The Worst Thing About Starting School

The Worst Thing About Starting School

Until he started school, we’d never taken Niko to the doctor for anything other than scheduled check ups. He had no big illnesses, no big accidents, nothing. I mean, he whacked his head HARD once and I debated taking him in, but there was no urgent YES MUST GO IN NOW moment. Then he started school and started getting sick all the time. We’ve taken him in twice for illness since August and I expect that we’ll take him in a few more times. A very nice and helpful nurse assured me at our last visit that after the first year’s exposure to germs he’ll be back to hardly getting sick at all. Which is lovely to think about, considering that Winter Vomiting Sickness is apparently sweeping through Niko’s school right now, and there’s a lice outbreak in his classroom even as we speak.

That’s not the worst thing about starting school, though. It’s irritating and sometimes a little bit scary, but it’s not the worst.

The worst thing is that Niko is now exposed to 17 other kids on a daily basis– kids with a variety of backgrounds and behaviors and lifestyles. And while it’s great to think that kids can get together and teach other things good habits and behaviors and ways of being, the truth of the matter is that kids are jerks and they only pick up negative things from each other.

We’ve seen all KINDS of negative behavior that’s totally new and frankly some of it utterly baffling. Also making an appearance: whining. He flirted with whining briefly about a year ago but we were able to nip it in the bud. Now it’s a daily thing, nasal and drawn out and as irritating as fingernails on a blackboard is to most people. And I know EXACTLY the kid he’s picked that up from. He’s picked up some very bossy turns of phrase, and has started demanding things instead of asking for them. It’s like my kid is channeling someone else, some other personality; acting as a medium to the most irritating ghost in existence. I hate it so much.

And, you know, my kid is far from perfect and I cringe at the thought of the other kids bringing home his less than sterling habits (which include screaming fits, I’m sorry to say, and also licking snot off his upper lip. I’m not sure which is worse.)

It’s really frustrating to see certain behaviors that we’ve worked hard on establishing go completely out the window the first time he interacts with other kids.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Technorati Tags: , ,

Share

8 Responses

  1. Wow, that’s intense. Not sure I have any ideas, and don’t have kids, so haven’t gone through this, but just wanted to reach out and say i’m listening and hope you can get through it.

    Would he have the insight to realise his behaviours are inappropriate? Or that he’s behaving differently from before? I guess 4 is too young for that, otherwise you could chat with him about that. I guess just strictly enforcing those boundaries, and maybe he’ll learn that those behaviours are not on?

    I guess he’s just seeing the other kids act like that, and to a 4 year old, that seems like, well they can do it, why can’t i?

    Sucks for you as a parent though! Hugs if you want them :)

  2. Wow, that’s intense. Not sure I have any ideas, and don’t have kids, so haven’t gone through this, but just wanted to reach out and say i’m listening and hope you can get through it.

    Would he have the insight to realise his behaviours are inappropriate? Or that he’s behaving differently from before? I guess 4 is too young for that, otherwise you could chat with him about that. I guess just strictly enforcing those boundaries, and maybe he’ll learn that those behaviours are not on?

    I guess he’s just seeing the other kids act like that, and to a 4 year old, that seems like, well they can do it, why can’t i?

    Sucks for you as a parent though! Hugs if you want them :)

    Yeah, we don’t respond to DEMANDS or we prompt him to ask politely. I tell him that I can’t understand his tone of voice when he whines and ask him to speak again calmly. Negative behavior gets attention, though, so he sees other kids doing negative things, getting a response, and he picks it up. I was talking to a friend of mine where “talking” means “complaining” and I commented that it’d be great if he’d pick up POSITIVE habits/traits/etc and she laughed at me.

  3. Umyeah. That’s a thing. Not all of it ends up negative, though; Beka has some hilarious spoken things (like any plain ‘yes’ is now YAY-yuh, very matter-of-factly) that she got from classmates.

    If I could magic-poof just one away, though, it would be reacting to upsetness by throwing arms in the air at the nearest soothing adult and shouting, “Mommy mommy mommy!” in a wailing tone. She never once called me Mommy until that, and it took months before I was around when the classmate she got it from (EXACT same cadence and tone) did it when I was in the room.

    Could. Spit. Nails …

    So, hugs? The Year Of Snot And Horribleness does pass, and once they’re acclimated they’re pretty bombproof. I was expecting my kid to go through another spate of sick-all-the-time from changing schools (and therefore pools of available Typhoid Marys and Marvins), but she’s sailed through it with no prob. Guess she ironclad her immune system at her old preschool. :->

    I understand it’s damn rough on parents whose kids’ first contact with school is kindy, though … some kids end up missing almost half the days of school that year, according to our principal.

  4. I guess that’s the thing with kids, negative behaviour is always easier to pick up than positive ;) It must be so frustrating, watching all the hard work you’ve done disappear! And having to constantly fight battles you might have thought were over. I like your strategy of:
    “I tell him that I can’t understand his tone of voice when he whines and ask him to speak again calmly.”
    That’s excellent! I’m not sure I’d have the patience lol. Fingers crossed that things will settle after a time.

  5. Umyeah. That’s a thing. Not all of it ends up negative, though; Beka has some hilarious spoken things (like any plain ‘yes’ is now YAY-yuh, very matter-of-factly) that she got from classmates.

    If I could magic-poof just one away, though, it would be reacting to upsetness by throwing arms in the air at the nearest soothing adult and shouting, “Mommy mommy mommy!” in a wailing tone. She never once called me Mommy until that, and it took months before I was around when the classmate she got it from (EXACT same cadence and tone) did it when I was in the room.

    Could. Spit. Nails …

    So, hugs? The Year Of Snot And Horribleness does pass, and once they’re acclimated they’re pretty bombproof. I was expecting my kid to go through another spate of sick-all-the-time from changing schools (and therefore pools of available Typhoid Marys and Marvins), but she’s sailed through it with no prob. Guess she ironclad her immune system at her old preschool. :->

    I understand it’s damn rough on parents whose kids’ first contact with school is kindy, though … some kids end up missing almost half the days of school that year, according to our principal.

    Yuppppp he’s toyed with calling us mom/mommy/momEEEEEEEEEEE and dad/daddy/etc. Which is irritating but at least not misgendering. Sorry you’re dealing with that.

    His teacher tries to redirect the kids and get them to resolve issues on their own as much as possible. It’s interesting to see which kids keep on being dicks, which kids are willing/able to address issues on their own, and which kids are incapable of doing anything but cry for help. It’s ALSO interesting watching a kid who’s sometimes willing/able to to address issues head on follow the lead of the kids who turn immediately to an adult for help. Dynamics!

  6. I guess that’s the thing with kids, negative behaviour is always easier to pick up than positive ;) It must be so frustrating, watching all the hard work you’ve done disappear! And having to constantly fight battles you might have thought were over. I like your strategy of:
    “I tell him that I can’t understand his tone of voice when he whines and ask him to speak again calmly.”
    That’s excellent! I’m not sure I’d have the patience lol. Fingers crossed that things will settle after a time.

    Yeah, I have good days and bad days; days of high patience and days of frustrated yelling. Parenting would be a lot easier if I were a different, more patient person.

  7. Parenting would be a lot easier if I were a different, more patient person.

    QF-m’fing-T!

  8. TO BE QUITE FRANK:
    Soooooo much of my life would be a lot easier if I were a different person, more patient or not.