Before I get going talking about this, let me first say there was debate at our house over if my 'in to' should have been 'into.' For some reason as I was writing it I thought, 'that should be 2 separate words.' Then it looked funny, then hubby and even Bee chimed in with their thought. It got muddy and it stands as it is and it's not a big deal. Either way....
I just finished this great book that I want to share about but am not sure when I'll get to it. It is called Nuture Shock and it is full of current research on child development and parenting techniques. I love a good non fiction. So, it was talking about Tools of the Mind, a preschool-Kindergarten school program that is having great results in teaching children self control among other things. This is of particular interest to me!
On of the ideas from Tools of the Mind is working with the kids to make a 'play plan.' The kids think about what they are going to do, they write a sentence about it, and then illustrate it. For example, "I am going to play baby dolls." or "I'm going to pretend I am a teacher and play at the office center." Then, they go and play that thing for an extended period of time.
It's no secret that Lou struggles with anxiety, specifically school/other drop off anxiety. In fact, we are seeing a therapist about it this summer with him. The first few days of reading camp came and yet with our normal drop off difficulties. Running from us, crying, mumbling, hiding, drying, mama getting frustrated, then the threats get made and or unsuccessful bribery starts. It's not pretty. When I read about the play plans, I thought, "This might be something we could use for our mornings."
One morning, prior to our leaving the house, we sat down and talked about what the appropriate drop off would look like. He was unusually compliant with this discussion. Usually this is where the tummy aches start. We worked together to write a sentence about what he would do. We came up with, "I will walk right in to (or into!) reading camp." Then he drew a picture. Now, he did scribble on the first picture, actually, he drew himself running from the reading camp door and then scribble on it. Our second try went well.
We read it in the car, we read it on the way into the building, we read in standing in from of the door. Then he looked at me and said, "Mooooom, I know what I'm supposed to do, you can put that thing away." And, he walked right in to reading camp. Just like that. The following day, we repeated the same process. The third day, we were able to leave the paper in his backpack.
Then we had a weekend and I thought Monday would keep going right along as the last week ended. Monday wasn't great and we didn't even bring our paper. Tuesday we started back and the beginning and it went well. We'll have to take baby steps, but this morning plan has very helpful.
It's a lot like our social stories, but more manageable and I think better suited for his age.