Friday, May 24, 2013

Been caught stealing, once when I was 5. I enjoy stealing. It's just as simple as that...

Currently a member of the Curious Gang
My Jordan is a sweet boy. He's big and strong for his age, but he still sucks his thumb.

He likes his blankie and snuggling in your lap when you read to him and taking baths with his sister. He hugs his little friends. Whenever he gets near a sandbox or dirt, he immediately begins digging a foundation.

A foundation for what? Just a foundation. Duh.

He smiles a lot, gives kisses, and says things like, "Sleep tight!" to India before she goes to bed. He gets all bashful when we run into the day care woman that he still has a huge crush on.


He's been fighting at school.

The other day I arrived to pick him up and his teacher was putting ice on the start of a huge bruise on his cheek. One of the other boys - his frenemy - had pushed him and he'd fallen into something. And now he has a shiner.

But Jordan does his share of pushing. And hitting. He and this frenemy, who I'll call Duke, like to lay down on the floor and kick each other. They think it's funny. But they get into hitting and pushing and one of them gets hurt. Sometimes there is a third boy in the mix.

Yesterday, however, when I arrived to pick him up, they told me that he hit one of his after-care teachers.

When he does things he knows he shouldn't, and he gets called out on it, he laughs. I think he's embarrassed. But the laughter upset the teacher.

It turns out that she broke up a fight between Duke and him and then Jordan hit her. He's a few months from turning four. He's still a little boy. But he's a big little boy. And he's old enough to know not to hit.

Now, whenever he gets in trouble in school, he has to apologize. It's uncomfortable for him, and he realizes the magnitude of things when he has to look an adult in the eye and say he is sorry for whatever particular thing he has done.

I was originally thinking his little frenemy Duke is a thug, but I now recognize Jordan is just as culpable. He wouldn't behave so badly if he didn't have an instigator, but the fact is that he's still behaving badly, and now on a fairly regular basis.

Yesterday I came to the conclusion that he and Duke, who is a bright kid, get kind of bored, and then they start fighting.

But I also immediately had this vision of Jordan as a teenager stealing cars and setting cats on fire and spray painting gang signs on the sides of buildings.

What do I do to stop this bad behavior?


  1. I really am not sure about how to stop it. I think hitting and kicking (girls scream) is their way of communicating. He's communicating that he's frustrated, bored, angry. Someone has used this tactic on him and he see's for the most part it works. It stops the other guy from doing what he's doing. Eventually he will figure out that yeah, it stops it, but it causes later problems, like getting in to trouble. I think he just needs to learn how to communicate better with his friends AND that some folks can't be dealt with but to walk away. This all just comes with time and age. Also, he is full of love and caring and concern for his loved ones. I promise he'll grow up to be a sweet, loving, kind, caring young man. Not that he'll never get into trouble. But he wont stay in it.

    1. Oh, these comments made me feel better!

      Thank you, Lynn. You know, I was standing with him when his teacher told him that just because Duke behaves a certain way doesn't mean Jordan has to. I think it's true that he needs to get a little older and figure out how to communicate better and regulate his behavior.

  2. You're doing the right things. Making him apologize, maybe putting him in time out of you catch him doing something like this -- all of that sends the message. Maybe the teacher could facilitate some different activities between the two of them, like maybe when he and Duke are getting a little nutso, suggest that they build something together. He's still a peanut, and he's still learning, and it will pass. My kids go through little weird phases all the time -- it's their way of testing the world, seeing what works, that sort of thing. He's a lovely child with a benevolent soul - he's not going to end up in juvvy.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I am going to talk to the teacher about activities. I saw her briefly on Friday (I hadn't seen her at after care when I picked him up) and she said she is working on them, and to give her some time. That he's a boy at a transitional age. So that made me feel better, too, because both the teachers at after care were just upset.

      I'm so glad for the reassurance about juvvy. Seriously my mind went there.

  3. does anyone rough-house with him at home? Can be a positive way to get energy out. Also can try spending a few minutes of special time with him daily- often kids just need more positive attention

    1. We do rough-house but mostly Nick does it with him. And these last couple weeks have been hard, as Betty is gone, and so until India goes to bed, she's part of the equation. Then Jordan and I have some good snuggle time, but I'm working not to wind him up, so definitely not rough-housing.

  4. Jordan definitely doesn't seem the setting cats on fire type. On the car stealing and spray painting front can't really say anything... although neither you nor Nick seem, for the moment, so off your crackers to somehow manage to cause that reaction in him, either way, he won't be cruel about it.
    I'm guessing it's just a phase, much like India's nighttime screaming (which, incidentally, would be a great excuse for court in case you were ever caught spray painting sides of buildings), much like, in fact, most things in childhood. He should apologize, sure, and it should be pointed out as unacceptable behavior in no uncertain terms of course, other than that, well, he'll get over it soon enough.
    Also, the Boy laughs at me when I catch him doing something wrong too... I think he just laughs when he's nervous rather than cry, which in his mind would make him a baby. I'd explain to him how that can upset adults and give him some options of other ways to react... because his laughing and the adults anger/scolding to his laughing will only make things worse in my opinion. Also, I'd have a frank conversation with his caregivers about possibly giving him and Duke something to do so they don't resort to whacking each other for entertainment!

    1. You are so right! If I'm ever caught spray painting, I'm going to blame the (semi) temporary insanity on India's screaming and my resulting lack of sleep!!!

      I am going to follow your advice and explain how people get upset when he laughs after doing something unkind. I haven't ever explained that to him.

      And yes, we will talk to the teachers about possible activities.

      Our daycare owner, who I spoke to for advice, also suggested that it's late in the school year and everyone is tired and restless, and that could definitely figure in.


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