Thursday, January 8, 2015

Not Much Going on Around Here

As the title implies- things are pretty slow going at the Scholtes house. We're sort of winding down from the holidays and getting back into the swing of things. As nice as it is to get a break and have a few lazy days, it's just as nice sometimes to get back into the routine and norm of everyday life.

Just a few updates to the start of the New Year:

As mentioned in this post, we started having behavior difficulties at school with Sophia. She would shut down if prompted by a teacher to either use her words to ask for something or to answer a question. Towards the week of Christmas, she had a few meltdowns and dug her heels in and would not respond to any redirection or reasoning. The school's principal's office is across from her room so he even went to try to help and took her to his office to see if a change of scenery would help. She turned out liking it in there and wouldn't go back to her classroom- the opposite reaction, I believe then what they were looking for. Needless to say, that was our first time in the principal's office ourselves and I must say, opposite of Sophia, I do NOT want to have to go back in there again, for that reason, anyway. I left the principal's office feeling confused, slightly embarrassed and overthinking everything. Did we make the right decision to change schools? Are we doing something wrong, as parents? Is something more there that we aren't seeing?

 But then after the initial embarrassment and questioning wore off, I became a little incensed. In the position I have, I work with preschool and child care center staff everyday who experience challenging behavior. I help them think of outside of the box strategies to deal with challenging behavior and I encourage them to look into themselves to see what THEY can change about THEIR interaction with the child. Knowing that a child's relationship with their teacher is the foundation for success it led me to question this for Sophia and her relationships with her teachers. Did they really truly understand what a sensitive, shy and quiet little girl she is? And how a room with 5-6 teachers might be overwhelming for a child? Or that if she is having a bad day and five different people who she isn't 100% comfortable with, are trying to talk to her, that she most likely will shut down? Or that a more introverted, quiet little girl most likely isn't going to be the first one to jump up and down when asked to talk about the weather in front of all of her peers? Sophia may not have the words or skills yet to verbalize all of this to her teachers but I CAN. And as a parent, it is my duty to be able to advocate for her and not excuse her behavior but look at other factors that contribute to behavior rather than trying to label her or think "something is wrong" with her.

So, I encourage all of you parents, if you are or ever have been on the receiving end of a telephone call from your child's school, telling you about the bad day they have had, I encourage you to ask questions. I encourage you to advocate for your child and look at all the factors in the situation. In my experience, more than half of challenging behaviors come from the way a teacher is handling a situation or outside factors that have nothing to do with the actual child. I do want to stress though, that it doesn't excuse the child's behavior, we still hold Sophia accountable for her actions, but we are working on building her skills to better deal with challenges and upsets rather than shutting down or having a meltdown.

In other news: really nothing. Ha- no but seriously, we are enjoying being cooped up in the warm house as the wind blows outside. We have been having seriously lazy nights, involving all being cuddled up on the couch watching Netflix movies. We're all (knock on wood) remaining healthy and I am so thankful for that.

8 days into the New Year and so far, it's a good one! :)

Three gals just a cuddlin'

Saidey's "look"

Putting our four year old to WORK- that's how you get things done! ;)

Our little "rockstar"