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Tula Skincare Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel is $38 at Target.
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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
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My husband and I have a conference with my 3yo daughter’s lead teacher later this week. My daughter turned three in August. My daughter is in her first year of children’s house at a Montessori program. Last year she was in the toddler program at the same school. Over the summer, she was in the summer camp program at the same school in the children’s house program as a transition for this school year.
The back story is that we have received several messages since the beginning of the year from my daughter’s lead teacher that my daughter is being “defiant.” The messages the lead teacher sends are paragraphs long. I’m talking if it were a text message it would be 5-7 screens each message. (She gives us the full backstory on everything in each message.) The lead teacher also uses a lot of vocabulary that kind of reminds me of something from a textbook, not practical life, like her lead teacher from the toddler program.
Some of the things that my daughter’s teacher has mentioned are: (1) not listening the first time asked, (2) not following multi-step directions the first time asked, (3) disengaging from her work for periods of time to just sit, (4) throwing tantrums, (5) not wanting to fall asleep right away when in the nap room, (6) hitting a classmate (two occasions), and (7) running away from her teacher. My husband and I do see an issue with (6) and (7) and have talked to our daughter about this. She has slapped at my husband and I before when she is upset, and we correct this whenever it happens telling her it is never okay to hit anyone or run away as it could be dangerous, giving her a timeout and talking with her about it when she is calm. As far as the tantrums, we have seen some minor ones but not the complete meltdowns that her teacher describes.
Last week my daughter woke up one morning at 5:30 am screaming that she “didn’t spill it” and “I want [assistant teacher].” When I picked my daughter up earlier than usual on Friday afternoon, she was with the lead teacher and about 8 other children in the classroom in the aftercare portion. My daughter was sitting in a chair in the corner crying, and the teacher indicated she had been like this since waking up from nap. When the lead teacher approached her, my daughter walked away from the lead teacher quickly and called out to me. I asked the lead teacher if I could enter the room to get my daughter. My daughter asked me to hold her, and after we got her coat and backpack asked me to carry her out of school. She has never wanted to be carried out of school before. Later, I asked her what made her sad and she said “Miss [lead teacher].”
At the conference with the lead teacher, I want to listen to what the lead teacher has to say. I want to be prepared to also ask questions. I want to know if the expectations are age appropriate. I want to know how other children of her age behave in this teacher’s classroom. I want to know how this teacher has handled similar situations previously.
Any feedback or questions that we can address with the lead teacher are greatly appreciated. TIA.
I think you need to listen to yourself. There is something wrong here. Who knows if lead teacher is a bad teacher or not and frankly who cares. She’s making your daughter miserable. Listen at todays meeting. And then speak to the director about getting her into another section or move her to a normal school with a class of three year olds as soon as you can.
I completely agree. My 3 year old is in what sounds like a similar program. It’s normal for there to be an adjustment period whenever they move to a new classroom but it sounds like this may have been going on for longer than a couple weeks.
yes, i agree with this. at age 3, your daughter should not be having bad dreams about school. this sounds like a hard situation and i know that switching schools can be stressful and costly, but this really sounds horrible. is there a way to ever talk to the assistant teacher without the lead teacher? my friend’s son had a teacher for the 2-3 year who is a teacher who people LOVE, but for whatever reason she didn’t like my friend’s son and essentially labeled him the ‘bad’ kid. her son began to act into the role, got sent to the office frequently, etc. my friend didn’t want to have him switch classes bc he also was not the best listener at home and figured he would adjust…well fast forward to March, when things were pretty bad, the school administration was really supportive and actually apologized to my friend realizing that he should have been moved to a different class. at that point the school year was almost over, so they white knuckled through. this year he is at the same school, different teachers and is THRIVING! he loves school again, the teachers are great with him, etc. while i do think there is some value in a kid learning to deal with a teacher when the personalities don’t mesh the best, not at age 3 and not like this
This. I’m so sorry this is happening to your daughter. For the record, based on this description, I do think the lead teacher is a bad teacher, or at least a bad fit for 3 year olds. Montessori has high expectations for young kids, but they’re geared at instilling confidence and self-esteem by mastering tough things through stick-to-itiveness and gaining independence. There should be no expectation that a young 3 year old in the first year of the Primary class has full self control, the teacher should be coaching this throughout the 2-3 years of Primary. If your daughter is reacting this way, the teacher has failed. And if the teacher is blaming your daughter for her (the teacher’s) failure to manage age-appropriate behavior in the classroom and your daughter is internalizing this to the point that it’s making her sad and withdrawn, that’s a huge problem and I would insist on removing your daughter from this teacher’s class ASAP.
Boston Legal Eagle says
+2 This seems to come up a lot here with Montessori programs. They just seem to have very high expectations for young children that only “work” for a few children who are natural rule followers or very independent/self-driven. Honestly, that probably would have worked great for me as a child, knowing my personality, but is not the case for the vast majority of children. Maybe I’m missing something.
1 – 5 do not seem like age-appropriate expectations. Many 3-year-olds have outgrown nap and do not sleep at all during nap time, or take a long time to doze off. 1 – 4 are things that may happen on occasion with a young 3-year-old, and should be managed by the teacher without parental involvement unless the issues are very frequent. Even 6 and 7 may be primarily classroom management issues at this age unless the problems are severe. Perhaps a play-based school would be a better fit?
Right, I can’t believe they’re requiring kids to nap at age 3! My daughter dropped naps at school at 2, which is admittedly early and the teachers were kind of annoyed with us/her but whatever. But by the time she transitioned to a preschool room with a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds, at least half the kids weren’t napping. That is such a crazy expectation!
My just turned 4 year old is expected to lie quietly for 30 min with no book or anything and… I think even that is ridiculous (maybe because I clearly remember behaving trouble with that myself at age 4). It’s been an adjustment from his old preschool where they could have books/other quiet activities on their mats. But the teacher is not upset or concerned that he might have trouble with this adjustment- she just calmly notes that they are working on learning to rest quietly. I didn’t even get a note home when on day 2 he was using his nap blankie to smack the other kids (it’s gotten a lot better since then!!) – I only learned from him.
Despite the good experiences your daughter had in the toddler room and at summer camp, this particular Montessori classroom and/or teacher does not seem like a good fit for her. If there’s not another section she can be transferred to, I’d strongly consider moving her to a “regular” daycare/preschool center. Other than scenarios (6) and (7). this seems like completely normal behavior for a three year old. I literally would have gotten a note every day if it were a problem my kid didn’t sleep at nap time.
I was considering Montessori for my daughter and decided against it because it seemed too rigid and strict. Posts like OP’s make me think I made the right decision. OP, find a place that lets your toddler be a toddler.
I only know three kids who were expelled from preschool, and they were all expelled from Montessori schools. Their expectations seem so out of whack with normal preschoool age behavior.
OP, I’m sorry. This sounds pretty bad, and FWIW, I don’t think the lead teacher’s expectations are necessarily appropriate for a 3-year-old. Maybe 6 and 7 are, but the rest seem … absurd. If you can’t move your daughter, I would come up with a plan with the teacher to address 1 or 2 areas that are the most important (the physical stuff). Not 7.
It sucks so much to be pulled into a conference, but I think this is a great opportunity for you. I would definitely listen, because maybe you are missing something or maybe they already have some recommended solutions. However, I agree with everyone else 1-5 are very normal. I have one kid who is slow to fall asleep (almost always). It’s totally unreasonable to expect a kid to will themselves to sleep. Like you said, 6 and 7 need work, but 7 might be a sign of her lack of connection with this teacher.
If switching rooms is an option, I would push for that. If not, I would start looking to other programs. Your daughter’s reaction is concerning, especially since this isn’t her first time with folks outside her family or something. Also, I would be livid if my kid was crying “since nap” in a corner. Our schools always had a cozy cry spot for the kids that needed time to process feelings.
My experience with Montessori has had some similarities. Is there another preschool room with a different teacher? If not, I’d consider moving schools if you can. That didn’t work for us (in part because 99% of the full-time daycares around us are all Montessori!) but if you have the option, soon is better than later. If that’s not a realistic option for you, I’d work with the teacher asap on a joint plan. Do they have a peace corner where she can relax? Can she put on earmuffs/headphones if the room gets too loud for her? Sounds like she is one of the youngest in the class, so I’d focus on whether she is on track for HER age, and not compared to the 5.5yos. We have found our LO does much better in summer camp, and this year has a different, more relaxed teacher. Along with him being older, it is a much better year. As for nap, I recommend you just tell them straight up that you expect her to be quiet during nap time but she sleeps well at night so you are fine with her not napping. (I hate this particular one, and had the same issues.) In having similar conversations, we focused on how we all want LO to thrive and enjoy learning.
Aunt Jamesina says
I toured a very, very by-the-book Montessori school and noticed how quiet and compliant the kids were. It was really interesting and felt almost eerie, and looking back, I imagine that it wasn’t so much that they had good control over kids’ behavior as it was the fact that they likely pushed out any kids who didn’t perfectly fit that mold. For the record, I think Montessori has great ideas behind educating young kids (just like any other high-quality preschool program), but I definitely don’t think it works well for everyone. This teacher seems incredibly rigid and unable to meet your daughter’s needs (and frankly needs a reality check! I can’t imagine she’d be a good fit for most three-year-olds). I’m sorry :-(
I’d pull her. Childrens house is ages 3-6 here, which is such a huge range. The Lead Teachers expectations are not age appropriate at all. We also looked at montessori for my toddler, but she leans much too “feral forest school” for Montessori to meet her needs. It’s not for every kid, and seems like it might not be for yours.
My kids are in a Montessori program and it is *nothing* like that. The teacher’s expectations are way out of line with what is reasonable for a 3 year old. I don’t know that Montessori is the problem here, but I would definitely move her to class/school where this teacher is not.
Just received an SOS from my husband, who is going to parent teacher conferences tomorrow (I’m away). He wants to know what he should ask, and I don’t know?
T seems fine at school maybe a bit bored, we’ve not had any interaction with the teacher to date, so we’re assuming in the absence of any other information that everything is going well? We get reports from T that sometimes the other students are “silly” and “not using their listening ears” which annoys him, but otherwise he seems content.
Is there anything you would like us to be doing at home to support T in school?
Is there anything we should know about how he is adjusting to school?
+1 I think that is plenty. I am sure they have an agenda to walk through.
If your son is doing well in school, or at least “doing well” by the school’s standards (boosting their scores on standardized tests and not engaging in disruptive behavior), be prepared for one of two things:
1. Teacher is required to cite areas for improvement, so you will be told he needs to develop more advanced skills in an area where he is already quite advanced (happens more in early grades); or
2. Conference is perfunctory and you are asked not to come in for the spring conference (happens more in upper elementary).
My 2nd grader is doing great in school. The only feedback we received is that she needs to be braver in sharing her “math ideas.” I was kinda like, okay … it’s not like a discussion about reading or science or whatever. LOL.
I don’t normally ask very much at parent-teacher conferences. My kid is still in preschool though. I usually just ask if there’s anything we should know that they haven’t already said (I’m in the news business and often the “Anything you haven’t already said that I should know?” question is the most informative).
+1. This is generally my approach too.
Boston Legal Eagle says
For our K parent-teacher conferences, the teacher did most of the talking. Our son is not a genius or anything, or even above grade average, but his teacher spent the whole conference talking about all the ways he’s been learning to read and write, showed us his work and mostly gave praise. She did talk about some behavior issues that we were aware of, which we were working on, but she really did try to emphasize how much he’s learned (and I think she did with all the kids). So hopefully your son’s teacher is similar!
We didn’t ask anything academic in K, mostly whether he was friendly with the other kids, socializing ok, etc.
+1 to all this.
“Hmmm, I’m not really sure.”
Anyone have kid sweatshirts (pullover, not zip) that they like? My 6yo needs some new ones. I asked for her preferences and she said “Maybe one with an animal on it?” When I tried to get more specifics, she responded with “I like all animals.” Willing to spend up to $40 or so since this will get passed down to at least one sibling, possibly two if her very particular little brother ever becomes willing to wear items with long sleeves (so far he’s on Year 2 of a long-sleeve boycott).
H&M has good quality and affordable sweatshirts but the prints are more generic. Maybe this makes me a meanie, but I avoid buying kid anything specific like a giraffe sweatshirt because then she will decide she wants to wear the giraffe every day and have a meltdown when it’s not clean and available to wear every single day (this isn’t conjecture – it has actually happened with a unicorn shirt I mistakenly bought at Target).
Ha, my son is EXACTLY that same way. For his winter wardrobe this year I bought him six pairs of the exact same Target leggings (with rainbows on them!) so as to avoid all complaining. My daughter, on the other hand, could care less what she wears as long as it’s not uncomfortable. Which is nice for me because I just get to pick out clothes I think are cute.
And H&M is a great idea; I forgot about them.
this was my child except it was a stegosaurus costume. He wanted to be a steggy everyday. That was a fun phase.
My kids live in primary sweatshirts. They have thin one and thick ones. No animals but they work well for my not picky kids.
startup lawyer says
Gap has a bunch of sweatshirts with animals. if you are interested in splurging, mini rodini, bobo choses, tiny cottons and the animal observatory have cute stuff and you can get them on sale for about that price
Another fun day of normal work for both parents and no school/daycare for kids! yay! /sarcasm
I scheduled my parents to come over, but my mom woke up feeling sick, so it’s just my dad. The 5yo is insistent on monopolizing him for Lego building purposes and the 2yo is NOT having it.
My 2023 goal is to block these days and request PTO as soon as my balance refreshes instead of suffering every time they come up.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Ugh noo! Our daycare is open during most of these “minor” holidays and I will miss this when they’re both in public school, but they will be older so hopefully better.
Bummer! Does your area have day camps for school closure days? I’ve resigned myself to just signing my kids up for those at the beginning of the year and considering it a cost of doing business (literally, I guess). Still cheaper than FT daycare I guess!
I have to read the fine print but I think our afterschool program may cover some of the professional days, but not sure what options there are for these holidays – I could look into a day camp of some kind for the older one, that’s a good idea!
So Anon says
I’m in the same boat over here. Early release Thursday, professional development Friday and today is a holiday. It does get easier as the kids get a little older, provided that you are willing to let standards go way down. My two have been playing minecraft together for most of the day without any fighting, so I’m calling it a win. In our district, there are programs for professional development days but not holidays.
Picky eater woes says
My 2-year old’s diet is so narrow that I am worried he isn’t getting the proper nutrition. He won’t eat any fruits or vegetables, cooked or raw, though he will occasionally eat a pouch. He stopped eating any kind of chicken, fish, thanks beef or beans, and will usually fill up on bread and crackers. He does like yogurt and milk, so those are his main sources of protein. We do offer a toddler-appropriate version of our dinner each night, but he refuses. He is happy, active and talkative, and though his growth has slowed our pediatrician isn’t concerned. Is this normal? Just need a gut check. Anything else I can do to help him expand his palate?
It sounds pretty normal. Our kid was (still is at age 4) similar except she eats a handful of fruits. You can do a vitamin if you’re worried, but our pediatrician said our bodies are really good at getting the nutrients we need even on a limited diet like this.
i say keep offering on his plate and let him eat what he wants. one of my four year old twins has barely touched meat or fish since turning 2, but she will eat some fruits or vegetables. recently she started eating chicken nuggets again out of nowhere. what if you have fruits or vegetables in things – like a blueberry muffin. zuchinni bread, etc. you can bake some that are on the healthier side as a way to sort of get the exposure to foods in a different way. or what about smoothies? popsicles that are basically frozen smoothies? i’d maybe try to think of different ways to introduce the foods.
(1) it was worrisome to me too at the time but growth really does slow down around that age. (2) highly recommend following Kids Eat in Color! My pickier kid is not as picky as yours, but her techniques have helped us get to a place where we are adding foods, not subtracting foods. I just follow on Instagram, haven’t used her course.
Nothing you can do, except continue to offer food gently/openly (without creating stress). Does he eat yogurt mixed with fruit/smoothies? That can be a way of incorporating some fruit. (My child who was like that would drink smoothies but not fruit mixed into yogurt, so we could get berries and some spinach in that way.). If he eats pasta, we ate Barilla Plus for years (it’s made with lentils so has some other protein) – there are others that are better, but we never got that far. Fruit leather? Freeze dried fruit?
Bringing up Bebe suggests offering vegetables first, when kids are at their hungriest. After a few minutes sitting with the veggies and eating or not eating it, offer the more-loved food. I have good luck feeding my kids bowls of peas before their meals.
I do this too. I get a veggie party tray from Costco once a week and my kids will sit down and eat that while I finish cooking dinner and I call it their happy hour. Something about the specialness of a tray plus ranch dressing helps. They are a little older than yours (4 and 5) but I think this could work with a two year old as well.
In my house I offer ‘appetizer’ – it’s just cut up raw veggies with ranch or something like a bowl of frozen peas or broccoli cooked in the microwave. It helps also keep my children from sobbing in hunger or literally eating everything in the kitchen as I literally am plating their dinner… which I serve at 5:15. (I still don’t know how parents in Spain do it with the 9PM dinnertimes.)
Also as reassurance – your child is highly evolved. Remember, the kids who did the best were the ones who didn’t just eat everything in the woods – they only ate the things that they had eaten before and knew were okay. So it’s the fault of evolutionary biology.
I don’t have advice but I just want to say you are not doing anything wrong, some kids are just like this. I think there’s a much wider variation in “tendency towards pickiness” than the Instagram toddler food influencers would have you believe. My own experience: I have two kids, who we have treated the exact same way, food-wise. One of them would live on nothing but fruits and vegetables if we let her and the other will barely choke down some applesauce and hasn’t touched a vegetable in years. I have every confidence that eventually, both of them will end up eventually eating a wide variety of foods, because we are modeling that behavior and statistically, most kids DO grow up to eat lots of things. None of your kid’s behavior is a reflection on your parenting, and your kid is gonna be just fine. You sound like a great parent. Stay focused on the long game!
As long as your pediatrician isn’t worried, I would just take deep breaths and try to let it go (while continuing to offer but not taking it personally when rejected). My 5 year old still does not eat vegetables. Although she tried 2 (literally) peas last week and didn’t spit them out so I am tentatively hopeful we will be able to add a vegetable soon? Our only fruit is apples (which are currently only acceptable with peanut butter or nutella) and maaybe bananas (tried one for the first time in 6 months and didn’t spit it out). So, we are on the extreme end of normal, but ped still thinks we’re within “normal” range. If she doesn’t start showing improvement in the next year I think we will try feeding therapy, but she’s still growing like a champ so it’s more about surviving in the world and less about growth for us.
I agree it sounds like you are doing the “right” things. The one thing I’d be cognizant of is iron; it doesn’t sound like he eats many iron-rich foods, and too much dairy can further impede iron absorption. Iron is important for brain development, among other things, and once it falls too low it’s really hard to get it back up (my toddler is anemic and has been on a strong supplement for 9 months and his levels are sloooowly creeping up.) You might want to look for a multivitamin with iron, iron-fortified cereals and breads, etc
Any favorite appetizers or sides to bring to a dinner party? Ideally something that stays good cold and is kid friendly.
Fruit salad ++
Oh, totally – variations on this would be melon wrapped in prosciutto, a salad of watermelon, arugula and feta (kids just get the watermelon).
Alternately – literally any variation on a breadstick you can think of. Fluffy ones, crunchy grissini style ones, cheese straws, Olive Garden style extra salty ones? All popular and easy at room temp.
My kids are also currently obsessed with tiny pearls of mozzarella and 6 year old suggested (and we made!) a ‘fancy’ appetizer of cooked (Cold) tortellini, grape tomato, and a pearl of mozzarella. Serve with pesto as a dip. It was actually fantastic and he was very proud that it was his idea.
My summer side was cornbread. Super easy and everyone loves it. We also have good success with fruit and cheese platters.
After we spent $$$ to repair our crummy Bosch dishwasher it is broken again and it’s time to throw in the towel. I never liked the Bosch and am interested in upgrading to a Miele for the rack layout and reliability, but the Wirecutter review makes it sound like the Miele doesn’t wash or dry as well. Everyone seems to love Bosch but us. Maybe our Bosch was just a dud? Does anyone have experience with Miele?
Alanna of Trebond says
Wirecutter is not good anymore IMO. Miele washes very well; I believe it needs some sort of additive to dry, but we just leave open and air dry. (We just moved and our new house has a Miele dishwasher, our old apartment had a Bosch which was awful).
No, but I will sing the praises of our kitchenaid dishwasher all day long. Incredibly quiet, three racks (top is V shaped with removable silverware tray, middle is up and down adjustable), nice handle bar and the buttons are on the top, not the front, so our toddler doesn’t know how to press them yet. Only complaint is that the holes in the silverware basket are not all the same size, so we can only use the half of them that are bigger. It’s a weird thing.
Mrs. Jones says
LOVE our KitchenAid dishwasher. So quiet and cleans great.
We also have KitchenAid and love it.
Bosch is horrible!!! We replaced our house’s LG with a Bosch a few years ago and it’s been a money pit. It seems like we have a dishwasher repair person at our house at least once a quarter. This did not happen with the LG! It’s so frustrating because we spent extra money for the Bosch because it’s supposed to be such a good brand.
Ugh sorry. No experience with Miele, but we replaced our Bosch with a Whirlpool a few years ago and I love it. Definitely look into a 3rd rack for your new one — I love it for things like tupperware lids, extra silverware space, and tall things like tongs or scrapers that don’t work well in the silverware basket. My other priorities were a low profile handle, buttons on the top instead of the front, and quiet (we typically set it to run while we’re sleeping and my bedroom is pretty close to the kitchen)
I have a Bosch and an Asko and I love, love the Asko.
Have you ever woken up with an extreme sense of foreboding or anxiety and just can’t shake it? I’m not sure if its just the news about Russia/Ukraine, Biden’s warning about nuclear Armageddon or whatever you call it, the impending mid-term elections that seem to have so much riding on them, the economy and the prospect of layoffs at my firm, the fact that I have two little kids (girls) or what, but I just feel so anxious about everything all of a sudden and on the verge of tears. It is very unlike me. I don’t know what I want, maybe just a virtual hug or someone to say this season of life is hard and the news is somewhat scary so I’m not completely overreacting or maybe someone to just shake some sense into me.
Yep, same for me today (except I am a generally anxious person so this is not the first time this has happened). One big virtual hug coming at you! I’m planning to get outside for a walk or run later and maybe duck out early to take the kids to the park. Days like this I find nature and exercise to be helpful, and I’m sure when I eventually get around to finding a therapist (I know, I know, I should have one already!), this would go on the list of things to cover. Hugs again.
It’s a lot and completely understandable. I have been feeling this way recently too. Disconnecting from the news helps; I know it’s important to be informed, but sometimes it’s too much.
I agree that sometimes you have to take a break from the news. Worrying about things does not prevent them, so no harm in taking a short news break.