Just One of Those Days

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Today has been one of those days where I am doubting my parenting choices.   Every little choice, decision, point, etc has been called into question but probably none more so than our decision to put Princess into Junior Kindergarten.  To put it bluntly, our Princess is not adjusting very well and we have seen backward steps in almost all areas of her development; behaviour, sleeping, eating as well as using the potty.   We had been under the assumption that these issues were contained to home as her teacher and ECE said nothing to alarm us of the contrary.  I had spoken to them prior to orientation night and everything was jovial.  “She is so popular, she is such a character, oh she plays with everyone” and so on and so forth was what we were told at Orientation night.  However, literally the next day, I picked our Princess up from the Principal’s office.  Never in a million years did I think that would happen.  Upon talking to her teacher, she’s been having behavioural problems at school since the very beginning.  The teacher thinks the behaviour is out of jealousy but we have until the end of October to correct it our they will be removing her from school.

I listened attentively, taking in all that was said and pondering how this had been happening and nothing was said to us.  We asked our daughter everyday how she was liking school and everyday it was the same “I like it, my day was good.”  Hubby was upset for two reasons; 1)that Princess was getting into trouble and 2) that over the numerous times that we spoke to her teacher, nothing was said until that Friday.  If something was a consistent, ongoing problem, why not bring it to us sooner so that we could have nipped it in the bud earlier?  Now we are seeing the repercussions of her actions.  Hubby and I do not condone poor behaviour so Princess had to accept and deal with the consequences of her actions.  She was grounded from TV, all her toys were taken away, she is going to be earlier and no special treats.  We had a big conversation about respecting personal boundaries.  We also set up a reward system for good behaviour.  For each day she behaved, she would get to pick one of her toys back.  So far, we have only had good days and her teacher telling me that she has been improving.  But while she has been having good days, I have noticed a change in her and I’m not liking it.  Her confidence and out-going personality has taken a back burner and I now have a very subdued and insecure little girl.

I know that I am her mother and of course I think she is truly amazing, but many other people have said how much they adore her too.  She will talk with anyone, regardless of religion, colour or creed, loves to play with all children regardless of age or sex, and loves to help people.  Her teachers at daycare cried when she left and her friends there had their parents call us to set up playdates because their children missed her too much.  A friend of mine hates children, but she adores the Princess for her outgoing personality.  She is a good girl, I swear, but school has changed her.  Today I witnessed how alone she really is.  Today we were waiting in line to go into school when another little girl came up behind her.  The Princess said good morning and politely asked her mother if said little girl could come over to our home to play.  Perhaps it was because I was standing back that the mother felt compelled to say what she really thought, thinking I was not in earshot.  The mother matter-of-factly said “No, she doesn’t like you.”  I gasped.  I couldn’t believe it.  A simple “maybe another day” would have sufficed, but was it necessary to point out to a 3-year-old that your daughter doesn’t like her?  As more children lined up, my Princess sat quietly in the corner and spoke to no one, her hands holding up her sad face.  I cried all the way home.  My little girl has gone from having lots of friends to none.  She has gone from being vivacious and witty, to sullen and withdrawn.  I have seen her apologize to her family that calls to speak with her and having her ask me over and over again “Mommy, am I going to be kicked out of school?”

And now the question that is wracking my brain is “Did I make the right decision by putting her in school?   I have been weighing the pro’s and con’s to said decision and whether or not pulling her out is a good idea either.

KEEPING HER IN SCHOOL

PRO’S

  • She will learn that even if something is hard and tough, she has the inner strength to stick it out and flourish
  • Her education is very important
  • Even though she isn’t making friends right now, she will make them soon enough

CON’S

  • Low self-esteem and self-worth are a possibility
  • She’s unhappy
  • She is lonely

PULLING HER OUT OF SCHOOL

PRO’S

  • She will be able to start fresh in one more year
  • She will be more mature and better prepared
  • She will get one more year at home with me

CON’S

  • She will think that quitting will solve her problems
  • They will expect more from her next year and the pressure will be greater
  • She will miss out on all the things she will get to experience this year

 

I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for putting her in school in the first place.  I really thought she was ready.  She is potty trained, had 2 1/2 years of socialization with children her age and teachers, she met all her milestones and was ecstatic about going.  I tell her every night how beautiful, special, kind and nice person she is and that even though things are tough right now, they won’t always be this way, and that things will get better.  Right now, I just have to figure out what is best for my Princess.

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14 responses »

  1. Don’t beat yourself up hon. 3 years old is so very young to be in school I think. It’s a huge adjustment for a child – whether they have been home with mommy or in a daycare environment.

    Alaina was 4 when she started JrK – because her Bday was in April – and she still found it hard. She wanted to play, she wanted to socialize – she was very outgoing – almost too much!! – but she found it very hard to switch to “now we sit and listen.” Some bad behaviour was the result. But her teacher was amazing and told us straight-away. Together we implemented a plan to help her adjust. Princess’s teacher should have done the same thing.
    You’re in the right line of thinking: you do what you know (and you will mom!) is best for Princess – – and screw what anyone else thinks.

    • Thanks! The teacher admitted that one other girl was having trouble adjusting and that they implemented a reward system if she had a thumbs up day. We have been doing the same and so far, it’s only been thumbs up days. I know she’s a good girl and wish that they could see her the way I do.

  2. What a struggle. What pain to see someone be so mean to your daughter, especially an adult! I cry because I know this is the reality that our children will all need to face one day – that not everyone thinks they are wonderful but we know that at least we can love them at home.
    Tough decision whether to keep her in or not, perhaps a little more time will make the decision clear as day for you.

  3. Oh dear!! What that mom said to your daughter has me fuming. That is terrible. No wonder so many children grow up being so mean and insensitive. There is no 3 year old that is a bad kid and certainly no 3 year old that is “unlikeable.” Yes, some are more programmed to sit still while others are more active. This is the way of life…everyone is different. Yes, the ones that sit still are more well-suited for a school situation I suppose but how can any 3 year old understand “appropriate behavior” for school right away. I really don’t know what the “right” answer is for your daughter but please by no means feel guilty about this or let anyone let you think she isn’t a “good” kid!

    • My daughter is definitely the rough and tumble type and her teacher said that she plays mainly with the boys. I was surprised when the teacher said that children who misbehave in kindergarten often become offenders as teens. I was asked if she was jumping the gun a little bit. She’s three, not thirteen.

      • Dang….if that’s the case I better start scoping out juvenile detention centers now!!! My son got a “reminder note” home today from Kindergarten stating he put his whole body on the couch and used a loud voice during play time. I’m still pondering the “whole body on the couch” thing!!!

      • Umm, whole body? How does that work? Maybe its been a while since I have been in kindergarten but I don’t ever remember it being so strict. More play and developing less rules and reminder notes and trips to the principal’s office.

  4. I agree with RoryBore about not beating yourself up. I am not sure I know what Junior Kindergarten is but any structured school and change in the daily routine and the faces around you is a hard adjustment. It is so hard to watch your child struggle, as a mom you want to protect them from all hurt and you want to do what is the very best for them even when you don’t know what that is. Keep doing what you are doing – paying attention to your daughters comments about school and keeping the lines of communication open between you and the school – and your mommy instincts will direct you in your decision. Hugs!

  5. Ok let’s face it Princess is effing fabulous! I know her, I love her and never have I seen a more energetic, loving, excited about life type of girl! She has never been mean to anyone and it breaks my heart that some terrible scum of a mother could look a three year old in the face and tell her she’s not liked! She will grow up to be fabulous Gid made her that way that other kid will be like her mother TERRIBLE! Keep ur head up she is and always be fabulous!

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