Follow up

Friday, April 27, 2012

I’ve been putting off writing the follow up to my previous post - mainly because I wanted to be sure that the change has been permanent.

So here is how my son is tracking with his behaviour since we had our little ‘heart to heart’ chat and role play session – if you need a reminder read the previous post.
The first day after our chat was great! His teacher was surprised with the change and said to me “I don’t know what you said to him but it really worked”. The next two days posed a little challenge since his regular teachers (both of them) were away (not good timing especially when trying to institute changes to behaviour!). He did play up a little with the teachers who were standing in but each of the afternoons, I reminded him that he needs to be good and say ‘no’ if someone wants him to do something he knows is not right or not allowed.

Fortunately, the regular teachers were back the next week and every morning when I dropped him off I asked him ‘What’s the magic word?” and he replied “No”. I would walk in holding my breath every afternoon and hadn’t had any feedback from his teachers, good or bad! I figured they would say if it was worse than before, so I just asked him ‘Have you been in trouble today” and he replied “No”. Finally, yesterday I got to ask his teacher and she said “He’s been wonderful and is listening very well”. So that’s almost two weeks of change and a good sign it will continue!
I have praised him on the days he has told me he behaved well and explained how proud I am of him. The other day I told him, "tell your dad what did I feel today because you behaved so well" (thinking he’d say ‘proud’) and he said, ‘you’re impressed’. Well that’s kinda the same isn’t it?

Have you been proud of your child lately? Have they put some effort into something and succeeded?

Something happened at preschool....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yesterday I got called aside by my son’s preschool teacher. My son had been playing up a bit at preschool and now the teacher’s thought it was time to let me know.

“How has he been at home they asked? Notice any changes in his behaviour at home?”

“No", I replied.

“Well, he’s been acting up today, playing a little rough and being a little disruptive on the mat?”

“Is it any time in particular?” I asked “No, it’s random!”

They apologise for having to tell me the ‘bad news’ but in some respects it’s only been going on a few days so in my mind there is an opportunity for change and I will find a way.

I take him home and have a good chat about making the teacher happy because “if you don’t do what the teacher wants it makes her job hard and she may get cranky”. I watch his face while I tell him and he starts to get really quiet and pensive. I drop the subject and later at bathtime, he says “but they (the kids) call me all the time, come and play, come and play – he said it over and over again and quite loud and a little angrily”. He doesn’t know it but I hear through his anger that it is difficult for him. He wants to join in and be part of the group but it leads to trouble and his teacher pulling her angry face which he also told me he doesn’t like to see.  So, I explain she won’t pull that face if he is good or walks away when other kids are playing rough.

I did not have this with my other two sons, they have always stood their ground and felt comfortable doing so, where my youngest is a follower.

I held him close and reassured him that it is okay to play with the other boys until they want to do something that is not good, then walk away. His older brother comes in later to the room where my son is getting changed and says– “hey M hit my bottom and I will run away” (suddenly I see an example of what could be happening at preschool). Of course he does hit him - right away, without a second thought. I immediately point out that is an example of what not to do – “M when someone says do this and you don’t want to or you know it is bad say “no” so we practiced loud 'no’s' and role played with his brother some scenarios – the second time he said 'no' and the third time he was just about to hit his brother when he stopped himself and said 'no' instead. A breakthrough!A few more practices and lots of high fives and I feel a little more reassured that he has learnt a new skill.

I dropped him off at preschool today and as I hugged him goodbye I asked “what’s the magic word and he whispered “No”. that’s my son and I’m proud of him! Stay tuned for an update and if you would like role play ideas email me eleanor@parentwithpotential.com

 
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