July 20, 2011

Not MY Child. A Daycare Rant.

I love the daycare we chose to put Jackson in. We feel overall that he has gotten a terrific education and structure and couldn't be happier with how well-adjusted he is. We give a lot of credit to his school for his intelligence.

Of course there is a BUT. We seem to run into this same thing with every classroom change- issues with the teachers. When he was a baby, it was naptime, when he went to the older infant room we actually felt like he was regressing and had issues with what they were feeding him, in the toddler room it was they were feeding him too much fruit, in the first early preschool room they gave him a pacifer during his naps after the previous teachers worked so hard to break him of it. Now, in the early preschool 2 room we are dealing with discipline and I am NOT a happy mommy.

Jackson is indeed, a toddler. He has tantrums. He throws his toys. HE GETS PUNISHED. We are lucky in that time outs are very effective. He HATES them. Jackson recently overheard daddy use the word "dammit". Well, our little parrot decided that he would try the word on. At first we were a little shocked and probably even snickered a little, but he most definitely gets time outs for using naughty words. He RARELY uses them around us now for fear of the time out chair. We have been trying to teach him to use other words when he's frustrated and taught him to say "Oh, Bumpers" from the Disney cartoon Chuggington. Most of the time he says that or just says "Grrrrrrrr". For the past few weeks, his teachers have been giving my husband the "talking to" about Jackson's potty mouth. Today, they said "The other kids are now saying these words, too." Basically they called Jackson the instigator. I know my kid and without the risk of being a naive mommy, I can't imagine him running around teaching other kids these words when he knows how angry it makes his mommy and daddy. I mean this is my kid who tells jokes like "Do you know why my daddy is a mushroom? Because he is a fun guy."

Jackson often complains to me about another little boy in the class (also named Jack). He says "Jack pushed me today," and last night as we were getting ready for bed, without my even asking about it, he said, "Jack was saying naughty words today." So we had a little talk about naughty words, I told him to tell Jack to say "Oh Bumpers" instead of the other word and also told him that when Jack is not being nice to him that he should find a different friend to play with or tell one of his teachers. Not that I want him to grow up to be a tattle tale, but I don't want him to be getting trouble for things that are CLEARLY not his fault. It is not easy to teach my very outspoken and bold little boy to walk away from things. He is a monkey see, monkey do kid. When he gets pushed, he pushes back. When another kid says "Dammit!" he's going to say it right back.

My husband asked his teacher about discipline. They said they use the distraction method with all the kids. He kind of chuckled back and told them that Jackson is smart enough to understand that his actions have consequences and that bringing him aside and telling him that he shouldn't use naughty words and that he is making bad choices is as effective as a time out. If you don't tell him he's doing something wrong, HE IS GOING TO KEEP DOING IT. I kind of feel like the distraction method is more appropriate for the toddler room, not for kids preparing for preschool. He is old enough and smart enough to know and understand words, especially when he is doing something wrong. If they don't tell him, how is he ever going to know?

So yeah, I'm pissed. I'm trying to cool down and not blow it out of proportion with his school. I'm trying desperately to believe these women have control of their classroom. I'm sure transitions are just as hard for them as it is for these kids but they have really started out on the wrong foot with us and we feel like a target. Yeah, I'm defensive of my son. I think he's a great kid. Truly. I long for 4pm to come so I can go home and be with him. I. Just. Don't. Get. This. Once I cool off (might be impossible to do that here in MN today), I'll realize that we need to set up a special meeting with his teacher to discuss these concerns and teach them about the discipline that is effective for him. Discussing it during drop off and pick up is not really effective and puts me and my hubs in an awkward position with other parents coming in and out.

Because Wednesdays are usually reserved for Wordless Wednesday pictures, I thought I'd put some pictures up of my angelic child:



Seriously. Does that look like the face of a potty mouth instigator?? He is truly the sweetest thing ever.




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