The Other Side of Tot School
The week before last, Henry and I took a week off from tot school. Before the break, I was starting to get a little frustrated with Henry and tot school altogether. I needed the break to see if I wanted to continue tot school or take a longer break.
Let me back up a second, Henry is in a very difficult period right now. I know what you're thinking -- "Hasn't Henry always been difficult?" The answer is of course, yes. Henry is, and will always be, high needs.
But recently, Morgan and I have noticed an increasing amount of frustration in Henry. As he has become more physically able to do stuff, his frustrations have turned to his inability to communicate. When Henry isn't able to express what he wants clearly, he gets very mad, very quickly. Same goes for when he is trying to say something, but we just don't understand what it is.
For tot school, an environment where I'm challenging him to do new and different things, this can mean a lot of tantrums. Not necessarily because he is mad, but because he hasn't mastered whatever we are working on. For me, it can become very frustrating.
Also, as Henry has become more physically capable, he has become more mischievous. He intentionally likes to do things to get a reaction from Morgan and I. This includes putting things in his mouth (only when we're watching), or going places he knows he's not allowed, and playing with things he shouldn't.
In our tot school classroom, I try to give Hen as few boundaries as possible. But even in tot school, there has to be rules. One, for his own safety. Two, because that's life...he can't always get everything he wants. When Hen and I disagree in this area, that's when we get the big meltdowns. Meltdowns that will carry on for an hour or more. Meltdowns that become physical (he hits, bites, slaps, pinches). Its frankly exhausting.
With all of this, I started to wonder if Hen really even enjoyed tot school at all. Or if it was something I was just pushing.
With ALL that said. The week break really provided some clarity. Henry and I both missed our tot school time. He would ask to go to tot school and bang on the door to our classroom. We both sat bored during our normal time. Everything about the break just felt unnatural.
So, I decided to continue with tot school for now. I've come up with a plan for the next few weeks. And some overarching goals I would like to keep in mind. But those, I'll save for another post...cause I'm mean like that.
...and anyone notice the picture theme?