When I was a kid, I was generally very meek and obedient and did as I was told. At least that’s what I hear. I was quiet and shy and desperately wanted to please my parents. I got good grades, didn’t get in trouble and worried about everything from Cold Facts in first grade to the ACT in 11th grade (some things never change). All in all, I was a very well-behaved child.
So why is it that my child is… not? Why is she (gulp…. pause… sigh) a hitter?
Yesterday, when I picked Angel Face up at day care, our babysitter informed me that yes, another little girl used to be the most aggressive and, dare she say it, bratty, but now, my little Angel Face was the queen bee in the brat category. I can’t say I’m surprised. Whenever anything at home displeases her more than a smidgen, her first instinct seems to be to lash out, generally with an open hand, and generally at the face of the person who has caused her displeasure (me).
This has led to more “time-outs” in our household than I can count (including one that occurred before 6:30 a.m. today). Some people say that time-outs start working at 18 months, other schools of thought say 2 ½ years. I can’t tell if they are having any impact. Sometimes she cries and screams throughout, but the last two times she has sat peacefully until I released her, giving me a smile and a big hug when she was done.
What exactly does that mean? Does it mean ‘I’m sorry mommy’? Or does it mean, that was fun, I like sitting quietly sometimes and I’m not thinking about the fact that I hit you at all and I’ll probably do it again in 20 minutes? Because that? Would not be cool.