Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Road to Kindergarten: Part 3
Catching up on our road to kindergarten? Read part one and part two!
So, we're about a month into kindergarten and some of it's been easy and some parts of have been oh so very hard. Like, harder than I imagined they would be.
The easy parts: no more tears when he goes to leave the house like he had on the first day, woohoo! Homework so far has not been a fight; in fact, he seems excited to do it every night, and proud of himself when he finishes it all by himself. (Liam joins in the fun every night by getting a notebook and crayon and "doing his homework" at the table beside Jake) He seems to have had a pretty easy time making friends, and he often talks about playing games with friends and talking to them at lunch. He's branched out to buying lunches from the cafeteria a few times, which makes me insanely happy. 5+ years of packing lunches every.single.day is right up at the top of my list of "biggest first-world problems that affect me".
Now...the hard parts. Let's see, where to start....the attitude, the poor choices in the evening when it comes to behavior, etc...etc....you get the picture. I should back-track a bit here and say that it's not all bad....and not every night is like this. But when it is? Oh boy, watch out! Sometimes the "off" days seem to start as soon as I pick him up from school, other days we'll go all evening and have a great time, then all of a sudden, POOF! A switch goes off and it's like a Jekyll/Hyde situation out of nowhere.
It's been trying, for sure. And we are doing our best to be patient, while rocking back and forth in the fetal position repeating the phrase, "this too shall pass, this too shall pass". When we're not doing that, we're talking about what's happening and trying to come up with a game plan. Positive reinforcement for good behavior, appropriate consequences for negative behavior...but who knows if we're doing it right? Where is that foolproof manual when you need it??
I hate to end on a negative note, so I'll throw this out there: when he first started school, there was another kid who was hitting everyone. He was acting out in class, and just being generally disruptive. We were assured that the situation was being handled, and sure enough, Jake eventually said that this kid had stopped hitting in class. Just this past weekend, I asked Jake to name some of his new friends at school, and one of the names was that kid. I let him finish talking, then said "I'm so glad to hear that (insert kid name here) is your friend now, do you like to play with him?" and his response was, "Yeah, mommy. I talked to him one day when he was by himself...I think he had such a hard time at the beginning because he just needed a friend. I'm his friend now"
So, for as much as I feel like I'm screwing it up a lot of the time, moments like that assure me that I'm doing something right.