I was cooking supper, so wasn't catching the entire conversation down the hall, but Uncle Randy was getting an ear full! And, from the bits and pieces that I was hearing, someone had not had a very good day at school. I cringed a bit. That was three days in a row.
Everybody has a rough day, now and then, but behavior issues at school three days in a row... That was not the norm, by any means. I checked the backpack and a note home in the agenda confirmed that she'd had another really tough day.
Actually, she'd been having a little more trouble than usual maintaining an even keel at home, too. I walked in the living room to turn off the television that had been abandoned.
The remote wasn't the only thing I found on the back of the couch.
I'll tell you, right now, determination to write entirely on their own is a new concept around here! So, honestly, my initial thought upon seeing the message was a very fleeting, "She wrote a note! And I can read it!" Followed, immediately, with something akin to, "That had better not be permanent marker! She'll be needing some help all right!"
And, all things considered, at that moment, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that there was, also, a bit of concern. 😩 We had quite the go round with this little artist resisting the urge to create on whatever solid surface was at hand. It, literally, took a few years, but she had conquered her impulsiveness.
The Very Long Rule: We draw on chalkboards, sidewalks (Both using chalk only!), white boards (Dry erase markers only! They are in the cabinet.), the sketch books or... paper.
After supper, I mentioned to the suspected culprit, the fact that I found a message on the couch asking for help. She beamed. "You could read it?"
I, inwardly, shared her moment of joy! Be still my heart!
Oh, the roller coaster of emotion that is parenthood! 😂
Shake it off, soldier! Stiff upper lip moment here! I retained my serious expression.
She, then, hung her head while apologizing for writing on the furniture. I asked what she had needed help with, she shrugged and admitted she didn't remember now, but it was really important
Little snippets of conversation over the past few days came to mind.
She had been so immersed in what she was doing that she failed to comply when the teacher called for the next activity.
She wanted to stay in her seat, but...
She really didn't have to go to the bathroom that many times.
She told some lies. (But confessed to them, thank goodness!)
Tearfully, spoken to Uncle Randy earlier that night, "I want to be a good listener..."
Coupled with the things at home that weren't really major, but, consistently, ornery. And, thoughts of the busy little body flailing about way more than usual at bedtime...
Yes, something was up.
Now, what was different?
It didn't take long to have the "Eureka!" moment.
I had changed her allergy medicine the Friday before. The timing of the behavior issues completely coincided with the medication change. That had to be it. We quit giving it to her, immediately. I wrote a note letting her teacher know what I suspected. And was thrilled to get a note home the next day that Friday was a bit better.
By Monday, our sweet (albeit, always headstrong 😉) girl was back.
And, even though, I had explained that we knew it was the new medicine that had made it hard for her to "be a good listener" at school the week prior, I think she was feeling remorse for her behavior. "Listener of the Day" became a daily topic of conversation. She wanted to be chosen.
Short notes from her teacher regarding better and better days, confirmed that she was working toward accomplishing that goal! And, she was not coming home distraught at not being chosen, but determined to try again.
The following Friday, a happy little girl left the school building; a very special reward gripped tightly in her hand. She peeked up at me through the open window, as she waited for her sister to climb into the Suburban.
"Guess who was Listener of the Day." she pealed, in the happiest sing song voice I may have ever heard. (Can you feel my heart melting all over, again? 😏)
I resisted the urge to leap from my vehicle in the pick up line for a twirl about hug, deciding instead on a fist bump. After which, she opened hers to reveal a little flower stamp.
That night, I found another note, written on the most beautiful handmade stationery, and, oh, so appropriately...
It made my heart sing.
I was compelled to write one back. 😏
If something is amiss with your child, don't let the constant stream of life coming at you cause the issue to get put on a back burner. Take some time to ponder, ask some questions, trust your instincts. You'll figure out what's going on. Nip it in the bud.
Left unchecked, whatever the problem is will grow. It could become something that manifests throughout their entire lives... It's our job to make sure it doesn't.
Because, I know not everyone believes that God is at the heart of every matter, I've got another post you should check out. 😏 It's "About Those P's && Q's."
It's my hope that you'll join me there, at the Heart of the Matter . I believe, with all that I am, that seeking God's help is how we will #BreakTheCycle of destruction that has, surely, touched every family in some way by now.
*stepping down from my soap box and, ever hoping*
See you next time.