Saturday, April 14, 2007

baby's left the corner

Thank you for all your kind words regarding the parenting skills exhibited over at Casa Talia. I spent a day or so strutting around like a fat peacock. But as such, you deserve an update, because god knows I can't leave you with the wrong impression. When I picked M up yesterday the teacher took me aside (oh, the asides!) and said that M used her STOP! NO! technique four or five times as needed until it was apparent she was not going to be listened to. And then she decked the kid.

My Inside Voice was cracking up. But then the teacher said and I couldn't even really get mad at her because she did use her words several times first.

Couldn't even get mad at her? Seriously? So my Outside Voice said I would hope not. And I would expect that you would either intervene before it gets to that point or understand that M has to deal with it in a way that works for her.

Well, said the teacher, they've had no problems since.

Nicely done, kid. I might only say that with my Inside Voice, but I'm thinking it just the same.

And it's worth saying that the friend who keeps going ballistic on her isn't a bully. I've spent some time with her and she seems to process things differently but I have little experience with organic differences so I am not going to speculate. And I've spent a bit of time with her mom and it's obvious she's weary and heartbroken because she is aware of the slowly emerging things that are going to make K unique (and lovely and perfect) in her own right. That doesn't make it any easier on M while she's getting pummeled, but there are always two sides to this sort of thing. In fact, her mom came up to me yesterday (apparently she's had her own share of Asides!) and said how sorry she was. And because I don't quite know how to navigate Conflict With Other People's Kids yet I co-dependently said Oh, it's fine, really. I think they are both participating. And her mom replied, No, I don't think so. She looked sad, and I felt sad too.

And I didn't know what else to say. So let's not get all excited about the parenting skills at Casa Talia just yet. We've still got a ways to go.

33 comments:

wordgirl said...

I have difficulty in this same area. I always have. Though my kids are older, my biggest pet peeve are moms who REFUSE to see how mean their kids are. In fact, when I spend time with the moms I see precisely why the kid is the way he is. Because the mom encourages it.

meno said...

Sometimes violence IS the answer!

Go M!

s@bd said...

It sounds like the other kid may have some social issues? Tough, tough stuff to deal with (for everyone involved).

And YEAH! for M!!

Deezee said...

a ways to go? Nah. As anti-violent as I am, I guess showing a little muscle sometimes is called for. Bravo, M, for knowing when that time came! (and bravo to mama)

ECR said...

I'm still just as excited. I think you're instilling necessary values and suggesting workable action steps, and M is taking them and making them her own by figuring out exactly what works for her. Obviously, it's a process and it's never going to be a particularly smooth one, but I hope I can be as communicative as you, and as able to see the big picture, when I am faced with similar situations.

Mad Hatter said...

Ya, no one ever said childhood was pretty.

QT said...

I am glad that M did that. Truly. I mean, jesus, she shouldn't be getting hit all the time. I don't understand why the adults involved can't step in AT ALL? It isn't a damn dog park where you have to just let them "sort it out".

Ok, done now, since I have no babies and don't know anything about the school yard at this age.

urban-urchin said...

You can't fault M because she had exhausted her non violent options first. She stood up for herself and showed the other girl what the boundaries are in the only language she understands. That is heartbreaking that the mother sees whats coming, I think I have an idea but I won't speculate.

But I also understand your mixed feelings about her hitting K. My husband, much to my dismay, has actually taught the girl how to throw a punch, if neccessary.

Kyla said...

I still think you guys are doing a lovely job. And M used her words until is was clear they weren't doing the trick. At some point we all can be pushed to the point of physically stopping someone from hurting us.

Regarding the little girl and her mom, it is a rough road...the questioning if your child is different, seeing signs emerge, ect. It can be isolating and lonely. If the future affords you any opportunities to be a support, I'm sure she would appreciate it, especially if your girls enjoy each other's company. (in spite of the violence)

Thailand Gal said...

I'm sorry but this is making me chuckle! There are times when there's nothing like a good old-fashioned sock in the nose to put an end to an ongoing problem. LOL


Peace,


~Chani

Hel said...

I'm on your inner voice's side and I still want you to be my mother if that means you can be my sister as well.

Penny. said...

GOOD FOR YOU, JEN! AND, GOOD FOR LITTLE M!!!

Sounds like you and she traversed all the neccessary paths in order to cease the assaults and finally was forced to use a little self-defence - nothing wrong with that.. not even in law. Good.

kgirl said...

Glad M has gotten her space back.
I feel bad for the other mom, but hopefully she's not just being an observer of the problem.

acumamakiki said...

I'm glad M did a smackdown, sometimes it's the only way to get the point across, especially when she used her words. I had to laugh when you said M decked the kid. (=

slouching mom said...

jen, I heart you. Even though I hate that "heart" thing.

What amazes me about this post is the empathy you are able to show for K, who has been making M sad! And, I think even rarer, the empathy you feel for K's mom.

You are one of the good ones.

Momish said...

I can completely relate to the uncomfortable and sketchy situations, and I often feel like a bubbling idiot during those times. I was so surprised the first time I found myself in a toddler mix up and was totally unsure of what to do, how to act, what to say. It was humbling in a way I never felt in my life before. Somehow dealing with the minds of children is so hard and knowing every mom is going through the same insecurity makes it even harder.

You did so well, better than I ever have and M is learing all the right moves (no pun intended). Your heart is always in the right place, so your words and actions are sure to follow as well.

Anjali said...

Well, sometimes Plan A just doesn't work, and you must reluctantly go to plan B. Both you and M did the best you could in a Plan B situation.

mamatulip said...

I read that the other mom had come ON to you. Instead of how she'd come UP to you.

And I was all, "Way to resolve that sitchy-ation, Jen!"

Duh.

Laurie said...

There were a couple of older boys that picked on my son mercilessly when he was in 4th grade. We talked many times about the best way to diffuse the situation, but nothing worked.

Finally he had enough and took matters into his own hands. The teacher that finally pulled him off of them (yes, both of them) said he couldn't get mad at Wolf because the boys had it coming. Those boys never even walked by our house again, they took another pathway home.

I guess we can talk until we are blue in the face, but sometimes kids will do what they feel they have to in the situation.

I still think you "done good".

carrie said...

I think we ALL have a ways to go -- regardless of how long we may have been doing it. There is no "end" when it comes to parenting.

I think you're doing a fabulous job.

Carrie

liv said...

I might have given a hint of it in your original post, but my own little D does have neurological differences which make it hard for him to negotiate social environments. I wish that parents with neurologically typical children could understand, or at least try to, how difficult it is to navigate the situation when your child looks perfect on the outside, but is struggling on the inside. D has his own M. He loves this girl with all of his heart, and can't figure out how to get her attention. He has brought her every flower from our lawn, and also has clocked her any number of times. It breaks me that I can't make his (and his friend's) life easier. Sometimes, it's just speech therapy and occupational work until things change. I've been lucky to be able to speak with the little girl's mom who seems to be most understanding.
Anyway, just my perspective from the land of unseen differences...

KC said...

I love M. I really do. She sounds. Perfect.

But that poor mother.

I recently had the chance to talk with a mother of a child with Down's syndrome and we talked at length about her daughter's abilities, the activities she had carefully planned for her, her absolute love and care for this girl with special needs.

I sometimes think how easy I have it as a mother, even know sometimes it feels so not easy.

Lawyer Mama said...

You know, I don't encourage my kids to be violent either, but sometimes it does work. My oldest has a daycare nemesis too. This kid is 2 years older and always tormenting him. Finally one day Hollis had had it with his "stop it" technique and bit him. Things have been fine since then. And, miraculously, Hollis didn't start employing his conflict resolution "technique" elsewhere.

Yeah for M!

kim said...

That is hysterical, well the decking the kid part. The other so sad. I know so many children with social issues. You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel compassion for this woman. It's the parents of mean kids that I want to skip past using my words and deck.

flutter said...

Yet another reason I am in love with your kid.
Seriously, she tried to use her words first.
I feel for the other mom, and hopefully her kiddo will grow out of this thing she's in.

Tabba said...

Go, M!!

But don't sell yourself short, Jen. Seriously.

crazymumma said...

I've known pummelers in my time. They usually, with decent guidance learn to channel their 'overlove' in more acceptable ways.

sometimes not. But it sounds like the Mother is aware, and that is 99% of the battle....

I love that M decked her. Love it.
I've got her Xena Warrior Princess outfit all ready for her....

Redneck Mommy said...

There have been things I've learned from being thumped and things I've learned from thumping someone. (As a child, of course.)

It's all part of growing up. I believe you are doing your very best and that makes me cheer for you.

As well as M.

(But my heart breaks a little about K and her momma.)

Pendullum said...

Amazing we survive our childhood battles ..,
and I have been giggling over Mamatulip's comment...
'classic'!

Jocelyn said...

The fact that you were inwardly cheering for your own, enjoying her sauciness even, shows that you're just the right kind of parent.

Carrie said...

I think it's only necessary to hit someone with the right reason. I am sure that M had her reason for doing it. I feel sorry for that kid's mom though.

Joker The Lurcher said...

your little one is doing what sher should - a few warnings then consequences. my guess is that the other one is autistic rather than it being behavioural. i used to dread the whole children's party thing - my kid would be the one who had to leave early because he had gone for someone on the bouncy castle. and playtime at school was carnage until my son was at a special school. hope things settle down and if i'm writing with my long-distance diagnosis i hope the other little one gets some help with coping strategies.

Danni said...

She did the right thing. I'm not sure if those warning were clear for the other kid. Maybe the kid wanted to know the real deal. Well, he/she sure did get it.