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Nicknames And Namecalling


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I'm usually quite playful with the preschoolers. As such, many of them enjoy calling me names. Things like Marky Parky, not things like stupid head. :o

 

Anyway, yesterday another member of staff verbally reprimanded the children, saying that's not how we talk to adults.

 

I kind of enjoy the feeling of openness with the children, is it wrong for me to play name games with them?

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

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I can see how some people would think it disrespectful - and some parents would be upset if you did it back. But at the end of the day the decision lies with you and your workforce.

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I think I would enjoy the relaxed feeling of being able to experiment with the sounds in peoples names too, Mark. However not all members of staff will feel the same.

 

It is important that the children understand that it must not develop into trading insults which they apparently do.

 

You need to discuss the matter with the other members of staff so that you are all comfortable with what is happening and everyone understands the benefits. The most important thing is that you are consistent with the children so that they understand what everyone expects and are not confused by the different reactions.

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Yea, the nicknames do have potential to quickly escalate into namecalling.

 

However, I'm usually moving from room to room, so it's kind of like us exchanging greetings, and as Marion pointed out, usually with just rhyming of names rather than referencing people's heads. :o

 

My concern is also like Upsy Daisy mentioned though, that the children will definitely get confused by the different reactions.

 

Cait: I >am< the workforce! xD

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

I think I would enjoy the relaxed feeling of being able to experiment with the sounds in peoples names too, Mark. However not all members of staff will feel the same.

 

It is important that the children understand that it must not develop into trading insults which they apparently do.

 

You need to discuss the matter with the other members of staff so that you are all comfortable with what is happening and everyone understands the benefits. The most important thing is that you are consistent with the children so that they understand what everyone expects and are not confused by the different reactions.

Edited by Guest
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Im going to through another spanner into the works here by saying that I dont like it and dont do it because I think it can be disrespectful in that it can very easily be done at the wrong times and maybe that is what your colleague felt, Mark.

I have also seen children become quite upset at the rhyme that has been generated. I feel quite strongly that your name is a possession and shouldnt be interfered with in any way but I can see that in the right atmosphere this is ok and even good for speech and language development.

 

Is it possible for you to explain to the children that it is a game that you play together and that not everyone likes to join in and that there are times when it is not ok to play that game? Children are amazing in their capacity to take different things on board if it is explained to them.

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Hi Susan!

 

Sure, I think it's perfectly reasonable to explain things out to the children. As with most things, there's always the capacity for kids to take things too far.

 

I personally wouldn't stop doing it altogether though, as not only do I find it helpful in teaching them about social boundaries, but I also enjoy the friendly atmosphere it can generate.

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

Im going to through another spanner into the works here by saying that I dont like it and dont do it because I think it can be disrespectful in that it can very easily be done at the wrong times and maybe that is what your colleague felt, Mark.

I have also seen children become quite upset at the rhyme that has been generated. I feel quite strongly that your name is a possession and shouldnt be interfered with in any way but I can see that in the right atmosphere this is ok and even good for speech and language development.

 

Is it possible for you to explain to the children that it is a game that you play together and that not everyone likes to join in and that there are times when it is not ok to play that game? Children are amazing in their capacity to take different things on board if it is explained to them.

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My initial reaction to this post was that it would be Ok to use this fun way of introducing rhyme and alliteration with children. However, having read other posts I can see that this could possibly overstep the mark and be either overfamiliar or that some children might be upset at this use of their name.

 

Although for about a year I was known as Princess Debbie over lunch club due to the fact that my lunch box had 'Princess' written on it which I told the children meant I was a princess. Where's your tiara then..... I was amazed that the children could keep it up for so long!

 

Our setting was a pre-school and we were known by our first names. It was a lot of fun over lunch.

 

I think it is good that practitioners are able to interact with children in a fun way so I would hope that this does not dampen your enthusiasm with the children but on reflection perhaps this will have helped you to see your colleagues point of view about how children talk to other adults and as has been suggested help children to see when this is appropriate and when not.

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I'm afraid I do it all the time - we are a very small village pre-school and we form very close and affectionate relationships with the children in our care..........

 

Milly = Milly Vanilli

 

Lucy = Lucy Lu

 

Ben = Ben 10

 

and so on - the children enjoy this - I wouldn't do it if they didn't - and of course they are usually referred to by their real name........the 'pet' names just being used at times when I'm being playful! :(

 

I use these names in front of parents and no-one has ever objected - they see if for what it is - affection..........

 

There isn't really a way of rhyming my real name or any staff names either so we don't really 'get into that'! xD

 

So Marky - Parky - I certainly don't see any harm!!! :o

 

Quick edit to say........I prefer Marky-Sparky!!!

Edited by sunnyday
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I love the informal approach and having fun with names unfortunately I tend to get sue poo we have a giggle and then I change it to sue doo the dishes etc I can understand how it could be thought of as disrespectful.

however if the older children in our out of school club said this I would think it disrespectful as they understand the connotation if you see what I mean.

sue doodle doo

hey its catching

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So I guess to each his/her own, but I feel the preschoolers greatly enjoy the fun of the names, as do I myself. I admit it easily comes off as disrespectful at times, but I believe the risk can be mitigated with proper communication. And if the children do indeed overdo it at times, it's a perfect opportunity to teach them about social boundaries.

 

Hm, Marky Sparky isn't a very common one. =-P

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

I love the informal approach and having fun with names unfortunately I tend to get sue poo we have a giggle and then I change it to sue doo the dishes etc I can understand how it could be thought of as disrespectful.

however if the older children in our out of school club said this I would think it disrespectful as they understand the connotation if you see what I mean.

sue doodle doo

hey its catching

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as my surname is Lee there can be unfortunate rhymes. I'm frequently Mrs Wee to the children as the 'l' sound can be difficult. One thank you card this summer reflected this. The child in question used to get very upset by his speech problems and I was 'Mrs' for a long time after children laughed at him when he said 'Wee' and was unable to correct it. After 2 years with the co-hort and weekly speech therapy for the child he was comfortable calling me Mrs Wee and no-one laughed. His mums thanks were for the vast improvement in his speech and confidence although he still called me Mrs Wee!! I would be upset and cross if a child was using this alliteration in fun because when does it become rude? I would not be happy if my child was called Ben and getting Ben 10 or a child called Thomas who was getting Thomas the Tank. Some parents may just not say anything even if they don't like it so I wouldn't use it in the setting. On visits I always check for pet or shorten names as well because my family weren't happy when Richard started getting Dick but my daughter Bethany has always been a Beth so she wouldn't have answered to Bethany and that may have appeared rude.

 

What I'm trying to say its a very careful line to walk between fun, ridicule, rudeness, disrespect and humlilation. Sometimes you don't realise one may cause the other until its too late and then it is well too late. You have other staff and parents to consider because what you think is fun they may not and want to discourage.

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Oh heck ........I'm in trouble again! :o:(

 

the child that I refer to as Ben 10 (and only on occasion at that) - his parents use the same thing as do Lucy's parents - so I know that I am on safe ground!

 

Sunnyday or Sunny if you prefer! xD

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Perhaps it depends on the type of setting you are in? My daughter is called Rosa and I often call her Rosy-posy or Rosy-po in an affectionate way, not so much of a game, but demonstrating a level of closeness. I would imagine that a childminder might have similar closeness with the children s/he works with and I'd be happy for Rosa to be called Rosyposy by someone who obviously cared for her in that familiar (as in family) way. Whether it would be as appropriate in preschool or school I'm not sure... In early years I think it can be hard in lots of ways finding the correct balance between closeness - positive relationships, keyworkers etc - and professional distance - no cuddles, being called Mrs etc.

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Ooh, no cuddles? Haven't heard that one before. Some of the kids just won't let go! :o

 

Perhaps the best solution is to act as you normally would in the presence of the parents, and if a parent is uncomfortable with it, they can simply voice their opinion. Not too much harm done there right?

 

Regards

Mark

https://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

Perhaps it depends on the type of setting you are in? My daughter is called Rosa and I often call her Rosy-posy or Rosy-po in an affectionate way, not so much of a game, but demonstrating a level of closeness. I would imagine that a childminder might have similar closeness with the children s/he works with and I'd be happy for Rosa to be called Rosyposy by someone who obviously cared for her in that familiar (as in family) way. Whether it would be as appropriate in preschool or school I'm not sure... In early years I think it can be hard in lots of ways finding the correct balance between closeness - positive relationships, keyworkers etc - and professional distance - no cuddles, being called Mrs etc.
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I think cuddles are definitely acceptable Sunnyday, provided they are in full view of other staff. If children do not learn what is acceptable contact with adults how will they learn what is not acceptable contact.

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Its strange how when children play with the different letter sounds names almost always end up having a "P" put at the front

so I would get called alison palison or Ally pally or pally ally

 

I think its "each to their own" and mention it to parents early on about how they like their children addressed

 

I would voice a concern that the child who called Marky parky was "told off"

I hope that the member of staff was sencitive as I think its an important stage in language development experimenting with sounds and swapping initial letters to make new words and being told off could be to the child's detriment

 

children do need to learn there is a time and a place so that does need addressing but as children mature they will learn these social rules i wouldnt stress a preshool child out about the do's and dont of talking to adults

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Love your signature... :o

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

Its strange how when children play with the different letter sounds names almost always end up having a "P" put at the front

so I would get called alison palison or Ally pally or pally ally

 

I think its "each to their own" and mention it to parents early on about how they like their children addressed

 

I would voice a concern that the child who called Marky parky was "told off"

I hope that the member of staff was sencitive as I think its an important stage in language development experimenting with sounds and swapping initial letters to make new words and being told off could be to the child's detriment

 

children do need to learn there is a time and a place so that does need addressing but as children mature they will learn these social rules i wouldnt stress a preshool child out about the do's and dont of talking to adults

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Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with the play on words or sounds of people's names, but I do have a bit of a problem with shortening children's names or not saying them properly. For example, I am very much from South London, so (shamefully) tend not to pronounce the 't' sound in words, water, butter etc. However, when it comes to children's names, I always make sure I do pronounce the 't' sound. My daughter is Natalie and she has been taught that her name has a 't' in it (becomes a bit embarrassing when she starts correcting people though!).

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Just to say that I am a cuddler :o (when appropriate) but have worked with other teachers who are adamant that it's necessary to keep that distance and formality. I think different settings and practitioners have different ideas about what constitutes 'professional', and that this is less clear-cut and easy to define the younger the children are.

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Just to say that I am a cuddler :o (when appropriate) but have worked with other teachers who are adamant that it's necessary to keep that distance and formality. I think different settings and practitioners have different ideas about what constitutes 'professional', and that this is less clear-cut and easy to define the younger the children are.

 

I agree with that actually. Coming from a nursery nurse background, I went into a TA role thinking it would be more or less like that, especially with comforting children who were upset (cuddles) or just need a cuddle during the day.

 

I dealt with an accident to a child in my class which eventually needed hospital treatment. The child was a typical 4 year old boy, full of energy, refusing to sit still, laughing his injuries off. To keep the cold compress on his head (we are talking quite a substantial bump to the head), I took the child onto my knee and cuddled him, whilst sneakily holding the ice pack on his head. This was nice on a few levels, because the child and I were having nice one to one time (this child craved adult attention all the time, but couldn't always have it in a class full of other "demanding" children), there was a nice conversation taking place (which again wasn't always possible) and his head was being kept cold. These are the kinds of things I would do if I were working in nursery or pre-school and also ways of comforting a child that I was trained to do.

 

The HT came out of his office and saw me sitting with the child in this way. He called me to the side and explained that it was a child protection issue and I had to put him down immediately.

 

I can see his point to a degree, protection of the child is paramount and also protecting myself is pretty important too, but it wasn't as if I had sneaked the child off somewhere to treat his injury. We were in full view of the class and teacher and then in full view of the admin staff. I made a point of making sure this was the case because of the child protection issue.

 

I felt terrible afterwards and because of this, found it quite difficult in my approach to comforting the children. I think it was an instinct thing initially, but then I had to find an alternative method and I have to say, I found it quite impersonal and not really responding effectively to the needs of that child at that particular moment.

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The HT came out of his office and saw me sitting with the child in this way. He called me to the side and explained that it was a child protection issue and I had to put him down immediately.

 

find this totally amazing

 

I'm Child Protection teacher in my school and often have children on my knee and I would find it very odd if any of the EY staff didn't give cuddles when needed or requested

 

What a strange world :o

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Clare how sad, what qn odd world we live in where we cannot give comfort to a small child who is hurt. It would never occur to me not to do what you did and like Marian find it amazing that your HT looks on it like this. I think if I found any of my staff refusing to take an upset and hurt child onto their knee, I would be having serious talks with them.

On a different note: I too have a Natalie and we are Nth London- where the kids (esp teens) have a tendancy to drop their 't's it drives me mad when people say Na'alie instead of Natalie, unfortunately both my sons do it as well.

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The HT must be one of those paranoid types that would rather play extremely safe rather than sorry, instead of having any personal risk involved.

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/

 

find this totally amazing

 

I'm Child Protection teacher in my school and often have children on my knee and I would find it very odd if any of the EY staff didn't give cuddles when needed or requested

 

What a strange world :o

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