Anywho, I read this interesting article about how private schools refer children who don't sit still to OTs to learn how to sit and how it's awful we demand our children conform so tightly to school rather than school meeting kids where they are and adapting our teaching to their development. The public school counterpart to this "there's something wrong if your kid can't do super sitting still structure" is sending boys and especially boys who aren't white to special ed to get a diagnosis.
I get why it is helpful to learn emotional regulation. Absolutely it is helpful for kids to be able to keep a lid on their tempers. But it's hard to see the other extreme of emotional regulation at school in my kid. She is so successful at boxing in her emotions outside the house that she hides them almost completely. After a day of no emotions expressed, she is a lit stick of dynamite most nights just waiting to blow up without warning.
I worry about the kid, honestly. If she can never tell the other kids when she's upset or hurt or mad about something, how can she manage in the world? Yes there are times to contain your emotions but being an emotionless Vulcan is too far. Expressing emotions in the moment is a big part of being human. To a point. I get so mad when people can't have a rational discussion without bringing their entire emotional baggage to the table. It is hard to work when emotions about the past totally inform every single sentence of the conversation. There I'd say it is fine to have emotions but you have to contain them when they impede the discussion at hand. Have a good bedside manner and use it when needed.
I guess that developing an appropriate level of emotional regulation is going to come later. I really hope it does. The other big problem our kid has is being super shy. Shy doesn't matter at daycare obviously and she got over it or around it in preschool because the group was small enough. In a classroom of nearly 30 kids with hundreds on the playground, it is hard for her. She has no willingness to ask to play or to start a game herself. None. We keep explaining it to her and she keeps not getting it or is too scared to try and also afraid she will "get in trouble" if she admits she's scared. She has some bizarre personal definition of what constitutes "in trouble" that includes anything we talk about that she doesn't want to talk about or worries about.
So for now I think we will attempt to manage and hope that in time she will find a niche or at least a place she is safe enough to stop being so completely defensive. I just wish we could be done with being read the "I hate you and I hate it here and can't we just live at our old house again?" pre-riot act biweekly (followed by some rioting and sobbing). So if you think you could just move with a 4 year old, know that it will be miserable and try not to do it. Ugh. I hate that it's likely we may move after I graduate, just in time for her to have settled in here. Sigh.