I Hate Hitting

My youngest son has a new dirty habit: hitting. And here’s the fun part – I’m his only victim. When he gets mad, really mad he lashes out. I’ve found it’s the small things that set him off:

  • Don’t let him hang out in the arcade at the movie theater
  • Didn’t give him food fast enough when he asked for it
  • Refused to read a third book at bedtime
  • Won’t allow him to stay home alone instead of going to preschool
  • Made him put his shirt away

Any one of these infractions could (and have) lead to hitting, slapping and/or choking. And yet, again, it’s only me he does this to. Apparently this is a fairly common problem for moms out there – enough so that I found a variety of websites offering advice – everything from, “help her understand why she is getting angry” to “notice when your child is doing something positive, and reward the good behavior” to “look for patterns.”

Most of these sites talk about ways to prevent temper tantrums and/or hitting – but few actually give you a play by-play of what you should do during the actual act of violence. I think I need something more like “karate for kindergarten moms” or something like that. Although, I must say I did find some nuggets of advice on dealing with an actual attack – primarily, take them to timeout or lower your voice (reminds me of that meme about whispering to your child and how much scarier that is than yelling at them.)

Do your kids hit you? How did you get the abuse to stop?

Who Asked You?! The Woes of Unsolicited Parenting Advice

We’ve all been there. You watch a parent struggling with their unruly kid and you think, “Oh man, you are doing that wrong.” But, at what point should you actually open your mouth and say something, especially if it’s a friend?

A friend recently asked me that question. A friend of her’s asked – openly – what he should do differently to tame his “little monster.”

Friends gave the typical advice:

  • Watch Super Nanny
  • Read “The Strong Willed Child”
  • Use reward charts
  • Be consistent

It was that last piece of advice that seems to be the sticking point with this particular parent. It is apparent that this parent is not sticking to his guns. So, my friend asks, should she be blunt with him and tell him that in order to get his kid to listen and behave, he’s going to have to put more effort in, too?

Luckily, I have some pretty too-the-point blunt brutally-honest friends. One caught me in the act once. I was complaining about how my kids just don’t listen when it’s time to leave. She said, “Well, let’s see… you’ve told them five times that it’s time to go and yet, here you stand, talking to me. If it’s time to go, it’s time to go. YOU need to set the stage and be consistent.” It was a tough thing to hear, but I needed to hear it.

What do you think? When should you speak up and give the parenting advice you know your friends really need to hear?

Oh, what a night…

Now that I have that song stuck in your head…

My evening with my children was… interesting… to say the least. The first day back to our house after spending time over at their dad’s is always a rough transition – as I imagine it as when they go back to his house after being at our home. Last night was no different.

All three kids wanted to watch a movie. We try to limit screen time, so they asked, instead, if we could play a game. Everyone was fine with this – except my three-year old. My refusal to let him watch a movie combined with my refusal to let him have a second juice box was just too much for him to take. He laid down on the ground – kicking, screaming, banging his fists and shouting into the floorboards, “I HATE MOMMY!” Oh joy. Those are always the words a mom/dad wants to hear. Gee, thanks.

I picked his flailing little body up and carried him to his room, fists and feet a flying. I told him he was being nasty and shut the door, telling him he could come out when he could calm himself down and apologize. Fast forward through a lot more screaming and sobbing… and he tells me he’s sorry for saying he hates me. Over juice.

My 10-year-old daughter, meanwhile, gets reprimanded for sneaking food off her plate – after being told, repeatedly, to wait. My seven-year old son then polished off the night by asking me if I was around when Noah’s Ark was built.

So.. how was your evening?

The Wrong Side of the Bed

Hmm. Where to start? Well, let me back in to this by saying we are moving. Staying in the same community, just downsizing – drastically.

My boys will be sharing a room (which they already do.) We were concerned their new bedroom wouldn’t be big enough to fit my seven-year old’s race car bed. I insisted we find a way to make it fit. My son loves that bed! (Insert that time as a mom where you’re the one who’s actually more attached something than the child you are fretting over is.)

My first grader says to me, matter of factly, “Mom, when we get a new house, I’d like a new bed. I think I’m too old for this one and I feel like bunk beds would be a good choice.” I was astounded. First of all, he was very articulate in his statement. It was well thought out and he’d obviously been considering this for a while. Secondly, bunk beds? That’s what we were going to try to appease him with if we couldn’t take the race car bed with us! And finally, he’s “too old” for his race car bed? Say what?! But, but… I guess we’ll be saying  goodbye to the old red bed.

While all this has been going down, his little brother, our youngest, wants to be just like his big brother. He has decided he no longer wants to sleep in his little bed either. (We’ve been using the convertible crib with the one side removed…) He has taken to sleeping in the race car bed or the other twin mattress. This is great and all (although, it was doubly crushing for both my baby boys to decide to grow up on me so fast!) except for the fact that my toddler has woken up on the wrong side of the bed each and every day he’s slept on a different bed.

Each morning, my three-year old has been a sheer terror. Three times this week – he has screamed. All. The. Way. To. Preschool.People, this is NOT a short drive.  He insists he’s a big boy and should be able to go to school with his big brother and sister. By the time we drop them off and reach the preschool – he’s in full-on meltdown mode. He rotates between the “stiff as a board” and “wet noodle” approaches in his car seat, making it virtually impossible to remove him from the car without looking like a wild woman. Once we reach the top step of the preschool, I’m working up my best tactic to get him to settle down.

This morning, another parent caught me showing my boy his face in the mirror and telling him, “This is a grumpy boy. Where’s my happy boy?” The dad walked past and said, “Yeah, let me know if that works – I have two you can try it on.”

Why must toddlers want what they want when they want it? I’m hoping/praying tomorrow will bring significantly less drama, especially considering it’s a weekend!

Anyone out there with some toddler-taming-tips?

 

Soap, Anyone?

Yesterday, I wrote about my daughter calling her younger brother an, “old bitch.”

And here I was thinking that was the topper to my day. Nope.

After work, I picked my youngest up from preschool. We headed to the store to buy a gift for a birthday party we were headed to. He proceeded to go limp in the entry of the store – angry that I would not let him ride the coin-operated truck in the entrance. (Evil, non-children-having people put those there, by the way. The same people who put candy and small toys at the checkout line.)

As he worked his “Civil Disobedience” tactics, laying prone on the floor like a 40 pound sack of jello, I began receiving the looks. Other customers attempted to walk past me and my writhing child as I scolded him for his inappropriate behavior. I only tell you this detail, so you can fully understand my evening better.

Once we made it to the birthday party (which we nearly did not go to after that ugly display – he did say sorry, though) my three-year old boy sat in my lap, quietly enjoying the birthday party – preparing for pizza and cake and all the birthday fun. Then, while all the other parents and friends had gathered around – he, very clearly, said at the top of his lungs, “BITCH! BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH.” He said this all with a smile on his face.

If you have any spare bars of soap floating around your house, send them my way. We’ve got a bad-word habit to break.

What’s the worst word your kiddo has said in a public place?

Quick Question

What do you do when…

Your 10-year-old daughter calls your seven-year old son an, “old bitch”?

(She then followed up by saying she actually said, “you’re mean.” Um, not quite.)

 

Are You THAT Mom?

I witnessed some pretty harsh child-on-child violence the other day. Even more surprising was the setting: Church.

The brother and sister – each about eight or nine years old – were fighting over who knows what. That’s not really important. If you have kids, you know kids will fight over just about anything. If you don’t have kids – geez, thanks for reading my blog anyway. (Sorry about all the poop stories.)

So, here they were, in the heat of it. He’s saying something she doesn’t like. She’s saying something he doesn’t like. He says something she really doesn’t like and she winds up – cranking her arm – fully stretched – as far as it will go backward – and slaps him. HARD. In the face. God love that boy, while he didn’t quite turn the other cheek, he didn’t hit her back. In fact, he didn’t do much of anything. He stood there, clutching his now very red cheek and stared back at her in disbelief. That’s when reality struck her.

“OH! I didn’t mean to do that!” She blurted out at him.

I stood there – watching. Waiting. When no one came swooping in to act – I chose to be: THAT MOM.

My own mother is pretty notorious for scooping up and reprimanding small children in the church I grew up in. But, since I’m pretty new to the church I now attend, I decided not to go all out on this kid. I walked over to her and she gazed up in me in panic mode.

“Lets go find your mother,” I said calmly to her.

“NO! It was an accident!” she pleaded with me.

I wasn’t about to call some kid I don’t know a liar, so I replied, “I’m not sure that’s accurate.” Then, we went to find her mom. The girl took off running toward her mom – anxious to have the first word. I saw her mom’s face take the shock. I walked up and said, “I just wanted to make sure you knew what happened,” and walked away.

Tell me – what would you have done? Do you become THAT MOM and go narc a kid out? Do you yell at the kid yourself? Do you ignore it completely? How do you handle these scenarios?

 

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