About Me

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Michigan, United States
a registered yoga teacher, and a Thai/Yoga Bodywork practitioner.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Resuming where we left off when he was 3...

When Nate turned two, he began having tantrums that frightened me. They lasted for 15, 30, 60, 90 minutes, and he was destructive. He detested being made to do what he did not want to do, and he rebelled in every way he could as a small boy of two, three, and four-- screaming, wrecking his room, etc.

I enrolled him in preschool to get a rest from this drama and to determine whether these outbursts were home-driven or just Pure Nathan. Apparently he coped well enough in school (his first teacher became a family friend and assured us he was normal). Further, I had a therapist at the St. Joseph County ISD evaluate him (he was not ADD or ADHD) and he went for several sessions with an Occupational Therapist for being so wiggly in 2nd grade. (The result? This kid needs to move to be able to think. That'll be 1500.00 dollars after insurance).

So we had experts tell us what we already knew. Nathan is a "spirited child" (There's a book, Raising Your Spirited Child that cost me two dollars at the library sale and did more to quiet my concerns than anything).

Now that he's home again, it seems we have picked up where we left off. He's armed with a better vocabulary and emerging abstract reasoning, though. I'm in for it.

Nathan and I  have argued every day this week. For instance, on the day that I had to clean a house, he was too rowdy per indoor etiquette. So, I put him to work scrubbing out a tub. He purposely did it all wrong, flinging water about, and was banned to the car. This brought up an argument on his being trustworthy-enough to follow directions as a prerequisite for staying home alone. That made him FURIOUS because he wants to stay home alone for short periods. Without all the tedious back and forth of our conversation, we eventually made up. The next day, he and his sister wouldn't keep their hands off each other, so I said they must "earn" their Friday soda pop. When I drank one of "his" sodas, he claimed insult. I claimed that having bought them, they are, in fact, my sodas. Outrage. Argument. Resolution.

It's obvious that his defiance
a. Was inherited from his mother, and
b.Was not eradicated in years of preschool and public school.

As a way to break us into this situation--being together a lot more than usual--we are not "schooling" until after New Year's. There will be housework, yes, and learning as we go, but the parent-lead pillars of math and writing will wait, as will the science and history.

I'm not sure how to teach the necessities without raising his ire at being "bossed around." Nor am I sure how well we'll get along in the process. However, better he and I learn to get along and accommodate one another than to drop him off at school and let a stranger try to manage all that piss and vinegar. If anyone's going to teach him how to cope, I trust myself  more than I trust a state-sponsored staff. It will be harder this way,  but perhaps in the long run, we'll both be better friends for it.


  1. Amazing to me how much Nathan is like Noah. Maybe it's not your (or not solely your) genetic makeup?!
    Noah has been a challenge from birth. He's nearly 13 now and I wish I could say it's gotten easier. It is different. And we have a LOT more good days than bad. Hormones play a huge factor.

    What I admire about you is that you are making your own path. You are looking at various sources but ultimately the way will be of your own choosing. I most deeply regret allowing family members so strongly influence how to deal with my own spirited child even when it went against every gut instinct I had...

  2. Reading the first paragraph of this post was like hearing a revelation about the water park "incident" this past summer. I had realized that he didn't want to do it, (after paying the admission fee, of course), but never knew it was so deep rooted.
    Thank you for the insight.

    In reading your last statement, I remember Mom making a point to keep the line between "mom" and "friend" clear. She made being the mom priority. She didn't try to be friends. And I respect her ever more for it.

  3. I can totally relate to your struggles with Nathan. My Max is "spirited" as well, and "Raising Your Spirited Child" helped me SO much, both in understanding him and in finding better ways to deal with him. That book is very dear to my heart.