Dear David Coleman: 'I'm very concerned about my four-year-old playing kissing games with older boys at school'
Q I am not happy that my four-year-old daughter has been allowed to form her first friendship at school with a group of boys in first class. She said that the boys have dared her to kiss them in places that she shouldn't. The school have no concerns about my little girl amongst a group of older boys and the school have made me feel I am an over-concerned parent. Am I?
David replies: No, I don't think you over-reacting at all. Any "games" that involve kissing, of any sort, between four-year-olds and six- or seven-year olds are inappropriate because the age differential moves it out of the typical "mammies and daddies" or "doctors and nurses" games that four-year-olds might play.
However, your description of the boys daring her to "kiss them in places that she shouldn't" is even more concerning as it suggests to me that she might be encouraged to kiss them on their private parts. That is extremely inappropriate.
If you have told the school about this, then the school should have reported it to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, as it is something that needs to be investigated, to be sure that your daughter is not at risk of harm.
If they haven't done so, then I think they have been negligent in their duty of care to your daughter.
I think the school should take your concerns much more seriously.
You, as a parent, can also report your concerns about your daughter to Tusla and there are clear steps about how to do this on the Tusla website.
Visit tusla.ie for more information.