Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adventures in Preschool

First, an update on baby - We had our evaluation with the state-run early-start program this past Tuesday (they offer free in-home therapy), and baby more than qualifies - so much so that they're probably going to pass us on to the next level - so we'll be dealing with a different department, one that will probably offer more services. We'll hear back on that this week.

It has been so unusual to note the differences between our sons. Our eldest is the "healthy as a horse" type. He's only been to his pediatrician for sick visits once in his life... he's never had anything wrong with him other than colds.... he is the kind that the doctor has a hard time remembering whenever he does come in.

Our youngest, on the other hand, has so many issues (I know I've written about this before, but it keeps coming up). Besides his main issue of whatever is going on (diagnosis hopefully coming in November/December), he is fussy/delicate about things like temperature and wind, he gets more rashes, he has gotten ringworm (we think), his colds last a lot longer (current cold is on day 8), he can't handle solids well (he throws up if his food isn't smooth enough), etc. At this point, the receptionist at our doctor's office actually knows my voice on the phone. It's crazy. We talk with them constantly. I guess it's just our turn to learn about non-perfect health in children!

Now, our older son:

Our eldest son's preschool does daily "grading" - they get "green" for good behavior, "yellow" for doing something naughty, and "red" for doing something really bad (you are only allowed 2 reds before getting kicked out of the program - yikes).

On Thursday, our son brought home his first "yellow" - for not following directions during P.E. time. I can't say I was surprised - in fact, I had been pleasantly surprised that he went so long (two whole days!) getting "greens"!

It has now been a full two years since we began to be approached by various teachers. Thankfully it's only world-destroyingly-catastrophic the first time - I don't think I took in half of what his two-year-old-class Sunday School teacher told me when she let me know she was having issues with him in class - I was in a state of absolute shock, dismay, panic, denial - the works. It was super-hard to take in.

Since then, I'm afraid I've gotten a bit used to it. We continue to work hard, hard, hard on obedience issues (it is a daily adventure), but the truth remains that our son continues to have absolutely ZILCH interest in group activities, and obedience is a hard sell with him, despite our work. His attitude seems to be "Sure, you guys go over there and do whatever you want; I'll be over here playing with this toy." If you put him in a group of older teens, he's all attention, but with his peers he is distant and unconcerned.

Part of what makes this harder for me is that I was a docile, mild-mannered, pleaser, compliant, disgustingly-goody-two-shoes girl. So my experience with spirited, non-pleaser-type, wilfull, energetic boys, is naught.

I can still remember the only three caregiver-discipline issues of my entire K-6 experience.... #1 - Getting put in time out for spanking a boy who deliberately knocked over my block tower. (I have no regrets! He deserved it, LOL!!!), #2 - Being spoken to firmly after questioning my 2nd grade teacher's directions, #3 - Getting scolded by my mom for bringing home an A- instead of an A+ in some 6th grade subject. Oh, the horror!

(As a matter of fact, I didn't get a non-A grade till college.... it was first-quarter Physics lab - I got an unexpected C. I'm still in therapy for that.)

Oh, and there was that little incident in third grade where I and a friend were almost arrested on suspicion of masterminding a jewel robbery, but that was a frame-up! I swear it!

(As another matter of fact, that really did happen.... Thankfully the school authorities and the police realized that the accusing party - a rather nasty fourth-grade girl - had completely made up the charge to get back at us for reporting her playground bullying.)

Anyhow, this whole thing is rather new to me. As I've said, we are working super-super-hard on constant obedience training, learning more and more parenting techniques, instilling good morals, etc. etc. etc., but for now we are still stuck with having occasional teacher issues.

So for now, we set up consequences for any future "yellows," and we'll be explaining them this weekend. Hopefully they're complete enough for deterrence!

Is this a sign that we need to persevere, and that things will get better? Or is this a sign that our son is not going to have a fun school experience and that we need to still consider homeschooling?

I still have not come to a place of peace about either homeschooling or not homeschooling. Thus, I'm trying to keep an open mind, pray constantly about it, and watch how preschool goes. If we decide on school, then preschool will be preschool.... if we decide on homeschool, then preschool will just be an "enrichment class." I'm just praying for direction and peace with whatever decision God wants us to make.

And if anyone has any parenting suggestions, tips, techniques, or books/websites to recommend for dealing with spirited boys, let me know! I've read some that have been very helpful - every little bit helps!

Have an awesome Sabbath, everyone!!!


  1. I've really benefited from The Strong Willed Child and Bringing Up Boys. I am re-reading both right now and really enjoying them! I have two strong willed little boys. I was a strong willed/difficult child too, but still found I needed some advice/insight for raising my sons.

  2. Haha, even if you homeschooled him, I'm sure there would be issues. Speaking as a "strong willed child," we find ways to make trouble :D


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