Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rough Patches

Our youngest little one is a firecracker. She is SO funny, ALWAYS smiling, running, loud and happy. Sometimes I think I should have named her Joy, because that is what she is. You can't help but love her and laugh with her (even when she's up to no good). Many of the people in our life feel her "fighting" spirit is God given and it's why she has flourished so well in spite of her medical issues. So, a few years ago I was a little worried when she was going into a more serene, structured classroom without her older sister to "supervise" her. For the first few weeks she was getting accustom to her surroundings - very quiet, very shy and very on task. Then about 3 weeks into the school year she felt comfortable to be more herself. And so ensued a couple of weeks were we needed to help her find a balance between being herself and following the school rules. For a few days there I could tell her teachers' nerves were wearing a little thin. We worked with them and with our baby girl and I think this balance had been achieved and maintained.

To help make sure no lasting damage was done, I decided to put "operation smooth things" over into action. I went to the dollar section at Target and picked up a tube of the Pumpkin Spice body scrub and a Ghiradelli Chocolate Square for each of the teachers. I then included a note that said "Thanks for helping me through my rough patch at school, I hope my new behavior (and this scrub & chocolate) will help smooth things over!". They LOVED it! I know it's corny and some might think stupid. Yes, I know that this was not necessary to my child's enrollment at the school, however it was an inexpensive but much appreciated gift that let those teachers know we appreciate their patience. I think too often people don't take time to do this. It's not that we are trying to "buy" our way past our children's bad behavior - that we take very seriously at our house and we addressed with our child. But, it is hard on the teachers (even when they are trained and paid to deal with it) and it's nice to let them know you recognize that.

One of my friends a few years ago had a rough patch with her child at school. She made a little "see no evil, hear no evil" scrapbook for the teachers. This past week my youngest pushed a little boy at school who cut in line in front of her. We made the following book inspired by my friend's idea. My hope is that it's not only a cute thing to give to the teachers but it also helps to reinforce to my child our discussions here at home.

What ideas or "operation smooth things over" have you used?

1 comment:

  1. From a mommy of a child with sensory processing needs and social difficulties, you have just created the most fantastic social story for your child!!!!!! This is an amazing tool for kiddos on the spectrum or any child with impulse control (and, seriously, what child doesn't have impulsivity issues at some point???).
    Thank you Kimberly!