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tales from a fangirl
I'm alive! 
1st-May-2009 09:00 pm
I've been around, lurking, doing some commenting. But mostly just lurking. Life lately has been work, home, play with babies, clean, clean, cook, sleep. Pretty much that abruptly, too. Especially the sleep part.

My daughter has gotten into trouble at school almost once a month since the beginning of the school year, getting sent to the principal's office about four times. *ragged sigh* Good Lord. She's been refusing to write her numbers and words when instructed by the teacher. She has trouble with her fine motor skills (which, for reasons too long to get into here, I blame myself for) so she's been doing a little more work than probably the others in her class, and I think the pressure the teachers are putting on her is starting to frustrate her too much.

Either that or she's wanting our attention because her brother has taken about half of it away for the last year.

God. It's almost been a year since Connor was born. I'm so old. And getting older. *groan*

It rained today, not a heavy downfall with huge clouds, but a light and steady sprinkle with a little bit of sunshine peeking through the thin clouds. The air smelled so good, I had my passenger side window rolled down all the way home, and listened to rain songs - Like the Rain by Clint Black, One of These Nights by Eagles, and Rhiannon By Fleetwood Mac.

Oh, hey look, I've got mail.

More later. Fic, I hope. *crosses fingers*
2nd-May-2009 04:27 am (UTC)
I hope she is just acting out because of the new baby brother. I really hope that is what it is.

And it looks like it's going to rain here tomorrow. I want it to. I love the smell after a good rain. Just that fresh fantastic smell.
2nd-May-2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
I think her baby brother is a big part of it. I think she needs more of my attention. I've already promised her Memorial Day will be a mom/baby girl day, with pedis and a movie.

Rain FTW. It was so refreshing after the heat we had two weeks ago. I enjoyed every bit of it.
2nd-May-2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Well, certainly having a new baby is part of the problem. Any way she could have a "date" with you once a week for an hour or so where someone else deals completely with the baby?

And if she does have some fine motor skills issues, she'll likely grow out of it. But in the meantime ask the school is there's something she could could do to help that along. Play with blocks or legos maybe?
2nd-May-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I've already thought of ways to have some alone time with her. Memorial Day I plan to take her for a girly pedi and a movie. She just needs to concentrate more in school.

Her fine motor skills have improved from a year ago but she needs to keep practicing. I have her help me cook when it's possible and she's supposed to play with Playdoh and construction paper. I'm hoping it irons itself out by the time she starts first grade. *crosses fingers*
2nd-May-2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Aw, you have a little Cordelia. *hugs her* I agree with a2z. Make a special date with her every week. You may already do that just naturally, like taking her to the grocery store while the baby stays with hubby, but if you plan something with her that she can be excited about it will give her something to look forward to and work for.

Or not. I'm not a parent, but it makes sense to me. :D
2nd-May-2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
No, it makes perfect sense to me too. I've already put Memorial Day aside as a girls day. Hopefully I can give her more of my attention day to day and that might correct her in school.

She is a little Cordelia but I'm hoping for just a wee more tact. At least with the teachers, since they have the power to hold her back or pass her on. LOL
3rd-May-2009 09:51 am (UTC) - 1/2
Do you mean she has to work harder than the others in her class, or that she really *is* doing a more work than the others in her class? If it's the latter, I'd tell the teacher to step down.

Also: If she's having trouble printing, don't bother with cursive. I, too, had problems with fine motor control, I barely had printing down and then school decided to shove cursive down my throat. The only time I HAD to use cursive was in 5th grade, just to prove I could do it. It's an unnecessary bullshit skill that's not worth wasting any tears/frustration over trying to learn if you don't want to learn it. Everywhere that I have been has accepted my printed signature, and about the only use cursive has is if you want to make your writing illegible (at least, I imagine that's how it'll be in your daughter's case, as that's how it is with mine).

I've only recently (the past two years) started using cursive. Yes, it is faster to write in cursive, but because of how it flows, I'm more prone to mistakes.

Some things you can do to get her to practice with her letters is ask her to write down stories, encourage her to keep a journal (and keep them around because she'll want to read them when she's older), encourage her to write down song lyrics. If she's the type who refuses to do any of that (because not everyone uses that stuff in the "real" world), maybe make it her job to scribe the grocery list for you, write letters to her family members/friends, maybe get a pen pal with a far-away family member (or even maybe one of the kids of someone on ST?), scribe for your to-do list for the day/week/month, have her start answering the telephone and taking messages, etc.

As for her refusal to write for the teacher, I can't blame her. I always hated the bullshit I had to go through at school to prove that I knew something (it was pretty obvious I already knew what was going on and just wanted to do my own thing, which, btw, was not disruptive to the other students. Typically my own thing was to journal or colour). I always got pissed off come May when there was review. I'd refuse to do jack shit simply because I already knew all the stuff from the beginning of the year. I felt I'd proven I knew what the teacher was talking about and it pissed me off that s/he wouldn't do their job and teach me new things. I'd refuse to do things. Could this possibly be the case with Sam? Is she getting fed up with teachers doing review? Is she getting fed up with writing letters/numbers because she feels that she's already proven that she knows how to do those and wants to move on to the next thing?

Or is she maybe realizing that writing isn't that important, given the computer's large role in the average person's life? In that case, I'd point out to her all the things that a person would need writing for that it'd be inconvenient to use a computer for (making any form of lists, leaving a note of something she needs for someone else, taking notes in class/while on the phone, writing a letter to a friend she won't see until lunch, etc.).

Otherwise, if she's just sick of writing letters/numbers, maybe let her work out fine motor control by drawing/colouring for a change of pace.

As for the pressure the teacher is giving her, I think I'd get a family member to start helping her out with school/homework (assuming you don't have the time because of the baby). A family member, maybe? A person that's just for *her*, that she doesn't have to share her brother with. I imagine that might be what's going on: she doesn't like having to compete for attention all the time. Her brother is younger, so he's going to get all the attention.

Maybe have her younger brother spend the weekend at a grandparents so it's just your daughter, you and your husband? And then the next weekend let her stay with the grandparents? So she doesn't feel as much sibling rivalry towards him? Point out all the things that she can do that he can't, maybe point out how helpless he is? Assuming you haven't done any of these things yet.
3rd-May-2009 09:51 am (UTC) - 2/2

I don't have kids, and I've never had any siblings, but when I was growing up, I always *hated* having to share my grandparents with my parents. They'd talk forever on end and it was boring, and my parents would hog my grandparents. I imagine that's how your daughter feels about her younger brother.

Oh! Another thing you could do to kill two birds with one stone: start writing letters back and forth (on paper) between you and your daughter, and/or your daughter and your husband. That gets her to have something special her brother isn't capable of taking and it gets her your attention in a special way. Maybe even getting her to write letters about what her brother did, as a keepsake for when he gets older? (but that might push her buttons a bit, I don't know)

I think that's about all I can think of =)
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