So I know the Nation is not the be-all, end-all of knowledge, but I was hoping that maybe some other parents have experienced something similar, and could share their strategies, since my wife and I are at a loss.
My son is apparently a bully at school. I say that sarcastically, since he is five and it's not like he's beating kids up for their lunch money. Apparently, he plays too rough for the other kids, he won't listen to the teacher since he knows she won't do anything other than talk to him in a high-pitched whiney voice about his 'feelings' and 'what he was thinking when he did _______', and he also won't listen to the bus driver, and has now been kicked off the bus twice. He's not even halfway through the school year!
He has been poking and bothering other kids, doesn't want to sit down and listen, basically wants to do whatever he wants, not what the class is doing. The teacher has been sending notes about the poking and whatnot, but now all of a sudden they talk about how he's been 'hurting so many kids', as if we were supposed to equate poking with violence or something, and now other parents are supposedly sending notes to the teacher about him hurting their kids.
I am not trying to make light of this situation. I know bullies exist, I was bullied quite a bit as a child since I was smaller and weaker than most of the other kids. But it is mind-boggling to us, since he sits through sunday school every week for two hours without hurting anyone, and he can get dropped off at a friends house for hours on end without us present, and no one gets hurt. But suddenly he gets to school and he's kicking ass like it's his job.
I don't know if we are overlooking something, or if the other kids just need to quit being little pansies(my wife's suggestion), but he not only doesn't care about the negative attention, he seems to thrive on it. He is a bright kid, sometimes I think he's too smart for his own good. He can determine very quickly who is going to make him mind and who won't. A friend of ours used to babysit him on occasion, until he started walking all over her because she wouldn't discipline. We gave her very explicit permission to spank him if need be, but she refused because she felt uncomfortable spanking someone else's child(which I can understand). So he doesn't stay at her house anymore.
I am not placing all the blame on the teacher, since I know they are really hamstrung on what they can do for discipline these days. It's not like when I was in school, and they took care of business as needed(I got paddled at least once in every grade through 7th, and I was far from being a troublemaker). The first meeting we had was useless, as I sat there watching a grown woman talk to a five year old as if he could intelligently explain the motive behind his bad behavior, and what he was thinking as he did certain things, and then asked him to sign the notes from the meeting(he's in kindergarten!). Granted, I was a little disgruntled to begin with, having been up since 6:00 the day before and then having to sit and listen to her drivel. I tried to keep an open mind, hoping it would work, but it did absolutely nothing.
So anyway. If anyone can give me some ideas on how to handle this, I'm all ears. I can spank him when he gets home, but he'll still do what he wants when he's at school(already tried that approach).