December 1, 2011

My Litttle Menace

When I was a kid and I did something wrong, my parents spanked my ass. My mum did most of the spanking and my dad would be her loyal accomplice. We never had a conversation about why I was spanked or the justification behind the punishment. I was supposed to figure it out all by myself and learn my lesson.

Back in those days parenting seemed so easy.

Today, bringing up a child is as hard as rocket science. Best example? Alden. As some of you know, Alden is an EXTREMELY cheeky boy. Of course, in this context, the word cheeky translates to nakal, galangas and kai chai. Those are the terms used by my mum, sis and dad to address my boy. Because of his cheeky personality, the school referred us to the ministry of education for an intervention programme to help minimise some of his disruptive behaviours.

Yesterday was our fourth therapy. As usual, Alden and I checked in at the clinic (ministry office) reception at 9.00 am and waited for M, the child psychologist. When Alden saw M, he immediately said hello and smiled sweetly. He looked so motivated and interested in what was going to happen. We proceeded to the session room which had a one-way mirror and a video cam. I thought the mirror thingy  was cool cos it reminded me of those interrogation rooms in CSI. The mirror was necessary as M needed to do the observation without Alden knowing.

As always, M demonstrated how we should play a game and laid out the instructions on the board. When she was around, it was obvious that Alden tried his hardest to impress her. I know he's just a kid but it looks as if he has this huge crush on M. From time to time, he'd turn to the psychologist and said  "I like your skirt M",  "I like your shoes M. So nice!" or "I like your hair M". The best compliment was "I like you. You're so pretty".

I guess this is a good thing. At least he's keen about the therapy.

During the session, we played five games altogether and throughout the games, he had to sit crossed- legged on the floor, facing me. I was in charge and had the say on who goes first, which car he should pick, etc. The rule was to take turns when playing and if he doesn't play properly he will need to sit on the chair. That's a time-out.

In our previous sessions, he had quite a number of time outs but yesterday, only one. He behaved the whole time, even when  M left the room. M said this was a vast improvement and it showed that Alden could really control his own behaviour if he wanted to. I was so happy to hear this.

After our final game, M told Alden to go to school and bid him goodbye. I dropped him off at 10.30 am and  rushed to the office to get some work done. I only had two hours to do my thesis before the kids get off from school. After spending only 40 minutes in the office, I got a call from school. It was the admin clerk. Apparently, Alden was being 'difficult' in class and since the substitute could not handle him, I had take him home.

I couldn't believe this was happening after such a great session in the morning. When I got to school, I braced myself for the inevitable - complaints from the teachers. According to the clerk, Alden threw his food on the floor, cried loudly, took all the books from the book shelves and threw them all over the classroom. She said Alden was being 'impossible'. As a mother, it wasn't easy for me to digest all this. Makes one feel like a failure you know.

I asked where he was and was told to go to the hall where the juniors were having an assembly. When I got there, I saw the little menace standing by the door, with the teacher aide. He spotted me and quickly got out. Outside the hall, I had to endure another round of complaints from the teacher aide. When I saw him smiling mischievously, all I wanted to do was strangle him. Gerigitan describes my feeling at that time.

In the car, I gave him the silent treatment. Since I couldn't get hold of M immediately, I decided to hide all his toys and books when we got home. I also banned TV watching for the entire day. I wanted him to know what he did was wrong and that it had negative consequences. This should teach him, I thought.


Instead of crying and feeling remorseful, he started playing with my nail polish collection and pretended they were airplanes. The TV remote became a rocket and his drink bottle became a truck. He seemed fine without his toys. Happy even. Needless to say, I was a bit annoyed.

When I thought about my unfinished work, the complaints from the teacher and the therapy session, I just felt so frustrated. I called sis to let it all out.

And That was yesterday.

Today, he is so much better. No tantrums and no calls from the school. I had a chat with Mrs. Waterman about yesterday's incident and she told me not to get upset. She said from time to time, kids have bad days too and yesterday just happened to be Alden's. She's such a sweetheart. After a nice little chat with Mrs. Waterman, I left the classroom feeling a bit lighthearted.

I realised long ago that parenthood ain't easy but these few days have just been super challenging. I think it doesn't matter if you have 3 kids or 13, parenting is one tough job. Well, hubby and I have 16 more years to perfect this skill with Alden. One day, I'm sure we'll get it right.


DoRa Priscilla said...

Although I am far off from being a mum but looking at the social atmosphere and also what kids are expose nowadays give me fright :/

I think being a parent are awesome and you both are doing a great job already ^^ Happy December Lize, hope you had a good start

Gunaqz said...

Let me start by giving you a bear hug. *hug* Raising children is never easy, that is understandable. Aww Lizzie *hug again*.

When I was still teaching, I read lots and lots of books about children's psychology, in hope they would help me tackle my challenging pupils. I stumbled on this book called 'The Indigo Children'. I've read a little about Indigo child on Wikipedia before I found the book. Wikipedia explanation made me sceptical about the book, that's why I didn't give it a chance at first. I read the book anyway, and guess what, it was an amazing book. I've learned so much from it, it really helped me work with my challenging pupils.

I understand a lot of people are a bit sceptical about the book. In the beginning, I was too. But I think there is no harm finding out what the authors were trying to convey to modern parents and educators. If you haven't heard and read about it, I suggest you try it. The authors are Lee Caroll and Jan Tober. Try not to pay attention to Wikipedia's (and other websites) explanations about Indigo children, they are not accurate and are very different from what the book authors intended to present.

I think Alden's teacher was spot on, your little one was just having a bad day. Being a mum sure is a difficult task but hang on there Lizzie, Alden will grow up soon and make you very proud of him.

All my love to you and Alden. X O

Zezebel said...

Adik bongsu saya pandai marah kalau orang marah dia tanpa bagitahu sebab. Dia pernah cakap my dad is stupid sebab tiba2 ja marah dengan dia..hihihih

Amanda Christine Wong said...

woah...but yeah, u got another 16 years to get it straight :D. on a different note, my 6 pups including the mom went to the neighbours and mauled 7 chickens...but im sure taking care of a kid is way difficult :D

Yen said...

terus sa teringat crita dennis the menace..hehe.

p/s: ko kc beli la c alden videogame (eg.psp,ps2), confirm jd good boy trus tu.hehe.

Lizeewong said...

Dora - Thanks dear. Happy December to you too xx

Gunaqz - *Bear hug* :) You're such a sweetheart. Thanks for the suggestion. I will surely have a read about this Indigo Children. I need all the help I can get right now. THANKS again XOXO

Zezebel- Kami dulu mana berani marah balik parents :) Diam ja kalau kena marah. Dalam hati meradang jg tp nda berani mau tunjuk hehe..

Manda - OMG. Your pets are a menace too? That's wicked alright :)

Yen- Hmm..kalau kena kasi beli game lagi la dia nda mau p school ;)

Edith said...

I couldn't agree more Liz. I don't have boys but my 3 girls already giving me headache. I'll be even more worried when they grow up to teenagers. I know at this stage it will be more difficult to control. I think I also need to start reading any books on children and teenagers.

Goodluck with your little menace. Oh btw, I'm also calling my youngest "Emms the Menace" :)

Octavia said...

Hey liz,

Though my two gurls aren't as mischevious as urs (YET), i do agree that parenting is a tough job. It takes a lot of will power and A LOT OF patience (in which i usually run out of). But i'm confident we will get through it in the end *hugz*.

Lizeewong said...

Edith - Not easy kan? Style parenting org tua yg dulu2 nda buli pakai suda. I mean, last time, parents just spanked thei kids, and they will behave. Now, mana buli spank anak. Nasib la si Alva kuai. Ni abang dia opposite :/

Oct- Thanks Oct. That dau I almost called you cos I really wanted to talk. In the end I called Alex and then my sis :) Tensed gila oh kena call dari school. Your girls 100X kuai la Oct :) *HUGS*

Vera Peter @ Princess Bex said...

From my experience watching my lil bro growing process and same like Alden's story, I really gerigitan sangat2. But, gradually, the 'attitude' will change and even better than before. Patience saja Lizee coz lama2 ur baby boy will change juga tu :)

Carolin said...

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you, Lizzie, for being a caring and patient mom. Second, I'd like to praise Alden for being cooperative and alert during the activity. I hope all goes well for you and your family! Parenthood is an unsung occupation, yet it is the most rewarding!

Carolin Newmeyer