Psychiatry & Psychology--General/question about child in preK

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My son is really a delight. I have other kids who I love equally but were more difficult.  But my delightful son has not acclimated to preschool. At first I thought it was because he was bored. He reads really well and is great in math and I imagine it might be boring for him. The teacher could care less enough to do anything even mildly different to be more stimulating. The thing is I realize now the teacher is far worse. She doesn't discipline at all. My son has a couple of friends from last year but this year he is the only part timer. About half the kids in the class are very badly behaved. One girl was a problem in his class last year.  She antagonizes. My son gets blamed for reacting. Last year this same girl was always in trouble. I came one day to pick up my son and the two of them were fighting and the teacher stood there doing nothing! I asked them both to apologize very neutrally and the girl wouldn't.  Her brother was unattended one day in school entirely. The mom didn't seem to think it was bad to leave a 5 year old unattended. I had to talk to the school director. Then there is a boy click who have been very mean to my son who has been so gracious. They tell him he can't play and he nicely asks and then may play alone and again the teacher does nothing except find it odd my son might want to play alone!  My son plays very nicely at parks with kids and he has wonderful social skills. He doesn't have jerk skills and I don't see obtaining them as a plus. He's asked me not to go to school but sort of resigned himself to go. He's really a sport. But I want to pull him out. I don't think he has anything to learn in a bad environment with poor adult supervision at this age.  Am I overreacting? I have spoken to the teacher about the girl and it took her literally one month to talk to both kids, a month. She never did anything about the boys. She's who she is and she's not changing.

Answer
I rarely say this, but it appears to be a problem with the school, not the child.

The solution depends on the alternatives, and I have no way of knowing them. Putting a sound recorder in the boy's pocket? A report to the school board or whatever is above the director?  Different school? Joining (or founding) a parents-against-poor-schools group? Asking an educator/administrator what evidence would be needed to effect a change in personnel? Or, as you say, just pull him out, perhaps to switch to an enlightened day-care facility.

Thanks for asking us, and good luck with handling this.

Alan

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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