"No thank you, Liam," I hear. I take a deep breath and try to focus on what I'm doing.
"Liam, you need to be gentle." I cringe and resist the urge to go see what the problem is.
"Liam, you need to be nice to your friends." It is all I can do not to rush over, find out what the problem is and deal with it my way. Instead, I casually look across the room to see Liam raise his hand to hit one of his friends.
"Liam, you need to use your gentle hands," Ashley calmly tells my son as she leads him away.
As I watch my own group of children, I continue to keep an eye on what's going on with Liam on the other side of the room.
I see it at the same time Ashley does, his hand up, ready to hit another child.
I watch to see what's going to happen.
Before Ashley can get to him, Liam hits his friend.
"Liam, you need to use your gently hands," Ashley says, firmly. "Come and sit on time out."
"No," he cries as she leads him away. He goes limp and she has to pick him up and place him on time out. He stands to run away.
"Liam, one," Ashley starts, giving him the look. By the time she gets to two, he's sitting back down. He's not happy about it, but he's sitting. And I can confidently go back to giving my group my whole attention.
It is so hard to sit and watch someone else discipline my child and not be able to do anything about it. A part of me wants to save him from whatever trouble he is getting into, but I know better than that! I know that if he gets away with something even once, he'll do it over and over again.
But mostly, I want to step in and discipline him MY way. Now, don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything Ashley does. She is a wonderful teacher. Liam adores her and I am happy to have her as part of my team. Everything she does with Liam (and the other children in her group) is pretty much exactly what I do with the kids in my group.
But Liam's not just another daycare kid. Liam is MY SON! My expectations for him are higher. I don't want him to turn into the aggressive kid in the group. I want him to know that hitting (or whatever he is doing that is getting him on time out) is unacceptable. I want him to know that I've seen what he's done.
But I can't. I need to focus my attention to the kids in my group and what they are doing. I have to sit back and watch as Ashley does her job. All I can do is ask her later what provoked his hitting. All I can do is encourage gentle and discourage aggressive when he is with me. And hope for the best.
Ashley, if you are reading this,keep up the good work with my boy! And I am glad he doesn't give you this kind of trouble often!!