When the Apple Falls From the Tree
If there is one thing to know about Jack, it’s that he is a rule follower. Sure he tries to bend the rules, but he rarely out and out breaks a rule. For the longest time, Jack wasn’t allowed on the steps without an adult. Once I felt that he was skilled enough, I told him that he was allowed to go up and down the steps by himself. It took MONTHS to convince him that it was ok and that he wasn’t breaking a rule. He is like this with EVERYTHING.
The whole rule follower things helps make him a teacher favorite at preschool. He listens to what his teachers tell him to do, he does it and he follows every.single.rule. Teachers love that in a kid. Or so I’m told.
When we went to Jack’s preschool orientation in August, the teachers pointed out “The Apple Tree.” Every child has an apple with their name on it. The tree and the apples serve two purposes. First is name recognition. They are huge on name recognition and this is one of the ways they help the kids learn to identify their names. The second is, shall we say, accountability. At the beginning of each day, all the apples are at the top of the tree. If a child “makes a bad decision” (misbehaves), their apple is moved down on the tree. They are given opportunities to have their apples moved back up to the top of the tree. In the afternoon, they are given a reward if their apple is at the top of the tree.
So needless to say, rule follower Jack has always had his apple at the top of the tree. Until one day last week. One day last week, Jack and a few other children were not listening to what one of the teachers was telling them to do. After a few chances, their apples were moved down the tree. This was the first time Jack’s apple had ever moved from the top of the tree. He was not happy. He cried and cried and cried. And the teacher felt so bad about doing it and practically apologized to my husband that night.
That night we talked to Jack and told him that he needs to listen to his teachers and always behave for them. It’s not at all shocking that his apple has been at the top of the tree every day since then.
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