Maladjustment runs in the family

DS1 is potentially a sociopath. Well, probably not a sociopath, but needing some serious socialization training. He's very...impulsive. And...energetic. And...curious. He just doesn't seem to care whether he gets in trouble or if someone is angry with him, which is such a stark contrast to my personality (I'm convinced that I'm always about to get reamed for something, and that every trangression is going to ruin my relationships with everyone with whom I interact, and that the negative impat will haunt me for the rest of my life.) I thought signing him up for pre-school Sunday school would be good for him, since he would be interacting with other children and learning about our faith (in an overly simplified "God is good and we have many things for which to be grateful and we should all love each other" kind of way.) The first few classes went fine, it seemed. Then, after about a month, one of the teachers pulled me aside at pick-up time to let me know that DS1 was being disruptive, encouraging other children to not follow directions, and "not engaged" during group activities. She requested that I speak to him, and suggested that I observe a class to see his behavior. I don't have to observe a class. I know exactly what she's talking about. I have no trouble imagining that he's rather be playing in the puppet show house or climbing on the furniture than listening to a story. So I talked to him, we discussed the need to follow directions so that everyone in the class could do the activities. We talked about how the teachers have rules so that the class can get things done, and that we hurt the teachers' feelings as well as the feelings of the children who wanted to do the activities as directed. We talked about the time and place for certain activities (the right time to climb is when we visit the playground, not when Miss Jen is trying to read a story.) He seemed genuinely sorry, and the next few classes went OK. (I've noticed that the teacher that complained to me is not quite as tolerant of typical 4-year-old boy behavior as the other teacher is.) After a number of evenings of arriving to pick the boys up from my Mom's house, only to find DS1 either in "time out" or in a trashed room (he seems to enjoy removing every book he can find from shelves if he gets frustrated with Gramma,) I started to look for some mid-week activity to sign him up for. Something to allow him to blow off some steam, like a climbing class. The recreation department for the city has preschool gymnastics, which seemed like a good fit. Last week was the first class. They practiced balancing, and rolling, and stretching, and lunging. And the teacher had to reprimand DS1 more than any other child in the class, as he tried to climb on the trampoline, and jump off the mats, and not wait his turn. I talked to DS1 about the class. He told me how much fun he had, and we talked about how important it is to wait his turn (so other students can have fun, too) and to follow directions (so the teacher can help keep everyone safe.) He promised he would follow directions and listen to the teacher. Halfway through class, I got a call that he had been ejected from class. I spoke to him on the phone, he agreed that he was being naughty, and he told me that he wanted to say he was sorry for not following directions. I told him he had to wait until class was over, then he could apologize to his teacher. He really did seem sorry, and it may be sinking in that misbehaving means he might not be allowed to come back. But he's always sorry when he makes mischief, he just can't seem to stop himself from being a hoodlum. I fear this does not bode well for the future. I see myself spending a lot of time bailing him out...


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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

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