Monday, September 28, 2015

A Lover and A Fighter

My girls started pre-k and kindergarten this year, respectively.  I was SO VERY EXCITED before school started because I am still a giant nerd and stuff like uniforms and school supply lists and phonics make me happy.  Look how cute they are!

I can't believe how much they have changed from last year!  I had to check the picture's date 7 times to make sure this wasn't from the year before. 

Look at Lucy's legs, they went from baby legs to big kid legs this year!  Same for Adriana's face. 

So, I'd love nothing more to report that school is going as well as the first day of school photo session, but it really hasn't been.  I got notes home from both girls' teachers the first week of school.  Basically, Adriana was hitting and Lucia was inappropriately kissing. 

The hitting...ugh.  We went through this before, a couple of years ago, and it took Adriana losing all of her friends before she shaped up at school. But as far as I know, that was just a phase and wasn't something that was still regularly happening at daycare over the past year.  HOWEVER, a lot of the other parents I'm friends with have told me they are having similar issues now that they have moved schools, which really makes me question what exactly was going on at daycare.  I am basically picturing a Lord of the Flies type situation while the teacher is sitting there filing her nails.  Anyway, now that I'm getting regular communication about what is happening with my kid, I am able to actually do stuff on my end to help the situation, so even though it really sucks to get that kind of feedback from the school (and it basically makes me feel like a parenting failure), it has put me in full problem solving mode and I feel like I we can fix things.

The kissing...I don't even know where to begin, you guys.  Since Lucy has been 3 1/2, she has definitely started noticing boys.  Everything from telling me that the (high school) kid at the smoothie shop is cuuuuuute to openly batting her eyelashes and flipping her hair whenever she is around a 12-14 year old with a One Direction type look.  Girl has a TYPE.  Which I think can definitely be a problem in the wrong situation, but is for the most part harmless and a normal part of child development.  I actually was noticing boys at the exact same age; and can still remember Tommy Carson, my pre-k crush, giving me a kiss the day before he moved to California.  It's so interesting to me that Lucia is so vocal about liking allll the boys, whereas Adriana gets REALLY shy about it and her one huge crush would never in a million years know she secretly wants to marry him (exactly how I was as a kid, but she was a little older before her first crush). 

Anyway, there was this kid who Lucia was kissing to the point that the teacher had to say something about it to both parents to nip it in the bud.  I apologized to the boy's mom at morning drop off, but apparently it was a two way street...she told me she tried to ask him who his little friend was, and he was just like "I don't know her name, I just call her my princess" in a dreamy voice.  Lol.  And then I heard at a birthday party that another little boy was upset that the first boy kissed her before he did, because "she's beaaaautiful".  And she had a third little boy following her around all day at the party.  I am so screwed with this kid...if pre-k is this crazy, I can only imagine what the preteen / teen years will be like. 

Fortunately, all the kissing thing took was one long conversation with me and Lucia cut it out.  Easy peasy.  Unfortunately, I also found out that she has been crying a ton in school, has been mean (but not violent) to her classmates, and has been super defiant with the teacher.  For some reason the teacher waited FOUR FREAKING WEEKS to tell me this, thinking that the kids just needed time to adjust.  Which is pretty upsetting to me.  So all in one fell swoop I went from full time worrying from Adriana to full time worrying about Lucia.  Adriana's problems feel fixable to me, maybe because we have done this before, but also because she really WANTS to do the right thing, she just doesn't always know how to control herself.  Lucia...she is one strong-willed little girl.  Having experienced her defiance at home (which, until now, has never spilled over into school - her teachers always loved her before), I know how hard she is to deal with when she doesn't want to cooperate.  I still don't really know what is going to get through to her.  She keeps telling us she misses her old school, and TECHNICALLY sending her back there is an option, but I feel like I'd rather just address this now than have to go through the exact same thing when she starts kindergarten next year. 

I think it would be easy to blame daycare or to blame genetics...both Justin and I have hot tempers, and his lack of impulse control actually got him kicked out of kindergarten.  It's so hard not to feel like this is all my fault though.  Like I didn't take the times I did get a bad report at daycare seriously enough, or that I was always in so much of a rush to get the kids out of there that I didn't ask the teachers the right questions.  I know I resorted to yelling way more than I should have, because, well, I came from a yelling family so it is what feels normal to me.  I also know that I have spent way too much time just trying to get through the day juggling all of the things I have to juggle and not enough time making sure my kids have the skills to turn into productive members of society.  You know, parenting instead of just surviving.  And that doesn't feel good. 

Since I'm a problem solver and since we have 5 free sessions through work benefits, my plan is to go to family counseling.  I have also bought a stack of parenting books and children books about getting along, being kind, cooling down, etc. off amazon.  I'll probably be reviewing these here and on goodreads if anyone else is going through the same thing. 

I'd love to hear any insights from any of you who had problem children.  What got through to them?  What helped you out? Any books you would recommend?  Is it ever going to get any easier?


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see a new post on your blog! I love your honesty. I hope it's cathartic for you to write posts like this. Don't be so hard on yourself. We raised a child with ADHD and it was so Hard but so rewarding. You're doing the right thing by going to counseling. It helped us so much! You might learn some techniques that help with the girls. Be consistent with them. it can be exhausting but it will pay off. I'm here to tell you it gets easier! Please keep posting so we know how things are going. Good luck! Amanda.

Shannon said...

We were having a hard time with our daughter and I felt like I just didn't have the right tools to work with HER. So we did some parent coaching and it was really really great. Probably one of the best decisions we made. I feel like more people could really benefit from it especially since it helps you feel like it ISN'T your fault and gives some insight into why your child does crazy things. Anyways, I wish you luck and hope it helps you too!

Laura Diniwilk said...

Thanks Amanda and Shannon, you guys are too sweet! It helps to know that we aren't the first family in the history of ever to be going through this sort of thing :)

Alicia said...

You're not the only one. I knew Kindergarten was going to be a huge adjustment for my impulsive, emotional, high energy little boy (undiagnosed but I'm positve he's ADHD, also potentially "gifted" as well). So things have been going really well at school, he's happy when he comes home, lots of stories, lots of new friends, and minimal comunciation from the teacher other than asking if I'd be okay with her getting him a wiggle seat, to help him have an easier time staying seated in class. So I let my guard down and yesterday we got the email, of course, that he's being disruptive in class, won't stop talking, and she wants to meet to help come up with solutions.

It's easier because I KNEW we would be dealing with this, it was only a matter of time, and his teacher believes him to be really bright, potentially bored, and really seems to be willing to accomodate the needs of different kids. But still. It sucks. It's hard. And I soooooo get what you're saying about "parenting instead of just surviving". Wow that resonated.

The hitting and impulsiveness made last year at preschool REALLY DIFFICULT and so emotional. Lots of crying by yours truly, who was way too pregnant and exhausted to roll with the punches and not feel devestated and frustrated by every bad report from the teacher. By the end of the year there was a drastic difference and his prek teachers were so proud of him and feeling that he was so ready and prepared socially for kindergarten.

Blech. I am stream-of-conscious rambling now, I'm sorry. I get it though. It's gonna get better. The books are a great idea, there are also so many online resources for this stuff. Lots of ideas.

Google "Stop, Tap, Ask" for ADHD. It provided my guy with a framework for slowing down and calming himself when he was frustrated or quick to anger.

Steph Lovelady said...

It will get easier, and then it will get harder again and then it will get easier... etc, etc.

I'm commenting late so I hope everyone is more settled into school by now.

They do change a lot at that age. We just got N's 9th grade school picture and it looks almost identical to his 8th grade school picture. He's even wearing the same shirt. Mostly he changes by getting taller these days which is happening at an alarming rate.

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