I'm the one with That Kid

So today I confirmed what I'd been suspecting since Moira started this round of soccer lessons back in March. I have the Bad Kid. At first I told myself each time that it was an isolated thing, that she'd be better the next week, that it was actually kind of cute. Well, the cute has worn off. It started innocently enough - she was excited and needed some extra prompting (by both the coach and me) to get her to listen and follow directions. She would talk or sing or roll around on the turf while Coach Chris was explaining a game. She would freak out if she didn't get *exactly* the ball she wanted to play with. She would yell "Mommy, look!" as she disregarded the rules of the games to build towers of cones or to throw the ball over the half-walls surrounding the pitch. Each time, I admonished her to listen to the coach, to behave, to follow directions. And usually she did.

And then the other kids started following her lead. :facepalm: Now she has a gaggle of peons - particularly a little girl, L., who adores her and is always seeking her approval; and a little boy, E., who holds her hand and flips her ponytails around. The others are less consistently loyal, but there are always one or two more who are eager to do whatever it is Moira is doing. I can see the coach's patience wearing thin and I'm too afraid to evaluate the expressions of the other parents. >_>

On the one hand, she's the polar opposite of meek little me at that age, and a part of me is proud of her for being so charismatic and bold. But the rest of me really wants a good kid who behaves and actually learns the lessons we paid (kind of a lot of) money for. Every week she promises that she'll listen to the coach and do what he says, and each week, the first thing she admits as we walk to the car is "I didn't listen to Coach Chris today." She says she understands that this is bad, but then she's so pleased with herself at the same time.

Lisa suggested that maybe I should pull her out early next week if she's being awful. Tom says that, at the very least, I should refuse to let her receive the end-of-lesson sticker that Coach gives everyone. Both are right, I'm sure. But then there's the hard part - wondering if I'm being too harsh a mother, knowing that she's only three and maybe I should let her be a toddler. But I can't stand the idea of her continuing with being disruptive. Argh!

Well, I guess I have a week to think on it.
  • Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Bad kid? No. Toddler, yes. That age is hard, as I am sure you are well aware of. I wouldn't put her in the bad category though, she isn't hurting someone physically or emotionally, but is merely trying the patience of a coach that is already working with children whose attention span runs so far. I give the kidlet credit for at least recognizing that she didn't listen, and is honest about it. As she ages she will become better at following directions/rules. I say by the time fall hits she will be reaching that level of understanding. But Lisa and Tom are right, and your mommy-sense is right too. She does need to see that if she isn't going to listen, or ignore the rules and do as she pleases that something will happen. Sometimes a small repercussion is necessary. Its a good reminder that she cannot have things go her way all the time, and that she does need to listen to her coach. ^_^ But you don't need me saying this. I have been missing you something fierce lately, and I hope you are doing well sweety
You're right, of course. I don't think my Mouse is a bad kid at all, but I am nervous/frustrated that she's starting to head down such a disrespectful path. She's always been difficult to correct - she seems to find our attempts to redirect her to be either hilarious or unforgivably cruel. It's not that she doesn't know that her behavior isn't quite what we want from her, it's more like she doesn't care/understand why we want her to behave that way in the first place. She's very good at parroting back my reasons, but I'm not confident that she gets it.
kender is too lazy to log in
Even now I can't control the shock of the idea of a 3 year old in something as structured as soccer practice. (My brain breaks every evening when Sonny brings in Algebra and Geometry homework, and talks about metaphors and chrysalis stages; it just seems to complex for 3rd grade!)

Maybe before class you can take her to a park or something nearby to work off any restless energy. Maybe getting some wild and free time first will help her be able to concentrate on what the coach is telling them to do.

Here I am starting over though, not even managing to get it through to Riley that when I say "No" it's not appropriate to smirk, chuckle, and keep doing the unwanted action. (i.e. unplugging cords, shoving fat little fingers into fans, drawers and everything else he can get into.)

Maybe I should be asking for advise?
Re: kender is too lazy to log in
Hi, you. :hugs:

These soccer 'lessons' are really no more than a series of games that encourages a small herd of toddlers to learn to kick a ball and follow some simple directions. They use soccer terms like "dribble" and little foamy soccer balls, but otherwise it could be any other kind of less-than-organized play. But three-year-olds do very well in this - all the other kids follow directions after one or two promts. Mine...not so much. Willful.

The park idea is wonderful, and if we sign her up for the next level, I'll definitely do that. Unfortunately, I had to take a 9 AM class this time. I can barely get us there on time. >_<

Is it wrong that I'm relieved that Riley is also showing signs of willfulness? Mouse *still* smirks at us when we try to correct her. I'm glad it's not just us.

How's the little man doing, anyway? Besides getting into everything he shouldn't? ;)
Re: kender is too lazy to log in
Dang that's early! I can see your point, lol. How about you both do some soccer lessons in the back yard then? I've had great success with Sonny by pretending I don't know how to do something and making her teach me. I bet Moira would love to play soccer coach ;)

As for Riley... He manages anywhere from three to five steps before plowing into the ground or our arms. He loves to sort things which makes drawers fascinating to him. (pinched fingers, yes. He's mostly learned to avoid it though. Darwin won't get my child!) He has claimed my bottom drawer as his own and hides many things in there (took us two weeks to find the tv remote) he loves to dance and refuses to talk after showing us that he can. He's not a morning person and spends half the night jumping around in his crib while mommy and daddy try to will him to sleep. He smacks me when I drag him away from the dangerous thing he wants to play with. He's an asshole, and I love him so. :)
Hello and thanks for the add! I'm still trying not to be starstruck and just be a regular friend instead :p

3 is such an early age. So much can change about a kid's personality, even in a matter of weeks/months, with or without parental involvement ;) When O was little he used to push kids down in kindergarten and break their block towers, etc. We were terrified he was going to become a bully. It ended up that he was sort of "experimenting" with boundaries and kids' reactions - a few months later, he stopped and he is now as mild-mannered as Ferdinand the Bull :p Conversely, his siblings seemed easier at a younger age and are now learning the art of disobedience >_<

However, this is the age (one of them, anyway) when parents really pull their hair out. Now that you've established basic survival skills you start worrying that your child is going to be a freak or a sociopath XD Try to relax if you can - most of them turn out just fine ;)

Hi! I think we'll make very good regular friends. :)

You're right. I know that. And I'm not exactly afraid that Mouse will end up some kind of sociopath. It's more that I'm nervous that she'll get into a habit of disregard. If I teach her anything at all, it needs to be respect for others, and yet right now it seems to be the farthest thing from her mind.

I was raised on a lot of love, but also a lot of discipline. If my dad told me to knock it off, I'd do so right away. I don't know how to do that, as a parent. I don't know how to make her stop smirking and start behaving. I guess that's what I'm struggling with, more than anything.
Yay! :) Thank you for saying so <3

While nobody has all the answers, I know whatever strategies you try will be rooted in love ;)
I don't know if I'd punish her. I was one of these kids too and it wasn't really that I was being bad so much as I was easily distracted. It could be that soccer just isn't the right match for her and she needs a sport that will inspire her to pay attention. It's like how in nursery school I was one way during story time and one way during time at the art easel. I was more apt to behave and focus with the easel because I liked it better.

I mean do you know if that's the best she can do with paying attention yet? Is it just soccer she isn't paying attention to or are there other things she doesn't really pay attention to? I've had teachers punish me for inattention and I mean I understand as an adult why they did it, but as a kid I just couldn't grasp why I was being punished because my brain just couldn't focus on whatever lesson no matter how much I tried.

That said, my inattention problems did improve after I started puberty and were vastly improved by the time I finished puberty, though they still did linger in some aspects. Even now I have to be very strict with myself or I can do the dishes for like three hours because my brain is just full of distraction.
I know she can do better because she has. In her last soccer class, she was amazing. But maybe you're right - maybe her interest in it has waned. Or maybe it's the class environment. She's pretty good at one-on-one with an adult, but it seems like, as soon as there are other kids to impress, she's all over the place again.

I'm hoping to start her in preschool this fall, so maybe that'll change things. It could just be that she's an only child who gets too excited when she hangs out with other kids? I guess we'll see.
I just know as a kid I got punished for a lot of things I either couldn't help or didn't understand what I'd done (though she seems to understand this). Preschool will shed light on it like you said. The sticker thing just reminded me of a lot of stuff I went through, but I will admit I was not the average child.
Ahhhh, lots of good feedback here!

I think daycare/preschool will be good for her on the listening front, overall. I think having an only child is difficult because there's a lot less waiting for your turn, whether it's using a crayon or getting Mom's attention. There are a lot of lessons we learned by daily practice, and empathy and understanding were on that list.

Not that she can't learn those things without extra kid-socialization. I just think it may make things easier.

Btw - do you realize that you do t have a tag for me? You're so cruel. I have a "seesters" tag just for you. Jerk. *sniff*