ANTISOCIAL AT FOUR

I’m feeling rather upset at the moment. I’m eating a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Puffs, that’s how emotional I’m feeling.

Today was the last day of kinder, and parents were invited into the playground to watch the children sing Christmas carols. My four-year-old boy was the only child who couldn’t sit on the ground, continually moving about and being disruptive. At one point, he crowded and poked another boy, causing the poor child to cry. I had to take him away from the group and seat him elsewhere. Mortification doesn’t properly describe how I felt at being the parent of THAT kid. It really didn’t help that every other parent was filming my son’s poor behaviour and my embarrassment.

After the performance, the kinder teacher gave me feedback on my son. This was the first time I had stepped into kinder due to pandemic lockdown and restrictions. It was also the first time kinder has been able to give me any kind of feedback.

“You might want to keep an eye on his behaviour next year.”

“He’s having problems with making social connections.”

“He has poked and shoved kids then run away. He has toppled over a child’s tower and run away. He takes toys from other kids when they are playing with them.”

I attempted making excuses for his antisocial behaviour; the pandemic and strict lockdown, his negative behaviour in seeking his sister’s attention. In my heart, I couldn’t commit to any of these possible excuses, even if they were true. It just felt lame. I knew he had displayed aggressive and troubling behaviour but I had thought it was confined to home. I push aside that niggling feeling to the back of my mind because I didn’t want to deal with it. I hoped he’d outgrow this stage. How naïve was I?

Where did I go wrong? Have I babied him too much? Is his behaviour a result of my poor discipline and lack of follow-through? Is it too much screen time? Should I have forced the issue with vegetables?

My husband pish-poshed my idea of seeking help with a therapist. Why not get an expert’s opinion? But he seems to think raising the issue on our next maternal health check with the nurse is enough. He wants us to work on our son’s antisocial behaviour through how we parent. I will work on getting our son to become more independent and following through when I discipline. My husband will re-iterate the importance of positive behaviour and together we will cut screen time.

I feel emotionally wrecked and so disappointed. I can’t help but feel as though my son’s behaviour is reflective of my parenting. It honestly makes me feel like a failure of a parent.

I’m unsure how things will pan out but I pray that our son will get better at making positive social connections. It would break my heart to see my cheeky little boy end up friendless and an outlier in society.

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Kathy - KN J Tales and Snippets

Creative writer and storytelling enthusiast, sharing snippets of my journey through life and parenting. Aiming to inspire, empower and ignite laughter with every word that I write.

10 thoughts on “ANTISOCIAL AT FOUR”

  1. Every child has their own personality traits that aren’t learned but are inherent no matter how we as parents try to raise them. There are many ways of dealing with behaviors that aren’t necessarily acceptable, from following through with punishments to simply redirecting to more socially appropriate behavior. But, considering your son’s young age and how disruptive this year has been, I think more and more kids are acting out and just trying to exert some control over an uncontrollable situation and your son probably is, too. Just keep being the loving mother you are!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Adding my prayers to yours! That’s something I always worry about, too. One of my core values is kindness, and I always pray my children will reflect that. But they definitely have minds of and make choices of their own. You are a great mom! Don’t ever doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not having children I have no sage advice to offer. And I wouldn’t dream of guessing where this behavior comes from or how to deal with it. Basically, I got nothing… except a virtual hug and support. You’ll get through this, with love… everything is possible.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. First of all, there are likely things you can do to help him learn more appropriate behaviors but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed at parenting! Second, I think that if his behavior at school was a huge problem, the teacher would have contacted you sooner. It’s sad that she chose what was supposed to be a happy day to say that to you. I understand there being a pandemic, but still. Third, I know you don’t want to make excuses but this year has been weird and the changes put in place do affect our kids! I may not know you in “real life”, but from what I do know about you I can tell that you’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure! I would have felt bad too. But I guess it’s good that now you’re aware of what to work on at home. Maybe you can talk to his teacher next year and just mention that his K teacher pointed out some concerns about his behavior. Just so she can help you figure out which strategies you can do at home to help him be successful in school.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re right. I plan to discuss with the kinder teacher on strategies and hope they also help him in his interactions with other kids at kinder. He’s got another year of kinder so hopefully, he gets better at making friends and shows less negative behaviour before primary school starts.

          Liked by 1 person

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