Imagine your four-year-old son’s teacher pulling you aside and telling you that your son has been inappropriately touching her.
The mum, who goes by the username MoanaMoanaMoana, said when she picked up her son from school the teacher asked her whether her son “grabs people and inappropriately touches them”.
When the mum replied her son doesn’t do that, the teacher said he had done it to the teachers at the school and demanded the mum have a talk to him about it – or she would.
"I spoke to my son at home and asked him to show me what happened, he said that the teacher was talking to another teacher and [he] patted me on the leg to try and get my attention," she wrote.
"I asked him whether the teacher talked to him today about him touching her and he replied no."
The mum explained her son was currently undergoing a diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and he had always hugged his teachers and they'd never complained about it before.
"I'm shocked and quite sickened that this has been brought up about my four-year-old, he has obviously patted her to get her attention and touched her [there] accidentally and they pulled me up on the playground about this around other parents, and to be honest I'm fuming.
"I'm going to talk to the teacher and ask her the exact scenario that happened tomorrow and go from there."
MoanaMoanaMoana said she's now explained to her son if he wants to get a teacher's attention, he should only touch her on the hand and not anywhere else on her body.
The post received a huge response on the forum, with many standing up for the mum and her four-year-old son.
"Seriously, he patted her on the leg because he's four and like many four year olds he gets easily impatient and wants attention. Something that can be slowly addressed because learning social norms and expectations is a big part of the reason kids do a [pre-school] year. Calling this 'inappropriate touching ' is utterly ridiculous," one person commented.
"He's four! Literally only just started school. It's all new but he will soon will start to learn various etiquette and behaviour. Gentle reminders should suffice, not making it sound like he groped someone," added someone else.
Waytoogo suggested the teacher sounds a little inexperienced and this was just normal four-year-old behaviour.
"She should have reminded him to put his hand up or wait patiently, end of. There was absolutely no need to suggest there was anything inappropriate," they wrote.
While others believed the teacher was well within her rights to complain about the student's behaviour.
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"It is inappropriate for pupils to touch the teacher," wrote Migraleve. "I can't see why you are shocked or sickened that it has been brought to your attention. Obviously you need to work with school to put strategies in place to help your [child] when he is feeling impatient. It's not the big deal you seem to think it is?"
"By telling him to touch the teacher's hand you have set him up to have to unlearn that. Children learn to put their hands up, they don't touch teachers," someone else added. "You need to teach him the appropriate boundaries, not just a variation of the one he is getting wrong."
"Could a teacher not just have been trying to give a parent a heads up that they need to talk to their child?" another person commented.
What do you think? Do you think the teacher was right to talk to the mum or was she overreacting? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
For more Mamamia parenting, read:
- HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: “In defence of older mothers – life doesn’t always follow a tidy script.”
- “Stop gaslighting your kids.”
- NAMA WINSTON: ‘I was approached by a woman holding $50 in the supermarket…’
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