Dear Beloved Preschool Teacher,
I get it. I understand (having been a preschool teacher for children with communication disorders…I really do understand). You’re trying to lead your class and teach children things like the color of an apple, what sound “B” makes & how to count to 10.
Then you have this little boy who disrupts that.
And so you handle it the best way you know how…you ask him to stop. And he says, “no.” You put him in time-out and he starts laughing and sticks his tongue out at you. He throws over a chair.
You send him to the director’s office in a justified response.
I get frustrated too. Sometimes I don’t know what to do either.
When you look at me, my insecurities assume your “concerned look” implies bad parenting.
But this isn’t my first rodeo.
I’ve seen some kind of behavior challenge with each of my boys around this age. With my first son it was an inability to control his emotions and with my second it was an impulse control issue. Now with my third it’s a problem with disrespect and stubbornness.
I don’t want to take your concern lightly, but…
There’s this part of me that says, “Yep. Yeah he is stubborn. And yes, we should give him boundaries of expectation and consequences for his behavior. But ultimately? The rest is up to him. “
I am confident he will change. There is no reason to spend much time or angst or energy on the “why”.
Because the “why” is…he’s sinful.
And the “why” is…that one?
That one hasn’t asked Jesus in his heart. He still hasn’t told us he believes in God or even cares that God can save him from all of these bad choices. And he’s hard-hearted.
So we have to love him.
I can’t expect him to have the spirit-filled fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control” when he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit.
His heart is not curbed. He’s acting from a childish self-centeredness (aren’t we all?)
Again, I don’t want to dismiss your concerns.
But I also don’t want to take your words as a personal assault against my ability to parent and I don’t want to paint him as so far gone, he can’t be redeemed.
Because I’ve seen how this turns out.
I’ve seen a boy who, at 4 years old, was described by a teacher as completely out-of-control be chosen at age seven, out of all the first graders, to quote Scripture in front of a thousand people.
I’ve seen another boy who, at 4 years old, a teacher suggested he should be observed by a psychologist, end up serving others with such a pure and sweet heart, you can’t deny there is something special God is doing with this one.
So I understand your concern.
Believe me. We want to pull our hair out at times, too.
But I’m not going to give up and I’m not taking it personally.
Because he’s just three. He’s learning.
And I’m learning. You’re learning.
None of us has arrived.
I understand if he acts out again. You’re going to have to call me. I’m going to have to pick him up.
And I really, really hope he doesn’t get kicked out of preschool.
But I know how things turn out if we keep loving, training, and guiding. It’s going to be okay.
The mom who just left your classroom with tear-filled eyes, but a hopeful heart
For moms who need more help in this area, Heather wrote a post on her on blog today called, “5 tips for when you learn your child isn’t perfect”. Click here.
Heather has been married for fourteen years and is the mother of four young boys (born exactly, to the day, within 6 1/2 years . . . just like she’d always planned). Heather writes about motherhood and chronicles the messy journey of “relentlessly replacing ‘me’ with ‘He’ — sharing the daily struggle of remaining God-centered while mothering four wild-at-heart, energetic, and often stubborn boys.
Beautiful reminder. Encouraging. Thank you
Beautifully written letter!
My son was kicked out of preschool last week. The timing, situation, specifics of this blog post couldn’t be more perfect for me. I thank you.