We are going through a very rough patch with Luna right now. She has always been a very external emotional person. She takes her anger out on other people, she exercises her lungs often and well, and she fails to comprehend that other people have emotions too. Ah- the joys of being 5.
Okay, maybe I am being too harsh on that last one. All children under 6 have no concept of selfishness. The universe still revolves around them. We tell them to share, we talk about how our friends feel when we are selfish, but the truth is, the cognitive abilities of young children are just not there to work well with empathy. I know this. Wait, my BRAIN knows this. The parent who is holding the doorknob of her door while she is grabbing the handle and screaming "I…AM…CALM…I…WANT…TV!" at the top of her lungs wants her to figure this out NOW!
She was the biter in the toddler classroom. When her friends upset her, she would just go for the jugular, or the hand. She liked biting hands or shoulders. We had to hold her tightly to prevent her from biting us. She would sometimes calm and then when I hugged her, she would bite my shoulder. It took a long time, months, of working on getting her to use words instead of teeth or hands to explain her displeasure.
Now, I feel like we are back at square one. Soleil feels ignored, but she is a wonderfully empathic person. She was built with empathy and her issues were trying to balance her selfish nature with her empathy. Until she was 6, the selfish would win out and her concerns of others would fall down. Somewhere, in her summer she turned 6, there was a rapid change. I can only hope that this happens to Luna as well.
Luna turns 6 in 1 month. We’re torn between thinking "She’s only 5" and "damn it! She’s almost finished kindergarten" and even her teacher points out that she is one of the least sharing and immature about sharing in her class. It’s hard to find her. And I know SHE is having trouble finding her. I KNOW in my heart that she wants to learn how to calm. We are giving her lots of tools, but I don’t know if she understands what angers her.
I mentioned this issue on face book (in 1 sentence form) and someone commented that screaming was not allowed in her house. I would love to know how to do that. We already take away privileges if she screams. We have natural consequences (I can’t read as long of a book if she spends 15 minutes screaming. That’s 15 minutes I can’t read). We try to appeal to her selfish nature. It hasn’t been working.
We had different issues with Soleil at this age. But now? We have to focus on Luna. And that is hard. So hard to teach her who she is and how to calm down.