My daughter is in a full day daycare-preK hybrid, and overall, we love it. Recently, her classroom teachers instituted a new behavioral rewards approach, and I admit up front, I'm really not wild about rewards/punishments for behavior in general, but it is what it is. That said, I'm not sure if I'm overreacting to this recent situation, because of my own bias, or if this is really being handled badly.
I came in on Friday to pick kiddo up and found her hysterical. Apparently, she didn't earn enough play money (which they get for good behavior, like listening, responding to instructions, cleaning up, etc.) to get a prize that she really wanted and was really upset by this. I have no problem with addressing that - you get what you get, you try harder next time to earn more, etc. - but when I asked the teacher about what she can do to earn more next week, she told me that the two things kiddo didn't do are a) stay quiet during nap time, and b) she takes too long to leave her dad in the morning and come into the classroom.
So - nap time bugs me, because this is a classroom of 4-5 year olds. Many of them don't want to nap anymore, and the other pre-K classroom is all 5 year olds, and nearly none of them nap, but instead of combining the nappers/non-nappers, they force the kids to lie on their cots for 2 hours without anything to occupy them. They aren't allowed books, coloring, nothing except one soft toy and their blanket. So of course kids get bored and start talking to each other, especially mine, who's super extroverted, and she's getting punished for this. I've talked to her a bunch before about not talking to others when it's nap time, and she tries, but 2 hours of still silence is a lot for her age.
The morning transition/leaving her dad in the morning REALLY pissed me off. Basically, she's not getting "money" because when her dad drops her off, she takes a little longer to go into the classroom because she wants extra time with him to say goodbye and they have a whole "handshakes, kisses, hugs" routine. This is always a thing with her, which is why we even have a routine, unless there's another kid who gets dropped off at the same time, in which case they run in together.
So, after she calmed down Friday, we talked about not talking at naptime, and trying to go into the classroom faster, and I'm not sure anything is going to change, because these are really inherent little kid behaviors, not intentional misbehavior. I'm going to let it be this week and hopefully it won't be as much of an issue, but I'm trying to figure out whether I just let this go or if it's worth asking the teachers about it. I don't think my kid is a special snowflake by any means, but I really don't want to have a hysterical 5 year old on my hands every week because of some arbitrary behavioral rule. Would love your thoughts.