Last night hubby was putting our 6-year-old daughter to bed. I had already said my good-nights and moved on to the boy's room for kisses and hugs. When all the good-nights were said, I found my hubby relaxing on the couch reading a book.
H: A (daughter) said that Bob (name is changed) pulled his pants down at school today and showed everyone his butt. Did she tell you that?
M: No, she didn't.
H: She said the teacher didn't know or something. I'm not sure.
M: I'll go talk to her.
M: Hi sweetie. Daddy said that you told him Bob pulled his pants down at school today.
A: Yeah. At lunch he showed everyone his butt. I told my teacher. He bumped down to black (the worst punishment at school - principal's office and a call to parents).
M: I'm so glad you told dad about that.
A: I forgot to tell you. I'm sorry.
M: I'm glad you told dad. You could have told me too, but dad is just as good at helping you as I am. I'm also glad you told your teacher.
A: No one else told her.
M: Well, I'm glad you told her about something inappropriate. When something just bothers us we don't always need to tell. But, when something is inappropriate, it's important to tell. How do you feel?
A: I felt better when I told her. I feel happier now that I told you and dad.
M: I'm glad you feel that way. I love you. Good night.
A: Good night.
My intent in going to talk with her after she had already reported to her dad was to see if an adult knew about the situation or not. My husband told me what she had said, but his conversation with her was very brief and he seemed unsure about whether an adult knew. She must have been telling him that her teacher had not seen what happened. But, she did report it (which I will be sure to verify). As I talked with her, I wanted to just acknowledge that she had done the right thing. When something really matters, it's good to reinforce that type of reporting. I also knew that I didn't really need to call the teacher and let her know what had happened so the parents could be informed.
I have had some friends that have taken their children out of school because of an incident like this. I will give you my thoughts on a situation like this. First of all, this could happen at a friend's house. It is age appropriate behavior (not appropriate behavior, but behavior that can be expected at this age). This child was not doing anything that would have been atypical for his age. Also, the teacher took care of it. She took the matter to the principal and the parents. If the behavior would have been directed at my particular child, I would have expected a phone call. Again, I'm grateful for little moments like this where I can reinforce an idea I've been trying to have with my child. Reporting is incredibly important because it is the greatest tool children have if they are ever molested or abused. I don't really like that this stuff happens, but it's a very mild thing that I can use as a teaching tool.