Keeping Little Problems From Becoming Big Ones in Pre-K
For a minute there, I was one of THOSE parents. You know — the mom who believes that her child can do no wrong and that if there is a problem, it has to be the teacher’s fault.
Last week was my oldest daughter’s second week of pre-k. And though she attended the school’s summer program, she suddenly decided she did not like, nor did she want to go to, school. In fact, she’d cry every morning. Miserably. And every morning, I’d head off to work, trying not to cry myself, with my daughter’s tears and runny nose remnants on my clothes.
By day three, my husband and I had had it. We were convinced that her teacher must be the problem, and it was reinforced when my daughter cried, “Ms. X was mean to me. She yelled at me!” Yell? At my daughter? Who would yell at my sweet little angel? Yes, I’ve yelled at her, but that’s not the point!
Thursday, I was finally able to speak with the teacher. Turns out, my daughter was upset that her teacher did not choose her as the class helper that week (she was the helper the prior week). When she found out my daughter had been crying every morning (because I told every teacher there), she began trying different tactics to encourage her, like giving her helper assignments.
I began to realize it was the transition to the pre-k environment and coursework, not the teacher, that was the problem. I began to employ the greatest weapon I know in helping my child: TIME. When we got home, instead of starting homework right away, I’d have some play time with my two daughters together to give the older one a chance to decompress from an entire day of structure. The result? Happier mom, happier daughter, greater bonding between sisters and my daughter now enjoys school.
1. It’s okay to be “that parent.” You are your child’s first advocate — just be sure to temper it with reason and understanding the facts before jumping to conclusions.
2. Connect with your child’s teacher if you have a concern. Ask questions and don’t underestimate the teachers’ understanding of your child as an individual.
3. Time heals all wounds. Play time, talk time, cuddle time, encouragement time — it’s all good time to spend with your child.
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