and again. . .

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SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
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and again. . .

we have to go for another meeting with the teacher and admin. Grrrrr. my dennis the menace threw a toy at a friend and injured him causing bleeding. hes had more issues lately --umm can we say moving and out of sorts -- and I think this is like his third or fourth or fifth strike so now we have to go meet. SOOOOO annoyed --with the school and with Zayden. Seriously? When I talk to him about do we throw stuff he loves to come back and say YES! We throw things. Just a vent. DH picked him up yesterday and told me this --and tells me we would get an email to set this up for tomorrow. Hmm no email yet but did he ask the teacher about it when he picked him up today? no. Gesh MEN.

hotdiggit's picture
Joined: 10/17/07
Posts: 400

Just be glad that you have teachers and staff that cares. Hopefully, they can figure out something that works with Z. He does have a lot going on right now, and he is a 3 year old boy, they should cut you guys a little slack.

Just noticed Tiff only has 7 weeks left. Share some more pics of little Arya please.

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
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Sad

Joined: 12/06/11
Posts: 45

hugs Amy! I know the situation stinks right now but hopefully when things calm down Zayden will too.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Amy I sure hope the teacher/school will work with you.... I have a "agressive" boy too and so far so good but I know the teachers and assistant are working with him a lot....

I am pretty sure (but what do I know) that the move and all the new things are bothering Z... a friend of mine her son is "agressive too" and each time after any school break (winter, spring etc) the next week or 2 are crazy he takes time to re-adjust to school and the "rules".....

HANG IN THERE !!!!!!!!!!!!

and Me too when I go get Florian at school he tells me "I push xx" and "baby cry" and "I am not a good boy" ......
this really gets me mad (inside)

jlildrip's picture
Joined: 01/24/08
Posts: 269

:bigarmhug:
I can't imagine how frustrated you must be (with Z and C and the situation in general). I hope it goes well and they're able/willing to keep working with him!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Meeting today at 3:15 --gee great --they send me an email at 9 am! GRRRR

I am frustrated with Zayden --I KNOW he knows better. He is just being a punk.

They do have caring staff and I am glad and grateful for that. After our parent teacher conference last month, I understand some of the difficulty they have dealing with him though. Zayden is apparently quite "advanced" academically --or whatever they quantify as in a 3 year old class -- to the point he surpasses all their expectations. He is also very verbal and communicates far better than his classmates, yet he is a very young 3 year old and his behavior and maturity lag behind many of his peers. We need to wait for that maturity to catch up with the rest of him but that could take for.ever and in the meantime how do i keep him from beating up other kids?

I know we have to have this meeting to follow their "protocol" but I am SO frustrated. Add to that yesterday Zayden apparently fell asleep at 10 because he was so tired from not sleeping well the night before. At least the teacher let him sleep instead of trying to force him to stay awake.

Sigh

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

just saw you FB post... hope you got some energy left to fill us up on what was said during that1h30mn !!!!

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Meeting was, well, okay.

I guess the incident the other day did result in a pretty serious injury to the other child, though they could not tell me if it was intentional, an accident or what. But since they had to meet with us anyway, they went through the records to address all kinds of issues.

The biggest issue they are having --which is the same issue I am having -- is a refusal to listen to direction and do what he is told. Consistently. Tell him to do A he will do B. I tell him do not do something, he looks at me, grins and does it again. We will work on home/school communication and start rewarding him when he does well at school and considering taking away privileges if he doesn't.

They say he is still tired and asked that he be allowed to go to the PK0 (two year old) for earlier nap time. Wanted to know when was his bed time at home. Well we put him to bed at 8 --he stays up tossing and turning till 930.

We went though lots of other issues and created goals and strategies. I am glad they are willing to work with us but frustrated by the entire process. I completely understand that aggressive behavior must be addressed --especially since we all agree he knows better. We also all agree he completely knows and understands what he is doing when he refuses to cooperate or does exactly what he was told not too. I am just frustrated in general.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

wow.... hang in there OK

I am so glad they are willing to work with you....
I(wehave to be super cxareful with Florian as well.. he knows better also but today DH picked him up and DH saw him pushing (face in the snow) a little girl and then Florian said "I pushed a baby and baby cry" Sad
HRRRRRRR

SO I UNDERSTAND YOUR FRUSTRATION BUT DON'T HAVE REAL ANSWER..

We use a "bride" thing like... "if you push kids again you will not ride in the bus anymore" (University -where Preschool is- has bus around the campus and he loves to tide in them)
or when teacher told me of an incident and we had agreed to go somewhere after school (library, sleding, skiing) I just tell him "you were not nice so no xxx"
that seems to SOMEWHAT help

I SAY SOMEWHAT

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

Amy, I can imagine that must be really hard to deal with! Sophia has had some problems at school and we have been really strict with her at home as far as taking away anything and everything she considers fun on the days when she does not have a good day (her teacher will report on her daily sheet if she has a day that is beyond just typical 3-year-old bratty behavior). When she gets a "bad note", she comes home, eats dinner and goes to bed. I don't care that she is usually awake for two hours in bed on those nights...we just keep reinforcing that when she doesn't do the right thing, she doesn't get to do anything fun. She doesn't get a treat/dessert after dinner, she doesn't get to watch a cartoon in the evening, she doesn't get to play with her toys or her sister, and she goes straight to bed after dinner (with no book read to her). At first we were getting bad notes 2-3 times a week but after doing this consistently, it has gone down to maybe once every 2-3 weeks. We also of course make a really big deal out of her having a good day, and how proud we are of her, etc. I think she needs a lot of praise/positive encouragement but I'm not willing to skip out on the consequences for her actions, even though sometimes she shows signs of thriving on negative attention.
So anyway, that's just our experience, for what it's worth. I know when she was getting bad notes on a regular basis it had me in tears at times, so I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like nothing you are doing is working. I think consistency is the key, and he won't change overnight.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Carrie, we don't get "daily" report but when I go get him the teachers tells me if anything happened

Like Amy I am frustrated because HE KNOWS BETTER but still "push" other kids... and he knows this is bad.. he is nice then he hug them and say "I am sorry I made a mistake" but that doesn't stop him from repeating it few minutes later Sad

but our teachers told me He is OK and getting better.. and tells me to not worry about it they are working with him.....
NEEDLESS to say so far eh didn't "hurt" seriously a child..... and I sure hope he doesn't....

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Thanks guys! Carrie --that may be where we wind up! Right now we are going to take away one thing --TV --if a bad note but we will go from there. If that doesn't make the difference, then we will move on to more. I know he knows better and he is making choices that need to be reevaluated. He is a difficult child to control both at home and at school and we need to reassert that WE are the parents and WE are in charge. We shall see!

They are on winter break this week so we don't have to start on anything till next week. So we will see at that point. Admin wanted to meet in a month to discuss if this is helping.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Amy -- it may sound strange to you (and may be to many others) but after doing research, reading, meeting with Pedi and OT and other friends with Difficult child...

YOU CAN'T FIGHT IT (it will get worth) you (all of you at home and school) need to work all together and work it out...

I don't have the same issues you are having but we have our fare share Sad but I am so so glad the pre school is willing to work with us and that DH about less than a year ago realize that we couldn't fight it/him we had to figure it out and since then way less TANTRUM for sure (OH we still get some don't worry)...

Aggression is still an issue even so I don't think is this aggression to be "bad" just the way he plays but... IT IS NOT OK for others kids so.....

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I don't think I can ever "control" him completely --and honestly do not know that I want to. Kids with the willingness to question authority may grow to be adults with the willingness to question the status quo and reach for the stars. I like those traits in him and realize they will serve him well when he is an adult. I don't want to force him into submission and beat down his spirit (figuratively of course)

That said, even those who question authority must learn to work within the system. It is never right to hit or attack another child, he knows better and makes choices that have consequences --that is how it is for adults, that is how it should be for children.

So far, it seems the school is working well with us --so long as he doesn't present a danger again to another child -- and like Florian he is not attacking another child to be mean --just rough. As long as they work with us, I am fine with teaching him consequences --you do X, then Y happens. You do not follow direction in school, then you do not watch TV at home. You do not come when mommy calls -- you do not get to do whatever fun thing is about to happen --he is bright enough to put two and two together and hopefully if he wants to do Y ie tv, will chill out at school!

That is my hope at least --we shall see!

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Amy -- we do the same "if you do this xx then you can't do xx" sounds silly to some parents but it works (most of the time) but like you I (we) get so frustrated when we SEE HIM push a kid on purpose and he know better and then right after he says to the kid "I am sorry this was a mistake..." and give a hug but then 2mn later does it again :eek:

so even so we are various in our issues

SPIRITED KIDS are not always easy to deal with

and yes
I know those "things" we deal with right now is what any "good productive determinate " adults should have.. right BUT right now let's deal with childhood...

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Sadly, Zayden will not even say sorry or acknowledge he made a mistake or hits someone. He kicked one of sissys a few weeks ago and I put him in time out and told him he was staying till he said sorry. We got through three minutes --ready to say sorry? NO okay just sit there then. I think it took him 20 minutes before he was willing to go say sorry, and even then it was quiet and I had to prod him. He is spirited --and stubborn. Sigh.

I keep reminding myself, this too shall pass. LOL

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

I am seriously going to cry.

Today's email -- I have NO idea what else to do with him.

Good afternoon,

Today was a difficult day for Zayden at school. He did not follow any directions, did not stay sitting in circle time.
He also hit another child and threw a book at an adult head.
He seems to laugh when you explain to him that is not an acceptable behavior. He had been isolated from the class group and send this morning to the administration office for a few minutes.
I would like to meet you with Patricia to speak about all of that.
We can schedule an appointment this Thursday (tomorrow - March 8 at 4:00pm or this Friday (March 9) at 8:15am.
Please let me know what is more convenient for you,
Claire.

Joined: 06/03/07
Posts: 623

I'm sorry. This sounds difficult to deal with. Have you talked to his pediatrician? He/she might be able to give advice, or refer you to someone else who could help.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Shelly -- we have not but I may talk with Charley about doing that. I seriously have no really good answers. The school does have a psych to work with kids with behavior problems, if they do not request it, I might.

I am not happy with the teacher because we agreed she would send home green faces (good day) red faces (bad day) daily. Started last Tuesday --we got a red face. Green face Wed, no face Thurs, Green face Friday --no face Monday or Tuesday. I cannot be consistent with him if they are not consistent.

I am frustrated -- annoyed and really don't have any answers.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

OH Amy I feel terrible for you....

I would call your pedi if you liek Him/her and trust her
see what he/she says....
I know I may piss you off with my books but have you read
THE CHALLENGING CHILD (http://www.amazon.com/Challenging-Child-Understanding-Enjoying-Difficult/dp/0201441934/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1331187632&sr=8-3 )
I found it very interesting....

I do beleive so (even if it take 20mn) to make him APOLOGYZE is important also when Florian run into me (intentionally) and hit it head on one of my hip bone and he started to cry I told him "it hurt I know and this how other kids feel when you hurt them" (he like to run into kids at school)... and now he would say it is not nice to push "babies" (kids for him) because it makes them cry...

for now (today) it seems to have sink in Wink we will see next week .....

I would call you PEDI right away try to see and keep us posted.......
hugs to you

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Thanks guys! No Magali --you won't piss me off! LOL

I am just frustrated with Zayden the school everything. He CANNOT hit or throw. That is completely unacceptable. But how to convey that to a child who is determined to do the opposite of what he is told.

In talking with a friend, I am going to propose this today at our meeting. Zayden did really well with stickers when we were potty training -- lets go back to what worked.

The teacher is not happy with the happy/sad face because it doesn't show the whole picture (true but it was her idea?) I.e. what if he gets a happy face cause he didn't hit but didn't pay attention or listen.

I am going to suggest we make a card with each category she is worried about -circle time, hitting, whatever. If Zayden sits through circle time, he gets to put a sticker on, if he keeps his hands to himself, he gets a sticker, he doesn't hit, sticker. He hits no sticker --he doesn't listen --no sticker. We will set up a reward, if he gets 3/5 stickers (or something) --he gets to watch TV or go to the playground or something fun if 5/5 he gets something special. If bad day, no privileges or play time.

We just need to focus on short, small goals that he can be rewarded or not for each time. I think with him there all day, to say happy or sad face is just not going to be effective. He isn't able to really connect that to an individual behavior. But if we focus on certain things, like 15 minutes at circle time, he can work really hard on that.

at this point I am honestly concerned that they are going to kick him out. And we would not be able to find another preschool --or even daycare --that would take him with these behavior problems.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

Amy your plan sounds really good. I agree the red face/green face was way to simple to arm you with what you need to address the problem. I had the same frustration when we were dealing with problems with Sophia and the teachers were inconsistant with their notes home. Sophia would ask me "mommy, did I have a good day??" and I would say "well, I have no idea because I didn't get a note" I assume the teachers felt there was nothing to report (okay day??) but during times like this they need to OVER communicate in order to give you enough info to reward/punish as necessary. You are not there, you can only go from what they tell you, and only contacting you when things get really bad is not doing anyone any good. You need a detailed daily report of his behavior, and I like the sticker idea because kill two birds with one stone...motivation for him, more communication for you.

Let us know how the meeting goes.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Soooooo

Here is the run down on yesterday's meeting. Despite no TV the night before and promising us he would behave, Zayden was removed from class again yesterday for head butting another child in the face. The other child was injured; Zayden refused to acknowledge it and refused to apologize. He was sent to the office and removed from the class for the other children?s safety. He is continuing to refuse to sit during circle time or during sports time. They are terming it 'refusal of authority' --he simply refuses to do as told. Time outs are useless with him, as he does not care. Punishment and redirection do not seem to help either. He is told to not do something and he will intentionally do that four more times.

Good news is he is not kicked out though you could tell the teacher is already very frustrated with him. The administrator however was very willing to continue to work with us, understood some of this is impulse control and that will come with time and maturity but how do we support him and work with him until that occurs? Some of it is his natural personality; he is a very strong personality, very bright and generally curious. She asked us if we considered him a difficult or challenging child. I said I do not think he is 'difficult' (though sometimes he could be) but I would easily consider him challenging. He is a "spirited child" as we have discussed in the past but now he is pretty much completely out of control and presenting a danger to himself and other kids.

I fully expected them to raise the issue of a psych with him -- and they did. The school has a developmental psych on staff that comes on Tuesdays. She said they cannot and will not discuss this matter with her without our signed consent. I was fully expecting this and we immediately agreed. Since he is only three there is only so much she can do, but she will observe him in the classroom and maybe have some guidance. The school also suggested two other out of school psychs who could work with us on home issues and parenting strategies. Surprisingly, even discussing this after the meeting, Charley agreed that this was a good idea! We signed the consent for the psych to observe Zayden and we will meet with her later to discuss.

While there are several behaviors they want to work on, I took my sticker chart in and we agreed to two goals at school, two at home. The sticker chart will go back and forth to school daily (hopefully) The teacher wanted to make more than two but the admin said lets focus on two at first --sitting for five minutes during circle time and not running off during sports. (we also have no hitting but that's a big one and a given) The admin was ecstatic I brought the chart and that it was my idea. She said its so much easier when parents are willing to help and willing to work with them and that sometimes parents are just "not my kid" don't see it or don't take it seriously or say what do you want me to do about it!. I told her we knew Zayden was having issues, we are seeing them at home, and we are 100% committed to helping address them.

They want us to work with him on teaching him to play alone sometimes at home so he doesn't feel he needs constant adult attention or interaction as his issue during circle time seems to be the need to get the teachers attention. And yes, he is very spoiled and we acknowledge that. Sigh.

So hopefully their psych will be able to observe him on Tuesday. They agreed without reservation to let Adrienne observe him on Wednesday--that may help give us some insight as to what is going on. They say sometimes he is really tired or hungry, maybe Age can see what behaviors they are discussing and have a guess as to the root cause?

We do not want him labeled by the teacher or the other parents, we do not want other kids judging him that Zayden is mean or a bully or have the other parents talk about him that way. We do NOT want Zayden labeling himself as a bad kid. He is not!

But in all honesty, I think one thing we need to recognize is Zayden biggest problem is that he is very spoiled --he is the center of our world and he knows it. Everything we do pretty much revolves around him. Until the last few weeks, Charley rarely says no to him, I am not very consistent on that. So we are going to sit down, have a 'come to Jesus' talk so to speak, and work harder on working with him and discipline. I think that will help a lot ?not a cure but probably a huge help.

We will also see what the psychs say though I bet it's pretty much the same.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

OK Amy don't get MAD or offended but do you think he may have ADHD ?
I am wondering if Florian has some .... and to make long story short we go to a screening (request by school) the 27th ....

I sure would like to hear what the Pshy says...

hang in there

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

"keops" wrote:

OK Amy don't get MAD or offended but do you think he may have ADHD ?
I am wondering if Florian has some .... and to make long story short we go to a screening (request by school) the 27th ....

I sure would like to hear what the Pshy says...

hang in there

Smile seriously? You never need to worry about me being angry or offended. One thing I love about this board and all of y'all is our ability to be open and honest. And I post here for that exact Different perspective.

I will follow up tomorrow when I am on a computer but yes the possibility of ADHD is def something I am considering. Age observed him today and is coming over tomorrow to discuss. No word from psych yet.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

For us I always have to say "focus" when I dress him up or little things like this because he looks around move etc... (take off)... plus he can't stay still more than 2sec except couple activities he like a lot (play-dough and stamping ink)....

For now (and I say NOW) the hit and pushing part is "under control" at school..... we will see how he does when the spring break is over (monday)....

HANG IN THERE

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Interesting observations by Adrienne -- we are talking with her tonight. I need to figure out how (or if) to share this with the school --I do want to forward to the psych but I need her contact information. The teachers are Claire and Sarah --other names are the kids. . .

Here are several of the main interactions I witnessed yesterday. I tried to write them down as objectively as possible. Try to really think about and imagine these instances taking place. What is the problem? Was the problem solved? How does Zayden feel throughout all of this? This will give us a heads up so we can talk more in depth tonight!

Zayden is working on a puzzle. Quentin and red-haired boy are also working at table. Teachers are not around.
Q: "Zayden you're bad." (out of nowhere)
Z: "No, I'm not bad!"
Q: "Yes Zayden you're bad."
Z: "I'm not a bad guy, I'm a good guy... Jackson is bad"
Jackson approaches table.
Red: "Jackson you're bad!"
Jackson hits red-haired boy and is pulled aside and talked to by a teacher

Zayden flips over 2nd puzzle. One piece flies under the table and under the teachers foot.
Z: "Claire the piece is under your foot!"
Teacher is working with red-haired boy and does not hear Zayden's message
Z: "Under your foot Claire under your foot!"

Teacher does not hear. Zayden continues to ask for the piece over and over while working on the puzzle. He has finished the puzzle and finally gets her attention. She picks up the piece and plays a friendly game with Zayden, finally giving it to him.

Zayden is working on a puzzle and red-haired boy finds it interesting. He reaches for the pieces and moves them around.
Z: "Hey!"
Teacher pulls red-haired boy aside and talks to him

I tell Zayden on the playground to go play with his friends. He runs alongside Jackson and the two seem to start playing a chase game even though no words were spoken. They proceed up and down the slide twice and then Zayden rams into Jackson and knocks him over. Sarah witnesses and checks on Jackson. Zayden runs off to play.

It is circle time and many kids are up and walking around. Jackson takes a seat in Ethan's seat. Ethan wants to sit down and sees that J is there, "Hey, thats my seat!" Sarah tells Ethan to go sit in Jackson's seat. Zayden looks at his new neighbor and stands up in front of him, "That's Ethan's seat!" Jackson kicks Zayden (hard) and Sarah pulls J out of circle. I hear her tell him he has to say sorry. He never does.

Zayden is yawning at circle. He leaves and starts playing with a toy. Noone says anything to him. The teacher is showing the children interesting fabrics and she brings it to where Zayden is so he can see it too.

Two girls are arguing at the art table. Both are upset and crying. Sarah is sitting at the table and says nothing.

Zayden is driping and swirling glue on his paper and sticking sticks to it.
Sarah tells Z, "That is too much glue, your art will not dry fast enough."
Zayden continues to drip and swirl the glue in new ways.

Zayden is lining up several cars on a ramp so that they support eachother uphill.
Z: "Look! They are helping eachother!"
Quentin joins the play and the two continue to build
Q: "Let's keep it! Let's protect it!:
The two surround the structure with pillows. Ethan joins in and helps stack pillows. They all fall over and the boys scream in delight. The teacher yells across the room at Ethan (I think for ruining the boys work)
The teacher comes over to see Zayden's work. He tells her it's a car tower. She tells him it looks like traffic

While lining up for PE, Zayden and Quentin are pushing eachother. Zayden wanders off and and starts playing with a toy. Q says loudly to those around him, "I hate Zayden" several times. Noone says anything.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

WOWWWWW

I would really like to hear what the teacher and THE DIRECTOR of the school saying...
ASK TO SEE THE DIRECTOR.... if they have too many kids per teacher THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR THE KIDS they can't pay enough attention to them Sad

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

we are meeting with the psych on Tuesday-- I will share this with her at that time. I am concerned about passing this on to the teacher as I don't want her thinking we are critical and taking it out on Z -- I will ask the admin if I can speak with her in confidence regarding the observations or have the psych handle.

Adrienne met with us last night, her strong feeling is the aid (Sarah) while really nice and really loves the kids is untrained and unable to manage the classroom. She feels the entire classroom was chaos and while she was expecting to see Zayden being really bad, he was hit or kicked more times than he hit or kicked. Apparently too, the kid Jackson (zayden's nemesis) she felt had A LOT of issues.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

well really looking forward to see what the Pshy and Director tells you....

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

(SORRY SO LONG)

Just keeping you updated on this ongoing saga LOL

Met with the psych and shared Adrienne's observations. The psych described Zayden as sweet but unruly. She tried to summarize the issues that the school was very structured and disciplined but Zayden was having issues with that -- I called BS and explained I think its the opposite. Zayden needs structure and needs discipline and he is NOT getting it.

She gave me probably more info than she should that Z's arch enemy was a kid with serious issues that the school is struggling to address but while Z is just out of control, J really has some major problems.

I then get an email from the director that Z again hit someone. After some sole searching and a lot of prayer and insight from others, I wrote the following email.

One great resource has been a bookSetting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child : Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries that has some really good insight. I also read several others including several Magali recommended on the spirited child.

I reached the conclusion that the issues are the schools --not Z. He has been allowed to run around and do whatever so that is what he does.

This is the email I sent the school --sounds harsh I know but Z needs to get under control. I am working HARD at home on him and we really see some good results.

Good evening:

I am disappointed that Zayden hit another child on Wednesday. He was very excited on Tuesday to show me that he earned a green face and two stickers and even more excited to receive a reward reinforcing the positive behavior.

This last month, we have been working with him at home on clear and consistent boundaries and specific repercussions for poor behavior. We have seen a significant improvement with his behavior; I am sorry that is not being followed through with better behavior at school. We completely agree with you that teamwork is critical to his success and it is our hope that with time and consistency we will all see a marked improvement at school.

At this point, I believe a summary would be helpful to ensure that we are all tracking incidents and responses together.

Claire is sending home a “red face” or “green face” to represent if Zayden has hit another child. Everyone seems to agree that Zayden rarely hits anyone as a result of anger, aggression or simply to be mean; the physical expression seems to present itself when he is seeking attention, or just starts to “rough house”. While we have concerns about Zayden hitting any child, we want to ensure that he is not being held to a standard not placed on other students. When Adrienne observed the classroom, she noted a number of incidents where students were physical with each other; such incidents were not always addressed though that is certainly not an excuse for Zayden's behavior. Although we have tried to discuss the issue of not hitting another student back with Zayden after he has been struck, it is an uphill battle. We are hopeful that we can collectively refocus his energy into a more positive direction and impress on him that this behavior will not be tolerated.

Zayden has indicated that he is confused by the “Red/Green” face card which comes home. He recognizes that on the classroom chart that he has happy green faces and believes that he is doing well. Ultimately, he may then have a “Red” face in his lunchbox indicating that he has hit another student but Zayden does not understand because he sees the happy "green" faces on the wall. It would be helpful to have consistency so that Zayden can see on the chart that he has a “Red” face as a result of his actions and not be surprised when he gets a “Red” face in his lunchbox.

As an initial incentive program, we have requested that Claire award stickers for sitting during circle time and participating during sports and not running off. We were using two stickers at home for playing by himself and for sitting at the dinner table. Zayden is able to entertain himself at home; however, we will continue to encourage the good table manners at dinner. On Wednesday, Claire told me that she will be adding a third sticker for not throwing food at lunch. By coordinating our efforts, I believe we will be able to bring about the appropriate behavior in a much more efficient manner.

I want to be sure to thank Claire for her daily notes and insight into issues she observes during the day. Her input is appreciated.

I appreciate Marie’s time in observing Zayden as well as taking the time to meet with me on Tuesday to discuss her observations. Additionally, having Adrienne observe Zayden was extremely beneficial. I have taken everyone’s comments, observations and recommendations very much to heart and have consulted with a parenting expert I work with, a psychologist and consulted research material to which I have been referred in order to formulate a plan of action to work with Zayden’s personality and address the behaviors that need to be immediately rectified.

We have observed that Zayden responds best to clear, firm and consistent boundaries. Issues need to be addressed each and every time they arise. He needs to understand that he is not the one in charge and he needs to listen. We understand that these “power struggles” are normal; however, Zayden needs to be given a clear choice that he can either participate in the activity or he can spend his time in “time out”. These are the two choices. If Zayden does not comply, and does not make his own way to the time out area, he should be guided to that area without the need for further discussion or conversation. This is something that we practice at home and we believe that Zayden will ultimately respond at school. Unfortunately, when given options, he will test the boundaries and not participate in the scheduled activity. Zayden needs clear language. "Either take your seat or go to time out for three minutes". "I am sorry you chose not to sit down, you need to go to time out for three minutes." He should not be allowed to reengage if he asks but told "thank you for wanting to sit down now, you need to go to time out now but after three minutes, you are welcome to join us". Once he is placed in the “time out” area, I would anticipate that he would be invited to participate after 3 to 5 minutes (a timer is very helpful with him); if he continues to not wish to participate in the activity, he should remain in time out. I believe it is imperative that Zayden get specific direction and be given specific guidelines in order to be held accountable for his actions each and every time.

One of the things I have noticed at home when I put Zayden into time out is that he tries to extend interaction throughout the time period to continue the power struggle. He does this by talking, arguing, refusing to sit or wiggles around in defiance, attempts to negotiate, etc. He may do the same thing at school that he attempts at home. It would be my recommendation that you assist him – if necessary – to the time out area and not engage. In the event that he chooses to not comply – he should be placed in a time out area in the spot immediately outside the classroom door. Zayden needs to understand that his behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If these steps can be taken on a consistent basis, I believe that he will learn to modify his behavior.

I know that my son will undoubtedly be spending a great deal of time in the time out area; he may go willingly, he may have a tantrum. Again, according to the experts with whom I consulted, time out is a powerful training tool when used appropriately and consistently. Please do not assume that this is ineffective because he is in time out on numerous occasions. Consistent repeated exposure to the consequences will lead to the desired behavior. He has choices. He can participate or he can be in time out.

I have concerns about Zayden throwing food at lunch; this happened once at home, was addressed and has not been repeated. If Zayden should throw food at lunch, I believe it would be appropriate to simply remove all of his food at that time since he is obviously not planning to eat any of it. This will stop the issue. He should be placed in time out for the undesirable behavior. At the conclusion of time out, he needs to clean up the mess he has made. If he declines, I suggest he return to time out again and in three minutes asked if he is willing to clean up his mess.

Additionally, I have concerns that he is being permitted to “graze” his way through the school day. This is obviously not a healthy eating pattern. Snacks should be provided at allotted times throughout the day; lunch is served at a specific time, and he will eat if he is hungry. Grazing is not the solution; I believe it is in fact creating the problem. This may be a harsh reality for Zayden during the corrective period; he will figure this out and eat at the appropriate times when that is his only option. Zayden’s choice is to eat at the appropriate time or to go without if food is mishandled. He will not starve; he will be fed dinner at home and we will provide substantive snacks for the appropriate times. I suggest that Zayden be offered a snack right before school starts, at morning snack time, lunch, and if he has after school activities, just prior to those activities.

With respect to any instance where Zayden hits another child for any reason, that is completely unacceptable. He should be immediately removed from the situation, placed in time out because of the offense for a period of 6 to 9 minutes with no further interaction. He should be invited to apologize to the child he struck; Zayden should understand that no child enjoys being hit. If Zayden does not wish to apologize, he should return to the time out area in order to reconsider his choices. Again, Zayden has the choice to participate in an appropriate manner or be confined to the time out area to reconsider his actions. These are his two choices. I fully support Zayden being sent to Patricia's office if that is deemed necessary but again suggest that he not be engaged with or given any unnecessary attention beyond that needed to ensure his well-being. Zayden seems to enjoy the negative attention; if deprived of that, he may stop seeking it.

We would be happy to meet with you again to discuss this if necessary. If possible, I suggest this be implemented Monday morning (assuming Zayden is present), perhaps with a quick meeting with Zayden to explain what is going to happen. If you would like me to participate, please let me know. I suspect this may take a few weeks (and a few tantrums) for Zayden to agree to comply but do believe if each and every refusal to cooperate is met with consistent action both at home and at school, we will see an improvement shortly. Zayden should understand that we hope he makes the right choice but if he does not, he will know that there are only two options – comply or time out. Beyond those two choices, he has no choice and he is not the one in control.

I really appreciate your continued efforts to work with Zayden. I am hopeful that we can refocus Zayden into participating in class and all activities. I am seeing continued progress with Zayden at home; I hope that limiting his choices at school will soon translate to better behavior at school. This will unfortunately not happen overnight and I truly appreciate your willingness to give him the guidance and boundaries that will allow him to make better choices.

Again, thank you for your help. I apologize if some of this seems harsh but we have spent many hours working with people I trust to address Zayden's specific issues and his personality. I think with clear, consistent boundaries and accountability, we should see a change in Zayden for the better. Thank you again.

If you have any questions with respect to this, please give me a call.

I sent that on Thursday evening -- I finally got the below response from the director today:

Amy,

Thanks for your input. I am happy to see that we are on the same page. I agree about consistency.
I will go in class each day for observing and redirecting Zayden. I will have a meeting with Claire today.
I will contact you for a follow up.

I responded:

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Thank you very much! I am so pleased we are on the same page and very grateful for your help.

Zayden really does need structure and discipline --we have been very actively working with him at home and really do see a huge difference. He is a strong-willed child who responds to a strong hand and consistent, firm and clear boundaries. He is not the "perfect" child by any means -- he is still a three-year old boy -- but he is listening and following direction much more readily now that he realizes every time he does not it has consequences. He is much better at "respecting authority" at home. We still have a ways to go but I see a lot of progress being made.

I really do think that if Zayden is consistently redirected and his "options" are limited, many of these issues will stop, may take several days maybe even a few weeks to unlearn these behaviors, but Zayden is a bright kid any will figure it out. As a result of the observations, and our conversations with Claire, it seems that while the disruption of circle time is an issue, Zayden is essentially allowed to get up and wander, play with a toy, make noise, and on at least one occasion, circle time was brought to him. I really appreciate Claire's desire that Zayden not be left out but I think now he has learned that he has the choice to not participate and so he does whatever he wants to. We need to re-teach him that he does not have the choice and time out can be very effective for that. It is probably the same at sports. I respect that Claire does not want to have him spend the day in time out, but honestly he will learn quickly.

Please let us know how we can help. I told Zayden today that I had told his teacher that if he didn't listen he needed to go to time out and that he needed to make better choices. We will continue to emphasize that with him.

Thank you again.

Amy

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Yes I know I am a horrible mom. Sigh. But I really think Z needs to get it under control. Even if we switched preschools, no preschool is going to accept him being this far out of control.

jlildrip's picture
Joined: 01/24/08
Posts: 269

Hi Amy. I know I haven't posted in a long time, but I've been lurking (as you know ;)) and following along with this. Please know...you are NOT a horrible mom by any means. You are a very caring, loving mom--this entire post shows this. Your suggestions for Zayden are spot on and what we actually practice with Noah, so if you're a horrible mom, so am I, lol (and I know I'm not! :)). Two choices (do this or go to time out OR do this or do that--this way, he's in power and makes the choice, but I still get the result I want ;)), no food if playing with it (or eat what I made for all of us, or go hungry), etc. It's what kids need, what they crave--structure, boundaries, love and attention. You've done some amazing research, put together a wonderful, insightful, well-written email and I really hope the teachers follow through so that Zayden can be the wonderful, joyful child he can be and you are beginning to see at home.
:bigarmhug:
PS--I hope we get to see each other when Tiff has the baby! Smile

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Thank you Jess! I do know I am not a horrible mom deep inside but it is really nice to hear that too! It gets so difficult when you are fielding calls, emails all for things that I KNOW Zayden knows better but he just wants to be a punk.

I really hope we can get together when Tiff has her baby! I'll let you know when we finally figure out WHEN it is LOL Smile

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Amy
Sorry I haven't wrote before but ,ot enough hours in the days this days Wink

I agree with you 100% and you did your "homework" !! GOOD JOB YOU ARE A SUPER MOM

I have like you issue when Florian is in TimeOut (defiant) but like you I am working on it....

YOU ARE A SUPER MOM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS IS NOT EASY AND YOU ARE READY TO WORK VERY HARD AT IT FOR HIS OWN GOOD...

HE WILL THANK YOU (in few years !!)

BE CONSISTENT AND FIRM... (it kills me when I have to do it so.. hang in there)

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

:lurk: I have been keeping up with your saga. I think you are doing a great job. So many parents would just blame the school and move on. You are a great champion for your child.

serwachic's picture
Joined: 01/01/10
Posts: 178

I actually think the letters you wrote were pretty kind, and it seemed clear that you respect the school and want to work together as a team. I think Jude and Zayden have similar personalities, so while we're working on all the things you wrote in your letter it was a GREAT reminder to me to keep fighting the battle of expectations, consequences, and consistency. You're a wonderful Mom. You're trying to figure out how to do the best thing for your kid, even though it's not the easiest. Pretty sure that's the definition of great Mom. Wink

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Thanks all! It means a lot to me. This seems like a totally ONGOING saga with no end SIGH.

I don't want to give up on the school --though we have discussed it -- but I think the school for the most part is awesome and their elementary school is top notch. I really love the idea of a bilingual education and want to keep him there if we can --if its mutually agreeable. I think his current teachers style, though, while well meaning does not work with Zayden. Zayden is a VERY strong willed child and to yank him back into place is ex.hausting at times. He is also very bright per the teachers-- and gets bored easily and things the rules don't apply to him. Part o that is there fault, part of it is our fault and part of it is his natural personality. I hate to say there is NO question that he is my child LOL but I want him raised differently than I was and that we find away to channel his energy.

I have to confess though that I am not the sole author of the email. LOL I wrote the ideas and what I wanted to see happen and a dear friend at work stayed with me till 630 pm to wordsmith it, take out the snarky parts, add in more umph etc. LOL

I can't completely tell if it is working but I do see some changes. Yesterday he came home with a "yellow" face even though he hit another child with a car. I think he was on yellow at school so they made a yellow face for home even though we were doing red/green. That should address the consistency issue.

He has only had one sticker all week, I will see what he has today and then send her an email to see if he is still throwing food or running around in sports and make sure they are just not forgetting the stickers.

keops's picture
Joined: 04/01/08
Posts: 813

Amy I forgot to add that some diners Florian doesn't want to eat what is on the table and I tell him "too bad".. also if he start playing with food he gets no food !

YOU SEE I AM A BAD MOM TOO

but he has "fat reserve" and I (we) think this is the only way eh will understand... Sad

sometimes he just start playing with the food and I say "if you play you don't eat" and sometimes he just stop playing and eat, the other times where he just look at me smile and keep on playing I just take off his plate and he is done I do not OFFER ANY OTHER FOOD.. next time he may "get it" ........................

I wanted to tell you how it goes here ROFL

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Zayden doesn't have much of a fat reserve but I am pretty sure he won't starve to death --though he is pretty bummed I FINALLY trained daddy to stop giving him other food if he doesn't like whats on the table! ROFL

I don't get the throwing food -- the one time he did it, I popped his hand, put him in timeout and he hasn't tried that again! Last night he actually sat really well through dinner (now that we have been really working on this it works well) and we even had stuffed clams and Brussel sprouts! He liked the clams LOL

Yesterday again he was acting up at lunch and they had him eat at a different table alone. Hopefully he will figure this out SOON!

Joined: 06/03/07
Posts: 623

Hey Amy - sorry I haven't responded, but I agree that you are doing a great job. You are obviously doing your best to look at the situation rationally. You are not finger pointing in a unilateral fashion. Instead, you are doing what I only hope I would do in your situation, assess all the aspects and come up with methods for all parties to act on, to figure out the best solution. Good for you !!! I don't know that I would've even thought to send my own observer - her observations were enlightening.

From what you've said, it does seem like the school has their heart in the right place, but sounds like they aren't handling the specific situation as best they can. Maybe they are worried about being "too strict".

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

So we went to the Gala for Zayden's school on Saturday -- lots of fun!

I wound up having a great time with a few of the other moms. They really liked Zayden cause he is so friendly! Good to know.

Then this mom comes up to me --OMG, you are Zayden's mom? SOOOO nice to meet you, my son ADORES Zayden, he is all he ever talks about and just about worships him. Oh so nice to meet you. Which child is your son? Oh, my son is Jackson (Zayden's arch enemy!)

Oh really? ummmm, so nice to meet you. (what am I supposed to say here? Good to know, could you keep your kid away from mine cause J is always getting Z in trouble?)

Thank God another mom came over cause I swear she was going to ask for a play date!

ROFL