I had a discussion with CJ’s preschool teacher concerning his behavior. He’s been worrying me a bit lately with raging temper tantrums that seem to be getting worse. The other day he received a behavioral write up from another teacher who, when she attempted to place him in time out for repeated name calling, was subjected to his raging fit and he punched her in the legs with his closed fists. And with two months until his fourth birthday- I’m thinking he should have better control over his emotions at this point.
In our conversation I expressed to her, knowing she is degreed in early childhood education and has fifteen years in working with young kids, that he picked up learning things so easily but seemed so far behind in behavior. Then she explained to me that it is very common. That if a child is growing leaps and bounds on the cognitive side that the emotional/social side lags behind in development. It is impossible for them to grow on both sides at the same time. All of the energy is being used for the one thing. And the same thing goes for children who mature in the social/emotional side quickly. She has kids who can sit down, follow directions and respond appropriately to their emotions but are dumber than a nail (her phrase, not mine). She said that the delayed side will catch up. She didn’t give me any time frame- I’m praying it happens significantly sooner than his 20th birthday. She also takes into account that he is youngest child in the class, everyone else is already well past their fourth birthday. It wouldn’t be appropriate to put him in the younger room because he needs the harder curriculum. So she works a lot with him one on one. Have I ever mentioned how ridiculously happy I am that I changed his childcare facility?
Another thing to consider for his behavior is that he is aware of his own physical limitations. His feelings of frustration and anger can stem from that he is aware that he just ‘can’t do’ yet- he is aware it is possible for older and bigger children to do things that he is unable to and his explosions may be about more than just the incident that triggered him. So when I tell him he must use his fork to eat spaghetti and he throws himself into the floor screaming- it’s probably about more than that.
For now, we continue to work with him in identifying his emotions and giving him appropriate ways to express himself. She went on to tell me that she has noticed that if he has a total meltdown early in the morning that he is a perfect child the rest of the day. Once he’s had his explosion, he is great. I’m not sure what to make of that. Maybe I can piss him off when I wake him up so that he melts down early?
But I’m not into starting the day on a negative tone.