I do not have a properly organized set of feelings about kindergarten yet. We’ve been doing this for a while, and Bub seems happy to go to school in the morning. He has made friends, and reports that either rides bikes, rides scooters, or plays tag during recess. I volunteer in his class once a week, which is a fun little peek into how he acts in class, and little insights into the other kids.
Bub is a bit chatty in school, and eager for attention, but otherwise seems to be doing okay.
What I really want to discuss is the after school portion of our day. Bub comes home and essentially falls apart.
Aside, our screen time rules are:
*No video games during the week. He can play for an hour on Saturday and Sunday. We used to have a complicated reading chart for earning video game time, but it became such a negotiation every day, so this is the current plan. It works.
*The kids watch a little TV in the morning while I’m getting dressed and making breakfast. They can watch something once Bubette is up from her nap while I make dinner if I really need them quiet, but once she’s awake they also have each other to play with/torment, so I try to avoid this. I’m usually unsuccessful.
*If Bub is cooperative in the morning before school, he can play on the computer for a little bit after school. This has been a nice transition when we get home, and gives me a chance to get Bubette down for a nap.
Once that computer time is over, Bub falls to pieces. We’ve informed Bub that if he throws a fit, we’ll take away computer the following day, and we’ve had to do that. It’s not pretty.
We’ve had lots of after school playdates, and that helps fill the time and keeps him in a good mood, but we’re kind of limited in what we can do, because Bubette needs to nap, so we need to be home. While she could probably skip a nap now and then, I’m not willing to make this a habit.
We’ve been working on reestablishing quiet time, but again that’s met with a lot of resistance. We’re using a good listening/cooperation sticker chart as an incentive, and that is helping a BIT, but not curbing the problem entirely. Personally, I think I just need a lot of consistency in enforcing quiet time, in shutting down the whining for screen time with our 1,2,3 Magic strategies. Saying that that is easier said that done is the understatement of my LIFE.
The problem is really the hours when Bubette is napping. When she’s awake, he doesn’t seem to feel so harassed when I tell him it’s time to play, because there’s someone to play with.
Advice? Commiseration? Is this the natural transition from three day a week preschool, to five day a week kindergarten, or is this just the rest of my life, forever and ever, amen? I should probably feel extremely grateful that our program is only a half day, at this point, but I really can’t handle my kid sobbing every single day after school.