I think 1st grade is a tough year for transition. Kids are still such babies and yet, the expectations put upon them scholastically and behaviorally are unrealistic. Evolution hasn’t, well…evolved all that much when it comes to milestones and children. 6 and 7 year olds are basically still fresh from the womb, minus the midnight feedings and diaper changes.
This expectation put upon them causes some sort of emotional rebellion. I find 1st grade to be one of the toughest years. This is my fifth kid going through first grade and it’s only gotten harder. Sigh.
Temper tantrums are worse than the alleged “terrible twos” (which, I’ve never had with my kids, terrible fours were all the rage in my house). Defiant behavior, “no, make me” or worse is par for my typical experience.
It’s really bad right now with my 6 year old. Worse than I remember any of the other kids behaving. My oldest was like this but didn’t open a big mouth to other people, my little one doesn’t care who he is being defiant and having a tantrum towards.
I’m at a loss.
I yell. A lot.
I swatted clothed tushie. A few times. Not hard. In fact, there was no physical pain inflicted. But then again, no point seemed to have been made so my effort was futile.
Sucks to be me when I have a kid who is 100 times more stubborn than me.
Tonight, as usual, my 6 year old was crabby and argumentative. That’s his natural state of being these days but at night, it’s worse.
We got in our usual fight. “Brush your teeth.” “NO.” “Please get your pj’s on.” “NO.”-type fight.
Bad language was used.
I got mad. Because frankly, I’m sick of my children thinking it’s OK to speak to an adult with disrespect. Which, has caught on with my little one.
Not because I hurt him. I already told you my swats don’t hurt. Physically.
He looked at me, eyes shining with tears about to slide down his cheeks.
“Mommy, you always yell at me.” He said, lower lip trembling.
I looked at him and went and put my arms around him. “Mommy yells because I get upset at how you behave. But, no matter what, I always love you. With every single part of my heart, soul, and body. I love you. You don’t like when I’m angry with you, do you?”
“No. It makes me sad.”
“Well, it makes me sad when you make everything very difficult. So what are we going to do about this?” I’m curious to see how he thinks we should solve this.
He looked at me, not really paying attention to what I was saying and completely unconvinced by my words. “But Mommy?” the tears come…
“Your hands don’t love me.”
“Of course they do, honey. Everything about me loves you. When I’m angry with you, it’s only because of how you’re acting. My anger and my love are two totally different things. I’ll love you no matter how awful you act.”
“But Mommy, if your hands love me, then why did they swat me?”
I didn’t know what to say to that.
I realized though, tonight. Part of his acting out lately is because of how I’m reacting to it. We are beginning a vicious cycle. He acts out, I get mad, he gets upset that I’m mad and acts out worse.
I have to keep remembering that he is still a baby…6 years old. He should be able to act like it, temper tantrums and all. I’m the one that needs to change my behavior.
Parenting. It’s the most emotionally exhausting experience. Ever.