This is a time of celebration: so sit still and be quiet.

What's that Bean? You want to get up at 5:30? You don't think it's a little ... no? Oh. Are you sure? Okay. Sorry, my brain's not processing things yet ... it's a little ... Yes. I'd love to play Ponies at 5:30 before I've had coffee. Love to.

At least Miss O is still asleep. But Bean's gonna be one tired, nap-refusing kiddo today.

I got the whole "she's smart enough to know that we can't discipline her here, so discipline has to come from home" lecture today. Because they refuse to give ground on their "Bean needs to lay quietly for two hours if she's not going to nap" instead of finding a creative solution. Is it just me, or is it entirely unreasonable to expect her to lay still for two hours? (Kels, I know your telling me how one of yours would get in trouble for this kind of stuff is one of the things that scared me about school ...)

I just think it's nuts for them to be mad at her for not being able to sit still for two hours. I don't know any grown ups who could do that, without fail, day in and day out. So when she gets tired of being shushed and laying there reading quietly, she snaps and scampers around the room, disturbing the other kids. *I get that that part sucks and needs to not happen* - what I don't get is why I'm expected to discipline her after they set her up for failure. I'm not. I'll talk to her about how she needs to sit and read quietly, but I'm not going to discipline her (and god knows what they want me to do hours after the fact anyways) for an expectation that seems completely unreasonable to me.

Am I wrong? Is it more important that they keep pounding her square peg self into that round hole? Am I setting her up for even greater struggles in kindy if she doesn't just do what they expect of her, whether it's reasonable or not?


pam said...

Surely Bean is not the only kid who doesn't take naps??? Maybe they need a *no nap room* at the scholl for her and others like her where they can ply or read or watch a video during naptime for the rest of the class.

Kelly said...

Vick, I sooooo feel your pain. Yes, Reese was EXACTLY like this. I would ask them if they could please allow her to sit at one of the tables and color quietly or give her something to do or read. They actually got pretty good at expecting her to be a round peg and that she would not fit in the square hole. But, I think a good idea might be for you and the school to tell Bean that she needs to lay quietly for 30 minutes and then, if she does lay quietly for 30 minutes, then she can color or something, at a table, away from the other kids. Also, they eventually got Reese to take a nap (which she needed desparately) by sitting next to her and rubbing her back. She would fall asleep. Vick, are they doing anything to get on Bean's level? Does she have atleast one of the teachers who are completely on her side and recognize the pure magic that is Bean? She can't always be in trouble. It's not ok. And, like your Mom said, she can't be the only one that is not napping. And, I am in complete agreement that you cannot "punish" her at home for not napping. It's not going to work and quite frankly its dumb to ask you to do that. Also, you need to tell those teachers that when you arrive to pick her up, before they can tell you one negative thing- they have to tell you three positive things that happened that day.

Julia said...

We need to get together for coffee night. Truly what you're describing is classic "bright child gets bored and needs individualized instruction" -- something that I had to do often when teaching. Trouble is, you will be beating your head against the wall for a long time to come unless you figure out some compromise or way to teach Bean to work within the system, because whether you homeschool, private school, or public school her, there is always a system with expectations and varying degrees of individualized instruction. That has to be what the school is asking, with the discipline comes from home. Even still, sitting quietly for 2 hours is a lot to ask for a kid, so some quiet activity should be appropriate. Are their hands bound though that kids are required x number of "rest hours?" I vaguely remember that about elementary school, but I'm not as familiar with laws governing younger kids.

Vivian said...

First, I realize that you don’t know me from a hole in the wall. And my comments and opinions should be taken with grain of salt since all I know of Bean is what you’ve shared and her fabulous ‘Booty’ video. : ) I’m writing as both a mom and hopefully of more use as a teacher who has worked with toddlers through middle schoolers for the past 17 years (from Gifted to Special Ed.). OK, that said, here goes…

I believe Julia is right in saying Bean is a VERY bright girl whose school environment isn’t accommodating her needs, emotional, developmental or physical, and I have a feeling probably not intellectually either. Yes, she’s four, but a four year whose got BIG ideas and understandings for her age. Are they challenging her at all? I bet when appropriately challenged Bean is simply delightful and easy going, at the very least more flexible. It’s a gifted kid thing. Julia is also right in that although, “breaking” her should NEVER be the goal, Bean must learn to function within a system. No matter where she is, there are always expectations. Always. Think of in terms of prepping her for getting pulled over by a cop for some stupid traffic violation. Do you want her fighting the cop? Or to smile at him and interact politely, though she’s cursing him in her mind. No good comes from raging at a system. Help her learn to function within, and even to “work it” in her favor. Seriously, even if you’d want her to be a revolutionary leader she needs to know what it is she’s revolting against.

All that said, it absolutely inappropriate for Bean to be disciplined for not sleeping. Ever. They need to create an ‘awake place’ for her. It’s not ideal but let her watch a movie, color, whatever.

Even if she did need to face consequences for her behavior, when her frustration gets the better of her, then it needs to be IMMEDIATE, NOT HOURS later. And it needs to be developmentally appropriate for her. It is developmentally inappropriate to delay consequencing a child below the age 6-8 years old. She is not a mini adult no matter how bright and insightful she is. She needs to be explicitly taught how to behave appropriate. Literally, modeled and practiced often. Bean’s a smart one, she’ll get it.
That is just my opinion.

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