Of School and of a grumpy kid

September 10, 2011


With my Kalel back in school and now at Grade 1, I have another reason to celebrate on weekends when I could be up late. Being in Grade 1 means putting the him to bed early and while I still hit bed around 12 midnight, we both wake up at 5:30 am. Adjusting my body clock is just crazy and I could only be glad I don't see signs of the same from my son. At times I could just kid my husband that I wish he's just around to give me a hand :-)

Kalel on his first day in school.

One morning after I gave breakfast and bathe Kalel, his auntie offered to send him off to the bus. Nastily, Kalel said:
"No, I dont need you! Mama will come with me!"
"But why?" I asked as if it was a deal.
"Maybe because the other kids have their mama's with them!"
Sweet, I thought. I hope he'll be this way even when he grows.

Tease Kalel that he did not win or that he's a baby, and you could be sure of a fuming kid. At a point, I thought he has now reached his "terrible" stage. From a sweet Gremlin, I now raise my voice, and his dad had once used a little of force to discipline him. Instances that aggravates when both parties are aggressive and could only calm down when either party offers a hug. Like yesterday. It took him 30 minutes shouting mad at the mouthpiece while we were on Skype with his dad. Since it's the weekend and I was not stressed, I kept mum to avoid our usual arguments. What only made it worse was when I decided to take photos and video of his acts.

A few minutes more of his shouting and he suddenly came to me, hugged me and said "Sorry Mama! Sorry Mama!". You could imagine some little tears streaming down my cheeks that time.

My husband always remind me to keep my cool each time I get frustrated on our son. I would always say his attitude changed when he started attending school. Sometimes I wish we could just keep our son at home to be sure he's not exposed to bullies, tantrums and other negative attitudes. But this is social reality to face which also defines parental responsibility to guide and start the growing wisdom of the child.

We noticed that his raising his voice mirrored how we raise our voice on him. He thinks he can just do the same. Then I sat and realized most of those times I raise my voice are when he does not act according to our expectations. We expect him to be a big boy who does not mess the house, we expect him to be a big boy all behaved. We expect him to be a sweet boy so he'll not be hated and not made an outcast.

Now I convinced myself that my Gremlin is still too young for high expectations, after all, he is just five years old (and 2.5 months). And after all, some still say he's sweet.

Expecting less = no raising of voice = toned down Gremlin. I hope this works.

One of Kalel's happy faces

1) He does not miss to declare himself "winner" whenever he starts a race. We now teach him to accept defeat by intentionally letting him come second (eg, getting ahead than him during swimming races).
2) With point 1, he still find ways to declare he's a winner (eg, in the lift, he needs to press the level we need to reach. We intentionally press it ahead than him. So he presses the "close" button and declares "We're both winners - you press 2,  I press close!"
3) While his "why" questions lessened, his making excuses and reasoning out is now more common.

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