Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pick Him Up!

I'd love for this to be a purely happy, sunshiney place. I'd also love for my kids to be purely happy and sunshiney. Neither of those are reality so let's move on.

I'm not even going to talk about this past month right now. Too crazy, hectic, tiring. We'll talk about that all some other time as there is definitely what to talk about!

Right now, I'm having an internal struggle. I could definitely use an outlet for my thoughts, no need to let them brew and stew in my noggin.

Picking up Benny from school every day makes me never want to take him back. It's not the school. It's not the staff. It's not even his classmates. All of those are fine, great actually! But maybe that's the problem. Benny NEVER wants to come home with me. They are usually playing in the yard when I come to get him. I usually spend 10-15 minutes trying to persuade (read: bribe) him to walk out willingly. Then I end up dragging/carrying him back into the classroom to gather his stuff. All while holding Bella, who sometimes starts out pickup-time sleeping but almost never remains asleep. {I try to put her in my Ergo to have both hands available, it's a real bummer when I forget it at home!} Once we're in the classroom, I have to gather all his things, he's still busy having his tantrum. My safety zone is usually getting him into the hallway and closing the classroom door. In case you're wondering, we've usually hit the 20 minute mark by this point. Sometimes the hallway calms him down, sometimes he just lays on the floor and goes into full-blown tantrum mode. Shrieking. Kicking. More shrieking. Teachers poking heads out of rooms to make sure everything is ok. Oodles of fun.

Once in a blue moon, he just walks out nicely with me. I can probably count on one hand how many times that has happened.

Shuky tries very hard to get him on the days he's available, or at least to come with me. While he does this quite often, and I am extremely grateful for those days, the bad days WAYYYY overpower those times.

So, now my thought process is telling me it is really not worth the money we are spending for the battle I face, for the small amount of time he gets at the school.

Not sure what will come of this but sometimes rants are needed!


chanalesings said...

Hi Chani, What if you brought him a special treat every day? A sticker or little nosh. Some kind of motivation. Maybe he has trouble transitioning. Do you see this problem anywhere else? Also whats the schedul when he comes home? Maybe he's bored and needs some extra toys and playtime when he gets home?

Chani M said...

Hello Chanale!
Longtime listener, first time caller ;)

I usually have something special waiting for him in his car seat, that's where the bribing comes in! He has endless amounts of toys and we have a Wii so once in a while he gets to come home and play something special with me on that too. He just craves the social time, he never wants to leave places where he is having fun.

Ultimately, I think the day is too short for him, he only gets three hours there. That would be hard to change though, because of where we live - this is a non-denominational program as there are no Jewish schools in the area. I pick him up an hour earlier than the other kids to avoid the hot lunch they serve. I may go in and ask them to try to have yard time earlier so I have one less distraction to pull him away from and he gets his full outdoor time he needs!

Usually we do lunch or a snack right away when we get home, I pick him up at 11:30 but we don't get home until sometime around 12-12:30. Then we start with playing, be in together or on his own. Sometimes we do a project and if it's a nice day I try to give him more outside time with bubbles or playdough.

Do you have any tips on how to work on transitioning in general? That is definitely something he has a hard time with!!

Rachel said...

Also long time reader first time "caller" here. I have a kid who has trouble with transition also and who never wants to leave school (well now that she is there till 5:30 I get in trouble when I am not on time with her, but that is another story)I never realized her issue with transitions until her teacher pointed it out. And then she told me that whenever a transitions would come, stopping coloring to go outside etc. they told her about 10 min before "ok Ariella in 10 min we are going to put our coats on ok?" and it seemed to work and it seems like she grew out of it. However, I know this is going to sound very 1950s of me and it might not be something that works for you but dragging it out might make it even harder. Can you gather his stuff first, throw it in the car, then go get him? Give him more time to play and then go right to the car from the playground? I know you don't want to deal with the tantrum, but if it is going to come anyway why not just pick him up from the get go? Eventually he will learn that there is nothing he can do to stop from leaving (this coming from a mother of a VERY strong willed I have been in your shoes)And perhaps the bribes are hurting? He expects the bigger the tantrum the bigger the prize? We had this issue...we would take something away from Ariella when she did not behave...then give it back when she did. She learned that she could misbehave for however long she wanted then say sorry and get the thing back. Finally we actually threw away something (like a $1 sticker book) and she was supper upset..but it worked. It is so hard to be there and everyone looking at you. Just stay strong ok? Good luck!

Chani M said...

Rachel, you bring very interesting points to the table!! I'm going to have to read your comment a few times...strong willed kids are super fun!!

Mimi said...

I like Rachel's idea. If you get there before and get his stuff to the car, then you can just wait for the other kids to finish their playtime. Then he wont feel jipped. If you tell him b4 that he will get to stay the whole playtime if he comes nicely to the car with you when they are going inside. Good luck. This actually reminds me of the days when I used to take Zalmy to Barnes and Noble and he would flip out when I told him it time to go. He probably also needed more time to be social and play. I actually had to stop taking him there because it wan't worth it. I hope you'll be better off because all the kids are going inside and that may help create a definitive "end of playtime" for him. I also do the 10 min/ then 5 min warning for Zalmy. Sometimes it works, but definitely not always.

chanalesings said...

Rachel and Mimi, good points. Chani, if nothing works, just grin and bear it cuz THIS TOO WILL PASS!