Friday, February 11, 2011

Small Successes

Yesterday we went to Maxine's future school for our parent interview and although I knew Poppabear wouldn't be impressed at the school's building as it looks like a house turned school, I was confident he would be impressed with the people there.  He was.  How could we not be, they met Maxine once and they already knew her core issues and how they planned to deal with it.  They have all that I want in a school, it's close to the house, the student and teacher ratio is small and they are very focused on their student's individual development.  So much so that in the hour that we sat in the class they saw what she liked and didn't like and they knew how to engage her in activities without scaring her into tears.

It's so easy for us parents to see and point out the bad things and the things our kids shouldn't be doing but so hard to pick out her small successes that don't involve learning new words or tricks.  Maxine has always been an anxious child when it comes to strangers and strange places.  I think I didn't help the situation by being an over protective mom.  From what I've read one way to ease her anxiety is for her to have more confidence and for her to have more confidence she has to learn to do things on her own.  Thats why I started potty training her already, I wanted her to learn to become more independent in her everyday life.  "Makine eat rice sariili"  was what she told me the other day.  She also soaps her self while taking a bath and can put on her underwear, socks and shoes on her own, IF she wants to.

busy bear at uncle brian's house
I asked the interviewer what else can be done to help her confidence and she said to acknowledge small successes.  Its one thing to say "very good" the whole day for the things that don't really count and another to tell her that she was a good girl when she really was a good girl.  Like the other day we were at a friend's house and she was walking around being friendly, it surprised us because I expected her to complain and say "Makine go home na".  She didn't, she enjoyed herself and was responsive to the other adults.  I should have taken that opportunity to tell her she did a good job of being friendly so she knows.  I think I was so busy being shocked that I didn't want to ruffle the calm by saying anything.

I also make the mistake of keeping things from her because i'm afraid that if I told her where we're going and what's going to happen she will just keep saying "ayaw".  She already says that to things she likes, what more to the unknown.  But now that she knows to ask me "san tayo punta?" I don't have a choice anymore and I tell her and I explain who will be there and what we're going to do.  The interviewer said that its better she knows what to expect so she can deal with it beforehand.  Sometimes I don't explain because I don't think she'd understand but I vow not to underestimate her anymore.  The explaining really works, her yaya went out last month and Maxine didn't really react much to it because we kept telling her days before that Ate is going to go out but will come home at night.  So now I keep telling her that she's going to go to school soon and that mommy and ate won't be there inside with her.  I hope she accepts that easily too.

I'm glad i learned something yesterday about how to improve on my child's confidence.   I hope to work on it everyday until school starts so her transition won't be too hard on her.  Crossing my fingers and toes!

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