Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our First Parent-Teacher Conference

Yesterday afternoon Seth & I met with Breck's preschool teacher.

We went in with quite a few preconceived notions about what we'd hear.
They ranged from "Your child needs to work on this, this and this kind of school work at home" to "Your child has difficulty keeping friends because he is too physical" to the very worst "I can't stand your child anymore, please send him to a new preschool".

When we arrived, with both children in tow, we were seated at the kids' table with the tiny chairs.
I immediately felt old.
At one point in time, my backside fit correctly in those small seat...

We let the kids go free, even though the other children in the room were having quiet time.
Were we being tested on our parenting skills?!?!
But, we were assured that both kids were fine and that the other children would be getting up soon anyway.

So, on with the conference we went...

One of the first things we were told was "Breck is a very bright child. And he has picked up on most things very quickly, considering the short amount of time he's been here."

So far so good.

She also said that "Breck is a charmer. And he will probably charm a lot of his teachers and classmates."

Uh, what?! A charmer?! Are you sure you're talking about our child??? The same child who back talks and runs around and doesn't listen, especially while running errands, the same child who gets in people's faces and sometimes hits? Surely you have the wrong file.

But, she was indeed speaking about Breck. Apparently, he is a much different child at school than he is at home, thank goodness!

We were very concerned about his behavior towards other students and teachers. He is physical. He likes to wrestle and rough-house a lot. His teacher did comment that "While he is very physical, the other kids don't dislike him for it. They all love him! And when he's in their faces, they tell him to stop and he does."

She gave us some pointers that we should keep him busy with more challenging things and to not let him dupe us into believing something is too hard for him, because if he can do it at school, he can do it at home. She also told us that more structure would help and to let him help decide some of the details of that structure.

I hate to admit it, but we've gotten way too lax in our parenting. I have zero patience and often overreact and Seth doesn't react enough at times. ...We're pretty much opposite parents. And we're inconsistent, which every parent knows is not good for anyone!

So, I've decided to bring back Tot School, but focus more on what he's learning at preschool and not try to do so much. 'Cause after our first attempt, which lasted about 2 months, I was completely burnt out and so was Breck.

We're also going to make time outs (for him and his toys) and other 'corrective actions' much more consistent - as soon as we can agree on what those should be. And we're doing away with warnings.

One of the last things we talked about was his progression towards kindergarten. Seth & I had talked about starting Breck a year later than we could, mainly because he's a small kid, who comes by it naturally, and well, it's tough enough being a child without having to be shorter than everyone else too.

So, Breck will do another year of preschool, then a year of pre-k, and then kindergarten.


  1. ALL boys should not start Kindergarten until 6 years old! :)

  2. We are guilty of the same thing as parents. I am too tough and Agent is too lax. We need a common ground. Consistency is the key. Boys being older when the start school is a good thing. SM will be 5 in May and will start Kindergarten in the fall. I hope he is ready.

  3. Starting later sounds like a great idea. It sounds like the teacher helped you review all the things you were doing.

  4. I think your meeting went very well!!!! We all make mistakes when it comes to the discipline of our children. NOBODY has it all figured out. But you were very right when you mentioned being consistent!!

    I think it is great that you are going to hold back on Kindergarten. Boys are so much different than girls and need to have to time to just "be a boy"!!


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