Saturday, February 16, 2008

Their expectations are too high

We had a conference yesterday afternoon with BOY's lead teacher and the Director of his daycare. BOY has become increasingly stressed at school. He has been having accidents, and now this week has had 2 incidents of acting out at nap time. Today he leapt off of his cot and started running around the room refusing to get back on his cot. The Director took him to her office and set up the cot there and he continued to run in the office. She had to physically lie on top of him to keep him on his cot. He finally settled down, chatting up the Director and fell asleep. The first thing I thought of when they told us this was ...why didn't they take him outside for a few minutes?

Parenting is a journey of so many twists and turns. It is mind boggling. My heart is heavy with worry over BOY right now. I have been so exhausted with this that I was unable to even articulate my thoughts and write last night. At 4 years old, a time when he should be playing and having fun and delighting in life, he is feeling pressure and stress at his daycare. Their expectations are too high. He is 4. He is feeling stress. Those two concepts should not be engaged or related to each other. It is insane for a 4 year old to be stressed out at preschool/daycare.

BOY has always been unique. Of course, every parent thinks their children are unique. But, I have to say that he is different. In an amazing, colorful, irresistable, and yes, challenging way. From an early age, it was so obvious that he thinks "outside the box." He is an inventor. He has a vivid imagination. He is an individual thinker. He needs lots of physical activity and his body is always moving. Not in an erratic, jumpy way, but he is what you would call "all boy". And he is incredibly sensitive and empathetic to others. And I will not have his spirit squashed.

Last night he was almost manic, he was flying around the living room and talking nonstop. He had to go to sleep between us because he was so whacked out. By this morning, he was calmer, but had 2 accidents at home. We spent the whole day hanging around outside playing with toys, and loving on him. The day noticeably turned around and he has gotten progressively calmer.

We're going to try a couple of weeks of just 1/2 days to see if that helps. I am now beginning to understand God's plan in me not having found a full-time job yet. BOY needs me. In a big way. And I'm right here.

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  1. I am so sorry you are all having a rough time. I am curious, what does BOY say about school? I have always thought it was ridiculous to expect four year olds to sleep or stay on cots for an hour or more - some of them simply don't need a nap and asking them to stay on a cot for that long if they are awake is ludicrous. As a teacher, though, I know it is the only way that the teachers can get their 1/2 hr break they so desperately need. Is his daycare very structured, or do they get lots of time to play? Being a parent is so hard, isn't it? He is lucky to have you in his corner. Please let us know how everything goes. I'm cheering for you, and sending good thoughts your way.

  2. JCK! How hard for you, and for him. You're right, 4 is no time for stress. There'll be plenty of that to come later in life. Maybe it's time to switch pre-schools? Montessori? Something less formal/structured? I don't know, as we're not even in pre-school yet. I'm sure being at home with you will help. At least you will get a better handle of what's going on with him during the day!

  3. I was thinking the same thing as AMTB, about a different sort of preschool?

    You know your boy, and he's lucky to have such a great mom.

  4. Your boy sounds like my five year old; sensitive, original, thoughtful - and CHALLENGING. I'm lucky in that we love, love his preschool as does he. My quandry was to find a kindergarten that would feed his creativity and continue to instill his love of learning. I think the idea of alternative schooling is an excellent one.

    My being home has been a huge help for us in all aspects of child-raising. I think you're wise to think part time or put off work for a while.

  5. Oh I am so glad BOY has you for a mommy. And also glad that you have time at home right now to figure out what will be best for him. I get so worried about stressing out the little ones. It is just too early for their lives to be anything but an adventure. I am very familiar with this behavior...alot of it is just a boy thing. Some might be a little sensory overload. A book that I found extrememely helpful with ALL my boys is "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz. Please understand I am not saying anything is wrong with BOY!!! I just love this book and it has tips for all sorts of situations. It has really let me learn what activities will calm them down and what their little developing nervous system craves despite what schedule their pre-school is on. I didn't send boy #2 to pre-school. We work on these things at home and meet friends to play because he would be so freaked out in that structures situation at the age of 4. Every child is so different...sometimes it is hard to figure out what is best. Good luck to you...

  6. Nobody knows your kid like you do. I'm hoping things settle down for you and the little guy (and he is little) soon.

  7. Egad, I'd feel the same way. I agree with Mrs. G. Follow your gut and your heart - that's what it is there for.

    BOY is so lucky to have you JCK.

  8. I'm sorry about boy...sounds like you're handling it well. He's lucky to have you for his mom.


  9. BOY is so lucky to have you, a mother who truly listens and understands and looks for ways to be happier. Sending love.


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