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NFT: Parenting advice requested

tbonfig : 9/5/2019 5:13 pm
My oldest just started kindergarten and I was looking to see if anyone had some advice. She has a long day - starts at 8 and goes to after school which I pick up around 5:30. School only started a week ago so I know she’s getting adjusted to things but whenever I ask her what happened during her day, the only responses I get are “I don’t remember”.

When she was in daycare with a similar time period during the day, she was able to tell what was going on. I know that she is probably mentally fatigued because bedtime has been ramped up to 8 PM and could probably go earlier. I am going to have patience, obviously, as she gets adjusted, but just curious if anyone has been through a similar situation and if you have any wisdom to impart.

Those of you may recall I was also looking into the gps trackers but did not pull the trigger on any yet ( I also feel a lot more comfortable now that the routine has been established).
I would think...  
Chris in Philly : 9/5/2019 5:17 pm : link
it is probably an adjustment issue. That is a huge stretch of time for kids that young. Not just the school day, but after care as well.

If it makes you feel any better, my 10- and 12-year old kids say the same thing.. :)
I'd give it a couple of weeks before I got worried  
Moondawg : 9/5/2019 5:18 pm : link
it's a huge adjustment. Many of us adults bitch and bellyache when we have much smaller adjustments to make!
Not to mention...  
Chris in Philly : 9/5/2019 5:18 pm : link
the additional stress and stimulation of a new school, with unfamiliar surroundings, older kids, and new faces...
I have read  
pjcas18 : 9/5/2019 5:19 pm : link
that there are better or different questions that can get your child to actually remember their day and share things with you.

I will look and see if I can find it, but basically the premise was asking them less open ended questions than "how was your day" or "what did you do today" - it made sense to me.

My kids sound similar to yours and they didn't go to any after school programs.

If I find what I mentioned I'll post it, but you can try googling it too.
Probably just her spirit being broken.  
Motley Two : 9/5/2019 5:21 pm : link
Completely normal.
Yeah  
Les in TO : 9/5/2019 5:22 pm : link
I have a daughter in grade one in before and after care for the same time period and getting info from her was like pulling teeth. Maybe speak to her teacher (or email) and get an update.
the teacher and or school should have provided a schedule showing  
Giants61 : 9/5/2019 5:28 pm : link
the typical daily schedule and routines. Use that to open a conversation. Your child may be feeling a bit overwhelmed so early in the school year. When you say start the day at 8am, is that when the school actually starts?
Probably just an adjustment to school starting up again.  
Eman11 : 9/5/2019 6:12 pm : link
If you're real concerned about her not paying attention or remembering her day, try and make a game of it.

Share things that went on in your day and tell her something like let's see who did more things in their day and prompt her to try and top the number of things you remember. Obviously you could start out by only remembering 1-2 things to let her win and keep her interest.

Maybe let the winner of the week pick a Saturday morning outing or something like that.
Question  
Thegratefulhead : 9/5/2019 6:17 pm : link
You have to be a detective ask better questions.

Who did you play with today?

Tell me about lunch what did you eat?

you need to get her to recall a specific event and then start questioning about that event and then she'll start opening up. She will start to remember other details.
Sounds normal  
UConn4523 : 9/5/2019 6:20 pm : link
I wouldn’t worry. Kids adjust to new things in many different ways.
Children will all be different  
steve in ky : 9/5/2019 6:34 pm : link
As my daughter began to age her personality is that she wants you to ask everything and she wants to tell you every detail of her day. Yet her brother is the exact opposite and basically always repeats the "I don't remember" for most things.


It could be nothing more than now that she is moving up to a bigger school her personality is one that doesn't care to rehash all the details of the day. I wouldn't be overly concerned, and I wouldn't pester her about it.

I do have to say that seems like a very long grind for a child that age. There was something to be said about the good old days of kindergarten being a half day, and part of that was quiet time on a blanket.
Be patient  
Beer Man : 9/5/2019 7:37 pm : link
and continue to show your love and support as she goes through this adjustment period. Everything should soon be be back to normal.
This is normal.  
JesseS : 9/5/2019 7:48 pm : link
I'm a therapist.
just wait till they  
Dankbeerman : 9/5/2019 8:07 pm : link
ask for your phone then make them answer any questuons you have before you give it to them.
Agree with couple other posters  
Jesse B : 9/5/2019 8:16 pm : link
4 kids here. Ask less open ended questions more specifics
Reminds me of a book from the 1950s about childhood in the 1920s.  
manh george : 9/5/2019 8:25 pm : link
Where did you go? Out.
What did you do? Nothing.
Link - ( New Window )
I always rolled my eyes at overprotective parents  
DC Gmen Fan : 9/5/2019 8:42 pm : link
then I became one...
Thanks for the support everyone  
tbonfig : 9/5/2019 9:02 pm : link
You all pretty much confirmed what I believed.
I have a first grader  
aimrocky : 9/5/2019 9:09 pm : link
And another in pre k and both gave me the “I don’t remember” until recently. Now they fight each other to tell us about their day, trying to talk over each other.
And not that I'm sure anyone cares enough  
tbonfig : 9/5/2019 9:12 pm : link
but I read through each post.

I've tried the detective approach. I looked at the schedule and tried asking relevant questions. I did not think to tell her some details about my day, that is a great suggestion.

What I did to today was, when we got home, took some time to play outside together. All of a sudden she started remembering some details. I got more details this evening than I have the past five days.

I figured it will continue to get better but tonight was great.

Thanks for the support everyone
I'm an in home family therapist and I dod work with kids of all ages  
MarvelousMike : 9/5/2019 9:59 pm : link
First, the others are correct in this being an adjustment. The structure in Pre-K to Kindergarten is a large for a 5 year old. Second, is the need to "be specific" when asking for information. Kiddos that age don't do very well with open ended questions. Third, kids that young interact better when they are playing and/or you are down at their eye level. I play with the young ones as many have some degree of ADHD (hyper and/or easily inattentive). Many individual therapist use Play Therapy to gain information from them. We deal with many kids that have undergone some degree of trauma and they reveal more when in a setting like play that they feel comfortable in rather than traditional talk therapy which you seemed to have been doing with your kiddo.

I'm usually in a home 3x/week for about 4 months.
That is a very long and arduous schedule for a  
BlueLou'sBack : 9/5/2019 10:03 pm : link
kindergartner.

But everyone's already given you great advice. Since it's K, ask her if they have any pets, animals, or insects in the room to play with at school.

My older daughter missed K altogether, but my younger had a great K teacher that took the kids outdoors often (in California) and playing with all sorts of insects, spiders, rodents and other vermin. That teacher ran a way cool program for little ones.
tbonfig, that's the best thing you can do. Have some fun time  
yatqb : 9/5/2019 10:06 pm : link
together as it gives her some time to relax after what is a very busy, emotionally exhausting day. Once she makes new friends (if she doesn't know many of the kids) and gets into a routine that's fun for her she'll be more forthcoming.
My  
jtfuoco : 9/5/2019 10:09 pm : link
daughter just started kindergarten two weeks ago and says the exact same thing she cant even tell me what for lunch unless I really press so I wouldn't worry about it.
"I don't remember" is  
jpennyva : 9/5/2019 10:10 pm : link
my 9 yo stepson's favorite response, even to specific questions. He often just doesn't feel like answering (sometimes because he would rather be doing something else). We have him over the summers and breaks but now he is back in another state with his mother for the school year so our conversations with him are over skype each weekend. We have implemented a "3 things" request. Each week, he has to tell us about three things - they could be things he learned, books he read, who he played with at school - anything he wants to tell us about and it has definitely helped because then we can ask some follow up questions and our conversations are more interesting. This might not help you or be as effective for a child who is younger but I figured I would share. We also share with him things about our day and try to relate it to things he experiences as well and it has been fun to watch him become more interested in what's going on with us as well.

Good luck!
As well switch your questions  
1st and 10 : 9/6/2019 2:54 am : link
Slightly, don’t ask questions such as how was school, ask questions such as “tell me one thing that made you happy at school..”
When did Kindergarten become all day?  
montanagiant : 9/6/2019 3:12 am : link
Usually it's a half a day
RE: When did Kindergarten become all day?  
bebopson : 9/6/2019 5:11 am : link
In comment 14560812 montanagiant said:
Quote:
Usually it's a half a day


Probably when double-income households became more prevalent.
RE: I have read  
Matt M. : 9/6/2019 6:54 am : link
In comment 14560176 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
that there are better or different questions that can get your child to actually remember their day and share things with you.

I will look and see if I can find it, but basically the premise was asking them less open ended questions than "how was your day" or "what did you do today" - it made sense to me.

My kids sound similar to yours and they didn't go to any after school programs.

If I find what I mentioned I'll post it, but you can try googling it too.
I read this too and slightly adjusted my questions with better results. Also, timing of the questions matter. Don't bombard her right when you pick ber up. Allow a little adjustment time.
Even if it's not an adjustment thing...  
RC in MD : 9/6/2019 7:29 am : link
Many kids just don't like to share things about their days, especially if nothing of note happened that they are/were excited about. Nothing really to be worried about even though I'm sure all parents want to know more about their children's days.

Our daughter just started third grade and my son, pre-k. Trying to get anything out of them about what happened at school is always a struggle unless something so unusual happened that they want to tell us first out of excitement. And this is with two kids, who love to talk to us throughout the day about the most random things. School is just not one of those things they find exciting to talk about most of the time.

I would continue to just lightly ask how her days are going, asking about any new friends, subjects, etc. that she may be finding that interest her. Eventually she'll let you know things that she's excited about from school.
This article makes some great points  
jlukes : 9/6/2019 7:36 am : link
You need to ask a better question
https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/education/back-to-school-dont-ask-your-kid-how-their-day-was-ask-these-questions-instead/67-583518421 - ( New Window )
The jlukes  
pjcas18 : 9/6/2019 8:08 am : link
link was similar to what I was mentioning.

And I know this is only tangentially related, but I also coach my youngest's hockey team. And this is true of a coach or a parent, but we used to get in the car after games (and even after some practices) and I'd immediately ask her about situations in the game and her reaction to them.

I didn't get a great response and then I saw a commercial on NHL Network called "the ride home" and in it they show a father just absolutely berating and almost harassing his son after a practice (wasn't even hockey, but I saw it on NHLN) and I had a revelation, holy shit that kid was me. And now I was becoming my father (full disclosure I was never mean or angry or critical like my dad or the dad in the commerical, but still probably had the same effect...)

So I was open about it and I told her i'm sorry and now the ride home we don't talk hockey *unless* she initiates it. Which I love. Sometimes she will ask me "dad, when that other kid lifts my stick going for the puck, how do I stop it?" or "shouldn't that have been a penalty" or "I wasn't shooting 5-hole even though I scored there, I fanned on my shot LOL" or whatever and other times she just watches Netflix and is quiet.

I have brought a lot of that same concept into my home for school and other things. I'm home most times when my kids get home because I work from home and at most they get a joke about school from me and I feel like it gives them an opening to tell me anything they feel like telling me and if I want to ask something specific it would be at a later time.

Below is the ride home commercial. Like I said only at best tangentially related to your topic and your child now at this age, but it really hit home for me. If you didn't grow up like this maybe it would never occur to you to act this way, but for some people I bet is subconscious


Link - ( New Window )
RE: The jlukes  
Matt M. : 9/6/2019 8:49 am : link
In comment 14560876 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
link was similar to what I was mentioning.

And I know this is only tangentially related, but I also coach my youngest's hockey team. And this is true of a coach or a parent, but we used to get in the car after games (and even after some practices) and I'd immediately ask her about situations in the game and her reaction to them.

I didn't get a great response and then I saw a commercial on NHL Network called "the ride home" and in it they show a father just absolutely berating and almost harassing his son after a practice (wasn't even hockey, but I saw it on NHLN) and I had a revelation, holy shit that kid was me. And now I was becoming my father (full disclosure I was never mean or angry or critical like my dad or the dad in the commerical, but still probably had the same effect...)

So I was open about it and I told her i'm sorry and now the ride home we don't talk hockey *unless* she initiates it. Which I love. Sometimes she will ask me "dad, when that other kid lifts my stick going for the puck, how do I stop it?" or "shouldn't that have been a penalty" or "I wasn't shooting 5-hole even though I scored there, I fanned on my shot LOL" or whatever and other times she just watches Netflix and is quiet.

I have brought a lot of that same concept into my home for school and other things. I'm home most times when my kids get home because I work from home and at most they get a joke about school from me and I feel like it gives them an opening to tell me anything they feel like telling me and if I want to ask something specific it would be at a later time.

Below is the ride home commercial. Like I said only at best tangentially related to your topic and your child now at this age, but it really hit home for me. If you didn't grow up like this maybe it would never occur to you to act this way, but for some people I bet is subconscious
Link - ( New Window )
Another good point I follow with my oldest and baseball. But, the truth is, he al.oal.ost always initiates a conversation. He always wants to know the best play he made and the worst. He also likes to really analyze critical moments for the whole team. When he initiates, I really love those rides home.

Now, I'm vetting that with my younger son. I am overjoyed they share my love and passion for baseball. Now, if I can vet them to share the work ethic I had for the game.
As for 8pm bedtime  
Matt M. : 9/6/2019 8:54 am : link
Is that the time dhe gets in bed, or when you expect her asleep? Our daughter is currently in 2nd grade. We generally like her to be asleep by 8. We start "bedtime" around 6:30/7. This way, it's not rushed and there's a routine. Once the shower is out of the way, it's about doing things that relax her. No TV or tablet. She reads or we read with her and then she likes a little music and dance party, which she finds more relaxing than anything. She's in her bed about 7:50.
Alright the responses on here have been great  
tbonfig : 9/6/2019 9:53 am : link
and one of the reasons I have BBI. I've never met any of you and may never meet any of you but love the sense of community here.


First, it is reassuring to hear that this is a common problem.

I've tried some of the "better questions" strategies and she doesn't have the patience for those. She gives me the "I don't remember" or "I don't care" response.

I think pj's post about the ride home hits me pretty hard. I didn't think I was grilling her but upon reflection I realized that I ask her a lot of questions as soon as I see her. In my mind, I'm trying to find out what happened while its still fresh in her mind. But all she probably wants to do is just unwind in the car. I'm going to try and implement pj's rule about "you tell me when you want to tell me something"

As for the bedtime routine, this is what sucks. We get home at 6, then eat dinner, hang out for a bit, then it's time for bed. Bath time starts at 7ish with intent to get them in bed by 7:30/8 and this week both my girls (18 m/o and the kindergartner) have knocked out as soon as their head hits the pillow, so they're obviously exhausted.

I'm going to try to pick my kindergartner up early for a few days next week and today. Hopefully giving her a little time to unwind will help her overall.
tbonfig  
figgy2989 : 9/6/2019 9:58 am : link
Definitely not uncommon, my older son (now 4), was in preschool last year and now in pre-k. My wife and I were always frustrated last year when we would ask what he did in school and he would always say "played" or "went outside".

What we learned and like most of the advice above, mix up the questions. We found that when you ask about who he played with that day or who was the line leader, he would open up. Switch it up and when they bring home drawings or arts/crafts, ask about what the other kids in his class made. We found when you ask about the different students (get to know their names!), they open up and talk more about their day.

Good luck!
RE: Question  
Percy : 9/9/2019 10:35 am : link
In comment 14560232 Thegratefulhead said:
Quote:
You have to be a detective ask better questions.

Who did you play with today?

Tell me about lunch what did you eat?

you need to get her to recall a specific event and then start questioning about that event and then she'll start opening up. She will start to remember other details.


This.
Why do people  
Giant Fan Dan : 9/9/2019 11:14 am : link
even bother having kids if you're just gonna warehouse them for 9+ hours per day then put them to bed 3 hours later? People say you shouldn't get a dog if you don't have time but they think abandoning kids for the majority of their daily life is ok.
RE: Why do people  
speedywheels : 9/9/2019 11:17 am : link
In comment 14567916 Giant Fan Dan said:
Quote:
even bother having kids if you're just gonna warehouse them for 9+ hours per day then put them to bed 3 hours later? People say you shouldn't get a dog if you don't have time but they think abandoning kids for the majority of their daily life is ok.


"Warehouse" them for 9+ hours? They are in school for 6-6.5 of those hours...

Oh, forget it...
Kindergarten?  
x meadowlander : 9/9/2019 12:07 pm : link
Yeah, you're overthinking. Frankly, you don't have a situation that requires advice. It's Kindergarten, if anything wonderful or terrible happened, she'll tell you. Otherwise, meh - numbers, letters, coloring, story, nap. Exactly the same as my workday. :)

And GPS is overkill. When she's old enough for a phone, yeah, stick Life360 or something on it, but til then, just enjoy.
RE: Why do people  
x meadowlander : 9/9/2019 12:13 pm : link
In comment 14567916 Giant Fan Dan said:
Quote:
even bother having kids if you're just gonna warehouse them for 9+ hours per day then put them to bed 3 hours later? People say you shouldn't get a dog if you don't have time but they think abandoning kids for the majority of their daily life is ok.
Your question isn't detailed enough - every family has it's own unique situation. Poor form blanket-criticism here.

Most households have both parents working now - many of them adjust schedules so kids aren't in after-school-care long if at all.

My wife stayed home til' the last kid cleared Kindergarten, then we staggered schedules, kids would be in after school care til' I could pick them up around 4 - worked out nice, cause they'd get to play with classmates for an hour or so - double bonus cause my neighborhood had NO KIDS.

Hugs  
idiotsavant : 9/9/2019 7:10 pm : link
Make the child feel safe and loved via your actions rather than words. Use email to the teachers to get updates rather than directly questioning the child. Hugs, blankets, safeness and security. Repeat procedure every evening. Plenty of sleep and giggles. Repeat . And real food not macncheese.
maybe try asking her  
bc4life : 9/9/2019 8:00 pm : link
what was her favorite thing or asking about kids in her class - might be better way to get little one to feel like talking after a long day
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