11/23/14

I Got The Talk From My Son's Teacher. I Had A Feeling It Was Coming.

A few weeks ago my toddler was on an amazing kid streak!  For at least 14 glorious days straight he was well-behaved, kind, affectionate, said please and thank you, and altogether was a delight. The first week my mind was blown, but by the second week, I was becoming optimistic that maybe he was growing out of his terrible twos. I was all ready to announce that my kid was the best, and all those parents who said the terrible twos were nothing compared to three and four were wrong, about my kid at least.

And then something happened.

He turned into a crazy toddler again.

Like a thousand times worse than ever.

Now, we are on week two of some of the worst behaviors:

1. He is speaking some strange gibberish, even though he has an extensive vocabulary.
2. He is hitting and scratching.
3. Saying bad words.
4. Saying NO when asked to do anything.
5. Not staying in time-out
6. Acting out at school.
7. Throwing toys.

The list goes on, but I'm sure you get the point. My kid has gone crazy.


Last Thursday when I picked Ollie up from his Child's Day Out program, the teacher pulled me aside to let me know he was a terror for her too. Ollie has been going there for almost a year, and this is the first time I have had to have "the talk".  While his teacher chalked the behaviors up to his age, she did say his need for attention from her was getting out of control, and wanted to know how he was at home, and how were were dealing with it, "so we could be consistent."  I told her he was awful, and that we were using time-out and taking away toys or gadgets as punishment.

I'm honestly not sure what has changed? I mean, I've been busier with work, FTD and I had a two-day round that wasn't very pleasant, but involved more silent treatments than heated conversation.  Still, the bottom line remained, my kid is being extra bad, and not only could I not pinpoint why, I was having trouble managing it.

While I hate to call parenting a job, because I love my son more than anything and above all being a parent is a blessing, the fact is for me right now, it's work. Hard work. The thing that has been especially hard is with all of his bad behavior, I have had to be a tough mom. It sucks.  I have had to stay constantly on him, which also means constant time-outs that are a whole other battle.

I just know, if I let down my guard and let my toddler be wild, then I will have a much tougher job on my hands during the teenage years. So, I try to remain diligent, not putting up with backtalk and acting out. Even though it makes me feel awful.  For a few days I tried to get down to his level and talk calm about the bad behaviors, and why they were naughty.  If he seemed to understand, and apologized, I left it at that.  If he wiggled and didn't listen, I would go ahead with the time out and then try to talk to him calmly after time out was over.

I have tried everything, hoping to find the perfect mix to help my son understand that he is in the wrong with whatever poor behavior he is displaying; I still haven't figured it out.  Part of me thinks, this is just how it is.  He is a stubborn little toddler testing the limits, and it's up to me to show him right from wrong. CONSTANTLY!

I realize that I am in the throws of a seriously tough time in parenting.  I realize that, for the most part, his wild behavior and testing limits is par for the course. But, it doesn't make it any easier.

I have a very spirited child that I love dearly. I've decided that as long as I love him and stay diligent about not letting his bad behaviors slide, at some point we will both emerge from this time better humans. OK, sometimes I think I will just settle for alive with all of my marbles, but dammit the kid better be fabulous!

If you are struggling with your toddler/child, you are not alone.  His teacher was kind enough to remind me of that.





April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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