Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I think my child is a brat

I know that I have been talking about how mature and wonderful Michael has been, and for the most part, it’s true. Well, except for the pushing thing.

It started a little while ago with an innocent shove from one of my neighbor’s children. Michael was getting into her personal space, and she pushed him away. No big deal, right?

Wrong. It was like the light bulb went off over his head. Hey, I can push people away from things I don’t want to share! Why didn’t I think of that? And the pushing commenced.

He’s taken to pushing several of the neighborhood children, none of which are aggressive with him. If he wants what they have, he pushes. If he doesn’t like where they are standing, he pushes. If he thinks I’m not looking, he pushes.

Andy and I are very consistent with how we handle this. Every time he does it, we pick him up, take him inside, wait until he stops crying, and then explain that pushing is not nice, that he has to take turns, blah, blah, blah. Then, he can return to playing outside. If he does it again, then he’s taken back inside for good.

This weekend, I took him to Barnes and Noble to play with their train table. The big one, with about 20 trains sitting on it for all the kids to play with. So, an older boy walks up, reaches for a train, and guess what Michael did? Walked right up to him, and shoved him. I apologized to the boy, who looked shocked that a kid half his size would push him, and removed Michael. His mom asked what her son had done, and I explained that it was MY child that had caused the problem. That was fun.

After the tears and the talk, I let him back to play. He was good for a few minutes until a little girl reached for one of the trains. Michael went right after her, and pushed her. So, I apologized again, and took him out of the children’s section where he preceded to melt down on the floor, kicking and screaming. (My mom felt so vindicated when I told her about it. Karma stinks.) Once again, the serious talk. I considered leaving, but I really wanted to buy Breaking Dawn, so I decided to give him another chance.

We walked back to the trains, and like an angel, Michael gave the little girl a train as a peace offering, and then played nicely for another 20 minutes. Phew. Something must have gotten through.

So, we were outside playing with the neighbors last night. It took all of 5 minutes before he gave M a nice shove. Sigh. Here we go again…


LauraC said...

:( He's not a brat, I promise. Pushing seems to be one of those behaviors that goes in streaks at our day care... one month someone is the pusher and another month they are the pushee. All it usually takes is a pusher getting pushed to stop pushing. Or someone who doesn't back down when getting pushed.

Julie said...

Thank you for this post and Michael is NOT a brat. I think you are handling his behavior perfectly! It must be difficult and frustrating to see your child repeatedly pushing other kids, but I like your tactic as a parent--you are teaching him and giving him consequences. You are doing a great job! This hits home for me b/c one of Lana's good friends is a pusher/hitter/toy stealer/almost hair cutter and his mom does NOTHING about it. She sweetly says, "no, don't do that" but then doesn't follow through if he doesn't stop. Maybe I will anonymously send her your post as a hint--haha :) Good job Mama!

Karla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karla said...

Sorry I deleted my previous comment...there was a MAJOR typo!!!

Anyway, don't you just love it?! *sarcasm*

One minute they are sweet, cute, and funny and the next they are BRATS!!! (That is how it seems to go over here anyway!)

And I agree, he is not a with everything else it is just a phase!

London said...

We have this problem with Batman and his cousin, they both drive me nuts! But I don't think either one of them are brats. (I don't think Michael is either!) They just need to learn right from wrong. Lucky us, we're the ones responsible for teaching them!

Karen said...

The fact that your child pushes does not mean he is a brat! Believe me, I have experience in this area, as my child is a pusher too. You are doing what is needed to correct the situation and taking control!

Becky said...

My youngest child was having this very problem (pushing, shoving)- I was so frustrated. However I noticed that things got considerably better once I read a book called teaching with love and logic. This book was a lifesaver! The book introduced me to concepts such as choices, and consequences. My daughter learned that if she made the choice to hit, her consequence was something really unpleasant such as not getting to go places with me or watching her older brother and sister eat ice cream (the good kids were rewarded). Anyway, my daughter is now 5 and has turned out fine so far - no more hitting episodes.