Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kicked in the sweet spot

I don't like getting kicked in the balls. I mean it. Not one bit.

So you can imagine how displeased I was when Bunny squared me up this afternoon.

Here's the story. Bunny and I were inside a friend's house, dropping off Bunny's playmate when it was time to go.

She had gotten comfortable, as we stayed for about ten minutes before having to leave to get JD from school and immediately get to his OT appointment. I gave her all of the expectations I could: we're staying for five minutes. Two more minutes. Thirty seconds. Time to go! :)


Instead of getting angry, I tried to empathize with her, so I picked her up. She willingly came up on me, but then amped up her frustration and started kicking.


Then I became angry. No, I was fucking pissed. Them she became scared while still being upset about having to leave. So I had to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that it was time to leave.

There is a lot that I let go. No, that's not true. I have high expectations of my children. I do let plenty go, but, when it comes to manners and respecting elders, it is near zero-tolerance. Insubordination is dealt with harshly.

Another position might say, how can you expect your child or children to learn good manners when you are yelling at them?

That is a real dilemma. There are times when I am patient, even in those zero-tolerance situations. But when we are in moments of urgency - on our way to an appointment (we have many) - there may not be time for patience. While I am not punctual to a fault, I do respect others' time. And so I utilize the tricks of the trade to help the kids understand what is expected of them. Schedule, countdown, building in a reasonable amount of time for the unknown.

Then they do things to demonstrate that they don't care, that they are the selfish, egotistical creatures that is age-appropriate behavior (especially in our post-corporal punishment era.)

And it is those moments that I really, truly do not know what to do. I don't like to yell or intimidate. It feels awful.

And there is no resolution to this entry. I don't have any answers. I am doing my best, but is that good enough?


  1. I have found that reminding my little girl about my expectations before we start a playdate--no tantrums when it's time to leave; when Mommy says it's time to go, it's time to go, and you can be sad, but you can't throw a fit about it--makes a huge difference. Then when the meltdown is beginning, I can remind her that we already talked about it. And then, afterwards, we talk about how if she cannot behave properly when it's time for playdates to end, she isn't old enough to have playdates.

    That goes along with the expectation setting that you mentioned--and I think I probably started doing that while modeling your consistent (and constant) reminders about your expectations with your kids.

  2. I will give that a try - actually saying the part about not having a tantrum. Like most things, I have to remember that there are no magic bullets - the everything takes time.

    Unfortunately, the part about not having playdates anymore would be a load of crap. Many times, they're out of necessity - for an appointment or something like that.

    Just keep casting that line and hope that a fish catches one of these days. Sometimes they leap into the boat, sometimes all you catch is shit.