Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Can you say: Total Embarrassment?

Hi. Do you guys remember how I said Noah has been having some anger issues and problems with hitting and scratching at home?
Well, today he did the unthinkable. At least that's what I thought. Today he hit his teacher in the face! I was so mortified. Noah was angry about having to go into class or something like that. She cheerfully picked him up, Noah said : "No, no no!" and hit her in the face.
I apologized profusely and told her that we are taking this hitting thing very seriously. I asked that all of the teachers let me know if he hits in class and that if I have to, I will pull him out of school until he can learn to act nicely.
The teachers are so sweet and kind, of course she just laughed and said: "It's ok, they're so young, maybe if he was hitting at a little older age, that would be different." I understand, but we need to stop this now, before it gets worse. I was so embarassed. They also said he won't eat lunch and with a laugh: "That he walks around like he owns the place." Oh my...that's not good. I told them that it was funny because Noah thinks he owns our house too!

You know what Noah needs (well, other than to stop hitting) a career. Yeah, seriously, he needs a position where he would be in charge, call the shots. I bet he'd love to lead a pack of visitors around a train museum or somthing. I'm not even joking, if he had the verbal skills, the understanding of what he was doing and a work permit, I think Noah would thrive on pointing out different trains for hours and roaming a big space like a museum. He'd walk around like he owned the place. ;)


Laura said...

Oh Lauren! I totally feel for you when your battles with Noah. It must be a trend for that age and also for only children. Caitlin thinks that she's queen of the castle too. On more than one occassion, she has hit/bit/spit on Ben or I. When they are young, the acting out is sometimes their only way of communicating what they don't like. You know this already, I'm sure. What we found to work with Caitlin was telling her that she had hurt so-and-so and that we would not do what she wanted until she apologized. Giving her the silent treatment often worked. Then again, we have resorted to the time out corner too.
Hang in there, it can't go on like this forever. Once his vocabulary picks up, I think the hiting and everything will be mimized. Don't worry though, most kids think they are the center of the universe. They don't develop the sense of "others" until about preschool age, some even later than that. I'm sure Judy knows more about this than I do.

Jonathan said...

Right, everyone loves the boss who walks around like they own the place.

Again, high hopes for the time out chair....

Judy said...

Laura - you took the words right out of my mouth!

Tyler has been hitting us - a lot - lately. He thinks it is hysterical for the most part, and we all have to be on board with the "no hitting" around here, including Travis (it is really hard for him not to just whop his little brother back!). Tyler has been in time out twice today for hitting.

But Laura hit it right on the head. At this age, while they get angry and frustrated, they don't understand these feelings, and they don't know how to express themselves verbally. There has to be an outlet and many kids turn to hitting, biting, spitting, pinching, any number of things as a response. While it is still wrong, keep in mind that he is expressing himself. He didn't want to go into the room, but he didn't know how to tell his teacher this, so he hit her. And he hit her in the face more than likely because of eye contact and she was speaking to him (I hear things I don't like coming from here, so that's where I'll hit kind of mentality). It also shows that he has a relationship with this gal as his teacher that he actually listens to what she says, even if he doesn't like what he hears or chooses not to obey (like at lunch).

Case in point: When I taught three's, I had a girl in my class that was very delayed in her speech. Not only that, but what she did say was often indecipherable. She went to speech twice a week, but it wasn't until she was almost 5 before any of us knew what she was saying. Anyway, when she was in my class, she often got into trouble because she couldn't verbally express herself. She couldn't tell people not to take the pink crayon because she was using it or not to build blocks there because she and a friend were playing there. She couldn't tell others that she didn't like that book or that they just bumped into her. So, when something made her angry or hurt or upset, she hit - a very wrong response, but it was HER response. There were several times she bit, too, but let's not go there, okay?

Anyway, Lauren, I'm not going to tell you that what Noah is doing is "normal" behavior because I'm not there, but what happened at the school is an example of a normal reaction when you have no way of getting your thoughts out. He is an extremely smart boy to have these preconceived notions of what he likes and what he doesn't like at such an early age, and to be that passionate about his opinions.

(((HUGS))) to you, Lauren. But, don't think that his behavior is unusual. It isn't. You'd be really surprised at how many other little tikes react like this!

And, about the eating, don't push him to eat. If all he will eat is pretzels, fine. If the next day all he wants is hot dogs, okay. Offer him everything in small amounts, and when the food fight ensues, he's done. He'll eat when he is hungry. Travis sometimes would go DAYS without a substantial meal and then gorge himself for an entire day - I asked my pediatrician about it, and he said that we'd keep an eye on it for another year and see what happened, and by golly, he was a different eater a year later. All those good things you fed them as a baby that they would eat? Broccoli, peas, carrots, etc - yeah, soon he'll be like all the rest - addicted to fries and nuggets, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs! But, more than likely, he'll outgrow that, too.

Jeremy said...

I think he has agression issues that can only be worked out in one place... and that's in the squared circle!

I'm proposing we start a baby fight club. It's going to be the next huge parenting craze, I'm almost certain.

Rule # 1: You don't talk about baby fight club


Rule #3: If this is your first night at baby fight club, you've gotta fight.

Bree said...

It's normal. Stay firm and consistant, and he will finally learn. I wanted to ask you about how he laughs when you put him in the crib- Jack used to do the same thing. When you put him in there, do you take away the nuks and blankie, too? I didn't realize it, but in order for it to work for Jack the crib had to be bare, I usually tossed the stuff on the floor so he could see it but not reach it, a double whammy.
I also used a time out chair, which worked well,but I had to hold him there, he would not sit. He HATED that big time. Eventually,he figured it out. I think you have to keep re-evaluating your methods as they get older, but what you are doing right now is good. Right now with Jack and DJ we are using the 3 strikes and you're out thing, and that is working wonders for them. The ped recommended it for DJ with the ADHD, he said he knows what he is doing is wrong, so don't fight it, just warn and when he gets to 3, he goes to his room. So far so good, but Noah might be a little young for that. Maybe find his currency, Dr. Feel is always talking about that. If he really likes trains is there some sort of reward/consequence that you can work out that involves them? Maybe tell him if he doesn't hit at school he can go with you to that train resturant, or when he misbehaves you take away a favorite train, no Thomas, etc. One thing I went through, I always thought he was too young to understand what was happening, but you would be suprised how quickly they catch on, they see bad behaviour gets them negative consequences, good behaviour recieves rewards. I think I started all of that with Jack at around 18 months. I hope I don't sound like a miss-know-it-all.I am just going from what I know, and you can take it or leave it. I know all kids are not the same, but I can definitely identify with your frustrations. What I've found is no matter what age, you are always going through some kind of phase, it does not end, even though you think it will. It just morphs into "other" things. You just have to roll with the punches and know you are doing the best you can. I can look back at when Jack was doing some of the same things, and back then it was all-encompassing, I worried to no end that he wouldn't stop. Now I can laugh and say, been there, done that, sometimes still doing it. I even have to do it all over again! Just know that you aren't alone, we all have these problems, and though Noah's may seem magnified because he is spirited, know that in the grand scheme of things this will be such a small part of his life, not a defining moment. When he grows up and has these issues with his kids, you can tell him stories about how he was a stinker and hit his teacher and how he would run you ragged!

Jeremy said...

blah blah blah ...

baby fight club!

Bree said...

Jeremy, my kid can beat you up. :P

Jeremy said...

Is that a challenge?