Mothering Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel like some days I am going to pull all of my hair out! My dd is 5 and attends preschool two days a week. More often than not she has been in trouble during the day when I pick her up. I just feel like I am the only parent in the world that experiences this. I am really almost at my wits end. I do not handle it very well. I never seem to see the teachers talking to other parents. Am I really the only one?

When I was in school I would have rather died than get in trouble. I did everything told all the time. My dd is the polar opposite of me and very much like my husband. As a result he deals with it better, but cannot understand why I get so upset.

For the most part she gets in trouble for not following directions or being defiant. She is definitely strong-willed and we recognize that!! At home we have seen a lot of improvement and deal pretty well with her spirited nature. I love her more than anything and actually appreciate the fact she already stands up for herself and for what she believes! I just wish she could learn to tone it down a little at school and just follow the rules!! Am I expecting too much?

I fear that it will cause difficulty fitting in at school next year. I also worry about the teachers disliking her (may not be rational, I know) and not enjoying her for who she really is. She is an amazing little girl...bright, curious, funny...just strong-willed big time.

I am tears typing this because I do not know how to get through to dd the importance of behaving at school and I do not know how to let some if it go on my end. I take it all really personally and feel like it is a reflection of how I parent.

If anyone else experiences this how do you handle it? Am I being too hard on her...she really is a good, sweet kid!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
Speaking as someone who has taught preschool for a number of years, it is very unusual to have a student behave worse at school than at home. Usually it is the other way around, except when a child has very low impulse control... and then it's about equal at home and at school.

Have you been able to spend some time observing your DD's classroom? Are you satisfied with the teacher/student interactions you've seen there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
First of all,
s, you are not the only one!

Quote:

Originally Posted by merri View Post
For the most part she gets in trouble for not following directions or being defiant. She is definitely strong-willed and we recognize that!! At home we have seen a lot of improvement and deal pretty well with her spirited nature. I love her more than anything and actually appreciate the fact she already stands up for herself and for what she believes! I just wish she could learn to tone it down a little at school and just follow the rules!! Am I expecting too much?
This is my dd too! She just turned 3 and is giving the teacher a hard time at preschool. Everyday during free-play time, the kids have to complete the craft/worksheet for the day and dd refuses to do it! I have to stay every day to make sure that dd does her craft. Lately I've had to tell her if she doesn't do her craft we're going home. I hate doing that but the teacher told me she has to do the work.

Yesterday the teacher said that from now on I shouldn't stay, I should tell dd that she has to listen to the teachers and they'll get her to do the craft. I don't think that is going to go over well. I have a feeling they resort to physical force (picking up the child) to get them to sit at the craft table. I don't think we're going back to school after xmas break; it makes me sick to think how they are treating my kid. I just starting looking into homeschooling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,705 Posts
If she's getting in trouble every single day, then there's something "off" about the interaction between DD and the teacher. Either the expectations aren't realistic, or she's not comprehending what's expected of her, or her teachers are approaching her in a way that's not consistent with DD's learning style.

And please, don't take it so personally. Your DD is who she is, and her behavior at school is NOT a direct reflection of you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,523 Posts
I totally agree with Ruthla. And, OP, I think (and I say this gently), you need to think of your DD and not yourself here. Really, it doesn't sound like a good match for her. What kind of "trouble" are we talking about here? Have you actually had a conference with the teachers to discuss this at length? What tools and techniques do they use? It's time to be proactive so your DD can have a positive school experience. Preschool should be fun!

And Lily's Mom, I'd be running from that school. They *have* to complete a craft during free play when they're three?? My DS is five and still sometimes chooses not to do a craft at preschool (although he does do them a lot more than a year ago).
-e
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your responses. Yes, we have had conferences and I have observed my daughter. For the most part she does well. She can be demanding and if she does not want to do something she simply will not and is not afraid to say it. She is also a perfectionist and gets easily frustrated. We are really working with her on how to deal with this, but it can cause problems in the classroom.

I feel like we have been very proactive. We actually switched preschools as I felt like the other was not meeting her needs. I am a teacher as well and felt like she needed something different. I want her to really enjoy school and feel the same...that preschool should be fun. I guess I need to give her time to adjust to the new school.

She has done a wee bit better at the new school, but still has her issues. I wonder if I expect too much from her. I know she is going to not follow rules at times or not share, but it just seems like almost every time I pick her up I am told that she did not follow rules at some point during the day. Am I overly sensitive to what I perceive as her getting trouble? I taught older students so this telling parents every time a child does not follow rules is new to me.

The types of trouble are mainly not following rules, being defiant (using an "unkind" voice), and not doing things when asked. Today when I picked her up they said she was sent to the director because she got really fussy during rest time when she could not get comfortable. It is hard for me to understand this part of her. I am honestly not trying to make this about me. I say all of this because I think I am the one that can use some changing, but it is difficult and I was looking for support in that area. I truly wish I did not get caught up on the "behavior." I am afraid of how it will effect my dd.

I feel like I am rambling. Thank you for the suggestions. Lily's mom thank you for making me feel not so alone! I am sorry that you are not having a great experience. If you do not feel like she is in the best place I would pull her out or look elsewhere. We did and I am happy we made the switch. I am just hoping the weeks to come will get better for us!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
Maybe the school and the teacher aren't a good fit for your DD? I have a very strong willed, spirited son and know he would be in trouble at some types of schools. It took a lot of searching, but we both love his school and he thrives there. One of the reasons it is so wonderful is that the teachers set it up so that kids will succeed, really work to use each child's personality as a strength and there is an expectation of respect going both ways - all mixed with a good dose of humor! If he was made to do crafts or work sheets or sent to a director's office, he would push back really hard and end up in "trouble". That said, there are two kids in DS's class that have a hard time. The approach is more of love, support and compassion than "getting in trouble". At the same time, part of going to school is learning to get along in a group and function within the group. If she seems that she is demanding enough to require an abnormal amount of the teacher's attention or her refusal to to do things holds up the rest of the class or prevents others from doing what they want, then it seems like it would be more an issue of her behavior than the school. (Obviously, not knowing her, I am not saying she is that way - just exploring the other side.) In that case, it still seems punitive to get her in trouble. It would be more about helping her learn to consider her classmates and friends and be a part of a group.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you mamadebug! I do think the new school is a good fit. It just make take her some time to adjust to the new way of doing things as it is very different than where she was before. I will find out how they approach things when her spirited nature comes out. I do tend to think it is not so much the school and more of her behavior honestly. I have found that if it matters to her she does great, if it does not then her behavior is not the best. I think 90% of the time she does great it is just the other 10% I have to figure out!!

She does struggle at times about why it is important to follow rules and why it is important to be considerate of others (this is hard for me to understand about her!). She is very literal and this has been the root of some of the problem. We are talking today to the new teachers and director and hopefully will make some head way with how to best help my dd.

By the way, my husband is just like her! In school he would flat out refuse to do things if he thought it was a waste of his time!! He would tell teachers he would rather take a zero than complete an assignment. He turned out just fine...dd is much the same so her being spirited is something I am trying to learn to deal with in a way that is encouraging to who she is.

Thanks again, you were very helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by merri View Post
I feel like I am rambling. Thank you for the suggestions. Lily's mom thank you for making me feel not so alone! I am sorry that you are not having a great experience. If you do not feel like she is in the best place I would pull her out or look elsewhere. We did and I am happy we made the switch. I am just hoping the weeks to come will get better for us!
We checked out another preschool in our neighbourhood on Tuesday, and it was disappointing. The preschool she's at now would be perfect, if the kids weren't forced to do the crafts and worksheets. We're sort of limited in where we can go to preschool, because we need to walk there or take a bus. Plus all the good programs are full and have waiting lists by this time of year anyways.

So, today the teacher told me she'll let me know how it goes with her trying to get my dd to do the craft! I'll be surprised if the craft is done when I go to pick her up.

I'm so glad that switching schools was a good thing for your family, merri. I do hope that things continue to improve at preschool for your dd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,881 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lily's_Mom View Post
Plus all the good programs are full and have waiting lists by this time of year anyways.
Switching schools was great for my son too. And you never know with the good programs- its still good to talk to them, because there can be openings in the middle of the year and they definitely want to fill those fast. We didn't *jump* at an opening at a great montessori school down the street from our house in late Oct and regretted it.

I hate that "you have to finish this craft/worksheet before you can play" thing for many reasons (not least b/c it sets up craft or "academic" activities as a "chore" rather than something fun, creative and wonderful, which is what they should be. Then the kids will choose to do it- or not, because who is to say the other things they were doing were less important to them at the time). I didn't know until I was spending more time at my son's school last year that the teacher was doing that with the pre-K group, and I knew I had to get him to a new school before he was in that group. Are the teachers willing to be flexible on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,214 Posts
Making your three year old daughter finish a craft is not developmentally appropriate. I would not keep my child at that school, I don't think that is fixable just with a talk by the teacher it sounds like there is some serious inflexibility in her thinking and that would be a real red flag for me. It is really inappropriate for kids to even "have" to finish a worksheet or craft during "free play".

Honestly to the OP, I'm uncomfortable with the way you describe your daughter's school too. I would be setting up a conference to talk about what works better with her spirited temperment. "tattling" on her about the "trouble" she gets in every day does not seem like an effective strategy at all. Can you see if you can shift the teacher to some more positive reinforcement?

My son is very strong willed and has some sensory integration disfunction. His teacher has a lot of challenges getting him involved in the pre-school day, following class rules, and not melting down when things don't go his way. We are pursuing evaluation at the school so that he can possibly get some therapy for the sensory issues but for the behavior stuff his teacher is very clear that its not his job to just "fit in" and make life easier for her, but rather her job to help him feel comfortable enough in the classroom that he can comply and to help him learn to mesh more with the group without feeling bad that he can't do everything as easily as the group does.

It sounds like your daughter needs a similar environment where the teacher is as invested in her success as you are. I'm not saying you have to switch schools, it doesn't sound so severe that you can't get the teacher on the same page possibly, but I think you are going to have to give up your desire for your daughter to be like you and just do as she is told and advocate for her with this teacher. The teacher may even be trying to engage you in discussion of what works better for your daughter, "telling" on her might be an attempt to say "we are having trouble figuring out what works" .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lily's_Mom View Post
This is my dd too! She just turned 3 and is giving the teacher a hard time at preschool. Everyday during free-play time, the kids have to complete the craft/worksheet for the day and dd refuses to do it! I have to stay every day to make sure that dd does her craft. Lately I've had to tell her if she doesn't do her craft we're going home. I hate doing that but the teacher told me she has to do the work.

Yesterday the teacher said that from now on I shouldn't stay, I should tell dd that she has to listen to the teachers and they'll get her to do the craft. I don't think that is going to go over well. I have a feeling they resort to physical force (picking up the child) to get them to sit at the craft table. I don't think we're going back to school after xmas break; it makes me sick to think how they are treating my kid. I just starting looking into homeschooling.
As a teacher of three year olds, this is absolutely disturbing on many levels:
1) why do they call it free play if it is neither "free" nor "play"

2) Why do they "have" to do a craft? Is this her job? Is she getting paid by the piece? - this seems bizzarre

3) Children's art should be open ended. As in , here's paint and paper, go to town. Or here's glue and paper scraps, hit it. Crafts are NOT open ended - there is a goal/final product, and the children either acheive it or fail. This is the best way, added with the coersion involved, to teach a child to hate art.

4) she is three. THREE. expecting her to sit and complete a craft activity (which implies structure and expectations) when she's surrounded by new toys, friends, etc. is a bit much - and forcing her to do something she really doesn't want to do is obviously sending up all sorts of red flags for you

In my class, the list of "have tos" is pretty short - you have to sit on the circle rug during circle, or else on the rug beside it quietly if you don't want to participate. Listen to me and your friends when they talk. No throwing things or running inside (and we go outside everyday so they can do those things). A child in preschool should NEVER have to participate in anything - even if the only other choice is sitting and watching their friends (and that should only be for something like cirlce time or snack, not art or play activities).

As a parent, I recommend you stop participating in the coersion - tell them that if your child doesn't want to do the craft, you are not going to force her and expect them not to force her. Talk with them about an alternative (maybe she could pick one center, or some puzzles, or something else non-disruptive she could do instead.) I think not going back after the newyear is a good plan, but it mayhelp all the children if you challenge this authoritarian model - and will send a message to your child that you accept and support her choices

ETA: I read your other post, about having limited options. I would talk to the director. these activities - crafts and worksheets for three year olds, the coersion about sitting and finishing - these are not developmentally appropriate. I recommend that you tell her you have concerns about the classroom activities, and the "forced" aspect of it. That as parent, you aren't sending your child to preschool so she'll bring home a finished worksheet, and that you hoped for a more open-ended, creative experience for your child. Does the school have a curriculum model? If not, the Creative Curriculum model is a pretty common, easy-to-follow, yet developmentally appropriate model: http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Curri.../dp/1879537435
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by merri View Post
Thank you mamadebug! I do think the new school is a good fit. It just make take her some time to adjust to the new way of doing things as it is very different than where she was before. I will find out how they approach things when her spirited nature comes out. I do tend to think it is not so much the school and more of her behavior honestly. I have found that if it matters to her she does great, if it does not then her behavior is not the best. I think 90% of the time she does great it is just the other 10% I have to figure out!!

She does struggle at times about why it is important to follow rules and why it is important to be considerate of others (this is hard for me to understand about her!). She is very literal and this has been the root of some of the problem. We are talking today to the new teachers and director and hopefully will make some head way with how to best help my dd.

By the way, my husband is just like her! In school he would flat out refuse to do things if he thought it was a waste of his time!! He would tell teachers he would rather take a zero than complete an assignment. He turned out just fine...dd is much the same so her being spirited is something I am trying to learn to deal with in a way that is encouraging to who she is.
It sounds like your DD would benefit from
1) a teacher who can patiently and kindly explain the *why* behind her expectations. Like, "we can't use such a loud voice inside because it hurts our ears - can you wait until we go outside to use your loud voice" (then allows her to be loud outside) Or, "I can tell you are excited to play with that toy, but we have to take turns at school so everyone can have a chance with it." Lots of kids need the *why* and you can ask her teacher to explain thos things (kindly) to your DD.

2) she would benefit from modelling appropriate behavior and positive ways to deal with frustrations. As in, "I heard what you just said to your friend. Your voice sounded angry. Are you angry? What can we do to solve your problem?" Or, "I get frustrated too when I can't do what I really want to. isn't that frustrating!!" - these are just little examples, but the goal is to not punish the child for their feelings, but helping them identify them and find a way to solve problems themselves without excalating to negative behavior.

Also, how far apart are her school days? If you have the option of making them back to back, or else going 3 days/wk. that might help. Some of her problems with school may be that it's hard to get into the rhythm only 2 days/wk if they are spread out.

As a teacher, I don't get telling the parents every little thing their child did "bad" at school. It seems like tattling. For big things, that I want parents to talk about at home, I do share that. But getting a child to cooperate with classroom expectations - that's only going to happen if I build a relationship with the child. Preschool should be FUN for the child, and if they feel constantly in trouble, it's not doing it's job. The only real goal is socialization/problem solving skills. If your school is more focused on academics, worksheets, etc. - no fun, too much pressure, and totally developmentally inappropriate.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top