In order to prevent Max from being the first Albertyn to be expelled from (play) school, I need some parenting / professional advice please. My dear beloved child, the one who was such a sweet little baby, has turned into a bloody naughty little boy. Who hits other children. And it is stressing his mother out completely.
What do you do with a child who hits?
Max has never been the most well-behaved child in his play school (not by any stretch of the imagination) but since coming back to school after two weeks off after his tonsillectomy, things have gone a little pear shaped. Every day last week he was on the naughty chair at home time because he had hit another child. He doesn't do it maliciously and he isn't targeting one child in particular, he is hitting for attention, as some kind of joke. Except that it isn't very funny at all.
He isn't cross when he hits (although he will hit out of frustration sometimes, but somehow that seems more more 'normal'), he is normal (playing / happy) when he hits. As I said, it is as if he thinks it is funny. Or at least, our reaction (gasp of horror) and the other child's reaction (wail) is funny. He does it to Adam and Kate. He will suddenly hit them and then when they shout and chase after him, he thinks its a big game and he runs away laughing.
The worst was when Max hit a little girl at school for the third time this week. A sweet, quiet, gentle girl whose parents were obviously very upset about it. So upset that they wanted to call me to talk about it. I felt TERRIBLE. I sent them an email apologizing and they sent a super gracious response which made me feel both better (thank God they were ok) and worse (what nice people, I feel terrible that my son hurt their daughter!).
The teacher and I have spoken about it and we have come up with a plan to address it at school. Max's teacher is a super sweet, super loving woman who uses a soft and gentle approach with her charges, but I've since persuaded her that soft and gentle aren't going to cut it with Max. She needs to be very firm with him. He needs to know that hitting the other children is totally unacceptable. She is going to keep an eye on him and also keep him away from the little girls (same age as him) on the mat etc. Which is fine, but between the three teachers they have 20 other children to keep an eye on and I really don't want Max to hit at all, not just when someone is keeping an eye on him.
I know he is hitting to get a reaction, but how do you not react when he hits? It is so hard for me not to go swooping in and reprimand him strongly. We obviously can't ignore it, so my suggestion is that his 'punishment' for hitting must be time out. And not just time out to play on the mat with some toys, but time out where he is deliberately excluded from the groups activities. A boring time out that might even make him sad.
I understand that hitting and biting are not uncommon behaviour for three year old boys, especially three year old boys who can't talk that well yet. But I can't just let it go. I feel absolutely terrible that he has / is hitting other children. Last week another three year old bit Max on the arm and the mother was distraught. All I felt was relief - thank god it was my child who was bitten and not doing the biting or hitting for once. It is harder being the mom of the hitter than it is being the mom of the child who got it.
I know I am obviously biased as he is my child, but I don't get the sense that Max is being deliberately malicious or mean or is trying to hurt other children. I think he is trying to get a reaction, but whatever the reason, something still needs to be done.
Any suggestions / advice / experience?
PS Max really is far more um, spirited / busy / physical (BLOODY NAUGHTY!!) than Adam and Kate were at his age. I think this is partly due to the fact that the twins are very rough with him, partly because I am a bit of a pushover when it comes to my 'baby', partly because he is a busy three year old boy and partly because he just is who he is. He is a busy, boisterous little boy. Whatever the reason, it is bloody exhausting!
PPS I adore that child more than I probably should. He is my baby and we are totally in love with each other. Gorgeous child. Naughty child.
I am terribly sorry to carry on like this - I know all this Sporty Spice / Running Barbie stuff is very boring but bare with me -I am sure the enthusiasm will settle after a while.
I need some more advice: I want to buy a thingy (watch?) that I can use to motivate myself further. I would like something that will measure the distance I run as well as the time I run for when I run on the treadmill. And maybe other interesting info like speed etc. It would also be interesting to have a heart rate monitor thingy so that I can track my fitness level. I would like to be able to sync it to a website as easily as possible so that I can spam all of you with my achievements. Not too bulky or fussy, remember that I don't wear a watch at all, or any jewelry (sensory issues) so I will need to get used to having something on my arm. Would prefer not to pay huge sums of money obviously as we don't know how long this fad is going to last. If it could cook, clean and offer to do blow jobs as well, that would be great.
Any advice or recommendations?
PS I ran another 5kms this morning, improving on my time by 1 full minute (but still being conscious of sticking to the SLOW pace of the arthritic sloth as recommended by Doctor Mama.) Her approach really REALLY works. I can't even begin to tell you which a significant difference it has made to my motivation, my enthusiasm, my breathing, my stamina, my results. So simple and so effective.
PPS It is quite off putting when you are running as fast as an arthritic sloth to have the misfortune of having the equivalent of a hamster on speed running next to you. OMG! Way to look like you are running in slow motion. Luckily the hamster moved on fairly quickly.
A while ago I admitted publicly that I am considering maybe perhaps taking up running. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak - I was unable to run longer than about 90 seconds to two minutes at a time without being forced to slow down due to a stitch or the distinct possibility of my heart exploding out the top of my head.
Many of you responded on my blog on FB and had lots of good advice. Thank you. I read all the links and info you sent to me. Most interesting! One of my oldest (and I mean she is really very old, I think she is like a hundred or something) friends Amy suggested (insisted) that I take a look at DoctorMama's blog for some running advice. And I am so glad she did - I absolutely loved what she wrote. Lots of practical advice and tips. One of the things DoctorMama said that really made sense (and she says it over and over in different blog posts) is that you need to S L O W down. You need to run as fast as an arthritic sloth. She said that if you aren't getting anywhere or enjoying your running, you are running too fast. She says:
"Everyone makes the same mistake when starting out: going too fast. When you start, you need to go SLOWLY. So slowly that you could probably walk faster. So slowly that you will feel humiliated if you see anyone you know."
It made sense so I tried it. Instead of walking for my full 30 minutes (with 90 second sprinting spurts interspersed), I broke into a very gentle trot after a few minutes. I have to admit I was a little sheepish at first at just how slow I was "running". But then I ran for six whole minutes before having to slow down to a walk. I felt like a total winner! SIX whole minutes!
The next time I ran, I ran for FIFTEEN minutes before having to slow down for a walk. This morning I walked / ran for 5 (FIVE!) kms and I ran for 15 minutes / 12 minute and 10 minute stretches. And I enjoyed every minute of it!
I AM SO EXCITED!!
The trick really is to slow down. If I run slow, my back doesn't hurt and I don't have to stop for a stitch after two minutes.
The hardest part for me is to avoid getting a stitch. Otherwise I feel as if I could carry on even longer. It is the stitch that makes me stop after 10 / 15 minutes. I know this is all about breathing, but I am struggling to find a breathing rhythm that works for me. I'll get there. I am sure I will figure out a rhythm that will allow me to run for longer without getting a stitch. What does seem to work is to take 3 breaths in and 3 breaths out. 'Ish. I find having to concentrate on the breathing a bit of a pain and it takes away a bit of the enjoyment of the run. Its quite distracting having to concentrate so hard on the breathing, but if I don't I find I get a stitch quicker. Any advice on the breathing thing would be appreciated.
So, if you see someone resembling an arthritic sloth on the move, that would be me. Please don't point and laugh (at least not where I can see you).
PS bought two running pants, two new bras and two pairs of running socks as a treat. Yay!
Thank you for inviting me to tell your readers about Short Story Day Africa, 20 June 2012. SSDA inspires readers, writers, publishers and, well, everyone who loves fiction, to celebrate the art of the short story. We have a lot going on: events, competitions and giveaways for both adults and kids.
Kids! That is exactly why I have contacted you. I am the kiddie co-ordinator for SSDA, and we have two very special writing competitions for Africa’s youth. The YA competition (see info here and here) is being judged by the award-winning YA author, S.A. Partridge. Anyone between the ages of 12-17 resident in an African country can enter. A R500 Exclusive Books* voucher and signed copies of her three novels are up for grabs. The winning entry will be published on our website amongst the stories of some of Africa’s most talented writers, giving one aspiring author serious bragging rights.
Botswana's award-winning YA and children's writer, Lauri Kubuisile, will be judging the under 12s writing competition. (Click here and here) Kids can win a R250 Exclusive Books* voucher, as well as one of Lauri's books. All stories will be entered into a lucky draw, so kids can win simply for trying.
I hope the children will have fun creating the stories. I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with. Many thanks for your support in promoting reading and writing in Africa’s youth. Anybody interested in our project can see more on our website:http://shortstorydayafrica.org/
A while back I posted that my children's photos were stolen by someone who pretended the children were their own as part of a sick internet hoax. The full story about the elaborate hoax was published on Gawker yesterday. It makes amazing reading. Link
The Long, Fake Life of J.S. Dirr: A Decade-Long Internet Cancer Hoax Unravels
On the evening of May 13, Mother's Day, a Canadian woman named Dana Dirr was hit head-on while driving to the Saskatchewan hospital where she worked as a trauma surgeon. She was 35 weeks pregnant, but determined to work until the moment she gave birth. The morning after the crash, her husband John ("J.S.") Dirr posted a note on Warrior Eli, a Facebook page the Dirrs had created to document their 5-year-old son Eli's battle with cancer: "Last night at 12:02am I lost the love of my life," J.S. wrote. "I lost my wife, the mother of my children, and my best friend." Miraculously, Dana had held on in the hospital just long enough to have her baby—a daughter, and the Dirr's eleventh child. Read more here LINK
But that theft pales in comparison to the most recent theft where a young woman in Ohio spent over eleven years building a massive fabricated family (starting when the young woman was only 11, no less) named Emily Dirr. Read more here