Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fighting the good fight

Little Dog does not like school.  Preschool at least.  I'm not really sure why, but he hates it.  Sometimes it is better than others, the drop offs are quick and happy.  Other times I am not so lucky.  He stalls.  He clings.  He cries.  And when I get to the car, I cry too.  No mother wants to leave her child someplace he clearly doesn't want to be.  He went through some of this last year and we managed to turn it around with the help of a child psychologist and his supportive and loving teachers.  Things were going better.  Over the summer they moved him to a new class with kids closer to his own age and despite a few challenges, he seemed to like it a lot better.  Unfortunately that has faded.

In September the older kids in the summer class moved on to the next room and Little Dog stayed.  They decide classroom assignments by birth month.  He missed the cutoff by two months.  When the bigger kids left he was joined by many of the kids from his previous classroom.  Then the problems started.  For a while things got better, or at least they did according to the teacher that Little Dog really liked.  His other teacher seems to have a more selective memory.  Unfortunately the teacher he liked so well has moved to another classroom and the unhappiness has returned.  Much like his mother, he does not like change all that much.  We've been working with his teachers trying to find that magic formula that makes him happy to be at school, or at least less resistant to the drop off, but it hasn't developed.  I think there is a different chemistry in the classroom.  And as we've worked with his teachers, I realize that I do not see eye to eye with his lead teacher.  I think he has some odd ideas about what makes kids go.  I think he believes kids should more or less all follow the same path and fit in the same molds. I get the feeling that kids who fall outside of those mold are considered problems.  Little Dog falls outside of those molds.  Little Dog takes things too much to heart and before he has fully adapted to the first teacher leaving, his other favorite teacher has moved on to a new job.  We've called in the psychologist again, and he's giving us some new techniques, helping propose methods to get the lead teacher good behaviors instead of just focusing in on every little problem.

As we get to the end of the school year, as we prepare for him to spend his summer in fun summer camps to get ready for the big move to kindergarten I'm wondering if I didn't make a huge mistake not moving him to a new school instead of trying to make this one work.  As a mom I am a master of self doubt and second guessing.  At least the psychologist assures me that he'll forget all about preschool once he moves on.  I try to remember that when he fights his drop off.  I also try to remember that by the time I pick him up in the evening he is back to being a happy kid.

When things got really bad a while back, we tried having Mr. Dog do the drop off in the morning.  For whatever reason the drop off went more smoothly.  It ended up setting the tone for his whole day.  Fewer frustrations, less drama, overall happier days. We did it for a while then I resumed drop offs with a much better result.  They started going downhill when his first teacher left.  And then after spending spring break with his grandparents living the good life, going back to school was even harder.   I had one drop off that brought me to tears and then called in reinforcements.  Mr. Dog was back on drop off duty.  Little Dog didn't like the idea at first, but we explained that his hard morning drop offs make his days harder and that he seemed to have better days when papa took him to school.  It worked like magic.  Even Little Dog notices the difference.  "I only have a good day when papa drops me off," he confided in me last night at bedtime.  So we're trying this for a while.  Maybe it will last long enough to get us through to summer.  Maybe it will help him just enough to get out of the rut of bad days.  All I know is that I'm holding my breath and counting the days.


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Poor bubby, must be hard to have to deal with all that change so fast. Like you two, I do not do change well either and I am past 50 !~!

geekymummy said...

Hope that the rest of the year goes smoothly for your sweet boy. I wish he could be in our preschool, I know Rosa's teacher Marisela would love him. The best teachers likes the more unique and challenging kids the most!

insurance quotes said...

Hope that the rest of the year goes smoothly for your sweet boy.

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