Sunday, April 1, 2012

When Work Is Too Much Like Home

3 year olds are not the easiest people in the world. They want your constant attention. When you can't give them constant attention, they work on getting your attention again, be it touching you (gentleness is NOT a priority) or doing something 'naughty' that is guaranteed to get your attention.They also practice reverse physiology all day long, they always want to be, do, wear and eat the exact opposite of what is suppose to be, done, worn or eaten. And then there are the CONSTANT temper tantrums. Anything and everything can set off a temper tantrum. And as temper tantrums go they are loud and usually involve throwing things.

Denis is truly a 3 year old. And he is a joy, as long as he gets his way, gets what he wants when he wants, and is completely understood, or just after he wakes up. Otherwise, it is temper tantrums, hold me and holding me.

I knew this was coming and for the most part I can deal with it. But it is getting harder and harder by the day. I find myself losing my temper faster and faster with the poking, screaming and throwing. And it isn't Denis' fault for my inability to deal with him. I have to blame one of my students.

I'm teaching a split grade 1/ Senior Kindergarten class. One of my little SK's is going through a really rough patch for some reason (started a month after I went back to work). Her behaviour is completely 3 year old-ish, even though she is 6. All day long I get the constant demand for attention, the constant poking, pulling, and my least favourite of all, hands going into my clothes (ARGH). If I don't give her immediate attention she starts this high pitched whine. Then there are the temper tantrums, running out of the room, slamming of the door, ripping up stuff, etc. etc.

This is the first year of all day learning for our kindergarten students, so I have this little one ALL DAY LONG, 7 really long hours. Oh, I should also mention I do have 18 other students. 10 first graders and 8 other SK's. One little boy is just new to the country and learning English, and another child has a communication disorder recently diagnosed. Somewhere during day I actually suppose to TEACH these little guys. Thank goodness a fluke gave me the gift of another adult in my room in an ECE, but said child wants MY attention. By the time the bell rings at the end of the day I'm beat, both emotionally and physically.

That's when I go and pick up Denis who really is 3, and does the same things as I've had to cope with all day long, some days it is just too much.


Anonymous said...

3 was hard at our house too! One thing I found helpful was to totally be with him when we got home. We cuddled on the couch, read stories, touched...really reconnected. The result was the evening went much better. I had to do this up until well, I'm not sure when but way past 3. Not necessary very often anymore. Don't forget that bonding isn't attachment and that takes years for a boy who didn't get many of his needs met for two years. Attachment may be the other ones issue too. It is for lots of our needy students. Try getting her to take care of something really important to you during the day (nothing living or fragile) and check with her often on how things are going. It might buy you some moments to teach and care for the other 18 ;-)


Jo said...

I can truly relate to this as being a teacher myself. I have hired a housekeeper to clean the house twice a month. Even if this is over my budget I don't care as it gives me more freedom and less stress. I also try to go outside as much as possible to the park for walks with my child as this turns things around for me and is different from the teaching stress in class. It's never easy but I have hope it will get better. The children at school have parents don't forget. Don't give too much of yourself at work. Your own child should have the most of you (tough one to juggle as a teacher). Make home life fun for you as much as for your son.

Diane said...

I just had an AHA moment reading Sally's post......I do this sometimes with Tienna without realizing it and reading that just made me realize the difference. When we get home all she wants is me, and like you I am trying to get dinner ready holding a 30lb 2 year old, but on the days that I actually sit with her for a few minutes and cuddle, it's so much if only I can remember to do this every day, seems simple enough but.....

Ciera does still wants this somedays, she will just come up to me and hug and hold me for no apparent (to me until now) reason, she just needs the connection. Thanks Sally...and Michele!