Saturday, September 21, 2013

Confession Time

Everyone, I have a confession to make: I underestimated my preschoolers today. I know! If you've read the last couple of posts, you may have noticed it's been a rough week.  Everyone has those times when you wonder if anything you teach your kids is actually getting through and this week was one of those.
  So, we've been focusing on social skills for the past few weeks: we've talked about the children, their families, making friends, and had a wonderful lady from IY Dina reinforcing rules and calm-down strategies. The honeymoon period is definitely over and children are starting to test limits.  Today, one of our more aggressive children (Boy #1) attacked two others, so one of them (Boy #2) scratched him back.    Of course in my mind, I thought "Yay! He finally got stood up to!"  but it ended up triggering a meltdown for Boy#1 that lasted about 20 minutes.  Keep in mind this boy was saying some very negative stuff within earshot of Boy#2.  While this was going on, the third boy involved(Boy #3) came up to me and asked, "Can I go ask him why he did that to me? We didn't do anything to him."  I said, "I love that you want to do that! He's upset right now, so maybe later."  To be honest, I was hoping he'd forget about it because I was worried he'd get hurt.
  Now, we've all been taught that time-out only needs to last a few minutes because children can't remember what they've done.  They have the attention spans of gnats and incidents are quickly forgotten.  This didn't apply to my kids.  Boy #1 kept saying things about Boy#2 through naptime, a good two hours, until he finally went to sleep.  Finally, after naptime was over, it was time for me to go to lunch.
   When I got back, my assistant told me this:  Boy#3 asked Boy#1 why he'd done those things. Boy#1 said it was because he was mad and asked Boy#2 why he'd scratched him. It turned into an entire civil conversation, with no other fists involved.  They played together the rest of the afternoon.
So, I apologize.  When it comes to your kids, don't underestimate them because they might be capable of more than you think.


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