Monday, October 10, 2011

Not Being Gentle

I don't understand why my kids can't be gentle.  I swear I wasn't like that as a child.  Well, except when I pushed my baby sister off a table when we went to adopt her (she was in an infant seat, and she was fine).  I was gentle with my pets, and my sister.

But not my kids.  I don't know where they get it from.  Maybe it's because I have two boys?  I just don't know.  My older kids, T, and Princess, are so rough and tumble.  I cringe when they play together because I'm sure they're going to hurt one another.  Sometimes they do, but they're usually fine.

My poor Goober gets the worst of it since he's the smallest.  He's old enough to want to play, yet small enough that he can't unless they're gentle with him.  It doesn't happen.  One day, I left the room for a minute, and when I came back, T had Goober in a headlock, and Princess was jumping over their heads.  On the bed.

Then there's the kitten.  I adopted two cats last week, a momma named Cheese, and her 6 week old kitten, who we named Cheddar.  I was wary of getting a kitten, since my kids tend to not be gentle, but I was overcome by his cuteness and couldn't resist.

I'm regretting this decision.  I adore the kitten.  He's playful and Goober thinks he's the funniest thing in the word.  Princess is terrified of him, because when she tried to play with him, he used his claws and she got a little scratch on her face.  But I'm terrified T is going to kill him.  He cannot seem to be gentle.  He's fine with the other cats, who are big.  Not the kitten.

I have to make sure every minute of the day that I know where T is, and where the kitten is, so they are never unsupervised together.  I think T loves the kitten; he always asks me where baby cat is and wants to play with him.  This has resulted in him flinging the kitten end over end across the room, flinging him off the bed onto the floor, and trying to throw him over the railing and down the stairs.  The poor kitten.

No matter how many times I warn T to be gentle and give him time-outs when he doesn't listen, he can't be gentle.  He is rough with everyone, including me.  Princess is pretty much the same, although she can manage to be gentle for a little while when she is reminded.  Maybe it's because she is a girl.  And Goober is too little to know what I mean when I tell him to be gentle.  Surprisingly, he's been the best with the kitten.  They seem to get along.

I hope one day the message will sink in.  If it doesn't, I'm sure my kids will be terrors in school.  T just started preschool, and I will not be surprised when the call comes that he did something rough to someone else's kid.  After all, he only lasted 2 half-days in daycare before they asked me not to bring him back.  I guess that's what parenting is though; trying to instill values in your children and them not listening.  Maybe the message will sink in one day.

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