“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.” — Sylvia Plath
P is barely 4 and has severe asthma. Her mother told us she is seeing a specialist (thank god) and they recently changed her medication. Side effects may include:
- and more
As a darling concerned parent, P’s mom asked us to keep a eye out for her and keep her in the loop if we notice any changes. She knows P is a handful on an average day, but she just wants to know how she’s doing and if we notice any changes.
I have noticed changes.
- She seems A LOT more anxious (biting her shirt sleeve or her lip, etc)
- isolating herself more often than usual (she’s usually the ringleader of her friends)
- having angry outbursts w/ her friends or me
- talking back to teachers and shouting at her friends….
The list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong-P isn’t a perfect child but I love her to pieces. She’s INCREDIBLY bright-advanced for her age in most areas-and very curious (something I encourage!) But I often have tiffs with her.
She’s very stubborn (I have to ask her to do things many times because she acknowledges my request but then ignores me. She likes to do stuff I ask her not to do while staring me in the face-it was a once on a bad day kind of thing before, but not anymore). She’s very bossy w/ her friends-a bit of a bully (which has gotten worse over time). Lately she’s even started getting sassy with me and her friends as well-rolling her eyes, making VERY rude sassy comments, etc. She often makes a big deal out of an injury to get attention or tattles on her friends for nothing,…the list goes on and on.
BOTTOM LINE: I don’t know how to help P or her family. Her mother always looks exasperated when she comes to pick her up-like she’s just exhausted by having to work so hard with P. I can tell she’s worried about her behavior-she expressed this before she changed medications. She’s genuinely concerned that her child is going to grow up to be a bad kid-not that she doesn’t have faith or love P, just that she’s worried.
I told her that a kid’s personality evolves as she grows. (Just because a kid is a terror before they reach kindergarten doesn’t mean they’re doomed to become a psychopath! As my sister would say, there’s a good reason why psychopathy isn’t diagnosed in kids lol…naturally I didn’t mention any of that though) I told her that I have seen P grow in positive ways since the beginning of the year, and that she shouldn’t lose hope. P has good days and bad ones and ones in between-just like the rest of her peers. I wouldn’t even say that P causes the most trouble in my class. But how can I reassure her of this?
And further more-how can I best help P? I can’t let her bad behavior slide because I didn’t in the past. But how can I help her handle her anxiety/anger/etc?