The last few months have our boys moody, whiny, angry and defiant. Kindergarten is HARD. Most of you know this. Most of you warned me and like every parent does I said ‘oh not my kid, he will be great’. The year starts off great. They come home with more attitude and defiance but it can easily be handled. The tears are more frequent on some weekends than others but all in all it’s manageable.
The Pre-K student starts school and within a month you are parent helper and cannot believe his behavior. Maybe it’s because I’m around. I ask the teacher and no this is the norm. He is borderline or maybe a complete disruption to the class. We work with the school and the teachers to come up with ways to help him excel but every school day you wonder ‘was it a good day or a bad day.’ There are moments, maybe many moments where you say out loud, ‘I don’t know how to parent this.’ Or ‘I’m not sure this was the best way to handle this situation but I’m lost.’
Kindergarten has rocked our boat. The younger son misses his brother terribly. The older son is finding his independence and wants less to do with his brother. The younger son can’t accept this so he instigates, pesters and does whatever he can to get the attention of his brother back. He wants his play mate back. Our weekends are full of screams, punches and door slamming….the kids are doing this. Not us. We pretty much just say to each other ‘what the eff do we do?’ of ‘what the eff is happening’. Don’t worry we make sure the kids don’t hear us dropping the f bomb in the kitchen. Now damn and shit are another story. I’m trying.
So we get a feelings chart, we start a thankful jar for the month of November. We talk about the ways we showed kindness or ways we were helpful that day. We try desperately to be consistent with it. Both boys had a ROUGH day at school last week. So we all sat in a circle on the floor and talked about it. Cheesy. Yes. Nauseating. Maybe. But ignoring the issue and screaming about it would get us no where.
This is how kindergarten rocks the boat. It takes away those easy mornings where you all stay in your pajamas cuddled on the couch and watch too much TV. Those mornings didn’t happen every week but they always seemed necessary when they did happen. On the busy mornings we made sure to have down time after lunch. It really was simple during the preschool days. It felt hard have two toddlers so close in age but today seems harder. Behavior issues are coming up. Food allergies and feeling left out are coming up. The drama has increased because the exhaustion at 4pm is overwhelming. But there is soccer practice, allergy shots or swim. It’s been tempting to take out the activities but it is something they enjoy. Scheduled down time after the practice is mandatory.
The mornings (and some evenings) are now full of hustle. Get dressed, eat breakfast and make sure you eat enough, pack lunches, make another breakfast and make sure they get outside to run. But now they are hungry again. Grab a third breakfast to scarf down on the 2 minute drive to school. Let the preschooler run and get his energy out in hopes he will sit still. He doesn’t sit still. Ever. Contemplate a potential diagnosis and figure out how to get all that started.
The tears are bigger now. The tantrums are bigger. The moodiness is intense. We will go forward and handle it. Chores, feelings, down time, quality time and family fun is how we will handle it. No one ever said parenting is easy and some seasons are easier than others. We are definitely in the hard season and if you are too then let’s go for a walk and whine about it. Even adults need a whine session here and there.