Something’s up and we’re not really sure what it is. The Little Monkey was coming out of the terrible twos but then all of a sudden we’re noticing some not so fun changes. She’s extremely emotional, has irregular sleeping patterns and refused an afternoon nap despite being exhausted and cranky. Time outs have not worked for us either. Shrilling screams, yelling and a banging of toys ensues until another distraction comes along. An emotional wrecking ball is probably the best way to describe her over the last two weeks. We’re trying our best to address the emotions and help her process them but she’s only open to this after an hour of headache inducing crying fits.
Yesterday she woke up at 6:30 a.m. It may be the norm for some kids but it’s not at ours. This was three hours prior to her usual rise and shine routine and I knew I was headed for trouble the rest of the day.
Despite the cranky attitude I decided to take her and Baby Boy to an event we were invited to and things seemed okay. Until she hit a child. With a wooden car. That mommy moment when you go.. crap I should go tend to this immediately! Which is what I tried to do but failed miserably. With Baby Boy strapped to me, I barely managed to scoot down to her level and when I did she decided to run away and steal toys from another kid. My demands to say sorry because hitting is not nice fell on deaf ears and she stood her ground. I’d like to think that the boy had done something equally bad to prompt this attitude but I know that was not the case.
The rest of the morning followed a similar route with her grabbing toys from everyone and yelling “I don’t like him”. I was at a media event and was tempted to carry out my threat of going home because she refused to say sorry but I failed. I didn’t follow through. That’s rule #1 broken right? Exhaustion, refusing to eat breakfast and toddler frustrations could have all rolled itself into one ugly ball. All I know is that I couldn’t get through to her and so I tried my best to remove her from the vicinity of the other kids (as much as was possible in the small space where the event was held).
Looking back I still don’t know exactly how I could have handled the situation. Should I have said sorry to the kid? The poor guy was a bit older and his mom did a great job explaining how the Little Monkey was not happy and not ready to apologize. But what was my role there? I would have taken her to a corner and had a discussion were we at home but we weren’t. We’ve seen her thump Baby Boy a couple times over the last week but this was the first time I witnessed a full on hit to a stranger.
We continued the discussions in the car ride back home and eventually she said “I don’t like those boys. “”. I couldn’t get anything else after this sentence but I’m hoping she doesn’t go around beating all boys she meets! Looks like we have our work cut out in the upcoming weeks and I’ll have to pay close attention to her mood, diet and interactions with new kids to see if this is a one off or if there’s a pattern developing.
How do you handle bad behaviour in a group setting?