That is one of the positive sides of working with 3-4 year olds. You come away with some good stories. Some make you laugh, others might bring tears to your eyes. I’m seeing firsthand the incredible influence that parents have on their children, even at a very young age. When I meet the parents, I often gain a much better understanding as to why their child acts the way they do.
For instance, I have a child who constantly asks, “Now what?” She’ll go potty, come out of the stall and say, “now what?” Or she’ll eat lunch and then say, “now what?” You have to understand that in both of these situations we do the same exact thing every day. After you go potty, you wash your hands. After you eat lunch (& breakfast & snack), you throw away your plate, cup & spoon. We never vary in these routines. In fact, we repeat these routines multiple times throughout the day. And yet, every single time we go potty and every time we sit down to eat, inevitably she will ask, “now what?” Then I met her mom. And I watched and listened as her mom gave directives for every little action. I’m now trying to empower this little girl to make decisions on her own, to come to logical conclusions about what her next action should be. It’s really encouraging to see her progress though it has been slow.
Some other interesting things I’ve heard:
“Miss Holly, what is sex?”
A child got mad at me when I wouldn’t give her thirds at lunch:
Child: “My mom is going to kick your a**?”
Child: “That’s what mom says to dad when she gets mad.”
Spoken by a child who has suffered tremendous abuse in his short life and who has been a challenge to work with – he slaps my face and screams: “NO, you can’t make me. I won’t, I won’t, I won’t.”
Same child, a few days later: “Miss Holly, I wuv you.”
“Miss Holly, can I be your little man?”
“Booty butt” is the current favorite phrase by my students. Oh how they love to use that!
I’ve been at this job for five weeks now and there has been innumerable instances of humor, frustration, laughter and challenges. Preschool is an interesting age to work with. You never know what’s coming next. A child who is easy going one moment might become the class terror ten minutes later. Factors like the weather, sleep quality, what they eat, parent’s mood, teacher’s mood, even what they are wearing – all contribute the child’s mental & emotional state. It’s actually quite fascinating to watch. But dealing with the kids…now that’s a challenge…