My Child | Giftie Etcetera: My Child

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Child

I would not say my child was AWFUL on Saturday, when four other kids ranging from age 18 months to 9 years visited our house and played with his toys. Fortunately, all the kids were well-behaved and all the parents attentive. But my child was, well, the worse behaved, comparatively. (He stilled got complements from Doris for being willing to share his toys, which was nice, since I was too stressed to give any of the positive reinforcement that I should have given.)

Two problems emerged. One was that, if he saw another kid playing with a toy that he knew was his, he YANKED it out of the kid's hand. Wow. Of course, the visitor got the toy back and Ander got a warning, and on the second offense, a timeout. But he never really understood that no one was taking his toys home. And he used to like to share and take turns. So this was not an encouraging turn of events. My well-meaning friends would offer that Ander could have his toy and their kid could play with something else, but I just couldn't go along with that, as he really was yanking toys from others and being quite mean about it. I'm trying to teach him that if he wants a toy, he can nicely ask for it (which sometimes works, especially if he offers the other kid another toy), but WHOOSH...flies right over his head.

The other problem? TALKING BACK. YELLING, SCREAMING FITS OF BACKTALK. Unfortunately, that did not go away when the other kids left. And, sadly, he didn't learn it from any of them. If anything, he might have taught them how to talk back. So new rule. You can say, "I am mad." You can say, "I don't want to." You can cry and go off by yourself. But you have to be nice. No screaming, hitting, kicking, or attempting to hurt mommy and daddy when they correct you. It's so hard to draw the line between letting him be frustrated and not letting him be mean. It's a surprisingly thin line.

My friends Un and Doris both commented on how calm I am when I correct Ander. Considering that inside, my blood pressure was soaring and I was out-of-control and about to lose it, I was really happy to hear that I appeared calm when disciplining. That takes a lot of work for me, even though I believe calm and control on my part is really important.

And hubby, who probably has much more tolerance for backtalk and screaming than I do, has still been willing to help discipline Ander when he crosses Mommy's tolerance threshold, which I truly appreciate.



Stac Cole said...

Hmph. You're better than me. I would have flown off the handle long ago. I admire you for that...

elle said...

Un sent me a message on facebook telling me that she saw you! That's cool.