I had “the talk” with my son’s preschool teacher on Tuesday.
By “the talk” I mean the hurried one to two minute Sum Up The Tackler’s Behavior For The Day conversation we grab when my son has already exited stage left and headed for his sister’s pick-up point – even though I asked him to wait.
On days “the talk” is required, my son’s ears have either run out of batteries or are simply turned off until a key word such as “candy” or “movie” is echoing off the artwork decorated walls.
This time she voiced a concern I have had for a while.
“There isn’t a kindergarten teacher anywhere who would be able to keep him in class when he acts like this.”
I adore his teacher and I know she tolerates and works with him more than most would. Because she loves him.
She also only has ten kids, not the twenty or so a kindergarten would have.
It should be noted, the first half the school year ran smooth – The Tackler calmed down considerably when he turned four (the Three’s were Terrible).
I don’t know if it is because he is comfortable now and trusts his teacher. Or if he’s bored.
Or if he just doesn’t care.
It reached a point a Tuesday she flat out asked him, “Do you want to home?”
His vehement shake of “no” was immediate, and I think things turned around from that point on.
I am left at a loss.
My son has good days. He has bad days. He has the mixed bag days.
The child he is on the good days shares little resemblance to one he transforms into on the bad. And vice versa.
The awesome good days make me temporarily wish for another child.
The bad days throw into doubt my parenting skills and instill dreams of five year old boot camp.
The bad days have increased in frequency since January.
I’m keep hoping it is a phase.
Then I think back to my childhood.
I realize we are not so different, him and I.
I’m going to try something new, and go straight to the expert: Mr. Miyagi.
The Tackler is going to start martial arts next week.
We will see how it goes.
But I have hope.
Hope it will give him strength to make the right choices.
Hope it will give him control over his frustrations.
Hope it will teach him respect must be earned.
Hope it will teach him focus for things that are not volcanoes, earthquakes, or in outer space.
Hope it will finally teach him to listen and not ignore.
Hope it will teach him the value of patience and hard work.
Hope it will mold him into the wonderful boy I know he can be – every day.
Too often his perfectionism hinders him – if he cannot do it right, why even try?
Learning to ride a bike was a rare time he pushed through his many frustrations. He would crash into the pavement and scream, “I’m never riding a bike again.” Two minutes later he was pedaling again because for once his need to do something outweighed the challenges.
I want to see him excel in other areas – without having an It’s the End of the World Meltdown Because I Didn’t Draw California Right. Those moments often lead to lashing out at whoever is closest to him.
He’s already professing a wish for a black belt.
I turn to Mr. Miyagi again for a response.
“First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule. Not mine.”
Now how to explain it in five year old terms….
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Has your child ever tested you to the point you just don’t know how to get through to them? Whose advice helps you?