Jan. 7th, 2010 03:39 pm
lihtox: (Default)
[personal profile] lihtox
There must be a word for when parents get carried away in imagining how their child is a prodigy, or a genius, or whatever. Whatever it's called, I've had a bit of that, since her teachers at daycare called her "very bright". I mean, *I* think she's smart because she's my daughter, but they're professionals with a lot of two-year-olds to compare her to, right? :)

Miriam's imagination has really come to bloom in the past few months. She stages imaginary conversations between her toys (or anything; I have a ring and a medal on my necklace, and she had one tell the other, "I'm going to work now", and move along the chain to the back of my neck). She will suddenly launch into a long story about what she did that day or maybe a week ago. (She even introduced me to her daycare class: "That's Miriam's Daddy. With a green coat.") She knows a large number of songs, and has taken to making up words to them, sometimes nonsense syllables (which can be hard to tell), sometimes talking about herself in song. And she is incredibly cute when she's being a "big dinosaur" (low-pitched "ROAR" sound) or a "little dinosaur" (quiet squeaky "roar").

Her biggest challenge these days has been daycare. She doesn't mind staying home with her babysitter, and she was okay at daycare during the first three months, but after Thanksgiving she became very upset when we'd leave her there. Right after Thanksgiving, she would cry the whole time she was there. She doesn't do that so much now, but when I mention school to her in the morning, she gets very teary and overwrought, though trying to keep a brave face: "Miriam go to school, and Miriam have fun" she says, lip trembling. At school, she plays and has fun, with occasional random outbursts of crying, and then when I come to pick her up you can see the pent-up energy burst. It may just be a burst of separation anxiety, of course. I wonder what I should do in the meanwhile, though, how I should address the issue. She'll tell me all about it, later, saying "Miriam cried at school, said 'Daddy daddy! Mummy mummy!'" or "Miriam was sad at school." (I tried asking her why, but she's not quite that verbal.) Lately I've tried a little cognitive therapy, telling her "You were only sad a little bit at school. You were happy at school too, you had fun." Try to break the connection in her mind between school and crying. They're going to move her into another classroom for older kids in a couple of weeks, and maybe that will be helpful for her: more of a challenge, and a new room with new teachers to break old associations.

Now she wants to go look at the big clock with me, and watch the hands move, so time to go. :)

Date: 2010-01-07 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ltlbird.livejournal.com
I am assuming you've discussed how her crying moments are handled at daycare? Hopefully she's getting attention from the teachers, but also being encouraged to re-engage in the classroom activities.

There are things you can do to help her wiht this separation issue, until it passes. For one, you can make a chart of her day at daycare. It doesn't need to have times, just a list in sequence, like, "Inside play, circle time, snack, playground, lunch, nap time, inside play, mommy or daddy picks me up." Then, when she gets sad, her teachers can point out that after whatever activities are left in the day, she'll be back with Mommy and Daddy. If she's been having a hard time at school, it may be tempting to pick her up as soon as one of you is available to, but most kids her age do better with a more predictable schedule.

It might also help her to have some family pictures to look at at school, so she feels more connected to you guys while she is there. Similarly, you could start a routine of sending a drawing or note to be given to her sometime during the school day, and her teachers could encourage her to make or dictate a similar item to give to you when she gets picked up.

Reading books about being away from parents for school may also help. The Kissing Hand is an excellent example.

Date: 2010-01-07 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottahill.livejournal.com
I haven't talked to them specifically about what they do, but from the little I've seen this seems like they're basic strategy. They comfort crying children, but they've also described her playing most of the morning, so they must be getting her involved.

She's been going to daycare in the mornings, so we've explained to her that we would be back "after lunch". Although that might change this semester. A chart is a good idea, and something I've thought of for her bedtime too, although not yet implemented.

The picture is an idea we're going to try; she likes the pictures of us on her wall. The note is a neat idea, but I'm not sure how it would work. Obviously she can't read the note. :) If they said "This is from Daddy", would that make her feel better? Maybe I could tell her that when she is sad at school, Daddy will send her a flower (or something), and give the teachers several flowers in reserve.

That's the second time I've heard about the Kissing Hand, so I'll have to order it.


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