Refocusing on Parenting

Yesterday morning Dana and I met an inclusion specialist at JCC to touch base on Dao’s behavior. It was heartbreaking to hear how unhappy he was in class because he cried every time he couldn’t get what he wanted. We had turned him into a spoiled kid. The specialist gave us some techniques on consequences and warned us that it will be tough discipline him now, but we need to reign him in.

After work I went pick up cu Dan and went home. Dao was eating dinner and watching TV. Things seemed to be fine until I asked him to go take a bath. Of course, he refused so I brought out Lightning McQueen, which I bought a few weeks ago, just for him to take a peak. I told him, “If you’re good, I’ll give it to you at the end of the week.” He replied, “Yes, I am a good boy. I want to go take a shower.” As I was giving him a bath and washing his hands, he told me, “Hands are for holding, not for hitting.” Wow, I was so proud of my son.

After the shower, things started to get wild. He claimed his prize, “Daddy, I am being a good boy. Can I have Lightning McQueen? I really need it. I want to play with it now.” I said, “Yes, you are being such a good boy and if you keep up this behavior I’ll give it to you at the end of the week.” He started screaming, rolling down the floor, putting his fingers in his mouth trying to gag up. I stayed firm and continued to explain to him that type of behavior is not going to get him the toy and I love him. He tried to hit and scratched me. I held on to his hands and asked, “What are hands for?” His respond was, “For hitting.” I let him go, he picked up books and tissue box and tossed them at me. I just let him went on until he could calm down. When he did he asked for mommy. When Dana came up, he tried to tell her that “Daddy is not nice to me.” Dana stood by me and explained to him why he didn’t get his toy. Not sure what she told him, but he came and apologized to me. He gave me a hug and kiss.

The whole experience was quite something. I didn’t feel bad because I didn’t spank or yell at him. I didn’t led up either. I re-emphasized several times, “I love you, but I don’t like your behavior.” It was eye-opening to see a three year old put on quite a show. He is actually not a hardheaded kid. He just knew that he could get away with it if he pushed harder. When he knew he couldn’t get it he stopped and tried other methods like turning to his mom. He makes a much bigger scene when we’re in a room full of adults. This little fellow is a good actor. Back when he was one or younger, he slided on the floor when he didn’t get what he wanted, but he wouldn’t slide on a hardwood floor. It was hilarious seeing him looking for spot that had the rug to slide down on his stomach.