Friday, November 09, 2007

That Was My Mistake

Griffin took it upon himself to act as a vigilante at school today and nearly stabbed another child's eye out.

Given our history with an eye accident, I have no fucking clue what to do. I sent it him to his room (because I firmly do not believe in spankings, and I'm actually afraid I'd beat the shit out of him right now if I did) for the day. He'll stay there until Aaron gets home from work.

I feel like an utter and complete failure as a parent.

And I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend what an appropriate punishment would be for this. He's five. Five. Fucking five years old and trying to stab someone's eye out because they stole his pencil.

21 comments:

Mika said...

I don't really have any advice on this..just commiseration. Last year in kindergarten my now 6 yr old told another little boy that his big brother would kill him if he wasn't nice. Boy almost got suspended from school for that one. ya, I was livid, so I feel your pain hun!

kristi said...

I don't really have any advice on this either, other than "have a really serious talk with the boy." It's hard when they're only 5.

robiewankenobie said...

and this is your fault, how? there are plenty of ways that you'll fail this kid along the way (i shudder to think of all the things that i've already done that will be fodder for therapy on down the road), but this isn't one of them.

you're punishing him appropriately. hold tight. this too shall pass.

LauraJ said...

punishment idea: take all pencils away for a month and only allow him to do homework in crayon? Inform the school too of course.

Ali said...

I felt much the same way when having seen our neighbours house burn down, Mark climbed shelves in the kitchen, got matches and gave one to his brother and made him strike it.

I know how angry it is possible to feel at your own child and the feeling of powerlessness to do the right thing and make them see the possible consequences of their deeds.

I don't think there are easy answers. Five year old boys just seem to have an uncanny ability to act while bypassing any rational thought. He's not the only one.

Bitterbetty said...

Okay.. Jacob was intentionally poked in the eye as a preschooler.

They just don't comprehend the full ramifications of that action.The punishment should be the same as if he smacked the kid... But with a serious discussion at the end of his "room sentence".

Sorry for you. I know how I would feel.. but I know how I did feel as the mom on the other end... and even though we spent a long night at the emergency room..(Nice deep cornea scratch..) I never blamed the other kid OR his mom.

Marsha said...

I agree with everyone else, it is not your fault and he is not a bad kid.

My advice for what it is worth... Do some role playing games about what to do if your friends make you mad. Like, if my friend takes my pencil, can I hit him? Can I kick him? What should I do? Take turns making up stories about how friends make you mad. Ask him what should I do? let him learn some frustration management skills through role playing. I have read this is the most efficient way to get these concepts across, cause their brains work very differently than ours. Even if we think they understand often they don't. Same advice for how to teach them not to talk to strangers.

Keri said...

Don't feel so bad, when my son was 3 he got kicked out of daycare for supposedly pushing a pregnant teacher down the stairs. I mean, he was THREE. So obviously I'm raising Rosemary's baby, which means you have nothing to worry about.

In all seriousness though - little boys do really stupid things sometimes. They just don't think stuff through - and that's all this is. He's not being bad, he's just being a boy. I'm with everyone else - just give him a good talking to.

Chickenbells said...

I honestly have nothing to add...only to say that you are a GOOD parent, who is really struggling with the "right thing" to do to make a lasting impression with him on the right and wrong action...I think he's like a lot of people, sometimes poor impulse control, while being overstimulated...and not thinking of the ramifications of his own actions...I still blurt out things to people and watch myself in horror...These are such hard lessons to learn...and teach (Does Aaron know what happened? Does he have any good answers?)

Alicia A. said...

Oh, no. I don't have any good advice. I'm sorry. I think all of these folks have said what there is to say... hang in there. He's a good boy. He'll figure it out.

Hugs to you, friend.

Stacey said...

I so know how you are feeling right now. My 5 year old pushed a kid off the slide platform for cutting in line. (the child had a bruise on his knee & skinned his hand but was otherwise fine) I just wanted to grab my son and shake him while screaming "Do you know how badly he could have been hurt!?! What were you thinking?!?" But I knew the answers were "No, he didn't know" and he was thinking "I wanted him to be behind me." So I sent him to his room until I was rational and we had a talk about how to respond better to various playground situations. I'm trying to encourage him to use words, not hands, but right now they lack a certain level of control for that.

He & the boy are best friends now.

Males....

kirsten said...

oh, goodness. that's always hard. but he is only 5 - which means his judgment is not fully developed. he'll learn.

Frogdancer said...

I went cold when I read it.

Especially given the history, you'd kinda think that he'd know to stay away from eyes, so I can imagine the shock and horror.

You're a better parent than I am... I would've been waving the wooden spoon around and screaming like a banshee.... but then I've got no 'Aaron' to step in when I'm having a meltdown. Being single, the buck stops with me.

All I can do is send cyber support and tell you to hang in there, which I know you're already doing. One day, this will be just another story in the family history. Everything passes....

Frogdancer said...

Just popped back to say that I too love Split Enz! I grew up with them and saw them 6 times when I was a mere girl...

Their reunion concert last year was a blast...

(a bit off topic, I know, but life goes on....)

Poppy & Mei said...

Just keep talking. Ask him how the other boy might be feeling. See how that works out. I dunno. I just hope that when this kinda thing happens to us (& it will), that I'll be as big & brave as you. Well done. Xx

Poppy & Mei said...

Shit. I just finished commenting when Poppy bit Mei. Damn it. Off to follow my own advice...

Wendy said...

If it was one of my kids, I'd make him bring the kid one of his pencils as an apology present and then make him wear a blindfold for a day (But I'm a mean mean mommy. Just ask my kids).

And good for bitterbetty for not being mad at the kid who intentionally hurt her son. I guess I'm just not that big of a person, especially if I had spent time (and money) in the ER.

Good luck.

lera said...

I'm sorry. It's tough to be a mom sometimes. Especially to boys.

Kristy said...

Good on you for not acting in anger.That's what got him in trouble isn't it so you need to show him others ways.I think you'll find a day in his room to calm down might help and then a discussion about what would have been a more appropriate behaviour but let him figure it out just guide the converstaion.I think the idea of an apology gift of a pencil or two might help (you could maybe make a pencil roll together)
It really isn't your fault.Kids need to learn how to react to their emotions in the right way.

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I bet that kid won't try to steal his pencil again.
Sorry.....just had to shed a bit of humor.
I agree with everyone. He probably saw someone else reacting th is way and it's not like they think in details. I'm sure he will learn his lesson. You're a good momma.
Maybe he is frustrated with the new school too?

Angelina said...

I can confidently say I know exactly how you feel. My kid once got in huge trouble at preschool because apparently he and another boy were ganging up on a third boy and making him cry while kicking him. Kind of like a preschool gangster might do. I almost died of shame to have a son who would be so cruel. There were many discussions about it and the serious nature of it and the fact that we were actually angry at him for two days scared the crap out of him. Seriously, we looked at him so differently after that and he knew it and desperately wanted us to go back to normal.

However, irony really loves us and when we moved to Oregon a neighbor of ours told us about this other family who was moving up here to the same county and she thought we'd really like each other and so she made sure we got together.

Of course, the boy in this family was the one that Max tortured to tears. I had to tell the mom with the gravest horror that I thought my son had been cruel to her son in preschool. She was super surprised to hear this because apparently her child had gotten in huge trouble at the same preschool for biting another kid.

So Max and Rex are pretty much best friends now and get in worse trouble together.

The point is that you want Griffin to get how serious it is to behave as he's done and showing your anger and disappointment much longer than you would generally allow yourself to will have a good chance of getting that message to him.

While I'm not actually against spanking, I haven't yet spanked my kid. HOwever, I really do yell more than I'd like to. Yelling often gets my point across, but when I go quiet and serious and grim on Max-that's when he gets scared and starts behaving himself better.