And so do little girl attitudes.
Fabul-O is no longer at the private school she’s been going to. She’s been there since the very first day she started day care and worked her way through K4. Our intention was to leave her there, well, forever. But due to some issues, we made the decision to pull her out and she will start public school in the fall. With that came for a need for new daycare. I found a place right next to our house that had 90% of what we were looking for. Well, the Y in the town I work in has a summer camp type program that will allow her to experience change, do some fun things (i.e. swimming every day) and be close to me for the summer since she’ll be so far in the fall. Okay, well the last was for me, but you get my point. She will be here until the end of July and then we’ll transition her to the new daycare for a few weeks until school starts.
I have done everything I know to make the transition as smooth as possible: positive talk about change, buying new swimsuits, new bag to carry her goods in, new thermos since we have to pack her lunch every day. I thought I had done good. Until she started on Monday. My sweet, loving, well-mannered child turned on me in the blink of an eye. No manners. She told me to leave and don’t come back. She told me I was not invited to watch her take swimming lessons. She told me I needed something else to do besides look at her. After the initial jaw dropping and fury, I cried. No, I didn’t just cry. I sobbed. Hard. My cute little girl turned into the spawn of S@t@n. Her words were biting and harsh. As a general rule, we don’t speak to anyone the way she spoke to me, especially in front of her. I’m sure some of it is the age. She’s 5-1/2. I’m sure a greater part of it is the change. She’s been with the same group of kids since she was 15 months old. Her life was constant and she thrives off consistency. I uprooted her and I accept that. I knew there would be some backlash to come, which is fine, but I explained why what she said and her actions were wrong and I expected her to watch it. Didn’t phase her one iota. So, Monday she scored herself the opportunity to have dinner, take a bath, brush her teeth and go to bed early. I attributed part of it to being overly tired with swimming and all things new. Tuesday wasn’t any better and Wednesday started off okay, but quickly went downhill. Three nights this week, privileges have been revoked (no t.v., no games, no nothing) and her evening events have been dinner, bath, teeth brushing, bed. She sucks it up and does it.
Despite the reasons for her behavior, it’s not acceptable. We’ve always been able to talk through things with her. When she gets in trouble, we explain what it is she did wrong, why it was wrong and what her punishment is. It has always worked well. Until now. She’s been given multiple opportunities to talk to me and tell me what is going on with her so we can fix it together. We also talk about choices and about how choices affect us and we can’t always go back and change our mind. It’s just how we roll.
I’ve been chastised a little about the punishment I’ve doled out for her sass, back talk and being obstinate. She knows she’s being mean and saying not nice things. She knows she has hurt my feelings. She knows it. She acknowledges it and, no, she’s not just saying it because I’ve coached it to her or beat it into her. She’s pretty good about knowing right from wrong.
Yesterday evening my last button had been pushed. Pushed hard. Way in deep. She was not only rude to me, but another parent with whom I was talking. She was pouting, sticking her lip out and being disrespectful. We had a looonngg drive home and, honestly, I was overdone with the behavior, so I made her sit up and look straight ahead, rest her hands in her lap and smile. All the way home. All 44 miles of it. By golly, if she wasn’t going to behave and be happy, she was sure going to look like she was. And you know what? Didn’t do a thing except make her mad, which I’m okay with. Really. Rules are rules and disrespect is NOT part of our summer program.
It has to get better. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’m going to make it.