Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Punkin'

Where were we? Oh yeah, D-Day.

To be honest, I can't remember now if we'd already had one therapy session with the child psychologist on the day that Punkin was removed from the class -- I think we had, but honestly, the whole experience is kind of a nightmarish blur.

It's funny, because when we made the appointment, I was just absolutely sure that a child psychologist was exactly what we needed. But at every appointment we went to, I started to feel kind of silly. Talking over everything that happened iwth the therapist made me and Mr. Daddy realize that Punkin's problem really wasn't all that severe after all. In reality, she is just a high spirited child who is still maturing. Sure, she's prone to tantrums, but I soon realized that it wasn't anything we couldn't handle.

I also wanted to put the school's new plan into place, which was to transfer her participation prize into a behavior prize. The same rules apply -- she picks out a prize upon arrival in the classroom and if she meets the goals set by the teachers for the day, then she gets to keep her prize. If she melts down and has a tantrum (and she was known to melt down over things as simple as being asked to wash her hands), she'd be sent to her time out spot. If she calmed down and came back and used her words, they would consider that a success. There are basically 15 opportunities during the day -- the times they change activities -- where she can earn a success sticker and her initial goal was to be successful in only 7, which the teachers felt was a reasonable goal. The first week she earned her prize every single day but had meltdowns twice on two different days. Still, that's only two meltdowns out of fifteen opportunities!

And I am absolutely thrilled to say that this week, she hasn't melted down at all!! When I did the drop off for Mr. Daddy the other morning, Punkin's teacher raved about how good she's been, how much she's participating and said that Punkin has even volunteered to do things in class, something that was absolutely unheard of before.

Did y'all hear that rushing sound? That was the sound of a gigantic weight being lifted from my shoulders. No longer do I dread the afternoon report -- well, that's not entirely true. I think we need to get a few weeks under my belt before I rest completely easy -- but boy have things improved.

Don't get me wrong, we still have some issues at home. I have a theory that she uses up all her "good" at school and once she gets home she just can't be that good anymore, but that's okay. We're working on it. And not only is she being better behaved, but she's opening up more about her day, sharing things with us that she wouldn't share before.

And it's like I've been given the gift of my Punkin all over again. She was lost for a little while, but now she's back. And I couldn't be happier.


calicobebop said...

I'm so glad that everything has turned out (mostly) ok in the end!

I felt that way too when I took Muffin to the child psychologist. It's amazing how the clinical atmosphere can affect one's outlook.

Good luck Punkin!! I know you'll continue to do great! We're rooting for you both!

Queen Mother said...

Welcome back, MQ...I've missed your postings.

AndreAnna said...

I'm happy she's doing better!

Such a relief for you I'm sure.

Robyn said...

I am SOOO glad that things are better. It sounds like Punkin's new school is a great place for her to be.

She's lucky to have parents like you and your husband.

Katie in MA said...

That IS a good ending! Oh, I'm so glad you found something that would work. I had a hard time (okay, I'm *still* having a hard time) with Bee and bedtime. Some nights she will get out of bed 20 times (hardly ever that bad anymore), most nights she just lies there and cries for an hour. I know it doesn't compare with poor Punkin' issue, but I know what you mean about the weariness and exhaustion and the toll it takes on you emotionally and mentally after awhile. Hope she continues with her success!!

Laurel said...

And I'm glad we get you back, too! It's been too long. Glad to hear things are working out with sweet Punkin. Kid troubles really attack the momma's heart, don't they?

for a different kind of girl said...

Sounds like some positive changes have really been made! So glad to hear it, because I know from some other school-related experiences how draining it can be for us as parents. Wishing Punkin lots of good luck!

Wineplz said...

Yay for Punkin! Glad this was a happy ending and that she is incredibly motivated with stickers and other inexpensive baubles. :)

That's partly how we got Gavin to modify some behavior around the same age...well, it wasn't little toys, etc. but ice cream. So bad us for using food as a motivator, but hey, now we don't have to bribe him for good behavior. Instead we bribe him to finish his dinner. LOL Still very glad to hear that you found something that works without needing to spend much time w/the Dr. :)

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