Do you ever feel

like you are the WORST Mother in the world? I do. My sweet boy is not so sweet anymore. He used to be sweet and kind and caring. He used to love other kids and would play with whomever was around and had no problems with it at all. He never balked at a child taking something away from him, he was easy going and nice. This is not the case anymore. My child has been taken over by a mean, screaming, toy-stealing, chair-pushing, jumping on little kids, MONSTER. I don’t know what I’ve done so wrong with him. He is so nice to Amelia, for this I am so grateful…but to other kids, not so much.
On Sunday, we went to our new church for the first time. He went into nursery with the other kids (ages 18 mo. to 3 yrs.) and was understandably nervous. So, I stayed with him, no biggie. He stayed on my lap and wouldn’t talk to anyone. His teacher came over to introduce herself and he buried his head in my chest, fine. However, when a child took a toy that was on the floor that he was eyeing, he SCREAMED! Not just any scream, but a high pitched, shrill scream. The other parents that were in there looked at me like I told him to do it. At another point he pushed a chair into a little girl, pounced on another (they were playing a game like tigers, but he did it from behind and no one else was pouncing), and hit one of the adults (she wasn’t very nice, but STILL!).
Then, today we went to playgroup at the church. He was SO mean to the other kids, again! I just don’t know what to do with him. I can’t stay in my house all the time for fear of what he’ll do to the other kids, but I don’t want to take him out and have him potentially hurt other kids.
I know, he’s just gone through a big change. He’s moved from the only home he’s ever known (the home he was literally born in), all his friends are 1 to 1.5 hours away, and things are different now. But, it is breaking my heart watching him being so mean. Any advice???

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6 Responses to “Do you ever feel”

  1. Kym Says:

    ideas??…consistancy, love, consequences, rewards, and consistancy! especially consistancy! *s* I love all of the weekend pictures! You backyard is great! I’m sure the kiddos are loving it!!!!!

  2. Krista Says:

    Could he be “spirited”? I’m reading “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and wow, does she ever know my son! Maybe it would give you some insight? He’s also getting to an age where he’s exerting his own independence in a whole new way. And add to that the changes you mentioned. E-mail me if you want to chat about it more.

  3. Kim Says:

    He is spirited…the problem with having a spirited child is that you don’t have time to read the book! 😉 One of these days I’ll read it, until then I’ll just keep flying by the seat of my pants with him! 😀

  4. Krista Says:

    LOL So true. It’s taken me 4 months just to read the first 4 chapters (there are 20). Believe me, I understand.

  5. Kelly Says:

    Does he know how to integrate himself into a new social situation? Like, before his life turned upside down, if you went to a new park and he didn’t know anyone else could he figure out how to play with the other kids?

    From what you described, it sounds like he’s feeling insecure. Ditto consistency! With Mr. Social we had to go to a routine schedule so he could figure out how to cope with life for a while. Disciplining him immediately and consistently (same response each time) gave him a sense of security in that certain boundaries hadn’t changed…

    HTH!

  6. Heather Says:

    I ditto both Krista and Kelly. That is an awesome book.

    Also, I had the same troubles with my sweet Scott at the same age. I could not for the life of me figure out why the child who was so kind in our family was so incomprehensibly mean around other kids. When he was almost four and could finally communicate well, I asked him (out of utter frustration) WHY he hit another boy. “I was nerbous.” He told me. That opened up a whole new world for me to finally understand that.

    Chances are, your sweet kid has not turned into a monster and you are definitely not the most terrible mom ever. 🙂

    I’d suggest, along with consistency, compassion and sensitivity to how he’s handling things. For us, it took a lot of coaching on what to expect, how to handle unfamiliar situations, what to do when overwhelmed and also some environment control. I learned not to put him in situations that were too uncomfortable very often. Or, I’d play with him to help him feel safer.

    And time helped more than anything. He just needed time to grow into his own skin. Also, Scott was basically unintelligible to other children until he was about 5. Being able to talk helped.

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