I had one of those parenting moments today that just makes you cringe and want to hide.
My 7 year old son is one of the oldest in his Art and PE Co-op (a group of homeschoolers who get together to hold classes). I help with the babies during the PE portion, and I’ve been hearing for a few weeks how my son doesn’t participate well, interrupts, and gets upset easily. I just chalked it up to some exaggeration and maybe a bad day.
And then I saw it first hand today. I came out because the moms were short-handed. My son, 7, was complaining because he wasn’t picked first. After every time picking a kid to take a turn (there were about 20 kids) my son was interrupting and wanting it to be his turn. Most of the 4-6 year olds were patiently taking turns.
Later, he was talking to other kids, distracting them while the mom leading the class was explaining the game. I told him to stop talking and listen.
Then they played a tag game, and he started to melt down when another girl accidentally scratched him when tagging him. Her mom started to pull them both aside to talk about it, and he jerked his arm out from under her hand and started to yell at her daughter about her scratching him. I jumped in, apologized to the mom, and dealt with it immediately.
We went to a back corner to talk about it. He had to sit out the rest of the games and watch the other kids. The whole time he was whining and complaining about the other kids getting to play his favorite games. I reminded him that punishments aren’t always fun and he needs to remember to play nicely next time. And if it happened again we’d stop staying for PE time.
We dealt with similar things with him a few years ago, but it got a lot better once we cut out high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and most preservatives. I guess his body enjoyed the break from those things and there’s something else that’s bothering his body.
When talking to my husband about it today and some other moms, I realize he may be borderline ADHD, which I thought before 2 years ago.
I realized that if we were still eating a “mainstream” diet that it could be a lot worse.
I also realize why some parents are so willing to give their child medication. This is hard, and it’s not even that bad in comparison.
I’ve always held to a “80/20” system. I focus on 80% of my family’s diet and consumption don’t stress about the rest. I figure if I’m diligent that much their body can better handle the rest (and our 20% is lighter than the norm for most of the population and still doesn’t have HFCS and hydrogenated oils most of the time).
I’m trying to find a balance in doing what’s best for my kids and also still having some convenience and not having to do it all. And they have so many friends who eat out and such I don’t want to cut out everything or make them seem different (and we never eat at the typical fast food joint, Chick-fil-A is pretty much it…though I am disappointed at the level of additives and preservatives in their foods).
We’ll probably start a food diary where I can write down everything he eats and we can make notes on how he feels and his behavior. Maybe we can find an actual trigger to avoid. But medication is not an option for our family unless it’s actually something serious and medication is one of the only ways to correct/cure it. Difficulty controlling emotions and an embarrassed mommy is not grounds for meds.
No mom wants to be the mom of “that child” that doesn’t listen well and can’t control himself.
But I guess I am.