15 May 2007

Parented Out

The last week has been the most challenging, trying, exhausting and difficult week in parenting Bella and Bubaloo thus far. We're tired. We're frustrated. We're losing our wits. And, we're on the verge of feeling defeated.

In the last 24 hours, we've become caught in a tunnel of endless consequences. There doesn't seem to be an end and it seems that more bad behaviour and poor choices only net the same bad behaviour and poor choices.

Bubaloo was caught stealing snacks from his classmates lunches last week at school. His teacher indicated that she though it had been going on for about a week. As we began to untangle the web of stories with him, it turns out he had been stealing for much, much longer. About a month and a half.

It all started when he lost his full lunch and lunch bag at school. Instead of telling a teacher, or asking to call home to get a new lunch, he decided to steal to feed himself. This started him on a bandwagon of thievery that only escalated with time. By the time he was caught, he had found a partner in crime and was up to two snacks a day.

The consequence we handed out was that he needed to use his allowance to replace all of the snacks he had stolen from his classmates and apologize to his class for stealing from them. He said to Wifey at the grocery store when purchasing the snacks, "Boy, do I look foolish."

Bella verbally threatened a classmate last week as well by telling him that she would "cut his body up into a whole bunch of pieces and squish them like ladybugs." When called upon by a teacher for this behaviour, she red-faced denied that she ever said that. By the time she got home, her memory had returned, and she admitted the threat.

We discussed how words of anger can be threatening because people are fearful of the action. We talked about better ways to deal with anger and frustration. And, Bella felt that an appropriate consequence would be to write an apology letter.

The apology letter was written and delivered on Monday. Only, she didn't really apologize for what she said. And, that got the other kid more upset and the teacher was called in to mediate the conflict.

This was the tip of the iceberg that began last week. Since then, the pile of offenses has been racking up at an exponential rate.

Bubaloo was sent home from school yesterday for swearing in the classroom - and don't get us started on this for sending a kid home for uttering motherfucker while playing an army game with a friend during indoor recess in the classroom.

Bella missed gymnastics last night because she got distracted by a comic while getting ready to leave for the activity.

Bubaloo ran through the house with muddy shoes after I had spent the whole day cleaning the house and had asked them to take them off.

Bella wasn't ready to go to school this morning because again she was reading a comic.

Ugh, I can't even remember what else has been testing my patience and anger threshold.

Schools are hypervigilant today. Kids' programs are hypervigilant. In turn, I feel like I'm becoming this hypervigilant parent.

Generally, we don't have major behavioural issues with our kids at home. They listen, they're respectful for the most part, and they don't act out in the home the way they do at school.

Writing all this down is cathartic. This looks ridiculous on paper. It's the small, silly, minutiae that's gotten me so riled.


Pendullum said...

But they are things that are happening... they are not mundane... and it is important to vent... vent away... that is part of the reason to blog... and we can all nodd...and send voices of encouragement your way... You are not alone... and well, it all piles up if it is kept in....
And Boy,what a week you did have...and you are still standing...

Humpty Dumpty House said...

Yes, one good night with the munchkins, a dose of perspective, and today is definitely looking much better.