Re: November Preschoolers
posted at 11/14/2013 10:59 PM EST
The picking up to hug thing was out of bounds - I'd have given her a HUGE glare. You may pick your child up to hug him any DARN time. No, he may not stand on the tables, chairs, sit on the cubbies, etc, but he can be picked up for a hug. Period. End of discussion.
Now, in terms of asking "did you have to take a break or did you have a good day?" I'd agree with her. Not, perhaps, the way she said it, but the concept. See, his taking a break doesn't mean he had a bad day - it means he wasn't listening at one point in the day, so he had a consequence. And that was handled at school. But then he might have done great work the rest of the day. Or not. But either way, taking a break is a consequence of one thing he did wrong, but it doesn't condemn his day to be bad. And as he gets older, we don't want him to think of it this way: if he takes a break first thing in the morning (because he wasn't listening), and that means he's now had "a bad day" then he might as well just go balls to the wall and disobey all day. And you don't want that. So if we set it up as an either or "took a break OR had a good day" then they know that the opposite of good day is bad day, so break = bad day.
Frankly, having to "take a break" is a good technique for him eventually to learn to do for himself - "I'm not listening, perhaps I am out of control and need to take a break, then I can return to the stuff I was doing." We all take breaks sometimes - like when we are frustrated with our child/spouse/co-worker and we leave the room for a few minutes to regroup before coming back and finishing the discussion.
And being consistent is great between home and school.for the 1, 2, take a break thing, great!
I also think that the teacher was right to say you couldn't enter right that minute because he wasn't taking his break, BUT I also think it was great that she told him you were there for library time, but couldn't come in until he took his break. That way he got a choice: behave and Mom comes in; choose to disobey, no Mom. He made the best choice for him (and you) and that's great!
And, believe me, many teachers get really nervous speaking with parents. One of my best teachers is always nervous talking to parents and yet she's great at it, and the parents all trust her. But still, it's really hard for her! Some teachers aren't comfortable knowing what to call parents (Ms. Brown? Mrs. Brown? Sally?) so they end up saying "Mom, here you go" or "Child's Name, go tell your Mom that...." they just feel more comfortable with children (which is why they chose to work with children) and less so with adults. So I'd ignore some of the 'way she says things' and try (it's hard, I know) to hear it as information but NOT that she is saying you're a bad mother. You're not, she doesn't think that, and she's just trying to communicate. But again, you can lift your darn kids' feet of the floor for a hug, sheesh!
You know your son's behavior is harder to work with, and I'm glad you have some concrete steps for you and your husband to try. How is he doing with working with the FM receiver? And do they keep their hearing aids in now that they are older? The only thing I'm concerned about in your story is that he missed playground time. For a child like him, I think getting outside for playground is 4000 times more important than for many other children because he's active, and probably when he's been inside for too long, or had to sit for too long, he gets stir crazy. And stir crazy = poor impulse control, which leads to.... breaks for not listening.
I LOVE the helper during story time thing, that he checks things off... so cool - which also works on lots of skills: pre-reading, learning to focus, helping him to sit still, getting attention for positive things vs. negative (you get lots of attention every time you are told to "sit up please" even though that's negative attention). And having his own velcro schedule is great, too. The teacher is doing lots of creative things, out of the box solutions, love it!
If you have a hard time with him following a schedule at home, you might try it, such as: potty; get dressed; breakfast; brush hair & teeth; potty; into car. And another for the night time routine. You could have a checklist (one item on each line, so it reads down) on a little clipboard and he marks the box next to the picture of the thing after he does it with a marker. Once he's done with the checklist, you throw it out and the next morning he starts with a clean list. I've done this for kids, (keep it simple, only 4 things on the list at the beginning) so it's not me haunting, reminding, hounding and making them (and me, I'll admit) frustrated with all the reminders. When you have to remind, remind, remind, the child feels hounded and usually resists, fights, cries, and argues. But if it's the LIST that won't allow the child to do X because Y wasn't done, then it is less frustrating. The list also keeps a child focused on 'what's next' versus getting off purpose and starting to play, wander about, etc.
As an aside to all parents, not directed at Miss Lily: stop SITTING your child on the TOP of the cubbies! I get you want to put their shoes or boots on, but please, have them sit in a chair. Kids climb those cubbies all day when they are allowed to do it sometimes. Yes, you'll have to bend over or scooch down but them's the breaks :) And don't sit on the tables yourselves, please - we spend all day trying to keep the kids sitting in chairs, "chairs are for sitting, tables are for working" then parents come in and sit on the tables. SIGH. So that's some of the "feet stay on the floor in preschool" rule that she said.