Friday, January 20, 2012

Atomic Melt Down Gymnast-style

It finally happened, as I knew it would.  F had an utter and complete melt down during her team practice last night.  An atomic tantrum for all to hear, such that her Coach kicked her out of practice for the remaining 45 minutes or so.  Rightly, Miss Coach E worked as much as she could with The Firstborn, but given several chances finally had to resort to separating her from the group.

When I arrived to retrieve her at the regular time, F told me of her poor behavior, and Coach took me aside to give me the blow by blow.  Apparently it started with whining and unusual fear around a skill that F already knows, it escalated to crying and louder whining, then hollering and screaming, finally culminating with cursing and screaming for the whole gym to hear (albeit she'd already been removed from practice at that point).

I'm so proud.

That is in heavy {sarc} font, I'm not proud.  I'm rather embarrassed, except when I remember that she's only 5.5 years old, a passionate perfectionist already, and had already been "on" all day at the National Western Stock Show.  I also remember that her behavior is hers and hers alone.  Yes, I'm responsible partly, because I'm her Momma, but only to a degree.  I do my best to model appropriate expressions of anger and frustration (I've grown a long way in the past few years), there's a point where I end and she begins, however.  My biggest lesson as a parent, and what I realized early with this first daughter, was how to apologize for my behavior.  To make sure she knows that I am not perfect, I make mistakes, and I make amends.  The tough part comes with carrying through the living amends---that the apologetic words don't end up meaningless.  Ah, there's the rub.

So, to those who were in the gym last night and might think I'm a bad mother because my daughter has a terrible temper, I say, "Examine yourself first before judging."

To the Rising Tigers' Coaches, E & C, I say a loving "Thank You." 
Thank You for your patience and understanding.  It's a big deal to ensure that children feel safe to emote, even if it's ugly.  
Thank You for not shaming her, eventually Miss Monkey will learn what is appropriate and what isn't (pray sooner than later).  
Thank You for being an example of compassion and Thank You for not taking it personally.

No comments: