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Mean Teacher or Disgruntled Second Grader?

By Jodie Lynn


My daughter often complains about her first grade teacher being rude and mean to some of the kids in the class. What's the best way to handle this situation?


Talk to the other parents who have kids in your daughter's class. If they agree that they have heard the same thing, ask what, if anything, they think might be the next step. Our ten-year-old son complained for several months about the very same thing and finally my husband started talking with the other dads during basketball practice about what our son was telling us. Several of them said their kids had made similar comments. Once more parents started showing up to help out in the classroom, the situation improved immensely. Maybe your daughter's teacher is just overwhelmed with her work load and needs more volunteers. - Kylie Straton in Norfolk, VA


Children at that age will sometimes say a teacher is mean just because it's a familiar word to use when they feel something isn't going their way. It could be a reaction, look or physical display from the teacher that your daughter deems as being "mean" when in actuality, it is not. Maybe ask her what the teacher is doing to make her think this and when it happens. For example, telling the children that recess is over and to begin picking up their balls, games or whatever may be perceived as being mean, when it is simply time to end a fun, free time and move on to another, more serious one, like math or practicing printing the alphabet. Before talking to other parents or making a big deal out of it, you can always visit the classroom during different times of the day and ask questions about anything that strikes you as odd or that you find puzzling. Once you get firsthand information, you can explain to your daughter about why a certain step or process comes before or after a different one. It could just be something she doesn't currently understand or want to happen. Either way, you will have a clearer understanding of what is taking place, why and when, and you will have a better idea of where to go from there.

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To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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