This downturn that my mind and heart have taken recently is a little different. At least I like to think so. It isn't about me, well not directly. It is relational to me in that it is about BOY and whether we're making the right choices for him and if we are not...well, you know where that leads. Nowhere good. It's that "wanting the best for your children" thing. And caring tremendously about the outcome. Not because it reflects back on you, sure there is always a little of that I suppose, but because you want your child to be happy.
I want SO MUCH to be a good mother. That is important to me. My heart aches with doubt as to whether we are making the right decision to keep BOY at his preschool. Yet in taking tours at other preschools and spending the time really tuning in to BOY, I think we are realizing that he does need a balance - perhaps we all do ...of play and structure. BOY's anxiety appears reduced since we changed to only 1/2 days, but his impulse control is worse and he is zinging and bouncing off the walls at times - and, challenging us at every turn. It is incredibly exhausting. He's 4, some of this behavior is probably just that. However, the humming that you can almost see under his skin is telling. It may not be anxiety now, yet it is a sign of stress. He is happy most of the time and talks about wanting to do full days again, but we are taking things slowly.
His Sunday school teacher said something interesting yesterday - and I'm paraphrasing, but the gist was this: BOY is not like the kid who has to be in constant motion, who can't sit still. He can sit still for a good amount of time - 20+ minutes at the small table for the lesson when he is engaged. He IS the kid who suddenly gets distracted by something else and the trick is to find a way of engaging him and getting him back to the table. We need to figure out how to do that. (The Sunday school teachers are awesome and BOY really enjoys the time there. It has felt good to get another viewpoint with insights and ideas of what might be good for him in a preschool/daycare setting.)
Because BOY has difficulty focusing on things that he is not interested in, he needs the practice of engaging in those things for short periods of time. The challenge is in finding that chemistry in the preschool setting so that he can practice for Kindergarten -without feeling pressure. Up until the last few months, BOY's school has been a place that I have felt good about. I am still holding out hope that there will be a positive shift on the part of the teachers and their grasp of his learning style, in BOY's growth and also in my maturing as a parent.
We met with the Director of the daycare and another one of BOY's teachers on Friday. The meeting was rather underwhelming in non information about how BOY is doing. "We've just been focusing on making him comfortable." And that's all they would give us... But, a positive outcome was that they are having someone from the outside come in and evaluate the classroom, evaluate how BOY is doing in the classroom, and help the teachers come up with a plan to incorporate ALL the children in their different learning styles. Hopefully, a different approach and recognition that every child has individual needs, and how to work with that in a group setting.
I continue to interview and tour other programs, but the way things seem to be unfolding it feels like we are meant to stick it out longer at the present school. With all of that said, none of this has prevented me from applying elsewhere, putting ourselves on the waiting list and hoping that someday soon it will all become clear. Just in case I need to send up an emergency flare or two...