Saturday, October 07, 2006

Switching roles

When I went to pick up Iman from daycare, I was greeted by the KG section principal who asked to "see me" in her office. I thought it was something routine so I told her I would get Iman and then drop in.

When I went to the Nursery, Iman's nanny said she needed to talk to me. Now I started to panic... Luckily Iman was right in vision, so I knew she wasn't in immediate danger or hurt. The nanny calmly informed me that there was an "incident" with Iman. She had scratched 4 kids at school that day. Then she strategically showed me the scratches on all four kids before I could even speak in Iman's defense.

oops

Those of you that are religious readers of the blog should know that Iman is a team player. She doesn't hit, or fight or even remotely express any kind of aggression, so this was WAY out of my league. Usually she's on the receiving end of scratches and bruises, and I can handle that.

But this was just down right out of character. As it turned out, the kids were all painting, and Iman wanted to show them how, and when they didn't listen, she went on a wild rampage of injuring anyone who refused to listen.

So I took it all in, apologized, and headed over to the principal's office, knowing that I was about to hear the same thing again. Sure enough, she repeated the story.

Then she asked me to "speak to" Iman at home. She told me that we need to explain boundaries to her and encourage her to play with others without physically hurting them. I totally understood what she wanted me to do, but I didn't understand how I could ask a 2 year old to remember what she did at school that day and then ask her never to do it again.

So I nicely told the principal that I would "speak" to Iman, but the next time they had an "incident" they should just take Iman out of the situation and as her to sit away from the other in a "time out". Kids her age learn best when they are disciplined right away (not a few hours later). In response, the principal insisted that I have the conversation anyways.

So later that afternoon in our house...

Me: Iman what did you do at school today?
Iman: Jumping and coloring and painting
Me: Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun, did you have fun?
Iman: Yes!
Me: What else happened?
Iman: Fun happened
Me: Iman, did you play with Salma and Mohammad today?
Iman: Yes, we do painting and jumping
Me: Oh that's nice, Iman were you a good girl? Did you share?
Iman: Iman good girl.
Me: Iman, Mary Lou (the nanny) told me that you hit Salma and Mohammad, what happened?
Iman: Yes, I hit Salma
Me: Why? Why did you hit your friend?
Iman: I hit my friend
Me: Listen sweetie, we don't hit people. Would you like it if mama hits you?
Iman: No
Me: When you hit someone, they get sad. Do you want Salma to be sad?
Iman: No
Me: So will you hit Salma?
Iman: Yes


See, I told you. You can't discipline a 2 year old after the fact, they don't get it.

4 Comments:

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

It's really hard - Boy2 went through what felt like at the time a major biting phase, which was something we had never experienced with Boy1, or anything like it, for that matter. And I had those conversations with him a lot and I felt so inadequate and frustrated and of course terrible that my child was hurting someone else's. The good news is, it passes. And most of the time when they get aggressive it's usually because they're not able to use words to express the anger or sadness or frustration or whatever. So, just keep saying what you're already saying - we use words, not hits or scratches, to tell people how we feel. She'll get it.

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger DariushAlavi said...

Oh dear! This is a tough one... but again, it sounds as though you're doing the right thing. I can see why the Head wanted you to have a talk with Iman, but then, as you say, surely part of their job is to provide discipline too. They should've had a similar talk with Iman.

As Nicole says, I'm sure this is just a phase which'll pass... but I know that doesn't make it any easier to deal with right now.

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger Lorraine said...

You were absolutely right to tell them that immediate discipline is the only way to deal with something like this. Then it would be your job to enforce that Teacher did the right thing.

But Nicole & D are right. It'll pass.

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger Faisal Khan said...

They are kids.... it happens all the time and no need to fret on it.

 

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