Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kindergarten, Bullies, Fever and Fun

Why is it that the more time I spend parenting the less I actually feel like I know how to parent?   Let me present a dilemma:  tattling.  Lucy spends a lot of time defending her actions in kindergarten (she's having loads of troubles staying out of trouble at kindergarten) by telling me and everyone else how mean the other kids are to her.  "Mom, he is always being so mean to me,  Mooooommmmm she keeps giving me mean looks all the time.  Mooooooooommmmmmmm  he bumped me first, on PURPOSE"   I have spent enough time in her class room to note that this tattling is also directed at her poor teacher, and it's not just Lucy it's quite a few of the kids, girls in particular.   

Soooo the dilemma is this:  With all the talk about bullying going around lately, and the advice about listening to your kids and having an open line of communication etc it feels like I should be open and empathic when Lucy starts bitching  tattling on her peers  BUT I also feel like wanting to encourage her to not spend so much time tattling, telling, worrying about the actions of others and spend more worrying about her own self. 
What do I do? 

In other news,  Lucy has been down with a fever and some pretty nasty mouth sores for 3 days now.  Poor little baby.  She's a real trooper though, drinking when I ask her to and taking necessary medicine.  Sadly the fevers do not seem to impact her energy level much.   I know I'd be worried sicker if she was lethargic but I'd just like to see that once ... 

In other other news.  Seems as if the woes in kindergarten have caused us to shift things at home a bit.  We are doing lots of  "attachment style" work, just to help with some regulation and it's amazing how much more fun and enjoyable our evenings and weekends have become.   Seriously, LOVE her so much ... gaaawwwwhhh.


Mindy said...

You're amazing Stacy. Seriously. I think your flexibility to Lucy's changing needs and seeking out new ideas and techniques to use with her will certainly boost her confidence and self-regulation. She is so very lucky to have you as her advocate and mother. Keep seeking, keep loving, and keep being the AMAZING mother and person you are.

Nancy said...

I agree with Mindy. is a huge pet peeve of mine. Seriously, like nails on a chalk board. It seems like tattling comes about when new groups are being formed and where kids are learning rules/boundaries. Tattling also seems to be a way for kids to test where they are on the social continuum. The big kids asserting their power kind of thing.

I leave the tattling to the teachers to handle and teach M to focus on expressing herself when needed and going to a teacher if she isn't feeling heard or feeling safe.

In the end I think it is about kids needing to feel safe.

Then there is the issue of scapegoating...

Bridget said...

Oh boy. As a Kindergarten teacher- this one is BIG- Tattling. It's quite exhausting....b/c really....if you listen to each and ever concern of each and every child, well, NO child would know how to read! :) We actually have something in place at our school called "The Peace Place" Just a random location set up in every classroom and at recess where kids learn the steps needed to talk to the OTHER child about whatever problem they are having with one another. The counselor comes in 1-2 times a month to review how it works...Honestly, this works in 9 out of 10 situations. The rules are (and we sing them) 1. Agree to solve the problem (repeat each one if singing) 2. Take turns talking 2. Tell the truth 3. No put downs
Honestly, it works. We role play with puppets and kids and actual problems..... So, if kids come up to me with a "tattle" and you get to know the difference between a tattle and a full blown problem pretty quickly--we just stop them and say, "This sounds like a situation for The Peace Place" And if you're in the middle of instruction and it's not a good time for Peace Place, then they sign up on a form and as soon as there is a good break, they go to talk it out. Any one who has signed up must go to the Peace Place before going to recess or going home. Simple as that. I encourage handshakes or hugs and the "problems" are usually solved pretty quickly (average 2 min.) b/c really, kids want to be HEARD. Simple as that. And they need to do this with each other mostly- not always an arbitrary adult who 'fixes' things by disciplining.

Also-- have you ever seen this post?
I thought it was interesting.

Good luck! It's an endless road of learning--this thing called parenting!


zanne said...

parenting is tough but it sounds like you're doing a great job. keep hanging in. i don't know what to tell you about tattling. i actually wish my son would tattle occasionally. he'd get bullied at school and when he retaliated the other kid would tell on him. the teacher would ask if my son had hit or whatever, and my son would just say, "yes i did" arrrggg. i hate tattling, but i wish he had just an ounce of verbal self preservation.