Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your child is insecure, intoverted and cries all the time: We give up

It was anything but a warm welcome after the travel-intensive office conference trip. The little joys of me time were swept way by a flood of criticism, pointing fingers and accusing statements.

Landed back home to realise we're due at a parent-teacher meeting at Sonny Boy's playschool. It was our first, and boy! Was it a disaster!

The school's director and his class teacher, in no un-certain terms told us that Sunny Boy was insecure, introverted and shy, refused to mix with other children, didn't want to participate in any of the class activities, doesn't sing rhymes, only does actions sometimes, refuses to jump on the trampoline, refuses to change class or teacher, was even scared of holding a crayon! That he cries too much, doesn't eat what's in his box, that other children were losing out on a whole lot of fun because Sonny Boy was pretty un-handlable!

THAT i thought was the last straw.

They said they had "given up" on him because he refused to "settle down" despite being at the playschool since June.

They told us that we must make him more secure and loved, wanted. We must use more physical touch to give him the reassurance.

It was a hard slap for me across my face. Because at home, he's never like this.
He loves his crayons and colouring.
He sings all his rhymes with action at home.
Yes, he cries a lot and throws tantrums -- a problem we're trying to solve too.

What hurt most was the curt way in which they told us he was beyond control. And that we were to blame. They asked us for solutions.

Agreed as a parent, we must be actively involved in solving the issue at hand, but doesn't the teacher play any role in this?
We put him in this playschool simply because unlike others, they seemed informal, ready accept each child as an individual, with different rates of development.
The classes or groups were small -- his initial group had six kids and three teachers -- that was good I thought.

What happened along the way, I wonder? He would come back initially happy with rhymes. Now he wakes up in the morning absolutely refusing to go to playschool.

In the last about 36 hours of desperation and depression I have read up vaguely on autism, stumbled upon selective mutism, childhood insecurity, separation anxiety, toddler anxiety....I've considered changing playhome, considered quitting job and staying home with him, pulling him out for a few months from any playschool....

Feeling guilty that I didn't notice all this till now, miserable that we may have caused it and vicious against the teachers for being so mean about it.

Confused, and searching for answers....


Garima said...

Thats just three months since June.... He is under two, there is no way the kid will settle down so soon!
I really am surprised and angry at the director for being os inconsiderate and rude. Every child is different and as a kid, they will have tantrums, they will have moments of frustration and since they cant express it with words, they will express it in actions. Simple.
The play school should know that.
If kiddo is refusing to go to school, there is something that the school is not doing right. There was a time when V was being very very fussy at drop off times. We realised it was a new teacher whom V was not very fond of. The teacher was a bit rough with the kids in tone. We asked for a class change and now V cant seem to have enough of her school.
For the other question- Teachers are also very key to formative to the kids development. Yes, parents are first. But since kids spend a lot more time in play school, the teachers should be adept at kids behavior's
There is no harm in doing research on other things you mentioned... but look around for other play schools. Organise play dates at your house to see how kiddo is with other kids around and confront the school.. how dare you!
I am sorry .... that the back home experience was not nice... :-(

Anonymous said...

Hey...Chill...Dont worry.
More or less we are sailing in the same boat,but my son's probelm is diff from your sons.

This Jun i got my son admitted in a play school near my house.The only reason we choose this school,bcoz we wanted our son to be little disciplined.(He is little stubborn,throws tanturums and he is the most pampered one in his creche)

But even before the PTM itself we got compliant from the princi that he doesnt listen,always on the move,needs a lot of cajoling to complete his and very restless.....bla,blah....

I was very worried and browed through all the sites related to ADHD(bcoz he is very hyperactive).
Should i quit the job........
I give up now and stopped worrying.

I felt teachers are supposed to be role model to kids(ofcourse parents also)and they should be able to handle any type of kids.
You cannot expect 3yr kid to be perfect(10/10)and they take some time to come to our world.

So now i am searching for good school where my son can be himself(trying my best to make him little disciplined).

I feel we are worrying too much bcoz we are working mothers.

Dont worry too much...time will take its course...


Aparna said...

Dear Forever Mother,

First of all BIIIIG HUG !

Don't sound so forlorn, and I think you should not start worrying about developmental issues immediately. Take a step back, and try to see what might be bothering him about going to school. It could be something as simple as another child, or not liking the kind of crayons they have there!

You are not alone in such concerns - although the tone taken by the teachers/school staff surely seems a bit extreme. Teachers for one cannot talk of "giving up"!! My son has been going to school since July, and still hasn't settled to the 9-12 routine. They say if he lands up early, he disrupts the class since he takes up all the teacher's attention. So they take him in only at 9.45 since that's close to snacktime, and then he can take part in group activities like storytime which he's more settled with. Even though on somedays I feel i'm paying a bomb for him to still be going part-time to school, I tell myself it's better if he adjusts well rather than pressuring him to spend more time. And still I have to put up with him screwing up his face and saying "I don't want to go to school" every morning :(.

That never happened with my daughter whom I could threaten with saying "I won't take you to school!" cos she loved it so much.

Anonymous said...

Don't be too harsh on yourself, cribbermom. It was indeed pretty rude of your son's teachers to use such strong words. And yes, some schools seem to feel that the childs behaviour is entirely caused by the parents! The teachers have an almost equal role to play in behavour development. They should try to understand and work with your child to help him adjust with his classmates and teachers, which you cannot do!
Hope that things will change for your child and you. Try not to worry too much. It might be just a bad phase, which he'll eventually grow out of.

Aparna said...

Oh, so sorry that these issues have cropped up. i think others have given solid advice, so anything i say will only be repetition. since u say he's fine at home (except for the tantrums and which kid doesn't have them?!! you shd be worried if he doesn't!) then obviously something is bothering him at school. kids at that age are so sensitive and delicate. i guess you need to explore this topic with the teachers at the school. how does he go to school? is there some bullying happening somewhere?
i think, don't get worked up about potential (and imaginary!) disorders or your career, step back, let your anger/sadness reduce and allow yourself to get some perspective. you know, sometimes the best action is "no action" - some things just work out on their own if we don't interfere.
i'm sure u're doing a great job as a mom - no guilt please!

Jayadeep(JDP) said...

My take - the playschool seems like a poor one. They want everyone to be alike singing playing etc. They find it difficult with a kid that doesn't fit in their box. Even if there was a problem, they should've let you known this as early as possible and not waited for a scheduled meeting. They are clearly NOT helping.

From whatever you describe, I see no signs of any autistic problems. I know this because I have seen my brother's son with a mild autistic problem and how he recovered after treatment. You wouldn't miss the symptoms. But you could check it up to rule out any problems - the best child psychiatrists in town are in Nimhans from our experience, but it is a bit tough to get to them. Parijma clinic in Wilson Garden also is good one. And don't feel guilty about this at all - that's not going to help either.

A working mom said...

When i read you post, I felt I was reading about my child! She was in playschool last year at 2.5 years and she was everything that you have described to the extent that if someone told her to do anything in class she would be so self conscious and cry. Everyone blamed me as I was working full time(as usual the mother gets the blame).But trust me, things have taken a U turn now. She is in pre-nursery this year in a different school and she is a much more confident child.
So relax!! Yes, the school and teachers have a big role to play - I can see the difference here. Plus, its the age. As they grow, they become more confident, develop self esteem and interest in learning.Each child is different and develop at their own pace. As parents and teachers, we must help them and NEVER give up on them. Its a pity, your kids school does not understand this.

Forever mother said...

Dear Garima, my two dear friends Aparna(s), Teju, Anonymous, A working Mom, and Jayadeep

Thanks, Thanks a ton for the strong cushion of support, advise, tips, ideas....been busy mulling over the issue, spending more time with Sonny Boy, talking to him about school, aksing him about the place, listening to him about the place. Right now playschool is closed for the Dasara vacation so I will see how it goes starting this Monday.
Menwhile, sorry for teh delayed reply..haven't been too active on the blog these days.
Will keep all that you guys have said before taking the next step, whatever that may be.
Lots of love
Forever Mother

rama said...

Hi, don't worry. When my son was in pre-nursery in a famous school in Bangalore, the teachers used to call me every week n complain a lot, complaints were same as your son's. Luckily, we got admission for him in a different school in KG and that has changed his entire outlook. Now, he is in 5th STD, topper in his school, winning national level academic competitions and teachers are praising him as a model child. So, don't worry, everything will be fine.

rama said...

Hi cribbermom,

What happened? why no new posts at all? Not in town?