am a teacher (more like an assistant as its in the woman's home & she pretty much leads and directs us) in a play based pretty darn awesome play school...most of it is based on bev bos' ways.
here is my dilemma, if you will... but first, a bit about me...
i am ALSO a solo parenting very AP mama. i have to work. i cannot have a play school for preschool agers in my home as it just won't work out right now w/ landlord, etc. but, i've made it work and found my place in probably the coolest, "closest to to what i'm about" preschool around town. phew.
so the dilemma is that my new job as of a month has my heart hurting when my boss tells me how to parent my son, who is there w/ me some days. she tells me and him what to do. if he whines or asks for me to have hugs or to be w/ me, even in same area, out or in, she more often than not separates us or makes him use words to communicate what he wants/needs, despite my already knowing 'his language'. he doesn't whine and have lack of communication word-wise w/ anyone else, really. its a mother/kid thang. so this doesn't bug me. it is a mixed age place so it isn't like i have to be w/ the older kids and not his age...
boss says it is bothering the other kids. they don't say that but this is what she says it does. that it can be confusing for them if he is whining and 'getting his way' so to speak and they can't get away w/ that.
so. wht to do. it only pisses him off and stresses us both out to no end when she won't let me even comfort or touch him when he is feeling needy of me. he's only a little guy. we are very close. i can easily multi task and be there for the other children, no prob. i've been working w/ kids since i can remember (i'm 40 now) and do it well, even w/ my own kid on hip or in tow.
maybe she's more concerned the other kids won't understand, despite them knowing i'm his MOTHER, not just a teacher/adult there...? maybe she's more concerned what the other parents will think if they see me nurturing HIM??? maybe she is not AP. she has told me she's not an instinctive real nurturing kinda mama...yet she loves kids and is real good at what she does.
my son is very 'independent', just fine as far as that goes...confident, fun, wonderous, sweet boy. we are just very attached and he knows i'm present and knows who to come for for that comfort.
my heart hurts. my son needs me now so i gotta close this. sorry so scattered of a post. ya know how it is...
would love your input.
I've been a a mom working in a program with her own child whether it was a paid classroom aid in DD's class or the 8 years as the leader of her girl scout troop. I've taught performing arts classes where both my kids were also students. What I've learned, is that to make that situation really work, you have to hold your own child to the highest expectations. If you don't, you get resentment, disrespect and behavioral issues from the other kids. Your own child gets harassed or set apart from their peers. It bugs the parents who will look for favortism.
I've worked several years as a preschool teacher and I can understand the issues that pop-up when one child is being ommited from the rules by a staff member on a regular basis.... own child or not. Having one child in a program who doesn't have to follow the rules is very problematic. Having one child who is being "mothered" in front of a group of children missing their mothers is very difficult. I've also been in a situation where I could take my kids to work with me (though I was not working with other kids at the time.) It's very important to follow the rules of the company and to make sure your child is not intrusive.
I get that your son is very little and that you want to be there for him but I can understand where the teacher is coming from. Whether you agree with her or not, she is your boss and bringing your child to work is a priveledge. I wouldn't look at it as her trying to tell you how to parent. I'd see it as her holding your child to the same expectations as the other children. It's not practical to have a big group of kids whine to get what they want. How can she really instill that if one child IS allowed to do that. You have to follow her rules if you and your son want to be there. If the expectation is that children ask for what they need verbally, then that is what your son needs to do. If you need to be working with a different group of kids to make the situation work, then that is what you have to do. I'm sorry it is upsetting. I understand it's difficult and I know there are times you want to cut your own child slack because you know and love them. However, it's not really good for them or the other kids.
yeah, she isn't telling you how to parent. She's telling you how to treat children while you are at work, and she telling your son how he needs to behave while at school. You need to treat him like you do all the other kids, and he needs to act in the same ways expected of all the other children.
I suspect that if you decide that this is in his best interest, he will quickly get on board with it. Right now, he's getting mixed messaged from you and the director. When the message coming from you, not just in words but from you heart, is that he is capable of acting like the other children, then he will.
It's a difficult situation. At the mixed age school my kids go to, teachers who have children at the school are not allowed to be part of disciplining their own kids while at school. They also are not part of comforting their children if their children have melt downs. There are firm lines, and sometimes it can be rough on the parents, because they can't *parent* while being a teacher.
But the only other real option is to not allow teachers to have their kids there. And it sounds like that will end up being your choice -- do you want to stay working where you are and do you feel it is the best preschool placement for your child? If so, learning to not act in the role of his parent while you are at work will be your next quest.
but everything has pros and cons
I have been in your same situation (one of the teachers at ds's school in the summertime). I find that I often have to hold ds to rules I would let another kid bend. Like during circle time we are super strict about participation (even staying seated the whole time) but ds damn well better stay in the circle! Now if we are at another event (where I am not the teacher, music class for instance) and he wants to get up during circle I am way more understanding and allowing of that. But as a teacher in the program my child must abide the program's rules because everyone (mostly the kids) is looking to see if he "gets away" with more.
So yeah if your kid uses a whiny, few words, kinda mama/kid language at home, cool that's your choice. But if the rule at school is, "if you have the words you must use the words" then he's gotta use the words.
He'll probably adjust pretty quickly to a more verbal approach like the teacher wants if you stay consistent. Kids are pretty good at knowing different situations require different behaviors. I had my oldest child in a daycare class with me, and my youngest (who has certainly been a little more babied than the older two) shares a gr. ! class with the same child I am a teacher's aide for. Everyone adjusted OK. I just gave them the "when we are at school we follow these rules" talk.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!