“Can I speak with you a moment?” … seven little words every parent hates to hear from their child’s teacher. And I had the pleasure, no the pain, of hearing them for three consecutive days.

We’re nearly three weeks in to pre-school and the first two weeks were perfect. His teachers told me that he was one of the most friendly, eager, polite, and funny students in the class. Yeah, V! So what the heck happened?

Last week it fell to pieces. V stopped listening to his teachers, started having accidents again (toilet training), and was refusing to work his jobs. Great. Lucky me. Sigh.

I had no idea how to tackle this. I learned pretty quickly that the “do this or you won’t get that, or if you don’t stop behaving this way then I’ll have to take away such-and-such” doesn’t work with V. If he feels he has disappointed us, he shrinks like a turtle back in to his shell momentarily and the procedes to act out even more. After an afternoon of reading several websites on toddler discipline, I tried the more positive approach … “If you do everything your teacher asks you to today, Mama will be very happy“. Might just be coincidence, but it’s worked for the last three days since trying it. As soon as I pick him up from school, he reports to me that he did all of his jobs, he listened to his teacher and that his teacher is very happy. I, in turn, tell him how happy I am and how proud I am of him – kiss, kiss, hug, hug – and he literally beams.

I’m certainly not naive enough to think that this will work each and every time. One hurdle at a time. Baby steps. Let’s just hope that we get a bit of a reprieve before being presented with our next hurdle, eh? 

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