Sunday, September 01, 2013

A Good Dose of Play Therapy

I've been spending the past few days talking about my little Jelly.  About how she's having a rough time transitioning to the demands that's she now facing with going to kindergarten.  Not because it's the only thing that's currently happening in my life, but because it's something I need to talk about in order to make myself feel better.

It helps to let out some of my feelings on this page.  My blog is my therapy.  It's my go-to place where I can let out my frustration and walk away leaving it all behind - for a while.  

It's great that I have an outlet for my stress... but what about Jelly?  What does she have that can make her feel better or calm some of the stress?

Yesterday, I told you that she'd been invited to a birthday party.  And regardless of how hot and miserable I knew I would be sitting in 100 degree weather while Jelly played with her friends... I knew it was something I HAD to do.  

She needed it.  More than she knew.

She needed a day to associate with the kids from school away from the classroom, away from her nerves and discomfort, to just be herself and have a good time.

The party was being held in the town where I teach, and where Jelly attends school.  All the way there, Jelly asked excitedly what town we were in.  She knows that we have three towns to drive through before we come to our destination each and every day.  With each town we drove through, she got more and more excited.

Until we came to THE town.  The minute I told her we were driving in to the town we were heading for, she immediately told me her stomach hurt.  

I was confused.  Here she had been growing with anticipation and excitement about getting to the party, but the minute she heard the town name that her school was located....she felt like her stomach hurt.  

I reminded her that she wasn't going to school, she was going to a party.  She looked out the window with cautious optimism.  

We arrived at the park, and she immediately took off for the creek to play with her friends.  There were about 5 or 6 kids already there and wading in the shallow water.  For two hours, she played taking only a small break to eat a cupcake, and was back out with her friends...enjoying herself.

The birthday girl's mom told me that she'd like to set up some playdates for her daughter with Jelly.  On the weekends, now and then.  Jelly looked excited about that.  She really likes the little girl from her class, and they have apparently become pretty good friends.  

The drive home was much better.  Jelly was exhausted from all the playing out in the sun...and after sharing her excitement from the day's events, she quickly passed out.  

I hope that the festivities helped.  Gave her an outlet to forget about her troubles for a while.  Make her feel more confident about going to school.  I reminded her that those kids are her friends, and they are there for her every day that she's there.  That if she's feeling a little sad that she can be with them, and they can help her feel better.  

She even told me that she couldn't wait to see her friend again, at school when they go back.

Let's hope that stands true.

Today and tomorrow, I plan on doing some activities with her.  That are educational and fun.  I know she's stressed about reading - or not being able to just yet.  I want to sit down and read some books with her, have her tell a story with pictures, do some letter recognition activities.  Make her feel less stressed about the stuff she's going to come into contact with at school.  

I know that all of her problems aren't going to disappear overnight, but I can't sit back and just wait for them to go away.  There are a few things I can do to make this transition easier for her.  I know that overtime, she'll start to enjoy school.  She'll start to get used to the demands, excel at them, and feel much more confident in her abilities.  

But, until then...I just have to do what I can to help.  

I am a teacher, after all.  If I can't help my daughter feel more comfortable with being in school, no one can.  And that's not even something I'm willing to consider.  

For over a year, my Jelly has been counting the days down before she was able to start "big school".  She's waited with anticipation and excitement.  She drove me nuts over the summer asking me each and every day if summer was over and if she could go to school the next day.  And now that it's here, it's not at all what she expected.  And that makes me sad.  I don't want her to be disappointed, or scared, or stressed about going to school.

I want the excitement back.

And I plan on helping her get there anyway I can.


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