Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Struggles at School

Sidekick has been a real pain in the ass at school the past few weeks, and his teachers, the director, and I were not able to figure out what the F was going on with him.  His class does a color system for behavior and they move their clothes pins accordingly.  Purple is the best and red is the worst with four colors in between.

Sidekick has always been super smart, spunky and spirited, often "teaching" the class during circle time when he knows everything.  (Ugh!)  However, his spiritedness and spunk have gotten him into deep water at school.  Circle time has been awful (not sitting still, talking, not listening, etc.) and his overall listening was atrocious at times.  When kids get on red, they get a red note explaining why and they have to sign their names.  At first, red notes devastated him, but most recently, he ran around the class singing, "I got a red note."  Yep. He didn't care at all. 

I dreaded picking him up from school and hearing bad news.  My almost perfect kid had turned into a complete monster.  Then his momma turned into a monster the rest of the night because she was so disappointed in her son's behavior.  It became a vicisous cycle, and our evenings just kind of sucked, and quite frankly, I didn't want to be with him because I hated his behavior at school and I took that out on him, and we just weren't "gelling".   

I finally talked to the director about coming up with a new system since the current system was completely ineffective for Sidekick.  We decided he would have a sticker chart and have to get four stickers a day for daily things (circle time, academics, rotations, and nap).  Knowing that circle time was his pain point, I bribed him and told him that if he gets a star during circle time, he could play on my iPad that evening.  I do NOT let him on my iPhone or iPad normally, so this is a huge treat for him.  I was desperate.  We set up his weekly goal of getting eight out of 20 stickers.  He wanted to make s'mores if he got eight.  Week one was a success, and I think he got 12 stickers.  I was so proud of him.  The second week, we upped his required stickers, and he got 18 out of 20!  Amazing!  So... he's back on track, but what was very troubling was this...

I felt like the director and teachers were thinking he may have ADHD (and maybe he does), and it started freaking me out. I've always been a proactive Momma, so knowing that his four year doctor appointment is coming up, I found it important to see how things go with a new system in place.  School started keeping track of his day in a spiral notebook to help all of us figure him out and what triggered his bad behavior, and then  I could show it to his doctor.  Fortunately, the notebook has stopped because he's been doing so great, but things still are a concern of mine. Was it just some type of a phase?

Oh!  And how can I forget... with a broken clavicle, he has to sit outside at a table alone and play with something.  He has no way to get rid of his pent of energy, so this may have contributed a little.. but the bad behavior kind of started before the broken clavicle.  But in his defense, a broken clavicle doesn't help things.

All of this behavior leads me to this...

Sidekick has a July birthday, and the cutoff for kindergarten is August 1st.  As soon as I got pregnant and realized my due date, I immediately thought... great (or more accurately "shit").  I'm in education, so I know how hard it is to decide whether or not to "redshirt" a kid, especially a boy, who has a late birthday.  So, while he can go to kindergarten next year, I'm totally on the fence about it especially with his recent behavior at school. 

This mom stuff can be really challenging, and overall, I've never found it very challenging or overwhelming on a day to day basis.  Sure we get in funks every now and then, but motherhood overall is not that difficult for me.  It's all the outside crap (work, errands, household chores, etc.) and lack of "me time" that make motherhood suck at times... not having Sidekick (if that makes).  I just want to always do the right things for him, and sometimes I'm not sure what the right things are.  Case in point:  Kindergarten in 2017. 


  1. I don't know if this helps but his behavior sounds a lot like that of my nephew. He was a smart boy, good in school and then he hit a point where he was so naughty! Always in trouble. When his parents spoke to him he told them "I know all of this stuff and I'm bored" He was about 4 and a half or 5 when this happened.

    They got him assessed and he was moved into gifted program in the areas where he was having the hardest time focusing. I know you're in education so maybe you've already considered this but just wanted to mention it anyways!

    1. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. He's definitely a smart boy, so it's hard to say if he's acting up out of boredom or because he just not being a well behaved kid. The school district does a four year old screening, so when he does that, maybe I'll get a little more feedback about him academically. He's definitely no genius, but I do think he's above average. And while I'm in the education field, I don't know much (if anything) about early childhood. :)

  2. Honestly it doesn't sound at all from your past posts like he's just a "badly behaved kid". It's likely that he's bored. Either that or he requires more physical activity prior to "circle time" than he's' getting. My daughter requires tons of physical activity to be at her best... way more than what traditional schools provide. She's in Montessori now which helps, because she can do her activities standing and moving if she chooses, and she can also work at whatever level she's at since it's mixed ages and the work is individualized. Also, during "quiet time" she doesn't nap and her body is not ready to hold still, so they've worked with her by taking her to another room where she can be more active while other kids rest. Also, there were some circle times that she was taken to the gym to play because she couldn't get her body to settle down. All of these things meant that her needs were being met and she no longer felt the need to act up.

    One thing's for sure: punishment made it worse EVERY time. It wasn't until we worked WITH her needs that she started being cooperative.

    1. Thanks for reassuring me that my kid is not a badly behaved kid. : ) It's so hard when this normally great kid turns into a monster overnight. And I agree with the physical activity. With a broken clavicle and wearing a clavicle strap and a sling, there's only so much he can do. Also, circle time is after the morning recess. We aren't usually there that early, but maybe I need to make a point to get him there earlier to get some wiggles out. Thanks!