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.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Thanks for stopping by to KN J Tales and Snippets! Let me tell you a bit about myself and how this blog came to be.

I started journal writing as a form of cathartic release from all of the stresses of being a mother of two young children, working, and day-to-day living.

I found that many of my journal entries were funny snippets of my day spent with my two adventurous and cheeky cherubs. Oftentimes, I’ve found myself in rather amusing and outright unbelievable situations. Of course, there have been times upon self-reflection where the entries speak of the darker moments in my life, like my struggles with mental health issues and parenting.

Journal writing re-awakened my love for creative writing and storytelling. I found a desire to share my words with others. And so after much deliberation, this blog was born. My very own blog journal!

If you choose to join me on my journey, you’ll probably read short stories based on my personal experiences in life and as a parent. Most of the time, they’ll be funny and relatable, maybe even inspiring! Other times, you might read some words that are hard for me to write but find the courage to share.

I’ll aim for a weekly post. Maybe even two! (very unlikely at this stage in life)

Subscribe to my email list if you want to be informed of new content as my posting regime is best described as erratic.

I hope you enjoy reading my words as much as I love writing them.

x Kathy

KN J Tales and Snippet

FRIDAY FUNDAY

Friday. It has become my favourite day of the week. It marks the end of another exhausting week of “teaching” a whingeing grade two daughter and a short-tempered kinder son. It’s a temporary reprieve from having to lavish excessive praise, plead and badger, and issuing empty threats to get the children to complete tasks in a timely manner. It’s the end of being the rope in the tug of war between two children who need my help. I get a breather from juggling household chores and schooling the children. By Friday, I am utterly and completely spent. I’ve tapped out.

Back in mid-March when my daughter was still attending school, my husband and I had many arguments on whether it was safe to send her. At the time, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Australia was on the rise, and there was mounting pressure from parents and school teachers for the Government to close schools. My husband was working from home, along with hundreds of others from his workplace. We had pulled our son from childcare to save money and reduce exposure. So in my mind, I couldn’t understand why we would risk my daughter and us by sending her to school.

Despite the Chief Medical Officer and Prime Minister reiterating that going to school represented a low risk to children, it did not sway my opinion because what-if my children were the exception? I wanted my children safe at home and I did not care about the costs or impacts of that decision.

My husband had a different opinion. He believed that the cost of closing schools and businesses was too steep a price to pay, given our significantly lower confirmed cases compared to other countries. He strongly believed that the economic and educational impacts far outweighed the risk of transmission through schools. He argued that schools needed to remain open for people who needed to work, hospital workers and emergency service personnel. He reasoned that children need normality and remote-access learning could affect children’s mental health and see vulnerable children left behind. He didn’t feel the level of response matched the level of threat.

The debate raged on for weeks and we kept to our staunch views on schools. I was relieved when there was a state directive to close Victorian schools. I was prepared to step up to the plate to do my best with home learning if it meant keeping my family safe from Coronavirus.

As of yesterday, Victoria had six new confirmed cases, with a total of 14 confirmed cases nationwide. Have closing schools made a great impact on reducing infected numbers? Was the cost to students, parents, carers and economy worth it? Or was the success in reduction largely due to social distancing, restriction of businesses and border closures? Who knows. The important thing is that our collective efforts and temporary hardships have led to containing this virus and prevented the devastation seen overseas.

Now with the threat diminished, I want to return to some kind of normalcy. I would like to see schools reopened and children able to see their friends and teachers. While I love (*cough*) playing substitute teacher, sitting in a classroom with fellow students being taught by a teacher is better for everyone. No parent needs their seven-year-old discovering that they have to google and phone-a-friend lifeline the answers to grade two homework.

More importantly, at this point, home schooling my children poses far greater health risks than any pandemic.

 

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/