George started pre-school in September and I touched on how worried Pete was about it here and how our little man surprised us. His first parents' evening went swimmingly and I felt pretty smug. Fast forward a few months and I might as well be eating my own hat. After Christmas, things took a turn for the worse, his behaviour spiralled downhill and in fact things have gotten so bad my three year old got sent home from pre-school.
It all started when he went back to school after the Christmas break. George's teacher would pull us up at home time to tell us what a bad day he'd had. At first, it was not listening and smacking other children so his teacher mentioned introducing a reward chart which took a while to be put in place and I asked if we could have the same one as it was something I wanted to introduce at home and obviously wanted some consistency. Eventually, we were given the said reward chart and after a week his teacher reported "it didn't seem to be working" which hardly seemed fair considering they hadn't really given it much of a chance. I mean, a week, seriously? A sticker chart was then introduced and since then we haven't bothered with the reward chart we were given.
It had previously been mentioned George had been put down in the incident book for spitting and it was explained to us that if it happened again he would be sent home as the head teacher does not tolerate spitting (fair enough) but at the end of the day he is only three. He doesn't understand that spitting is disgusting and a bad enough offense that he will be sent home from school for it. Not that I condone his behaviour in any way, if he is caught spitting at home he does get punished for it but I just thought it was a little bit harsh. Again, I picked the demon up from school one day and got called in by the deputy head for a "quick word". George had spat at a member of staff. I swear the way she spoke to me made me feel like the smallest person in the world and I knew for a fact she was judging me "oh what kind of a mother is she? Her child spits at people, what must his home life be like?" Naturally I was mortified, spitting on the floor of the playground is one thing but spitting at another person, especially an adult is just on another level! Meanwhile, George was sat in the office completely oblivious to how much trouble he was in due to the fact nobody had spoken to him about it properly. I questioned the DH as to whether she had spoken to which she replied "I've had a brief chat with him just now." Personally, I didn't think it was good enough that she had waited until after the incident to speak to him and only did so because she wanted to speak to me on the school run It literally took all my strength not to roll my eyes at her. Not that I am one of those parents who thinks the sun shines out of her kid's arse because I will always chastise George for bad behaviour and it was me that requested to follow the same reward chart they'd so easily discarded.
I digress, last Friday we got a phone call from the school asking if we could pick George up early because he had spat. Pete was the one who took the phone call and as far as we were aware, the head teacher was sending George home from spitting. George came home looking rather sheepish so I called him over and asked why he had been sent home and what his HT had said to him. He didn't know. Pete then told me he didn't think George knew why he had been sent home and that the HT hadn't spoken to him because one of the TAs explained the situation when she brought him out. Once again, there has been a lack of communication from the school! George broke into silent tears and it was awful, I've never seen him cry like that before. He was sad. I told him he should never spit and it was unacceptable but he had been sent home from school as punishment and that was the end of it. We cuddled, he cried and I cried too (hormones!) That was that.
Fast forward another week and we get another phone call to pick him up as he had spat at a child. Fuck. Sake. It is so embarrassing! I went to collect him and he came out smirking which obviously just made matters worse, he just does not fear any consequences at all. We left school and started walking home. I didn't get cross with him, or angry or shout, instead I asked him who he had spat at and why he did it. Three year olds are pretty honest so he told me who he spat at and that this child had pulled his hair so he'd just retaliated. I calmly explined that if someone hurts him he should tell the teacher rather than spit or hurt anyone back. He said okay and we went home. So at the ripe old age of three my toddler has been sent home from pre-school twice.
There has been talk of getting the SENCO involved and they have finally asked for a meeting with us which is to take place next Tuesday. His teacher told Pete he hadn't been listening again yesterday, so of course they had a discussion about his behaviour but once again, George was none the wiser. I cannot express how frustrated I am with the school right now. It may seem like I am completely against the school which is far from the truth, I really want to help and get to the bottom of the issues he is having. At the moment I am pretty annoyed with the school because George is under the impression he has had a good day if he hasn't been put on the "thinking chair" but his teacher will then tell us that he hasn't had a good day. We talk to him about it and he is confused because he doesn't understand. The reward chart was dismissed far too quickly and he needs to be told off for what he has done there and then, there is no point leaving it until hours later because he will definitely have forgotten about it by then.
I struggle to see what could be causing him to behave this way because I personally don't think his behaviour is that bad at home, yes he struggles with attention and does have huge strops sometimes but he is only three. I'm hoping the SENCO can provide some answers and suggestions to help him settle back down again and in a way it is a relief in case there is an underlying issue there. It is still early days and I am glad the ball is rolling now!
Wish us luck!