The principal visit on Tuesday appears to have been rock bottom and things are looking up around here. According to both the teacher and my little man, the last two days went much better. Stickers were earned and everybody is happy.
(Thank goodness. I’m not cut out for the role of prison warden.)
I’m not sure what turned the tide of naughtiness. It definitely helps that J is making friends with his classmates. This morning, he held the hand of a little girl in his class and stared at her adoringly so maybe a new crush is inspiring his good behavior. (His love interest from last year is in the other pre-K class. It appears to have been a relationship of convenience that isn’t weathering the long distance well.)
I’m not sure it helps, but I’ve been trying to make the mornings as low stress as possible. I’ve started everything a bit earlier so that there is no rushing. I’ve been trying really hard to pick my battles and send him off to school in a good mood with a full belly.
I’m also trying to get a little more silliness back in our routine. My little man has always responded better to games and jokes and that sort of thing rather than straight out demands. For example, “Please get into the car” is met with resistance, but “Let’s race to the car” gets him into his car seat without a fuss nearly every time. It’s always a struggle to be creative with parenting, especially with the stress is on, but I’m working on it.
Despite my attempts to "fix" the problem, I'm pretty sure that time had more to do with it than anything. This is only his second full week of preschool and I think he just needed a little time to get used to everything.
So for this moment, the crisis appears to over. I'm not ready to call it a victory just yet, but at least we're back in the game.