Monday, October 3, 2011

Pulling the Santa Card

Picture of me, taken by Ivy - Summer 2011
It is official.  Threes are more terrible than the two's.  I love her dearly but Big Sister has taken an interesting turn lately.  It all started with a bad report at school.  She had scratched another little girl and gotten time out.  Time out?  My child?  We had just had Parent's Night where her teacher raved that she never has any problems with our angel!  Perhaps my daughter had her super radar far-away hearing aid on that night and heard it....  and decided "I'll show them!"  Her first time out was the next day.

Then the next day, she got sent to (wait for it...) the director's office.  Her little yellow behavior school bus went from green to yellow to RED!!  The details are foggy now...  it involved scratching several times, and laughing when she had to sit in time out.  Today was the fourth day we've gotten such a report.  No more trips to the principal's office, but time out nearly every day!  What is going on?? 

We've made her apologize to the teacher each time (again), and she's grounded from the iPhone and special things like watching movies and playing on the computer.  She doesn't seem to care.  We talk about it (maybe too much), she says she doesn't know why, and gets upset and looks like my precious tears-streaming-down-her-baby-face angel.  (Her teacher says it's because she wants whatever they have and gets mad when they won't bend to her will).

I am reminded of a line from Tangled.  "I can't help but notice you seem to be at war with yourself." 

While it's maddening that nothing we do or say seems to have an impact, it does seem like she's having an internal struggle too.  Trying to figure out right and wrong, what to do with some feelings she has - like when she wants something but can't have it, how to resolve that.  It's tough to be on the parenting end of this because you need to accomplish all of the following:  discipline your child, help her understand and resolve her feelings about things, figure out how to help her behave when mom and dad aren't around - and protect her current and future victims.  As if she'd listen to us.  Hah.

Tonight I pulled the Santa card.  "He's always watching you, and he only wants to give toys to children who are nice to their friends- not little girls who scratch their friends."  (Oh yes I did that, and I cringe now.... I don't want her thinking she's a bad girl.)  But she's too smart, she's not buying it.  "He can't see me from far away."  Ever the realist, I played the Santa card and it fell flat.  Got any ideas?

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