Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Beginnings

In Ontario we currently do a thing called 'graduated entry' for our kindergarten kids. It's a long slow process that drives both kids and parents crazy. I wonder if the teachers even like it? This is how it works: week one your child goes for a half hour individualized visit with their teacher. Week two your child goes for half a day with half their class. Week three they finally start school going all day every other day.

For the first two weeks the parents are responsible for getting their kids to and from the school, even those kids that would normally take the bus. Kathryn, Nolan and I took Bella and Brooklyn to their scheduled times and each time Katy put on her best puppy dog eyes and begged to go to school this year. Then she spent the entire time at home asking if it was time to get the sisters yet.

It's going to take her some time to adjust I think. But she plays well with Nolan and I greatly enjoy getting to hang out with her and play to her level as well. This is a new beginning I'm looking forward to. (Although I know it will meet it's challenges as she'll find her voice and is turning three which actually is the peak of the terrible twos).
Isabella is clearly humouring me in this picture. That's sort of been the theme of our summer. We have had a rough, rough few months. Her attitude has been completely out of control, and mine has matched it far many more times that I wish to admit. She was a compliant child when she was little and I always considered myself lucky. I knew that at some point she would rebel and our relationship would be put to the test. I thought it would happen when she was 13 and that our arguments would be over things like clothes and music and social events.

I have no idea how to discipline an attitude. Is it effective to put a child on a time out because she tells you she is going to put you in jail so she can get a new mom who will let her eat jelly beans at 8 am? I don't think it is. But I have no idea what an effective option would be.

I need to be making wiser choices in how I respond to her antics and I need to stop letting her get the best of me. A little bit of time apart each week will be good for our relationship. Time when I can breath and think and actually accomplish things on my to do list will free up that mental space I need to stay consistent, stay calm and stay the course.

This is a new beginning I'm looking forward to.
Brooklyn has been eagerly awaiting her turn to go to school ever since the first time we took Isabella to the bus stop. I was a little apprehensive about putting her in school this year, just not sure if she was academically ready. She spent 20 minutes with her kindergarten teacher who deemed her 'more than ready for this'. She played shy while we were standing in the hallway but as soon as she was away from me her personality showed up. In no time I will be getting phone calls about how chatty Brooklyn is, I'm sure.

She only knows one letter of the alphabet and notices it everywhere. She does not call it by its proper name, 'B', but rather tells you 'that's my letter!'. Numbers are a totally abstract concept to her and rhyming words are a means to make one giggle.

The beginning of her academic journey is a new beginning I'm looking forward to. It blows my mind to imagine the things she'll know by December let alone June.

I like new beginnings. Especially when the 'same old' is wearing you thin and you just need a change. Hurrah to September and to the new beginnings it brings.


EM said...

Yay! I like September too, in fact to me it is New Years. I'm finding it a bit harry this year because our New Beginning involves homeschooling for the first time (I have a 5yo and 3.5yo and a 4 week old). I too am struggling with major attitude woes. I'm trying this out... Attitude cups, if I catch them with good attitudes they get a marble in the happy face cup and the reward is being proud of themselves and dessert after supper. If I catch a whiff of stinky bad attitude they get a marble in the sad face cup and no dessert. If there are 5 marbles in the sad face cup they get a spanking. I'm learning as I go, so I'm sure I'll be revamping this system in a few weeks or even days, but it is helpful.
Congrats on your new beginnings.

Jen said...

Belle and Abby sound like two peas in a pod. I could have written what you did word for word. I wish I had advice for you!

Amanda Franks said...

EM that sounds like a creative idea, I love out of the box thinkers. I have been limiting her access to a certain friend that seems to feed her attitude and making sure to spend time alone with her. It helps a bit. Just lots of consistency and not lowering my standards. And a HUGE focus on my own attitude. Kids are parrots and sometimes I have to shake my head. Oy the things I say without thinking! Good luck to you, and Jen you too. There's something so good about the routine of school for the attitude, isn't there!

Bloggy Mama said...

Hunter is there, too! What the?? Good luck and love you lots!

Lamb said...

Boy oh boy do I remember attitude! The thing that was the most difficult for me was not to take what she says personally. Someone that young just does not understand the power of her words to hurt and that is when parents react. If I had a dollar for every time I opened my mouth and let raw feelings spill out I would be very very rich.
This very thing brought home to me how much our Heavenly Father puts up from us. Wow!!!

God bless and lots of love and hugs.