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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this over in Working Mama's, but sometime's that forum is kinda slow, so I thought I'd throw this out here<br><a href="http://mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87619" target="_blank">back to school behavior thread</a><br>
I'd love any thoughts!<br>
TIA
 

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I totally understand what's going on. I too have this problem with M. I recently went back to school(full-time in the nursing program) after a whole summer of being ith her and babysitting out of our home. The attitude this girl has is just incredible. she's doing the exact same things your son is doing. Because she's up now I can't really go into much detail but I wanted you to know that you aren't alone. I will come back and post tonight in more detail. Good luck.<br>
Meg<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I need the company <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I look forward to your post!
 

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Wow I really apologize. Things have been hectic here. I just got a part-time job along with full-time school so I'm really tryign to spend some quality time iwth M. I PROMISE to post during her nap today! Again, I'm sorry. I didn't expect things to get crazy.<br>
Meg<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Phew, okay. Here I am. It's naptime, yay!<br>
So I totally understand what you are going through. Madyson loves her sitter (she goes across the street to her friend's house) and the sitter's daughter but she's still having trouble adjusting. I'm a full-time student and I soon start a one day a week part-time job that will land her with the sitter from 8:30-3, 5 days a week. Two of those days my mom picks her up at 4 while I finish up a night class and come home at 7:30. Not only does that make it a long day for her(8:30-4) but it's an extremely long day for me(8:30-7:30) so we are both tired and cranky. I notice that Madyson has been telling me that she misses her mummy and she's been a little weepy during the day according to the sitter. ALSO she's stopped eating well. I feel so horrible. She did so well last sememster and this semester I am spending less time ith her unfortunately because our bills required that I find a part-time job. She won't eat more than a bite or two of lunch AND dinner. Breakfast is the only thing she eats well and that's usually only 6oz of soy yogurt. She picks here and there all day long(MAYBE equaling a small piece of fruit and a cracker or two) fortunately. that's really a separate post though. She is clingy and whiny and generally not happy. I feel so bad! I spent my entire summer watching two other children and staying home and all in the span of two weeks, I went back to school, M went to the sitter, my younger sister who we live with went away to college, and M became miserable. I've tried to be patient with her but I'm nearing the end of my rope. For 3 weeks now she's been absolutely miserable and I can't seem to brighten her day. I have no choice. I have to work or we can't pay our bills. I have to go to school and can't cut down on classes because we are on welfare and welfare pays for my schooling. This is what I've done so far to try to ease the transition:<br>
-we head across the street to the sitter's house 15minutes early so I can hang out with her a little befoer I kiss her goodbye<br>
-during my late nights at school, I pick one of them where I can go to bed WITH her and stay there all night instead of doing homework after she goes to bed. that's some extra rest for me and snuggletime for her<br>
-on weekends we do special things just the two of us like going apple picking or hiking or just to the playground for some undivided attention just for M<br>
-on late nights at school for me, Madyson is allowed to stay up late to see me for a little while when I come home and she watches a movie with my mom and dad(I'm a single mom so we live with them right now) as a special treat<br>
-I make sure to keep her basic routines the same at home as much as possible<br>
-one day a week we go to a mommy and me gymnastics class before I head to school in the morning. my mother pays for it<br>
-every night when I tuck her in to bed we read a story, I give her a back and leg massage while she drinks her soy milk and we discuss our days and what went on<br>
-her sitter makes sure to let her go without a nap for the one day during the week that her daughter is in preschool(I didn't put M in this year) so Madyson can help with the baby(2months) and feel like she's getting to do something special<br>
-whenever I cook or clean or whatever, I involve Madyson. she helps me make dinner and she picks up her toys so I can vaccuum, etc.<br><br>
As you can see, I've really tried. If you have any other ideas for me, please let me know. I'm just feeling so stressed over this. I love my daughter beyond belief but these things are things that I cannot change. I have no social life outside her and school and work because I want to carve out as much time for her as possible. I dont' go out with friends. I don't date. I just can't find anymore time for her in my schedule. I feel horrible about it all. How are you holding up? How are you doing things around the house to keep your son involved and happy?<br>
Any ideas would be MORE than welcome!<br>
Meg<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, your schedule is much tougher than mine! I think you are doing an awesome job of handling a tough situation, Madyson is lucky to have you!<br>
We are holding up, but then ,it's Sunday and we've really enjoyed our slow time together.<br>
My ds is manifesting his anxiety and sadness by seeking to control as much as he can, seeking negative attention, and just generally recheking his boundaries/limits. He is weepy when I drop him off on Fridays and Friday has been his toughest days at preschool these past few weeks.<br>
I drop him off at 7:45 on MWF and leave the house where he is with my dh at 7:20 on T TH. I pick him up or am home by 12:30 every day but Friday, when I pick him up at 1:30.<br>
We also nightweaned in mid August, so I think that was another layer to his anxiety.<br>
Here's what we do~~<br>
I'm making him a very simple "calendar" with drawings of the people he is with each day, to help it seem less random for him.<br>
I hang out with him for as long as he wants when I pick him up at school (which is better than hanging out at drop off for us b/c he is not so clingy then when I leave).<br>
We started him in school in May when I was home , so he had a nice long time to get used to it with only a few hours 2 days per week. He loves his school and teacher (it is actually a preschool/family home daycare run in the Waldorf style). When I pick him up I have a special snack packed for him in my lunch box, and though he's already eaten lunch, he eats or drinks something with me. He doesn't drink cow milk, which she serves, so I pick him up with cold soy milk to drink. I think its a way for him to reconnect with me as his primary nurturer.<br>
We set an alarm for 5:45 to signal nursing and cuddle time, then another goes off at 6:25, and then we get up.<br>
We are still keeping as much the same as possible, and talking to him about the changes.<br><br>
He's begun talkign to me about his feelings (as much as he is able) each night before sleeping. So, I try to be open and responsive to that, even though I have always discouraged talking/playing while falling asleep.<br>
His preschool teacher said it takes 15-30 days to get used to any change, so I am trying to help him hang in there 'til then end of September, with my finger's crossed!<br>
About food, my ds is very small (just 25 lbs at 32 months), and has always been a light eater. Food, has always been a worry for me! He's gained steadily and looks well porportioned at 35" tall, though lean, so I try to stay calm, but its always a worry lurking in the corners of my mind. He has begun to eat less since I went back to school to. I think it's just something he does have control over, since he obviously doesn't have control over my schedule. WIth this in mind, we try to reinforce that he is in control of his body, but not fall into power struggles with food. For example: last night we had a neighbor over for dinner and as a real treat there was dessert (ice cream). Ds wasn't eating and was running around playing (our dinning rom and living room are one). We just kept the conversation and focus at the table, but began to loudly say, "Boy this is good, and for the people who finish what's on their plate, there is ice cream, etc. . ." he said, "I'm done!" we said, "no, you haven't eaten anything. That's fine, but the ice cream is only for after you eat dinner." He said, "feed me!" We said, "We'd be happy to help you eat, but you need to be at the table with us." After a bit of this, he did come to the table and proceeded to eat a good meal.<br>
We do a lot of this kind of dialogue with him. This is your choice, we respect your choice, but these will be the consequences of each choice. And we always try to be very neutral about it. But, some days, especially when he is hitting me, kicking me as we nurse, drawing on the walls, the carpet, or just doing wahtever he knows he is "not supposed to do", I feel like a miserable failure!!<br>
Time for myself? Haven't figured that one out yet!<br>
I hope some of this is helpful to you!<br>
Hang in there! And keep me posted on how Madyson is doing. You are admirable for taking all of this on as a single mom. Keep that in mind!
 

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Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. They really came at a good time. I'm sitting here at school between classes and just so upset! last night Madyson went to bed angry(which I try never to do) with me over some little thing and showed her negative feelings by ripping down the wallpaper border in our room which is right next to our bed. I noticed it when I came to bed and when we woke up this morning she told me, " i break our house because I so angry with you! you make my auntie coem back!" That just broke my heart. she told me that she wants to make our house yucky because she's so angry. How expressive is that! All at once I was proud of her for expressing her feeligns and her vocabulary but I was so upset because she felt that way! UGH!<br>
I think you are doing a great job with your son with those changes. I think I might utilize your idea of the calendar so everything doesn't seem so random. I think Madyson believes that it's all my fault her schedule is so hectic and so stressful. I've been using Rescue Remedy a whole lot more often these days.<br>
I found out that her gymnastics studio where we do the mommy and me class is closing down on the 30th. GEEZ, like I needed another change in her life. Now I have to find another studio that we like just as much. Maybe a yoga class? I don't know.<br>
My goodness. If we make it through this semester it will be a wonder!<br>
Meg
 

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by the way, madyson is 30lbs at 37months so I understand how you are feelings. In comparison, lb for lb, your son is still smaller but I do have a little pint of peanuts here too. I constantly worry about her food intake, thus the post above. she's always been on the smaller end of things but I just look at her some days and think, "geez, my 3 year old has a flatter stomach than me, that can't be good!" she really does. No toddler tummy for her. Aren't all babies supposed to have pudgy bellies?<br>
Meg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, so lets assume ds's teacher is right about the 15-30 day cycle~~how far into the changes are you??<br>
The calendar worked really well! We tried it Monday morning. I folded 7 sections on a 1/2 piece of paper (folded lengthwise, hotdog fold as we say in Kindergarten<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) and drew simple pictures of his pirmary caretaker for morning and afternoon each day (I broke our day into the block because that's when I come back home or pick him up, at noon). I colored coded it too, just in case my silly cartoons weren't obvious. When looking at it that way, it is clear that he spends more time with me (which helped me feel better too!) . We have a sun magnet that he moves to the next day each morning and then we talk about who he is with that day. When he first saw it, he said, Donya (his teacher), Mama, Daddy, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!!!" with a squeel of glee! He spent a good deal of time just looking at it and insited that we sing Happy Birthday to the drawing of Daddy and Donya<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> .<br>
So, I highly recommend the calendar approach!<br>
I have a little sister too, and ds is close to her, though she hasn't lived with us since last summer (and that was only for 6 weeks). Ds missed her and my Mom (who lives accross the country) and we juts talk about them all the time, imagine what they are doing, look at pictures, tell little stories, etc. I don't know if any of that would help Madyson, since we've never really lived with them sicne ds was born. Does Madyson have anything special of your sister's, which she is "keeping safe" until your sister comes home for break?<br>
Sorry to hear about the gym! Would it help if you really prepapred Madyson for it's closure and somehow "celebrated" the last day of gym, then replaced it with something else, like Yoga, or library, or an music class, etc? Something like, "Our last day of gym is coming up, because the gym is closing. So, instead of gym, we'll get to move on to X. Gym has been really fun, but now we're ready to learn about X. How should we celebrate our last day at gym class?"<br>
Hang in there! Keep in touch! Keep taking vitamins, rescue remedy, and eating well yourself. Have you looked up the Flower essence for transitions? I give ds Herbs for Kids, Chammomile Calm when he's wound up or upset.
 
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