Monday, November 16, 2009

Tongue in Cheek. Or not, as the case may be.

Charlie finds out life is unfair!
Today, Charlie got put in time out when she allegedly stuck her tongue out twice at her day care teacher. Her grandfather picked her up and got the full tale from the teacher. On the ride home, Charlie stuck her tongue out continuously.

When Opa told me this, my anger FLARED. Charlie had bit her lip before school and I showed her teacher how it was bleeding. How DARE she punish her for licking her hurt lips???

And I mean.... really. This was NOT a stiff "F" you defiant protruding tongue; it was a soft, wandering, "what is this weird blood taste" type of sticking out tongue. Sheesh. Who can't tell the difference with that??

So I got all prepared to stomp in there tomorrow and remind them that Charlie bit her lip and was not sticking out her tongue, but my mom thinks that might scare the teacher and prevent her in the future from telling me anything.

Another option, since I can't let it go totally and let them think she's so naughty, is to go in there tomorrow and pretend my parents didn't tell me the time out story and mention"Charlie's lip is all better today. Remember how she bit it yesterday and it was bleeding?" and innocently.... remind them.... guilt trip them so to speak.... that my girl is awesome and they were WRONG about her!!!!

What thinkist thou, oh wise blog readers?

Let it go and say nothing?

Let them have it firmly, yet politely?

Innocently remind them about her tongue and let them draw their own conclusions?

Or what would you do?

Yes, I need answers. It's not the end of the world. But I'm still curious what you would do.


Calmil2 said...

I think I would just be honest and nice and say, "oh, my dad mentioned that Charlie got a time out from sticking her tongue out yesterday and I wanted to let you know that she was doing that at home too, BECAUSE SHE BIT HER TONGUE, and she may still do it today if her lip is hurting her and I really do not want her to get punished for it. But I completely agree that if a child is doing it as a result of poor behavior that she would need a time out." You don't have to scream the part that is in all caps...I was just making a point, ha. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Nobody said...

interesting predicament. as a mom, i totally understand why you don't want to just let it go. i wouldn't either.

but i'm ALSO a pacifist and total pushover, so i would probably pull a "could you keep an eye on her lip today? i noticed yesterday she kept poking it with her tongue. i don't want it to get infected or anything...."

good luck handling it!

Single PAP said...

i'd do what you suggested and say how her lip is healing and how she used her tongue to keep it moist... or something like that.. but i'm passive aggressive like that sometimes. :-)

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I say that you calmly say that your dad told you Charlie was in time out for sticking out her tongue but you wanted to remind them that she bit her lip and as a result has been sticking out her tongue/licking it for the last day or so and that you'd like to know the circumstances around Charlie sticking out her tongue (you should let the teacher tell her side of the story - maybe she had been licking her lips all day but maybe the time out was because she wanted Charlie to do something and Charlie's response was a true tongue sticking out.)

Anonymous said...

I would mention to the teacher what you know, and kindly say that you don't think it was intentional. Sometimes they miss information, and may have truly thought she was being naughty. I do think you should stand up for your child. I think that that show of concern and care shows your child that you will stand up for her in any circumstance. I doesn't dismiss bad behavior, rather puts confidence in your child that you are on her side. At least hear their side of the story.

LegalMist said...

I'd take a direct approach, but with my ears wide open and my defenses way down.

I'd say to the teacher, "I understand Charlie was in time out for sticking out her tongue yesterday. I just wanted to check - what happened when she stuck her tongue out? Was it in response to something? Did she make a face, too, or just stick out the tongue?" Hear the teacher out. It's possible Charlie really did hear an instruction she didn't like and then stuck out her tongue and then ran the other way. Equally possible, she was sitting innocently running her tongue over her hurt lip. If it sounds like the latter, then ask the teacher, "Are you sure she was really sticking out her tongue as a bad gesture, or do you think it could have been that she was licking her lip where she bit it yesterday morning? It's just so out of character for her, so I just wanted to check with you to see if that might have been a possibility. If she really was being defiant, of course we want to address that, but if it was just because her lip hurt, then I wouldn't want to make a big deal of it."

If you take a non-confrontational approach and it is clear you are seeking information, not blaming, and if it was an error on the teacher's part, she might even admit it and apologize to Charlie.

But if she is quite sure Charlie really was being defiant, not just licking her lip, you need to know that, too.

The key is to be nice enough in your approach that the teacher would actually feel comfortable saying, "oh, wow, I hadn't thought of that. Maybe she really was just licking her lip. OMG, I'm so sorry!" Or words to that effect. If in fact that's what happened. But she needs to feel equally comfortable saying, "No, I'm pretty sure it was a defiant gesture because ..... " without feeling like you'll jump down her throat, either.

Good luck with it.

Actually, count yourself lucky. If the teacher takes a reasonable approach, considers your input without getting defensive or angry with you for asking, then you know you've got a good one. :) If she immediately dismisses your concerns or becomes defensive and angry and has an attitude of, "we *never* do anything wrong here," you might want to consider a different setting for Charlie, even if she *was* sticking out her tongue defiantly yesterday!

Long Journey Big Dreams said...

I think that I would be honest. I am sure that they would appriciate it and may have just forgotten about her lip.

Kiki said...

I think you got enough responses how to handle it so I won't add mine, because it's pretty similar to LegalMist and other's opinions. Anyway, one thing I do have to add though, and it's a question. Does Charlie really already know about sticking a tongue out as a bad gesture? I don't remember my kids learning that until they were 3 yrs old. Where would she pick that up? You don't do it so I can't imagine that she would. Not in a way that deserves punishment for Pete's sake. She was probably just showing her tongue. Maybe she has a hurt tastebud. I've heard of babies getting a hair tied around a tastebud for example. You wouldn't think it could happen but it can! Anyway, keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

I noticed some comments suggest that perhaps Charlie was, indeed, being defiant. Is it really possible, at such an early age (around one year old?) for a baby to have developed that particular way of being disrespectful? or is sticking out your tongue something that is learned at a much later age?

M and M said...

uh-oh - you know how much I don't like time outs for little itty bitty kids - so I'm totally fixated on why in the world a preschool/daycare would use time out as a solution for this? Seriously, sorry for this focus. LeLe has a book, "Global Babies" and he loves the page with the South African boy with his tongue out. At 20 months my son has NO CONCEPT of this as an act of defiance. I can't imagine a child Charlie's age with such a concept. Boo hiss from me - I'd really question the school in a productive way about how they handle the kids. Just sayin' (I know, I'm such a debbie downer)

Anonymous said...

Cmon, cmon tell us how you handled it! (I agree with all who said to say something with an open heart: the nicer you are, the more likely the teacher will question her/his own actions; the more defensive you are, the more the teacher will be, too.)But also I'm confused because the way you wrote the story sounded as if your dad got the whole story from the teacher and that implied that there was more to the story than simple lip licking? dcuz (Zoe and Nicholas say, "We think Charlie wuz wronged!")

TurtleMama said...

A fourteen MONTH old baby is far too young to be disciplined over something like this. I would suggest that a firmer reaction to something like hitting or biting would be expected, but sticking out a tongue? Kids of this age are just exploring such things, learning to manipulate their body and its parts, and so forth. A 14 month old is far too young to associate sticking a tongue out with any meaning other than exploration of one's self and soothing of pain. (Unless, of course, they see repeatedly that sticking their tongue out gets some sort of big reaction from others. Then, it might start to develop into more. This would be a learned response, though...and it doesn't sound like that is what this is.)

I honestly would be speaking to whoever is in charge of the daycare, and would be considering looking for different childcare even.

Creaker41 said...

I would just go with pointing out to them that her lip is doing better, the licking should stop, and they should let you know if it hasn't.

Disrespect is a pretty complex emotion for a 14 month old to portray, I think. I'd say either the teacher is paranoid or Charlie is gifted :-)

Anonymous said...

14 mo is WAY too young to be disciplined for sticking one's tongue out, even if there were no extenuating circumstances (chapped lip, recent immigration, etc.). What kind of crazy daycare is this?

I would talk w/ the teacher & possibly the director about this incident to better understand what they think happened, why they did what they did, how they generally discipline, etc. And I'd consider it a red flag and begin to look for daycare elsewhere.

Sally Sue

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I want to reiterate the importance of getting the teacher's perspective. She may have just made a mistake,but actions are usually taken in context, and maybe the tongue was not the only issue. Those who suggest changing daycare over this may be right, but I think that is an extreme position right now. I would trust your gut from the beginning that the daycare people are caring and know your child. Then go from there. If they are rude, unresponsive, or dismiss your concerns, THEN I would worry--but not just for a possible mistake. My two cents. Now would you please tell us what you did!dcuz