Friday, November 20, 2009

Parenting and Teachering

It's been a trying, I'm not sure that's the best word... emotionally draining (maybe?) week. We had parent conferences on Thursday afternoon and night and this morning. Since I've become a parent, I definitely have become better at my parent conferences and more confident with them since I feel we're both on the same team - Team Parents Rock! ha. I can now imagine what it will be like to be on the other side of that table and I think about what I am saying and think about the parents' perspective more and how it would sound if I was hearing someone say difficult things about Maximo.

So, parenting has made me a better teacher... and I originally thought that being a teacher would make me a better parent because I have had practice with discipline and am around kids all day. But now I'm thinking that may be true that teachers' kids are the worst. Are we just exhausted from being with kids all day that we don't have enough to keep giving to our kids? I think we give a lot to Maximo, even after those exhausting days at work, but I know my patience isn't always there.

Why am I getting all pensive and thinking so deeply about my parenting you may wonder? Well, because we got called in for a parent meeting at Maximo's daycare this week. We arranged for a translator (a fellow colleague) to come and we met, today, a mere two hours after I finished my own 17 parent-teacher conferences.

Frequently we pick up Max to find that he has been aggressive to other kids - he's still biting, and he has now scratched two kids - one being a baby. This is stressful and horrible and EMBARRASSING. It's like we walk around wearing the scarlet letter - BAD PARENTS or THEY'RE THE PARENTS OF THE KID THAT BITES. Anyways, I'm glad we needed a translator so I could think for a few days before our meeting, and I could let my emotions settle a bit.

The meeting went well today. We confirmed that we LOVE the daycare that Maximo is at and that we are on the same page with his senseis and their philosophies and I think they felt good about that too, since much is lost in translation on a daily basis with their basic English and my "iTranslate iPhone application" Japanese.

He has a bad temper on him and he's lashing out especially when he needs to share. It's really hard for us, because we see this a little when he's playing with a playmate, but we don't often have him out with a lot of kids and we don't know how to discipline him if we're not right there. We hope it's just the terrible twos and he'll grow out of it soon as his language is expanding daily in both English and Japanese. Even if he doesn't outgrow his anger, we can (in theory) give him the skills to deal with his frustrations, whereas now, there's really no reasoning with him. We put him in time out and talk with him, and have tried multiple other things, but none seem super effective.

SO... hopefully Maximo won't be his teachers' (current and future) worst nightmares. He's is a loving, sweet little boy MOST of the time. But, really, one chomp on a kids' arm can really ruin a whole day of good.

I've hopefully now purged this stress, anxiety, frustration, worry... out of my head after typing this with fervor and venting with some friends yesterday.

Seriously, I thought I was off the hook after making it through the first year with Maximo. He was not supposed to cause me any more stress. If only he could understand THAT.

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