Despite my play date ambush, everyone moved flawlessly through my spontaneously planned activities (thank goodness for having been a homeschooling mom) of drawing, pretend play and dance party, this little one could not get right. She screamed when she was not in control and hit, kicked, and spat. When given direction, she would shut down and run off into a corner and then magically reappear when she felt it was time. Not on my watch, missy. Perhaps it was the sleep deprivation or the lack of an adequate breakfast that morning, but more likely it was a strong Southern upbringing that gave me patience and pleasure in dealing with a child like this. I am one of 5 children, now have 3 of my own and growing up, my mother was constantly taking in neighbors or babysitting for long stretches. See where I get it from? I truly love being around children and though they are a challenge, it is amazing to see them coming of age both good and bad.
Now this little angel's parents had recently been advised by the school that she would not longer be welcome after the next incident. Did I tell you she just turned 6? As two working parents, these people's options are limited. Shape up or ship out comes to mind here... But really, after working with this little girl all day (this turned into a 4.5 hr marathon play date) she came around. Yes the other children colored for a bit longer and had to deal with her unruly behavior but they were all a part of the learning process that is discipline. She has a baby sister which is most concerning to me. Younger but more likely to duplicate big sisters quite awful behavior. Time is really what she needs and I don't mean bonding with bills by going out shopping or to eat. I spoke with her mother after the playdate who admitted to a overwhelming schedule and very lucrative compensation fueled by guilt. Truly consistent discipline is key to fulfilling parenting. Many children will act out just for the attention. It works so why not? I recommend scheduling out your days so that you can get the most out of it and see if you are spending enough time with your children just really getting to know them. I am not the mother of saints, I sometimes lose my cool and my children do act up. Actually they often drive me nuts however, money does not talk in our home when parenting. My kids receive an allowance to handle the gimmies. Time & discipline are my tools of the trade.
Here is my Non-Professional Questionnaire for Determining if there is an Issue:
1. Does the school have your cell on speed dial?
If you are steadily receiving calls from the school about academic, behavioral or disciplinary problems, don't take offence. Take some TIME to look into the real issues causing the problems at school.
2. Does your child complain of having no friends?
Now don't get me wrong, from classroom to extracurriculars some of the attendees can leave a lot to be desired but there should be at least 1 child yours can connect with. Even if it is a mentor relationship with a teacher, every person needs some sort of a social outlet.
3. Is most of your time with your child unpleasant?
Sad but sometimes true, our time spent with our children can be quite harried. However, it should mostly be enjoyable for you both.
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to take a step back, take a deep breathe and re prioritize. The problem could be a small one that a few adjustments will fix. Or the problem could be a biggie and backup my be needed in the form of a spouse, grandparent or professional. I am not going so far as to mention meds here. Again, I am not a doctor and that is a whole other post all together.
Stop and take stock of your own life. Any big changes? Are you under major stress? Family diet off track? Are you exercising 3-5 times a week? Are you sleeping enough? Whatever you feel they will feel, too. No matter what happens, you chose to have children so they must be dealt with in a positive and healthy way so that harmony can be enjoyed by family, friends and schoolmates.
These are very simple tips and my only validation for them are my decades long experience living amongst, taking care of and purely observing children. Being a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, and cousin will have your life full of the joy of active and varied children. I truly love them all and feel that they all have the potential to be the superstar inside of them. They just need moms & dads giving them TIME to learn. TIME to be silly. TIME to love.
It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth. -Rabelais