9.15.2010

Bribery...


It's been a rough week so far. EZ E started preschool and he hates it. Absolutely hates it. He cried and cried when we dropped him off and then, when I walked in the door to pick him up, he ran into my arms and started sobbing again. He spent a good part of this morning telling me, "Mama, I'm definitely not a big boy", trying to convince me to let him stay home. I'm not too proud to share that I bribed him with the promise of feather lollipops after school if he makes it through another day. He has lovely, patient teachers and I know it'll get better with time, but does anyone have any advice for making it through the first week of school (besides bribing with pretty lollipops)?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a different form of bribery? My son had seen and dearly wanted this black belt with racecar flames all over it. So, I got it for him with the understanding that he only could wear it when he went to preschool. Also, I wrote a little message to him on the inside as our special secret. Is there something similar that your son could only wear to school and not around the house, etc.?

Trix's Mix said...

No wonder...his home sounds and looks like a delightful place to be! :)
Don't worry too much - he will adjust to school in no time!

m l e said...

Sorry, no tips for the preschool drama... but I'd love to know where you get those beautiful lollies!

susan heggestad said...

I don't believe any parent has made it through the job without a little bribery now and then.

Something I didn't understand, but am beginning to get now that my boys are teens, is that most power struggles are about needs not being met. You may know what your needs are, but it can take quite a bit of time to work through a child's 'wants' to finally get at the heart of it. Maybe his need for a certain amount of attention isn't being met. Or a need to know that he isn't missing out on all the special things that happen at home... only he can tell you!
This site may come across as a bit new-agey, but it's really been useful for my family:
http://www.cnvc.org/learn/nvc-foundations

NEATO BURRITO said...

nice lollipops!! they might could work forever, after all, when I think about it, I would be more intrigued to go to class (college) if one of those was offered to me.

No real advise but my best guess is He'll warm up to school in no time.

Melissa said...

For us it was 3 months of crying at drop off. Bribery didn't work, only time. It's heartbreaking, but it will eventually get better. :)

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thanks, everyone! The lollipops are from The Seneca Lake General Store in Watkins Glen, NY.

Chi-town Southerner said...

I like the idea of something special he gets to use or wear only at school.

I don't have kids, but I teach them. We always have a few little ones (and sometimes older ones!) who are scared for the first few weeks. Once they have time to get to know the teachers and the other kids, they do really well. Hang in there, EZ E!

Nicky said...

I am a preschool teacher so I have a few ideas. Does his school allow parents to stay? If so you can be in the room with him( but the key is not interacting with him, just unobtrusively in the corner, reading a book or writing) for a while until he gets more used to the routine or makes friends. If they don't allow parents to stay, he can keep a photo of you or his whole family in his cubbie to look at when he misses you. He can dictate a note to you to his teachers or make a painting to give to you when you pick him up. Lots of children's books deal with the theme of separation. Two good ones are Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown or Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. One of the best things that you can do is not be ambivalent yourself, if he senses that you are anxious about leaving him , he will pick up on that. Make sure that you are cheerful and confident that he will have fun and be well taken care of by his teachers. If he doesn't know the other children, arrange playdates or meet classmates in the park after school.

Nancy said...

Eh, he'll get over it eventually. I think school tends to be a bit of a shock for a longer period of time for the more sensitive children. I teach elementary art, and one year I had a kindergartener who was having an especially rough start (his mom was an artist too- go fig.) so she send him to school with a photograph of his favorite bear. He held it close and took it everywhere; it was quite cute. Maybe sending him off with a sentimental trinket or photo could help?

katieanna said...

I've been reading your blog everyday. It's beautiful. I think you're doing a wonderful job and meeting all his loving needs. This too shall pass.

Sitting In A Tree Kissing said...

I have to say bribery always worked on me . . . Our mom had to revert to that after trying everything . . . but nothing says write your name like a big girl like a pound puppy :)

By the end of the year he'll be crying not to be in school!!

Anonymous said...

I found that giving my boys a little token to tuck into their pocket reminded them that I love them and would be back soon. Just sent my youngest off to college and I found the little red glass heart that I gave him when he started going off on his own. He carried in his pocket or backpack for a long time and could touch it whenever he needed a little love from Mom.

lookwhaticando said...

My trick has always been to let my daughter know how much I do not like it and that we share the same anguish about being apart. So far it has worked really well. In about a week she usually starts to come around and then before you know it I'm the one left feeling sad...although I do not let on at this point. Set aside some fun time to do amazing things when he gets home. I wouldn't want to leave either if you were my Ma. :)

jen said...

i have taught that age group before and as teachers we can see it is tough for parents to make that initial split but know that he will stop. whether it takes days, weeks or months he will get used to his new surroundings and become comfortable with his teachers.

my only suggestion would be to make the 'good-bye' as quick and painless as possible. do not linger. say good-bye and you'll see him later etc and then leave and hope for the best.

good luck : )

lifespelledjen.blogspot.com

Mamabear said...

poor kiddo. I am a preschool teacher and have coached lots of parents and kids through separation. Bottom line is that there should be some sort of phase in process where he comes for longer and longer periods of time and you leave only when he is comfortable. However, many preschools prefer to make a "clean break" and have the parents leave on the first day. Bottom line is that he may not be ready for a full day or for you to leave right away. Only you as his mom know if this is the case or not. If you think he IS ready but it's just a case of nerves, I would be very excited and happy for him. Remember, kids take their cues from their parents so if you seem at all nervous about leaving him he'll pick up on it. If the lollipops work, it's fine, but he may keep upping the ante on you. Maybe talk to the teacher and see if there's any way to slow the separation process down. Keep in mind you want his first experience with school to be a positive one. Listen to your heart and hang in there!

henred5 said...

My mum says I was a nightmare when I started nursery, that I cried as soon as I lost sight of her or dad (who ever droped me off) But I got used to it with time...sorry I don't know how, my memory doesn't go that far back.
Maybe treat him to something after school, something small but still fantastic...ice cream? Or a lollypop?

April said...

If he likes stickers, you could give him a sticker each afternoon when you pick him up for a good job that day. You could also do a sticker chart where he gets to put a sticker on each day of the week that he goes to school. At the end of the week if he has 5 stickers (or whatever the number) he can have a special treat.

Rachael, Pistachio Press said...

Oh Abb, that's got to be rough! Thinking of you both and hoping it gets easier soon.

Oh, as a side note, his hair is awesome right now. I'm so jealous of those curls!

erin said...

...i like to think of these things as an 'exchange'...;)

Rapunzel's Wish said...

My kiddo dealt with the same sort of situation. Her kindergarten teacher recommended the book called "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn, where the mother raccoon leaves a gift of a kiss in the palm of her little one's hand to carry with him and remind him of his mother's love all throughout the day. It is very sweet and handles the subject beautifully.
- When our daughter first went to school, in kindergarten, they allowed the children to bring a favorite small stuffed animal or a special trinket of some sort into the classroom with them. Later, they let the children keep that special item in thier backpacks in thier lockers - but then later still in the year, they did not allow it any longer - this is where the book came in handy.
- I have found a webpage that talks a little about this special book, and some activities to go along with it. - It is done by a teacher, and even has an idea for baking a cookie with a little heart in a hand. - Hope it helps :)
http://www.kinderthemes.com/thekissinghand.html

Anna said...

those lollipops are the coolest thing ever!!

The Stapelia Company said...

Feather lollipops?! I want one! :)

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