Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Motivational Mom's Life Coaching Seminar

Ouch! I'm Wearing my Heart on the Outside of my Body

Yesterday when I picked Alyssa up from school, she came out of the building crying and very upset.

She couldn't even tell me what happened. I had to ask one of her friends. Apparently, a little boy told the teacher that Alyssa and another girl (his twin sister) hit and pushed him.

Alyssa said it was an accident. I'm not sure what she means by that. She's not normally the hitting type. Neither of my kids are. I wish I could have been there to observe the dynamics of the situation, because I don't know how to counsel her on what went wrong.

I asked if she hit him because she was angry with him, but she said, "No, it was just an accident." What does that mean? I'm confused. It's hard for me to imagine her just up and hitting or pushing someone. But, if she did, then she needs to know the consequences. I certainly don't want her hitting or pushing other children!

Anyway, the teacher had her apologize to the boy and said she would have to sit out on playtime the next day (today). Alyssa was confused by that. She thought if she said she was sorry that that would be enough. I had to explain to her that saying she was sorry was good, but that she made a bad choice in "accidentally" hitting someone, and that the time-out is the punishment for the bad choice.

So, since the event was at the end of the school day, Alyssa's punishment went overnight. (I think that was punishment enough!) The whole evening was excruciating for both of us. I felt like somebody ripped my heart out. She came to me in tears many times. She was worried her teacher was mad at her. She was worried about how long the time-out would be. She was worried that another teacher might see that she had a time-out and get mad at her too.

I tried to console her. Tyler tried. Paul tried. I even had her call a girlfriend from school. That actually turned out to be a really sweet experience! The girl was very caring and reassured Alyssa that everything would be all right. She made her giggle. She even said she would give her a prize if she was good during the time-out! How cute is that?

This morning on the way to school, Alyssa was pretty somber. I tried to cheer her up by making up silly songs about being in time-out, but it only worked mildly. (Might have been my singing!) All I can hope is that she learns something from this, and that we'll never have to deal with a problem like this again, and that this event scared her enough to always be on her best behavior at school.

I think for the first time I truly felt the essence of that Elizabeth Stone quote, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Wow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A letter to my 5-year-old about riding the school bus for the first time

Here it comes!
Dear Alyssa,

Here we are at the beginning of your kindergarten year. That, in and of itself, is a big milestone, and we have both been so excited about it. You are growing up very fast, and I am so proud of you. This is going to be a great year!

Last week after much begging, I let Tyler ride the school bus for the first time. When I said, "yes" to his request, I knew you were going go want to ride it, too -- and that I'd probably have to say, "yes" to you, as well.

The facts are these my little angel: Tyler is eight. Tyler is a boy. You are five. You are a girl. Yes, you are a big girl, but you will always be my little girl. And you are my youngest child.

Getting on!
Some of the other kindergarten moms thought I was crazy to let you ride the bus. Others wondered why I wouldn't let you ride it.

Everyone -- friends and family -- cracked up when they heard I met the bus at school to see your bright, shining face as you got off of it. I laughed too! I guess it is kind of funny! But, why wouldn't I? I love to see you happy. And I love to see you so excited about getting to do big kid things!

When I finally gave in and said you could ride the bus, I was in the kitchen and you were standing at the top of the stairs looking over the railing at me with hopeful eyes. As I very quietly said, "yes," you started jumping up and down and screaming with glee. Then you ran right into your room to get your shoes and socks on. It made me feel soooo fulfilled to see you that excited! I think I will always remember that moment.

Speaking of moments, another doozie was that day in the car this week when you were talking to me about riding the bus, and I said, "I'm not ready for you to ride the bus." Then you so matter-of-factly replied, "But mom, I'm ready."
Arriving at school!

Well, Alyssa, I know. I know you are ready. You are so totally ready. But mommy will never be ready to let go of her little girl -- even for such a small thing as to take a 10-minute bus ride to school.

I just want you to know that I love you with every fiber of my being and that I like driving you to school. So if you ever decide you don't want to ride the bus, I'll gladly take you there.