Another run-in with one of my little ones today made me think about several things. One is that I need a name for her here because I'm sure I'll be writing/thinking/tearing my hair out over her a lot. I've decided to call her Beyonce. I choose the name because of a couple of experiences with her. On the first day of school I take a picture of every child in my class which I use throughout the year for a variety of purposes. She was the only child to truly 'strike a pose' for the picture and I loved it! The second event was during our free choice time when she was part of a group playing with Lincoln Logs (I found them at a yard sale). One kid was actually building with them but the others had found other uses. This little girl was holding one like a microphone and singing and dancing!
Today she had a fabulous morning and then things fell apart after lunch. It's a long story but I finally sent her to another classroom to calm down and when she returned it got ugly again. We brought in one of our after-school-care teachers who knows her and took her somewhere quiet to settle down. That worked well. I don't think I handled things perfectly, but I'm not sure there is much I could have done to improve the situation.
So, I'm left wondering what to expect of this six-year old. I've wondered this before. If a child's problems stem from parenting or family issues (I'm not sure that is true here or not), what does that mean? Should we cut them some slack? Should we hold even tighter to counteract the other?
I don't feel like I can expect the same behavior from a child with a difficult home life than I can from a child with a stable home. These are children. They are going to struggle with emotions, impulse control, focus, and so much more even when things are going well for them. When things are tough of course they will act out or shut down. How do we help them build skills to cope with life, much less teach the prescribed curriculum?
I feel as though I've rambled on a lot here without ever truly managing to get at the point or question that is in my head.