S.M. asks from Bolingbrook, IL on September 13, 2007
Pre-school Nap Issues
My son Robbie will be 4 in October. He started attending Valley View Early Childhood center last year in the mornings. This year he was placed in the afternoon session and we've had a lot of behavioral issues due to sleep. He normally goes to bed at 8 and wakes up on his own at 6:30 am. Before school started he would nap for about 2 hours in the afternoon from about 1 'til 3. Sometimes he wouldn't have a nap, but would have a resting time. Now that school has started he isn't ready for a nap before school, so he was going with no nap which led to meltdowns galore. We tried putting him to bed earlier (he got up earlier then) and putting him to bed later (still woke up at 6:30). He has fallen asleep in the evening a few times and we've only let him sleep a short period of time so that he would still go to bed, but he is a miserable little bear when we wake him up. I asked his teacher about his behavior this year and she said he's been "challenging". Anybody else go through this? What else can I try? Should I request he be switched to the morning session due to sleep issues? He is normally a pretty well behaved, easy going boy, but these last two weeks have been a challenge in the evenings to say the least!!!
K.B. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2007
If there is room in the morning, I'd request it for sure. It sounds like he needs a rest. My kids have actually not been napping all year (3 and almost 5) but they do preschool in the morning and need downtime in the early afternoon. I think afternoon sessions work better for kids who sleep later (like 8) so getting up at 6:30 would mean he's primed for good play at like 9. Try to work with his natural clock if you can and switch to mornings.
1 mom found this helpful
L.A. answers from Chicago on September 14, 2007
I know that when my girls started KDG this year, we were able to request which session we wanted. They try to meet everyone requests if they can. I would ask to switch him to the morning.
S. answers from Chicago on September 14, 2007
I too had a similiar situation. For me it was the combination of lack of sleep, which makes even the best child turn into a monster, and a new teacher. The combination of the 2 took several weeks of adjustment and my son came around. I had to wake my son up earlier than his usual 6:30am time and give him a nap around 11 which helped considerably.
T.R. answers from Chicago on September 14, 2007
S., I had the exact same issues with my daughter! After three weeks of crying fits in class, I just decided that I, as her parent who knew best what her biological rythyms and behaviors were, did in fact know what was best for her. I talked to the school and had her enrolled in a morning class (at first they weren't supportive - they wanted to wait out the behavior and continue to "correct" it) but I persisted. Lo and behold, the teacher commented after the first three days that she was so well-behaved, she thought my daughter was a different child! My suggestion is to listen to yourself and your son. He is only 4. He needs his sleep on HIS routine in order to grow up "big and strong". You need to do what is right for him and your family - don't be intimidated by the school.
K.C. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2007
See if you can try mornings until Winter break, and then possible switch back to afternoons in January. I would give it a little more time, though, to see if he does adjust. You mentioned that you tried an earlier bedtime...have you tried inching the bedtime back 10-15 minutes at a time?
I feel for you because my 4 year old just started an afternoon pre-k class last week. Because of the nap issue we started with him going for just 1 hr of the 2 1/2 hrs and we're increasing the time each week.
The teachers are probably going to work with you because they will want him to succeed as well. However, they should be more specific about what issues they are having with him and also how they handle things. He's so young, you don't want him to start having negative feelings about school.
One last thing...is he going through a growth spurt that may be causing him to need more sleep? That's one reason why you may want to give it a little more time.
E.S. answers from Chicago on September 14, 2007
I would ask for him to be changed to the earlier class. My son is in a class for 2 1/2 yr olds and I know we would have the same problem if he did not have his afternoon nap.
T.S. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2007
If your child is going to VVEC, then he has a delay of some sort, correct? Are they trying to mainstream him into a Kindergarten class? What does his IEP say?
My guess would be that he was changed to the afternoon class due to his age and readiness for Kindergarten. But, I have no schooling or expertise in this area.....
What does the teacher say about his challenges? I would not be OK with that - tell me what his challenges are and how the teacher and aides are meeting his challenges. You have a right to expect that your son is making progress in this class. You would not want him to regress, and neither would the staff. You ARE your child's advocate, so you need to speak up if you're not getting cooperation or if you feel like the teacher is not being responsive.
If you check back with the teacher and ask for specifics on what your son's challenges are and still don't get anywhere, talk to the principal. You are a teacher - imagine if one of your previous students was havng a difficult time in your classroom....you'd likely want the parental involvement so that you could help the student succeed. There is no reason to expect less in this case.