Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Three special steps to awesomeness

The long awaited day has come.

It took 9 whole weeks, but he did it.  M earned 9 stickers from his teacher.  Nine days without a time out at kindergarten. Not in a row, though I'm sure some of the sweet kids in his class have done that. Just 9 times. 

It's wonderful to see him learning how to get along with kids his age.  It's good to know he's learning that he can't always be the one talking, that it can't always be his turn, and that everyone has to wait sometimes.

Probably, for most kids, just a few days of adjustment is all it would take for them to pick up on the kindergarten culture.  Maybe a week or two.  (Especially since most of the class comes from all day preschool.) For M it has been hard, but at the end of the first quarter, he's getting there.  It's not back-talking or rudeness that gets him in trouble, thank goodness. It's impulsive stuff- calling out answers, running indoors, making noises, annoying people.  

For the last 2 days, M has carried a note in his pocket that says:

Step 1: Look at their face.  Is it grouchy or happy?
Step 2: Listen to their voice.  Is it annoyed or friendly?
Step 3:  If you're bothering someone, walk away.

I'm realizing that, at least for M, a lot of things I assumed kids pick up on naturally need to be taught explicitly. 

What is the procedure when you raise your hand but your teacher doesn't call on you?
What kind of face should you make to show you are waiting patiently?
What should you do if you get a warning from your teacher about making noise?

It's not that he's not smart.  He is.  But not good with reading people.   I wouldn't shrug and say, "Oh he just doesn't get letters" or "Oh, he just doesn't have a head for numbers."  So I can't just chalk this up as a weakness and leave it at that, either .   He's working on it, and every success makes me so proud.


  1. God! You're an amazing mother. I'm saying this in the best way possible because I really mean that. You have two little boys that came a little different than what people might call normal and you're handling it with such grace and patience.
    Those 3 steps you taught Miles...I think there are some adults that need to make a note of that too.
    Keep doing what you are doing now and they're gonna grow up to be the the most well mannered, I'm sure :)

  2. Congratulations, Miles!!
    I think it's always a struggle to learn those "kindergarten behaviors". Good for him for working so hard on it and SUCCEEDING! That is such a wonderful thing to see! It's just the first in a long line of school accomplishments coming his way!
    Good for you for being in tune with your sweet boy and giving him the tools to succeed. Not every parent does that (or can do that).
    You both ROCK!!!! --Lisa

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Miles may have his work cut out for him, but he's lucky because he's such a determined kid. He won't rest until he has found the secret to getting those stickers ;)

  3. Oh man, Kindergarten was SO hard for me! I hated waiting to be called on, because what if they didn't call on you?! I love the way you're handling it, it sounds like a great solution. Miles will totally get there, I know it did for me. Most of the time :D

    1. I remember your kindergarten stories. No luck yet so far with letting him read, unfortunately.

  4. They sound like a good teacher-student pair! I love that it didn't have to be nine times in a row.

    This is making me re-think my current Lego Set After Attending Trumpet Three Times in a Row without Complaining program. It should be like this---like a buy nine, get the tenth one free coffee card, or like Thai kindergarten.

    1. I don't know.....I love a good plan to eradicate whining.