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Dad wants to confront preschool teacher about not being 'nice enough.' AITA?

Dad wants to confront preschool teacher about not being 'nice enough.' AITA?

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It's completely natural to feel super protective when you become a parent. You have this new sweet person you're raising, and you're all too aware of how cruel and difficult the world can be.

One of the difficulties of being a protective parent is finding a balance between using your convictions to keep your child safe, and recognizing when you're going into overdrive and approaching 'helicopter parent' territory. Luckily, the internet is always here with open ears to give feedback and let you know which track you're on.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dad asked if he's wrong for wanting to confront a preschool teacher for not being nice enough.

He wrote:

AITA for wanting to talk to my daughter’s new teacher about being nicer to the kids?

My daughter’s preschool hired a new teacher/teacher’s aide (early 20s F) earlier this year. My daughter adores this teacher and my wife, who is also a teacher, speaks highly of her.

We just had a baby so I’ve been taking care of drop-off and pick-up lately and I’ve been able to form my own opinion of this teacher. In my opinion, she messes with the kids too much. These are all examples that I’ve seen.

For Christmas, we got every teacher a box of chocolates from a small shop near the school. The shop wrapped the boxes and they have the name of the shop on the wrapping paper. Everyone knows what it is by looking at it.

My daughter ran in yelling “we got you chocolate” and the teacher said “Abby! It was supposed to be a surprise!” She still hugged my daughter and thanked her but I felt that the remark was unnecessary.

Another time, I picked my daughter up towards the end of snack time. My daughter came up to the teacher and asked for more snacks. Teacher said “Abby, you already ate all of our snacks.

If I give you more we won’t have anything to eat tomorrow. You’re about to go home and have dinner anyway.” In my opinion, the first two sentences were very unnecessary. This last one just happened on Friday.

Pickup ends at 4:30 and I’m guessing the teacher leaves at 4:45. I called the school and said that I was going to be late for pickup and I got there at around 4:45. When I got there, my daughter was with a little boy, whose parents had been there for 20 minutes but he was refusing to leave.

My daughter was getting her stuff and I saw the teacher give the boy a spray bottle, a rag, and gloves and say “Jack, if you want to stay, you’re gonna have to clean the tables then vacuum, I have to go home and your mom can’t wait forever.”

She went to the closet, got her stuff, and started walking to the door. His mom also started to walk away. The little boy dropped the cleaning supplies, started crying, and ran for his mom when the teacher made it to the door and his mom was out of sight.

In my opinion, there had to have been a better way to get him to go than scaring the crap out of him. I get that she’s joking but these kids are 3 and 4 and don’t get it.

My daughter has never admitted to this teacher making her upset but I still don’t like how she talks to my daughter or the other kids. My wife and I were talking about the school and I said that I wanted talk to the teacher about being nicer to my daughter and the other kids.

My wife rolled her eyes at me and said that I’m starting to sound like a certain parent at her school that she and the other teachers can’t stand.

She said if I insist that everyone coddles our daughter then she’s going to have a hard time when she’s older. Am I the a**hole for not liking the teacher and wanting her to be nicer?

The internet jumped in with their own thoughts.

CrystalQueen3000 wrote:

YTA. The teacher sounds perfectly nice and correcting children is part of her job.

Bizzybody2020 wrote:

Wow, so this teacher (who is an expert childcare provider) is helping guide children to be good little humans who have empathy towards others (making sure to save snacks for everyone else for the next day), and be helpful. WHAT A MONSTER!!

Tell me you have no idea how to parent and age-appropriately guide your own child, without telling me you don’t know how to parent and guide your own child.

Instead of just saying “no” to children’s requests, she is telling them why the answer is no and then gently redirecting them. And you think it’s mean-spirited joking?! LOL Yet somehow your wife and young daughter LOVE this teacher.

YTA man, and it’s clear that your wife does the bulk of the childcare. You wouldn’t even know anything about this teacher if your wife hadn’t been occupied with the birth of your new baby. Why don’t you stop and think about that for awhile.

twirlylu wrote:

Honestly, I've worked with this age for 17 years and I say all of these things... I'd be mortified if anyone took offense! From my perspective, she is giving a reason for why they can't do something (extra snack for example) in a clear, simple, easy-to-understand way that isn't just saying 'no.'

The surprise comment is also something I'd say in a jovial way, as I have a good relationship with children and families and would expect a laugh at how children are always so excited at present giving! I think you may be looking too far into it.

If your daughter hasn't expressed negative feelings towards her teacher (we know 3/4 year olds are brutally honest), shows no signs of being distressed AND your wife said you might be a bit sensitive about this, then I'd say you had your answer.

Hour-Vast1207 wrote:

YTA. As a teacher for children that age and younger, this is very normal. Children are smart but they don’t know anything.

So maybe the gift said the name of the shop but your daughter will need to learn not to ruin surprises, this is a way to teach her nicely. She’ll need to learn that there are limits to how much snack is available while also reminding her it’s okay she’s still hungry and more food will be available soon.

That little boy needed to learn there are consequences to holding up his parents and teacher even if his parents and teacher would never willingly or knowingly leave him.

If you want to be in complete control of how your daughter is spoken to, keep her home. Choosing to put her in preschool means giving up some control over your daughter's life, just like being in elementary, middle, and high school does.

Lcdmt3 wrote:

YTA - You're making something out of nothing. You're making a big deal out of something kids can understand, eat food today, no food tomorrow, you're close to dinner time.

As far as the chocolate. That is an overreaction. You give gifts, they're supposed to be a surprise. Relax. You are that parent every teacher hates. They have a hard enough job.

It's pretty unanimously agreed that OP's reactions are over the top given the circumstances. Hopefully, he's able to soak in this feedback and internalize it.

Sources: Reddit
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