I felt like a good mom today.
I've mentioned before that X has always had violent tendencies. And I'm a big proponent of showing kids what TO do, instead of just telling them not to do. So I've been training X. "No hitting," I say, making a hitting motion and shaking my head. "Be gentle," I tell him, lightly stroking his arm. "Gentle."
After weeks and weeks of this, I think he gets it. He'll start to hit, then stop his arm in midair and pat me on the arm, saying, "Shub." Weeks ago at school, when all the kids were sitting around the breakfast table, I saw him casually grab the arm of the baby next to him and open wide like he was about to chomp down on a turkey leg. Today at dropoff, he turned to the little girl next to him, raised his hand... and gently stroked her hair, telling her, "Shub."
He's not much for talking, but his behavior is improving.
Meanwhile, I'm having two issues with the other one. Any experienced parents have advice here?
First, I'm concerned that he's not getting enough sleep (about 9 hours on a typical night, from about 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., no nap). It takes him a long time to settle down at night, and the moment I leave the room he's up reading a comic book. For the past few nights I've been staying in his room and making sure he's lying down with his eyes closed, but that doesn't seem like a good long-term solution. Part of the problem is that even if I get home relatively early (which for me is before 7), I have to eat dinner and then we spend some time together, so we don't start getting ready for bed until after 8. The lights are out by 8:45 and then he's asleep sometime between 9 and 10. I guess one solution is for me to come home an hour earlier, but I already get to work late after dropoff... I would have to start working part-time.
Second, he's such a drama queen about getting hurt. Today I told him he needs to toughen up, which I've been finding myself saying a lot lately. His face fell and I realized that telling him that doesn't help and just makes him feel bad. At the same time, I would like to discourage all the whining about his various wounds, bumps, and bruises. (He tends to be overly sensitive about other things too... today he was moping around and when I asked what was wrong, he burst out with, "Camryn took my acorn away at naptime!")