Thursday, May 23, 2013

Struggles with Child Rearing

Yesterday when I picked up Ethan, I was greeted with a very long note in his box. For the past two days, he has been intolerable during nap time, refusing to stay still, getting things off the shelves, kicking the table, kicking the floor and telling his teachers "no" when they tell him to stop.

Nap time has always been a problem for Ethan, especially in child care. He doesn't nap. He doesn't require the same amount of sleep the other children require. But because the place is so small, there is no where else for him to go when his mind refuses to shut down. I could tell that they are at a loss. I am at a loss.

Ethan is such a unique child. He is a light. A ray of sunshine. Blah blah blah. All of that is true, but Ethan is also very challenging. And I, of all people, understand their frustration. Over the past month, Ethan has really been pushing the boundaries. He's been so defiant. I tell him to do something or not to do something, and he proceeds to do whatever he wants regardless. I have instituted "no light on" at bedtime, and while that bothered him for a while, he no longer cares. I have made him go to his room until he calms down or for a prescribed length of time. It doesn't do anything. He has even been *sigh* spanked, to no avail.

He's seeing how far he can go and he knows that no matter how upset I get, I'm going to get over it. He knows he has my love unconditionally. And I feel like he's using it against us sometimes. He's constantly changing the rules. Constantly finding the gaps. Constantly finding the loopholes that allow him to slide through detected but unscathed. It's exhausting.

I'm at a loss.

But something has to change. We cannot continue down this path. He is going to get kicked out of child care. He's going to drive us all to insanity. And so, after this weekend, we're instituting zero tolerance. For at least an entire month and possibly longer, there will be no second chances. There will be no warnings. There will be no gaps and no loopholes. Ethan will confront two strict adults unwilling to bend in the least.

I hate being inflexible. I like to allow Ethan the opportunity to express his side. But in this, for this short amount of time, there will be one side. One consensus. One rule. My hope is that Ethan begins to understands the changes he needs to make and the boundaries that are set. My hope is that we can eventually allow his opinion to be voiced again. But for now, this is what he's left us with.

I'm at a loss.


  1. I'm so sorry. Huge hugs to you. It is SO hard when our kids are struggling and not behaving well. Reminds me a lot of Harper. She is definitely my more challenging child. For instance, she isn't taking a nap today. I can hear her on the monitor and she is NOT asleep. I'm going to go get her in a second. Not easy! Good luck with Ethan. He is definitely a special boy, but not easy. In time, it will be better - but right now it's tough.

  2. Sorry it has been so hard for you, you are amazing though!

    I think what you're doing is totally acceptable, and he's going to have to learn that he doesn't always get to do what he wants because that's life.

  3. Good for you - at some point you have to do what's best for him even if it's hard (as hell). I know I've had to start letting Chloe cry in-between feedings because she just wants to play. I HATE it but there's only one way she'll learn. I hope.

    I'll say a prayer for your sanity friend. XO.

  4. I am so sorry the he is testing you so hard. He is so darn smart but I think the zero tolerance is what he needs. This is a lesson he will need for life. It will be a struggle but I know he is also smart enough to get it. Will be thinking about you. ((HUGS))