Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Attitude to Learn

There are pros and cons to finding a new job, both of which I've experienced over the past month as I transitioned from Johnson & Johnson to Catalent. The pros are things like not being unemployed, supporting my family, and moving up in my career, all of which are summed up by Kaylani as "Papa go to work to make money yes" (still not sure why she adds "Yes" to most statements, but that's besides the point). The cons are things like starting over, a longer commute, and most recently, finding a new daycare/school for Kaylani.

For the past 6 months, Kaylani was happily enrolled at Bright Horizons which was part of my campus at J&J. And despite my (and Kaylani's teachers) pleas, there was no way to keep her there once I left (legally). So off we went to explore new schools, and in doing so, learned a lot ourselves.

Most importantly for us was a school that would not just watch Kaylani, but also socialize and teach her something each a reasonable cost and within a reasonable commute. The last parts excluded a portion of the area schools for now, so we were focusing on the socialization and the teaching bit for the most part. While I can't say our search was exhaustive, we checked out 4 new schools within 15 minutes of home, or as Kaylani says it: "Kaylani check out NEW school" (not sure why she emphasizes NEW, but she does).

Out of the 4 schools, it came down to 2 real choices. The other 2 were too depressing to even go into detail about. Whether it was a lack of color inside, or depressing teachers, or small spaces, they were just not an option within minutes of seeing the place. Thankfully the other 2 were both good enough to save Kaylani from spending 4 hours at a depressing center for 3 days a week.

Besides the bright, happy environment/people, we paid attention to the lessons that were going to be taught, and there was one thing that one of the Directors said to me that really stuck in my head. She said that they try and teach with "positive redirection" when toddler/twaddlers/preschoolers seemingly have a little bit of an attitude. Not only did the "positive redirection" thing sound catchy (and like the name of a team on Glee), it also stuck because the whole attitude thing is precisely what we go through every day with Kaylani. In short, "positive redirection" is saying "you can play if you finish your food" instead of "if you don't finish your food, you can't play." At least that's how I interpreted the one example we were given. And by interpreted, I mean wrote here word for word as it was explained to me.

Anyways, since she learned to talk, we hear "no" almost every other minute. As she got better, it became "no mama/papa" or "no I do it." And, it then grew into "no I don't like it" or "no I don't want that" or "no you take that spoonful of food and shove it up your..." (ok that last one hasn't happened...yet). Basically, she's become an independent, stubborn (at times) girl all before the age of 23 months...which is what I feared from her at age 2 or ideally 3 and beyond (read: wayyy beyond).

Kaylani starts school on October 4th, and we couldn't be happier because this "positive redirection" hasn't worked so much for us the first couple of times we've tried it. Our attempts at "Kaylani, you can play if you finish your dinner" are still met with "no I don't like it. I don't want it" and the plate/spoon/hand being pushed away as she simultaneously buries her head into her chest/arm and does a fake cry/whine. Plus, its much easier to say "Kaylani, butt on the chair now" then it is to say "Kaylani, you can stand on the chair if you finish your dinner...but even then you can't stand on the chair because its dangerous and you'll fall down."

Ok, so I probably don't really know how this whole "positive redirection" thing is actually supposed to be done, but I do know the school does. Hopefully they'll be teach all of us soon because right now, Papa no like it!

1 comment:

Jay Ramirez said...

I don't want any damn green beans