Another child’s grandmother was verbally abusive to my child

Your Question

Hi there,
Some interaction happened between my ten year old girl and a classmate that resulted in the other child being upset. My sister in law was collecting my child from school- as my child walked up the footpath to meet her she as perused and shouted at by the other child’s grandmother( a complete stranger). Other parents have contacted me to tell me how savage the abuse was. I have not ascertained what the interaction between the two children was about( I will meet the school on Monday)- I don’t know what to do – verbal abuse from a stranger ! Is this a matter for the Gardai

Answer

Hi there, 

Thank you for contacting ask Robyn. We are so sorry to hear this happened to your daughter, it’s never nice to hear of someone shouting at your child, and sometimes harder when it’s another adult.

You have done the right thing to plan a meeting with the school as it sounds like this interaction occured in the school as well as the previous interaction between your child and the other child. The school have the responsibility to help resolve this confilct and to develop a plan to prevent it escalating any further. Before going to this meeting it may help to write down key points that you hope to address and what you know has happened so far. Another thing to keep in mind is to have a plan on what you hope to achieve from the meeting, what would be your ideal outcome, and what would be an outcome you would like to avoid? 

Have you spoken to your daughter since both interactions? It may be good to get an understanding of how she feels and thinks about it. Having someone shout at her infront of her peers can be so upsetting so it is important to check in with her. You have mentioned that there was something that may have happened where another child became upset, this is also important to address. Children need to learn to acknowledge other people’s feelings and it can be such a hard thing to do at a young age. Let her know that we all make mistakes and the importance of considering other people’s feelings when we say or do things. 

You have asked if this is a matter for the gardai. There are community gardai who can help resolve a situation should it escalate. We think it is important to monitor these interactions and keep note. If you are concerned for your safety, or your child’s safety then it would be worth contacting your local garda station. If you are concerned for the safety of any children, the Tusla duty social worker would be your best person to contact, you can find your local Tusla Duty social worker here:  https://www.tusla.ie/get-in-touch/duty-social-work-teams/

Thanks so much again for reaching out to us, we hope you have this helpful. This may be a longer process of resolving and we encourage you to link in again should you feel you need extra support or need to talk about it further. The ISPCC’s Support Line service can be contacted by email to [email protected] or between 9am – 1pm Monday – Friday by calling 01 522 4300. 

Take care, 

Robyn

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