Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Losing Her Marbles -Part 1

The school year is winding down for our girls. I'm glad we get a little break now for Christmas, because we've had a bit of a rocky start.

This year Lily started Kindergarten and it's been a bit of a change for her. At first Lily seemed to make the transition with no problems. However, little issues started cropping up. We got a note home from her teacher that Lily was chasing boys at recess, and was trying to hug and kiss them. We spoke with Lily, telling her that she should not be kissing boys at school, and she promised to stop doing that. However, the notes continued to come from school.

Lily was still kissing boys. Lily shoved another student out of the way so she could get in line in front of them. Lily was disrespectful and defiant to the playground monitors. And so on. After each note we spoke with Lily and for the second note and all the ones after she was punished. I also was speaking to the teacher once or twice a week. This was not normal behavior for my sweet little girl. Something was going on, but I didn't know what. The talks and the punishments just were not working.

Then, one Friday, we got the worst note yet. It said "Lily's behavior was so bad today that I don't have time to write it all down." Immediately upon reading the note I called the school, and spoke to her teacher. She said that she had asked Lily to stand up and go do something. Lily grossed her arms, continued to sit, and said "I'm tired! I'm NOT getting up!" She then made what the teacher called a "very mean face". The teacher also explained to me that her aide was out sick, and she was dealing with two other unruly children. She couldn't deal with all three of them, plus the rest of the class, and it made for a very difficult day. I apologized, and was embarrassed. I told her we would do whatever we could to fix this problem.

That night I had some time to think, and it occurred to me that Lily was no longer getting her nap. She wasn't in "day care" anymore where the majority of her time was free play. She had school work most of the day, and there was no more nap time. She did get "quiet time" where she could put her head on her desk for 20 minutes or so, but no more lying down on her cot with her blanket for a few hours. Could my little girl be fatigued and grumpy at school? To test the theory, we moved the girl's bedtime from 9:00 to 8:00. I was afraid that she'd complain that she wasn't tired, and would just fool around in bed instead of sleeping. However she must have been tired because she only fussed for a few minutes and then she was out.

The transformation was immediate. No more bad notes came home from school, and when I called the teacher the next week she said that Lily's attitude had been wonderful. That extra hour of sleep had done it.

To simplify things we decided to put Macey to bed at 8:00 too. She is still getting naps in Pre-Kindergarten and I was worried that she would not go to sleep, or that she'd start waking up at 4 am. Luckily neither one of those things happened and she now sleeps as long as Lily does, plus she gets her nap.

As soon as we had Lily straightened out, Macey began having problems at school. Lily was a pretty easy fix, but Macey has proven to be a much harder nut to crack.

To be continued...

Part 2


Rising Rainbow said...

Well, if that doesn't just sound like kids......taking turns. LOL

BTW haven't found you on facebook and it is official that SHN will be permanently in Kentucky after 2010 just in case you haven't heard.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant...a simple fix totally evaporates a complicated problem. Why does this happen so often with little kids? Who knows, but I'll have what she's having. I love extra sleep!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr