My 4-year-old, Nathan can be something of a challenge. He can also be fantastically sweet. At church, his Primary teachers seem unable to control him. Therefore, 2 of the last 3 weeks, I've spent in his class with him.
Sharing time has actually been the hardest. There's this little girl, Trachelle (I don't know how to spell her name but that's the phonic spelling.) , and she and Nathan just go after each other. They should be forbidden from sitting together.
While I was in Primary today, Nathan touched her, so she pushed him. Later, Trachelle, pulled on his arm and Nathan "flopped" to the floor. Another time Nathan did something, I forgot what and I asked him to apologize. "I did!" he insisted. "He didn't say he was sorry," Trachelle tattled. What interested me, though, was that in class, Trachelle was the problem not Nate.
She bolted out of the Primary room, ahead of the class and ran for the classroom. Once inside, she ducked under a table. So I hustled in there behind Nate and asked her if she left her scriptures. She had, and bolted back out the door for the Primary room. She tried to hold every picture and fought with a new girl who had just moved in. She would crumple up visual aids (pictures of Jesus) and try and snatch things out of other kids hands.
The majority of my time in the classroom was spent not controlling my Nathan, but Trachelle. So it was interesting when I stopped to talk for a minute to Sister Frost, the woman who will be these kids' Primary teacher come January. We talked about Nathan, who she's not at all worried about controlling (thank goodness). But she spoke about Nathan's antics in Sharing Time as being him constantly teasing Trachelle.
Granted, Nate gets his fair share of digs in, but Trachelle is dishing the whole time, too. Part of me wanted to say, "Did you miss all the stuff Trachelle was doing?" But the other part says, "Hush, she'll know by the 3rd week of January how much of problem she'll be." So I stayed quiet.
Later today, my father-in-law was chewing out my son. Apparently, Nathan was repeatedly climbing (or trying to climb) my in-law's short picket fence out front. What was interesting to me, was when my f-i-l marched in with Nate in toe and put him in a time-out, I asked what was going on. My f-i-l's response was, "I've got everything under control, but he needs to sit here for a few minutes." Later he explained Nathan's behavior. But when my hubby (not the family disciplinarian) called Nathan over to him, my f-i-l let Nate go.
Again I feel conflicted. Part of me says, "Back off and let me be the parent. Let me know what the behavior problem is and deal with it. And for heaven sakes, will everyone stop picking on my kid!" The other part of me is willing to let other people help raise him and teach him what is appropriate behavior and what is not.
In this situation, I felt that my father-in-law overstepped his bounds. I was there, Wendell was there; we should have been the ones to deal with the problem. I also felt that my f-i-l was rather chauvinistic, by letting Wendell parent him, but not me.