Thursday, November 08, 2007

Help I'm dreaming

I was having a bad dream. I found myself in my son's P1 classroom, sitting on a tiny chair with my husband opposite the teacher. Only 10 weeks of term had passed and here we were at the introductory "settling in" parents' night.

In my dream, Mrs C said: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but your son had been very defiant. He had to be physically lifted for refusing to get up off the floor and in a second incident he refused to get changed after gym and sat with no clothes on refusing to co-operate.He's lost ten minutes off his golden time"

"Oh no" I said, my mouth twisted into a half-grin, half contorted scream, partly disbelieving this and partly believing it all-so-possible; "I'm so sorry".

"Also", she continued....."he scribbled on a book and said it wasn't him. He said it was someone else but all the other children saw him. I gave him two chances to confess and finally he admitted it". In the dream I could really feel the embarrassment. Mum, a teacher! A children's pastor!She even runs parenting courses in the community! A guidance teacher for a dad! What kind of example to others is this? I could feel fear of failure slip in pretty quick as well as pride. Just as well we are able to learn things about ourselves in some of our dreams!

We had worked consistently on J's behaviour at home and had seen real improvement - and now this!?! Four major behaviour lapses in ten weeks. Defiance is pretty major for a P1 in our books.

But at least it was a dream.............or was it? It wasn't night and I wasn't sleeping.......

Any advice welcomed!
(I think the lesson is: we're all real people with imperfect lives!)


  1. Advice? I'm not really sure, being the mother of a "perfect daughter" or so the outside world thinks, but she reserves all her bad behaviour and tantrums for home! People do not believe us when we tell them. I'm sure it must be a boy thing (!?), and an age and stage he is going through! I have seen parents at my daughter's school in this situation. Can school work with you and take on your suggestions as to what has worked at home?

  2. When I think back to our experiences of Parent's Evenings - all so long ago - but it was kind of reversed for us! We were told what well-behaved children we had and what a pleasure it was to have them in the class. This was not always our home experience! Not at all sure which way around is best! Children will be children......

  3. Anonymous10:26 PM

    mmmmm.....golden they're going down the behaviourist route. Not surprising it didn't work and things get worse! Margaret

  4. I have a son in P1. The day that the teacher came out of school to talk to me about his bad behaviour (fighting) was not a good one!

    Working with the school has been helpful on this. A reward/punishment system was introduced for when he got home, so that the teachers would tell me (at the school gate) how he had done. This lasted a week.

    Behaviourist route (sic) or otherwise anonymous, last week at parents evening they said that since then his adherence to the school golden-rules has been far, far better.

    Amazing how the thought of a loss of TV-time focused his mind!

    Obviously I am not suggesting that this is a univeral panacea, just that I have shared that "heart-sink-moment" of bad news from a P1teacher about behaviour, and related my particular experience of working through it.

  5. Anonymous10:19 PM

    the problem is that rewards only last so long. There is also something in all of this discussion about how P1 teachers talk to and work with parents.....and I say that as an ex P1 teacher.


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