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
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.