Embarrassment

I am fully aware that, as a mother, I will be an embarrassment to my children at some point.  It seems to be a requirement.  I would imagine that it starts happening somewhere around adolescence.  That point in time when friends become more important to a child than her own family.  That moment when I go from being the loving caregiver to a fat slob who doesn't know how to dress.  (Which, to be fair, is very likely true now.)  It seems inevitable that I will be that person who just DOES. NOT. UNDERSTAND. how difficult it is being my daughter.

I get that but no one ever tells you that your preschooler could be an embarrassment to you.  Lately, I am afraid to say that I have been feeling very ashamed of Vivi's behavior.  In the past two weeks, she has pushed, shoved, and bitten her friends without any obvious provocation.  She seems very angry and I, clueless mother, am bewildered as to why.  This is not the behavior of MY child.  My child is creative and precocious and sweet.  She doesn't need to be aggressive, after all, she has a plethora of words at her disposal.

In other words, what the #$&(#* is going on?

Yesterday, one of my closest mommy friends called to say that Vivi had bitten her son at school and that he was feeling like he didn't want to play with her anymore.  It took a lot of courage for my friend to call me to discuss problems between our children and I am glad that she did.  I appreciated her willingness to talk to me about it and while I may be confused about the reasons why my daughter is acting this way, I am under no illusion that her behavior is getting way out of control.

So, as I write, Vivi is making a picture and writing an apology to her friend.  We will meet them later and discuss what is happening.  I think it is important for Vivi to hear from her friend that her behavior hurts him.  We are trying to walk that fine line between not tolerating bad behavior but also not giving it so much attention that we are reinforcing it.  I'm not sure if this is the right way to handle it but my child psychiatrist husband said my taking away her brand new birthday bike might be a little over the top.

Has this ever happened to you?  How do you handle it?

Comments

  1. oh lord. welcome to the mcgonigle household. . . i thought girls just didn't live here. i took a toy away each time there was an incident. it did seem to work for C. now E. is ramping up, and it doesn't seem to work as well because he does not have such clear favorites... oh hell. i'm sure i'll ask advice in my next post... good luck mama.

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  2. Poor you and poor Vivi! Just more motivation for being the embarrassing one when she's older?
    Helpful, I guess, that husband-child-psychologist said rescinding bike was not a good choice... more helpful if he could suggest what WOULD be a good reaction to the situation.
    Sounds like your reaction was perfect, in my humble-mommy-opinion. Vivi IS creative and precocious and sweet AND articulate... so big big feelings she's having?

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  3. I'm sorry! Honestly, though, I have these kind of problems frequently. My kid is so loving and loud and funny and pushy all the time, other kids (and parents) either get along with him really well, or they don't like him at all. We have lost more than one friend over it. (He doesn't bite...yet. Fingers crossed he skips that stage!)
    I hope Vivi gets over this stage soon! It may help that she is old enough to understand cause and effect a little bit (IF I am mean to my friends THEN they won't be my friends anymore). I am sure whatever is going on will calm down soon. :) Hang in there!

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  4. We had a bit of an issue with biting about a year ago and ended up leaving our daycare as they were making such an issue out of it they wanted us to get services from the school department. maybe I sound like a mommy in denial but after we switched to an environment she had never been bit in and that had more structure and limit setting, she never bit again! She had learned biting in that environment and only ever did it there as well. (She tried it once or twice at home and got a swift timeout!) They would respond with talking about it but no real consequence. Their philosophy was that children can figure out their own conflicts if you let them. Well, they were right. She figured out that if she bit someone then she would immediately get the toy they were playing with and some special attention from the teacher. Not sure any of this applies to your situation but I suggest a consequence immediately following and then talking later when she is being good! Good luck!

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