in our church ward a couple months ago there was a family with a very rambunctious little boy. he was very sweet but big for his age and, like a bull in a china shop, could not control his own strength and size. friends and congregation members would talk about him. he was "that kid." I was embarrassed for the parents and even more embarrassed of the behavior and gossip of the people around me. he's a three year old kid for heaven's sake!!??!
I always wonder: why we don't give each other the benefit of the doubt more!?!?
as a younger person I used to feel angry and upset when I had these feelings.I would react with sarcasm and rudeness. I have a very hard time expressing my feelings when it's something I do not understand. And this attitude towards each other, and especially children, I don't understand. In this scenario, now as an adult with more experience, I react more with kindness and with sadness. I always try to say something in their defense. I'm not perfect, and I'm guilty of thinking there are super obnoxious kids with terrible parents as much as the next person, but I try.
Faye is "that kid"at preschool.
She bit someone the first day. Scratched someone the second day. Third day was in time out. Fourth day she announced she didn't want to play with anyone. She's the only kid who tips the paint all over herself and the floor. Today she had an pee accident all over the shag rug that's probably impossible to clean....... The lists goes on. There have been more days so far with incidents than without. I'm am constantly dreading picking her up to know what it's been that day.
Luckily!! her teacher is wonderful and loves her& is very encouraging& not mean at all. She knows she's a kid. A 3 year-old emotional girl with practically no time to herself who likes, loves and asks for time to play or read books by herself.
How do we as parents face the embarrassment and censure of other parents?? How do we treat our kids? How can I stop the other moms from labeling my kid forever??
The real and simple answer is: I can't. She's labeled. She's never going to have any friends from class because the parents are not going to want her to come to play at their house. The teacher is wonderful and encouraging, but she still has to lookout and spend special attention to make sure that my kid isn't acting out. Two of the little girls in her class she knew from before, with moms I know and loved from before. I thought it would make it easier because they know her, but honestly I feel like it just made it worse. instead of just offending people I don't know, I'm losing friendships. BC OF PEE ACCIDENTS. What??!! I know that the other parents are not giving my kid the benefit of the doubt like I would give theirs. It's a bummer. BUT a big learning experience.
I do not treat my kid any differently. I encourage and use lots of positive reinforcement for good behavior and I love her for who she is. Faye is very sweet, very artistic, loves crafts, loves to lead and be in charge, is overly crazy imaginative, and is aware of other kids' feelings. She's the first one to say "aw that person is sad!" and try to give them a hug. I know that right now, she only gets her mom 2 days a week, for 2 hours during Jimmy's nap. The other days I have extra kids I babysit and her time is shared. All things considered, she does OK.
I think as I've reflected on my own feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, sadness, I've really learned a lot about the pressure we put on ourselves as parents, as well as the unrealistic pressure and expectations we put on our kids. Which is to say: IT'S TOO MUCH. It's ridiculous.
One of my best friends offers advice about potty training to me almost everytime we talk. I finally told her to can it, cause I've potty trained one kid and she hadn't even started potty train hers yet. I'm sorry that my kid has accidents on occasion! it happens! They're so happily playing that they wait too long to run and go. I finally had to come to the conclusion that it's not a reflection of me as a mother, it's just that she's a kid!! and a kid that probably drinks 48 ounces of fluid today. I am NOT a terrible abusive horrible neglectful parent- I just have a kid who has an accident once a month!
Let's just let our kids be kids, okay? Let's not freak out when they steal toys from others on the playground. Let's not judge them and tell them that they're horrible, and not let our kids play with them because they've literally bit someone two times in their lifetime. This kid disgusting drools all over the place all the time. This one is 3 years old and still uses one-word sentences to talk. This little boy only likes airplanes, that little girl will only talk to you if you address her as "Princess ."
THEY'RE KIDS!! I'm sure we can find something annoying about every single one. Let's make a pact to let kids be kids, okay?
And Faye, I love you for all your crazy. You zeal, your bright imagination, and even your inability to express frustration. It's hard to be 3 and frustrated. You will learn to express it better someday, and your mom will love you all the while. You are a wonderful joy me and will always be my lovely little lady :-)