Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's not all sunshine and roses

With every milestone, I am encouraged. Each accomplishment brings pride in him as his own person separate and distinct from myself, the mother and protector. I teach him lessons with hope...that he will grow to be a good boy and eventually a great man. I cheer for him when he needs support. I listen to him when he speaks. I give him the freedom I think he needs to learn to make responsible choices.

And then he slugs a little girl at daycare and makes her cry.

It all comes to a screeching halt and I replay as many memories from his short life as I can recall from the deep dark recesses of my brain. What happened? Is it about me? Did I miss something? Was there a misstep? If so...where? Is it about him? Is there something wrong with him that he would make this choice...to deliberately hurt another person? How did he not learn the lesson necessary to keep him out of this trouble? How did he not learn the lesson that we are all people and we are all precious and we are never never never to hurt each other if we can avoid it?

The circumstances aren't important. We don't hit. Ever. None of us...parents and children alike. We don't even hit another in gest or as a form of play (and at this age there is no reason for a discussion of self-defense). I thought the rule was simple and clear. I was either wrong or he fooled me. Either way...no privileges for a week.

The amusing thing is I JUST had a conversation with my colleague about her 3-year-old little boy and his issues with hitting and biting. Never again will I so confidently utter the words, "I just don't know what to say, I was very lucky with Sam...when I told him we don't hit, he accepted that."

I know, I know...it happens. I know it's a normal part of growing up. I know we will correct this behavior as well as I know that another will pop up to disappoint me eventually. It's just...*sigh*...


Julia said...

For us it was the playing favorites in school, letting someone else persuade her as to who she should be friends with. I couldn't believe she would do that-- I too thought we had this one licked. When we talked about it, she felt horrible about her behavior, and she apologized later. I figure that counts for something. But I am keeping a much closer eye now.
Good luck to you in untangling this.

Kathy McC said...

I am going through the same type of thing with A. I think it's partly the age, and partly a personality thing. A has been doing things lately that I have NEVER seen him do, and what's more, I don't know where he learned them. I know for A it has a lot to do with wanting to fit in and feeling insecure. He is incredibly insecure and I don't know why. You're not alone!

Connie Reagan said...

Our kids are so good at knocking themselves off the pedestals we put them on...in the big scheme of things this is just a kid thing. You are a good mom-you will continue to teach him that he is not to hit people-so don't beat YOURSELF up about it.

My three are grown now. Boy, have they all done things I never would have dreamed they'd do-and I have the grey hair to prove it-but they have all turned out to be good people.

It's hard for any of us to admit that we don't quite have the control over what our kids do that we think we should. But that is just part of being a mommy.

(PS. It's quite amusing being a grandma now and watching my own daughter try to be the perfect mom. And in the process gaining some much needed understanding of me. Heh.)

niobe said...

I remember all too well the horrible feeling (years and years ago now) when my son bit one of the other kids in daycare.