I had this awful restaurant lunch on Saturday. It wasn't the food that was terrible, it was the Little Man.
We were catching up with some friends who he loves to see. He spent almost the entire time we were in the restaurant, misbehaving, being loud, running around or rolling on the floor. now this boy has spent a good chunk of his life in cafes and restaurants. He knows how to behave. He just chose not to.
This is just one thing lately that he has been in trouble for. He is mucking up more than behaving lately and it is so out of character I've been trying to work out if there is a source or if it is normal 4 1/2 year old behaviour. Checking with friends and a little Google research leads me to believe that it is mostly normal 4 1/2 year old behaviour with a little reaction to the Workaholics stress levels.
I have decided to be proactive and work on a plan to get him through this period without myself or the Workaholic putting up for sale on Ebay.
As I've mentioned, had his full speech assessment done, as well as an assessment of his fine motor skills as he is struggling with pencil grip and buttons. I think he is stressed about these things and also reacting to being discussed, prodded and poked. I suspect his stubbornness will kick in in a positive way when he can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
He is also taking forever to get dressed in the mornings. Apparently this is common at his age and has to do with resisting transitions, in this case from home to pre-school. There are a few suggestions on how to combat this out there, like offering options so they make the choice of clothing (we do already and makes no difference at all), taking him to pre-school in his PJ's so he is embarrassed by his peers and gets dressed there (apparently it works instantly - this I doubt, I know my son, he'd love the idea of being the kid in the PJ's and would encourage the others to do the same), or using a a timer and making it a competition (I have tried racing him but it has limited success). I have decided to try the last one again but in a more formal manner than what I have done previously. This time he is going to race the clock, not me. I have bought an egg timer and I am going to give him 5 minutes to beat the timer. I'll do some sort of sticker chart with a weekly reward.
"Why?" Now this is not the "why?" of wanting to know the answer and finding out about things. This is the "why?" of defiance. If any adult asks him to clean up, put his hat on, stop doing something, sit down and eat lunch, etc, he asks "Why?" instead of complying. It's relatively new (since the loss of The Missing Teacher) and very annoying. What do I here? No idea.
Happily both the fine motor skills and speech assessments were mostly positive and I feel armed with information to move him through his difficulties with the small areas high lighted by the assessments. I did get to witness the problem with transitions in the speech assessment today. I almost wanted to push the speech pathologist, she kept taking forever to transition from one test to the next and he'd lose his focus. At least I am armed with this knowledge now and can put up distractions to move him on.
I'm not taking him to a restaurant anytime soon, but hopefully I will feel comfortable trying again soon if I can get him through this phase (am I deluded? Is it more than a phase?).
Now if I can just work out how to get him through the defiance!!