Today was the first day of Kinder for my son, which was filled with emotion – as all firsts are. We chose to home school/charter, but are associated with a learning center that allows for a 5 day/week drop-off. Today was the first drop-off, which looked promising when my son walked in and saw a friend from pre-school and immediately went outside to play. I was so overcome with emotion I had to bite my inner cheeks to hold back the tears. I was so proud of my little guy already acclimated and wanting to be there. However, it wasn’t that easy – why would it be with my “spirited” child?
Maybe I made the mistake of hanging around in the foyer to get to know some of the other parents, but my little guy walked out of his classroom pissed because the teacher had started class and it didn’t allow for his desired lego time. While most kids can be talked to, reasoned with, and often respectful of authority; mine scowls at all of it. He does not care who you are and what you may or may not think. While part of me is proud of his confidence, it makes it incredibly difficult to get him to do anything other than what he wants to do.
His love of defiance is the bane of my exhaustion. I’ve tried so many ways to counteract – calm, happy suggestions of other activities, firm explanations of desired things being confiscated, to the down and dirty spankings. He Does. Not. Care. He didn’t want to color with the other kids or read a book on the rug, but I was able to finally convince him to sit with me to read together, but now here I was imposing on the teacher’s classroom. I understand she needs and has the control of her classroom and the students and having parents there alters the dynamic. I was able to walk away while he read with some other kids, only to have him run out of the classroom again wanting me there with him. After asking the TA if I could stay a bit, I sat through the classroom introductions, then we all went for outdoor play where the defiance escalated.
Now, he chose to complain about being hungry and hot (he chooses to wear a fire fighter’s coat and hat over his clothes), which both the teacher and myself told him to take off his jacket, but that just stoked his fire. Did I also mention my son is strong, like really strong…and big and solid? So, he chose to fight with the TA about going inside, trying to push his way into the doorway she was blocking. And this is where I absolutely wanted to cry. (and now writing this, I am and finally get to release this frustrationsadnessfear). I know my son…I know when he gets angry he gets physical and my biggest fear is him hurting someone else. It’s really hard to think of this as a phase he’s going through and his inability to express his emotions.
After having another talk with him asking why he was choosing this behavior with no success; I moved into a firm talk threatening to take away all tech toys – pad, tv, movies, etc if he continued his behavior and took him back outside, gave the teacher my phone number, distracted him with the stink bugs some other kids were playing with and snuck out.
I know this teacher is capable of handling her classroom of children, but the guilt I’m now feeling for leaving a wound up ticking time bomb makes me feel sick. I know I’m not going to get a call today to pick him up and I know this is what it will be for at least the first week, but it doesn’t make it easier every time we go through these changes. Hoping for a kinder rest of my day.