September 01, 2013
C.S. asks from Midland, TX
23 answers

Hi Moms!

I need some help! Thanks in advance for those of you who reply. This morning I had my 8th grade daughter walk my Kindergardener to class for me. She said as her and my son walked in a little boy was pointing and saying look. At that moment the little girl he was saying this to turns around and says " ah, I don't like him." This really bothered me. I was thinking of emailing the teacher to see if something was going on that the little girl feels this way. Not an attack of course she is a kid but I don't want this to continue. She shouldn't be allowed to make other children feel less. Am I wrong? Do I let it go? What would you guys do?

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So What Happened?

Nikki G, to clarify my son was right next to them when they said it. The weren't across the room. I am totally on board with the fact that they are just little kids and they are not always going to like everybody. I, although am not on board with anyone can say that they don't like somebody. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings no matter what those feelings are but I encourage my kids on a regular basis (even my 8th grader) that if they don't have anything nice to say don't say nothing at all. Again, I don't think anyone has the right to make others feel bad. Thanks so much for all your reply's. I will not email the teacher because she probably is already super busy this week and overwhelmed. Hugs to all!

Wow, I am amazed at the responses. Why so much hostility towards the question. My son is the quiet, unsure child in class. The one who barley even speaks a word. Example: I took him lunch the other day and I saw everyone cutting in front of him and he did not say a word. He ended up at the end of the line. So yes I am concerned that this could end up a routine in the class. I didn't realize I was doing something wrong by expecting kids to mind their manners. I guess that is why society is the way it is. Kids are just entitled to grow up thinking that unkind words are ok because it is their freedom of speech. Or maybe I am wrong and saying you don't like someone out loud is not unkind. Thanks for the replies.

Featured Answers



answers from Appleton on

IMO Parents need to stop stepping in and fixing their kids lives. Children learn how to negotiate life and it's struggles through situations such as these. No matter who we are not everyone is going to like us. We are not going to win every game we play. We are not going to excell at everything. We can not lower standards so even the most athletically inept kid makes the team or so a child who does not understand a math concept gets an A on his/her paper.

These are lessons kids need to learn while they are kids. Life is full of joys and disappointments. You are not going to get every job you apply for, or a date with every person you ask. This is life and kids need to learn how to deal with it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We do not all have to be friends, we do not all have to like each other as long as we respect each other. When respect is not there, then they need to get an adult involved.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

The kids are only in kindergarten. They are babies. The little girl's comment is meaningless -- she will say something different a week from now.

It's the beginning of the year, and the teacher has her hands full. A remark from a 5 year old means nothing. If your son starts getting bullied (which is highly unlikely), then you can say something.

Right now, you don't need to be overprotective.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I wouldn't.

People are allowed to SAY they don't like someone. We're not all going to be friends. She wasn't talking TO your son so it's not like she was trying to be mean to him. If she went up to your son and said "I don't like you", your son can say "That is not a very nice thing to say". Done.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmm, I think you are taking the answers a little too personally. Should you expect your children to have manners? Yes, of course. But should you email a teacher because another child doesn't have manners? No. It's not a teacher's job to teach manners, it's her job to teach reading, math, etc.

What would I have done in that situation? I would have addressed it immediately with my son "Wow, that wasn't very nice of her to say, was it? Not everyone likes each other all the time, but we shouldn't say mean things, right?" So he could get immediate feedback that it was her problem, not his.

Now, if you are concerned that your child is not self-confident enough to stick up for himself at school, then you need to work on that at home (role-playing at home is great for this). And if he doesn't gain self-confidence after a few weeks of school or doesn't seem to be developing friendships, then discuss that with the teacher. She might have good ideas. But in general you discuss your own child with the teacher, not other children (unless it's bullying of course, but a simple "I don't like him" doesn't qualify as bullying to me).

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

So, do I have this right? Your two kids saw two other kids interacting, they told you about it, and you want to email the teacher?

No. My answer to your question is no. Nothing about that interaction screams bully to me. It seems like very typical behavior. You don't know the context or whether it's ongoing, etc.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Let it go. This is typical kindergartner interaction, and unless it escalates to something like need to figure this out on their own.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Did your son think it was important? If his feeling were hurt you could talk to him and give him examples of people you do not like very much, or people you thought you did not like at first but found out later they were nice. As other stated, we all do not like everyone, and he can just choose not to play with her but play with the kids HE likes. But if he comes home and had a fun day at school then don't even mention it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Let it go. Every kid doesn't have to like your kid. We make friends with some and don't hit it off with others. Even in Kindergarten.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would NOT e-mail the teacher.

If your son wants to give her words power - then that's his problem, isn't it?
Tell him not to bother with her. He doesn't need to stoop to her level - but he doesn't need to do anything to ingratiate himself with her.

I would tell my children that if people don't like them and they HEAR them say it? Tell them - thanks!! it's YOUR loss. I've got others that like me. Good thing I don't need YOUR approval, right?

Not everyone in this world is going to like you.
You aren't going to like everyone.
You don't need to be everyone's friend.

It's really simple. You want this girl punished because she spoke her mind? I'm sorry she doesn't like your son. But that is life. It really is. If you were to e-mail the teacher - what do you expect to happen? what do you want to happen?

Hope this helps!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Please, let this one go. It's not pleasant when children are unkind, but we cannot and should not be policing what other kids say to our children.

My guess is that if the girl was saying this in class, the teacher would correct her by pointing out that if she doesn't have anything nice to say, she should keep quiet. That's usually what I saw in my son's K class last year. On the playground, if a child complained that another kid said something to that extent, the teacher would usually advise the child to go play with someone else and that there are other fun friends to be had.

Teach your son resilience. My boy has heard me tell him on several occasions that "you will not like everyone you meet, and honestly, honey, not everyone will like you. That's okay. Choose to be with kids who you have fun with." In short, help them NOT to dwell on the insult, just say "wow, pretty bad manners, huh?" and move on. Your kids need that from you. Yes, it stinks to hear a story like that, but let's leave that molehill a molehill.

And if there is a consistent issue with this (her singling him out and picking on him repeatedly), of course, do bring it up in a calm conversation, but one offense? Let it go. They're five and six and not known for their manners-- but they are known to be speaking their minds and then changing them a day later. (the girl, not your son)

From your just-added SWH: work with your SON on helping him to speak up. Seriously, it will really help him. Talk to the school counselor or teacher and ask for help in encouraging your son to speak out. Role play using puppets and switch roles time and again (have him be the pushy/rude one as well as his own role). When my son was repeatedly getting hit, I found a moment to talk to the teacher about my son's reluctance to speak out. It was great; I didn't have to name names and she reminded the *entire class* about being safe with their bodies. This also cued her to watch out for the kid and she told me how she had handled the situation. It was much more instructive for my son when we went about it that way.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Please don't email the teacher. This is just the beginning of kids voicing their opinions. You have an 8th grader...girl for that matter. You have got to be hearing some of the nasty stuff kids are saying to each other in front of and behind each other's backs, on facebook and texts. Then they grow up and some tend to still be nasty.

In our own experience...we have invited the bully or mean kid over. Turns out..they aren't so bad after all. "Killing them with kindness" is an old term that we really have seen works. Encourage your son to say "hi" to the be proactive at being the one to reach out.

Have you asked your son why this girl may have said this? Have you asked your son what he can do to reach out to this girl? Have you talked to your son about what he can do or say next time(and there probably will be a next time with her) this girl does or says something unkind? Help your son to feel confident in saying back to someone, "Susie..that wasn't very nice. What did I do to make you want to be mean to me?" Teach your son that everyone will not like him.

Kindergarten is such a young age. These kids come from all different backgrounds. For some, it is their first real social experience. Often times kids will say they don't like someone or something...simply because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Can be anything from that person makes them feel insecure about themself or that they don't like the color brown and your kid may have brown hair. She is very immature(cuz she is only 5) and in time will learn about empathy and holding back hurtful comments.

I know it hurts to know this little girl said that in ear shot of your son. Your son will be ok..he has a loving family at home to go to at the end of the day. Some kids are not so blessed..and alot of them lash out at others. We have learned this and have taught our kids this. They look at mean kids and automatically think.."wow..they must have a hard life at home."

Just some thoughts...

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

they're kindergartners. they haven't had nearly enough time to develop adult social skills. they say what they think. and this is a good thing. at this age kids need other kids in order to teach them not only what flies in herd behavior, but how NOT to behave. your only role in this situation is to work with your son on acting nicer than that little girl, and (if necessary) on helping him cope with the occasional MILD comment from another child. if something like this derails him, he's got a tough row to hoe ahead of him.
i'll bet it barely registered on his radar.
follow his lead.
ETA i'm amazed that you are reading 'hostility' in the responses. that tells me volumes about how you received that offhand comment from a 5 year old.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Thanks Robin M.
(I am assuming that was sarcasm, btw)

What I would do is talk to my son about it. That's it. You cannot control the people around you. Don't teach your son to be thin-skinned. Do not email the teacher. What exactly would you expect her to do about it anyway? Are you going to have her put the kids in a line-up so your son/daughter can identify the offender and punish them for talking with their friend? Are you going to ask them to outlaw pointing? How far are thinking this needs to go?

Yes, kids can be thoughtless and rude. Yes, kids get their feelings hurt unnecessarily sometimes. And yes, it can happen to your kid, just like he can do something one day that hurts someone else's feelings. They are FIVE. Why do you want to stir up something?
Let it go.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Let it go. As long as all she said was "I don't like him", it's fine. I'm sure that your son has plenty of other friends that DO like him :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

How is she making your son "feel less" just because she doesn't like him? You can't force a child to like your son, and we do live in America where we have freedom of speech. As long as it's not hateful speech or speech intended to incite a riot, people are free to say what they please. I know it hurts to think that anyone doesn't like your child, but it is the way it is. Are you going to make phone calls/send e-mails to every teacher every time you discover that someone doesn't like your child? Grow a thicker skin; you're going to need it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Girls don't like little boys. It is a fact of life! Let it go. Do not e-mail teacher. She has enough to do without having to worry about who said what to who. They are five years old. This won't be the last time this happens.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I know it's hard to watch your kids go through things, and it's tempting to want someone else to step in and do what you would do if you were there. I'm with you and I totally get that.

I have had to overcome this as well. And actually my hubby is worse than me- when things like this have happened to our daughter, he will suggest that I call the other parent! It's sweet, but not helpful. What I tell him, and what I'll tell you, is that even if we fixed this situation, there is another one just like it around the corner. So my focus is on making my daughter better equipped to handle these things.

So I would suggest to you that you talk with your son about what to do if and when other kids are mean- role play responses to give and ways to deal with it. Also, if you aren't already, sign up to volunteer a few times in the classroom, or just go into observe a few times. You'll get a better idea of how he is treated that way. If there does seem to be a pattern of kids saying mean things, by all means talk to the teacher about it. But assuming this was just a typical kid incident, you're better off focusing on your kid than the other one.

I do agree with you that kids feel entitled to say whatever they want. I am so not a 'kids will be kids' person that thinks it's ok. I just know that it's a losing battle to worry about individual kids. Like I said, get a better feel for it beore you go to the teacher, but if it's a problem, it's totally fine to make her aware. Good luck to your little guy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I understand that you have taught your children the "if you don't have anything nice to say" rule - in many ways I agree with that concept.

But, some kids - and adults - are much more vocal with their negative opinions.

Do you know why this girl said what she said? Any reason to believe that your son might have done something to her?

I don't think you should worry about this, as long as there is no reason to believe that a bigger problem exists between your son and this girl.

I do think you can "empower" your son with certain child-appropriate ways to "defend" himself. Like saying to that girl "If I have nothing nice to say to you, I won't say anything. So, I will not say anything!" ;-)

ETA: Based on your SWH about the line-cutting, it sounds like working on some age-appropriate "standing up for himself" techniques could be really helpful for your son. He can still be kind to others but also assert himself.

Also ETA: I do think there are situations where an email to the teacher would be appropriate. For example, if the girl said something that revealed a need for "sensitivity training" (like if she pointed out and made fun of another child's disability). But I don't think that a general "I don't like that boy" comment rises to that level.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My heart hurts for you because I know how that feels. Last year my kindergartner said no one plays with him at recess and I wanted to cry. We just want our kids to be happy and accepted. I kept talking to him And things got better so I guess it was abad day he was reporting about.

I actually did email the teacher to see how my son was doing socially and if she had noticed any issues. She was very nice about it and assured me he was fine.

I guess I would keep tabs on how your son feels about school and email for teacher input as needed.

I didn't read all the responses but people can be harsh. I thought it was a good question from a concerned mommy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would email the teacher - I suspect she will take a quick minute to mention being polite and having feelings to the kids. And yes - it is in fact the teacher's job to teach manners and civility to kindergartners. Five year olds generally say whatever pops into their heads. It is our job as adults to teach them empathy and how words do in fact hurt. I have taught my son that he doesn't have to like everyone - but he does need to be polite to everyone. Kids don't just know this by magic.



answers from Boston on

I completely understand the way you feel. And I would make sure to pay attention and if anything continues you should email the teacher. That is her job. It is not acceptable or nice at all for a child to say that. It is normal though. My daughter is so sweet and nice I feel the kids with strong personalities target her. She is going into 4th grade and I have to let her figure it out now as much as I always want to protect her I have to let her learn to. Good luck you are a great mom for protecting your little guy.



answers from Miami on

I'm late seeing your post, and I haven't read the other answers to your question. But I did read your SWH.

If I were you, I'd go to the guidance counselor rather than the teacher. Talk to her about what you've said here. Ask her if she could work with your son to not be the class pushover. It's important to start this at the beginning of kindergarten so that he doesn't end up being bullied.

I will tell you that you are right that people in general should not point at someone and say "I don't like him" out loud. Of course, children are people too, but they don't have mature enough brains to always use a "filter" between what they think and what they say. They have to be taught. Your 8th grader should walk your son to class again before you meet with the counselor and ask your son what the girl's name is so that you can tell the counselor. Ask her to work with that child to teach her that this kind of thing is inappropriate. If no one does this, she will continue to do it and eventually bully children other than just your son.

"She shouldn't be allowed" is a correct sentiment, mom, but I promise you that the teacher is not going to witness most of this child's remarks. The point is that someone has to WORK with her, and if you don't discuss this with the school, it will take them a long time to know it.

There may be a time that you will need to stand up to a child on your son's behalf. Make SURE that you do it in front of another adult. That way you will have a witness as to what you did or didn't say. There is nothing wrong with standing up for your child.

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