I don’t know what to say, I feel sorry for my son. He is trying to love school, I remember his first official day starting school, he tried to hold back the tears and he was constantly blinking, and his lower lip was starting to tremble. I could see he was nervous about his first day. Then upon collection as we took the first week of school off of work and collected him early everyday, he was so excited to see us and I wanted him to be enthused about going to school, and gave him a medal for his bravery.
However, as weeks have gone by and he has had his first month at school, our son is being constantly reprimanded for bad behaviour, we have been called into meetings and I am not even sure I agree with their way of handling it. We are being criticised we are not firm enough, whereas I think their tough love approach is not helping, making his meltdowns worse and I feel sorry for him. I don’t do time outs or naughty steps, I have tried to in the past, but I just end up in a battle of wills with my son and it does no good for me either, and just end up making myself feel more stressed and angry. I rather do time ins for my son and I think they work better. I think the school want a quick solution and more worried about staff ratios, hence, I want an assessment of my son completed and if he needs more support and funding for more one on one attention, I am prepared to fight for that.
Last weekend was a real downer, the school called us in and the headteacher said ‘it was the worse behaviour she had seen in her 30 year career span’. I realise she might want to emphasise the seriousness of the situation, but I don’t appreciate her professionalism for saying it or how even saying that helped. After a good cry that evening, I refused to mope about the entire weekend with my son. We went to playgroup as usual, the volunteers wanted to hear things had turned around for our son starting school, but unfortunately I had to say they hadn’t. However, he had a nice time at the playgroup and I couldn’t fault his behaviour there. We went to the library to return some books and get some new ones afterwards, and the only struggle we had was he wanted to run off while we were trying to walk to the library. This has always been one of the ongoing issues we have had, running off, fussy eating (some not his fault as he has had intolerances and a hyper sensitive gag reflex when he was younger), refusing to sleep sometimes even though tired (this is something we experienced a lot less of now) and his dependency on me to fall asleep, he is scared of the dark and being on his own. However, we dealt with the running off issue and had a good talk with him, and have to report he said to me at the beginning of this week ‘Mummy, I am learning to walk by you’.
The school wanted me to punish him all weekend, but I was never going to do that, I talk to him about his bad behaviour and told him he mustn’t do these things and we talk about alternatives, but then we move on and give him another chance. We enjoyed the disco that I got tickets for ages ago despite us all being a bit coldy, he was less apprehensive about a darkened, noisy dance hall, loved the falling metallic streamers and the giant balloons, and I loved helping him trying to reach and hit them back up in the air. We didn’t stay as long and left early, before my son got too hyper and timed it just right.
The other thing my son has been doing really well at is his preschool gymnastics classes, joining into both parts equally and letting me move to the upper viewing gallery part way through without a fuss. He has earned a Star of the week sticker 3 times in a row since the beginning of term and his first badge, and he has truly earned it and it is a big leap forward for him.
Today we went to a church fayre run by the organisation that runs the playgroup we regularly go to, first it was nice to see my son taking the initiative to do some crafty things as a lot of the time he isn’t interested. Particularly the sand art work as it required concentration and patience, and it seemed very therapeutic for him. He also picked out this bracelet for me to make up for the jewellery he has broken in the past (his words), I forgive him for that as he was a lot younger and going through a grabby stage even though I tried my best to keep things out of the way. He also picked out a necklace for his nan who has recently been recovering in hospital, and might finally be going home again this week!
Hoping we carry on with the progress at gymnastics, school I am not so sure where we are heading with that.