Author Topic: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"  (Read 2853 times)

former player

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"Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« on: March 13, 2017, 09:19:54 AM »
Quote from a journal that I didn't want to take off course -

"kids are just nuts sometimes and there is nothing we can do but hug them and hope tomorrow will be better!"

It was said in the context of a kid who is described as sometimes being manic, attacking his mother and/or knocking things over, although I'd hope any discussion doesn't relate to particular individuals.  I'm much more interested in what the statement "kids are just nuts sometimes" says and means.

Is it true that "kids are just nuts sometimes and there is nothing we can do?"   Is it true of all kids?  Is it true across all cultures? 

Has "going nuts" become normalised?  What does it say about a culture in which "going nuts" is considered normal?
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StarBright

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 10:43:50 AM »
I'll play :) and I'll also say I appreciate you starting this new thread instead of derailing the other one. For that OP's sake, I was a little worried that her thread would devolve into a parenting war.

Some kids really are just nuts sometimes. But as I said in the other thread - we can often watch for patterns on what will trigger children and teach them and help them learn to effectively deal with those things.

If we define "nuts" as tantrums, I do not think it is the same across all cultures - but different cultures value different things. I remember reading, for instance, that the most valued trait among the French is that children be "well behaved." In America the highest valued traits are intelligence and creativity (I think I read this in Bringing up Bebe.) Our society and childrearing are structured accordingly.

An example of French schooling that sticks with me is that children don't necessarily have "free play" or arts time - but when they draw a picture the entire class must draw the same picture, using the same colors, etc.  - Following directions is paramount in that format. In the US (and parts of Italy I believe) young child education is generally very child led - "oh you want to talk about bugs this week?" and then children are encouraged to learn basic skills (drawing, reading, counting, etc) while leaning into their own interests. Either way you end up with mostly capable adults.

And this is going to start to get a bit far out - but -

There has been at least one study that i know of that shows children of authoritarian parents are at higher risk for suicide - so there's that. And I imagine plenty of parents try to swing in the opposite direction of that.

AND - who knows how environmental factors might effect behavior in current young children. There's an entire generation in Flint Michigan that is likely going to have major behavior issues. I read something the other day about smog drift from Asia coming into the US - air pollution increases asthma issues, asthma medication can actually effect behavior in children, etc . . .

There is a huge (global) web that effects us and our kids in ways that we might not even think about. So all that to say - yeah - maybe kids are just a little more nuts :)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 01:03:21 PM by StarBright »

milliemchi

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 12:27:28 PM »
My daughter was "going nuts" regularly until about school age, and then only rarely (less than once a month) until she was about 6 or so. To imagine  "going nuts", think of a bad tantrum, kicking, hitting, etc., except that the kid is completely detached from this world and unreachable, not there - even at 6.  At 6 it was more 'freaked out', than mad, no hitting and kicking. As a toddler, this was often triggered by us not understanding what she wanted (e.g., she wanted to go out, but we were going in, and didn't explain why). What kept me sane was talking to my co-worker who had three sons, the middle of which had similar 'fits'.  Dad had on occasion had to throw him in a shower stall so that he is confined in a relatively safe space, and then just sit in the bathroom until it passes. Mom on occasion had to buckle the kid up in the car seat in their garage, and just wait it out. (My husband on occasion had to hold our daughter in a 'bear hug' for 20 minutes until she calmed down, which is much the same thing.) The other two sons never had any such problems, and this middle kid eventually grew into a nice, kind boy. So that kept me sane. My daughter also grew into a nice, kind girl.

My son had a different problem: he did whatever he wanted to do, and refused to submit to discipline. So, each time-out was a 45-minute physical struggle. He not only kicked, but also scratched and bit. He was always present in this world, though, just a bit wild. At about 4.5, he turned into a well-behaved little boy. The less we disciplined, the better he behaved, it was a virtuous cycle, but you can't get there until there is some degree of collaboration. Some kids just need time for their brain to mature.

Aelias

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 12:28:14 PM »
I try to remind myself that kids are just people, and the fact is people are just nuts sometimes.  I think of standing in a long, slow moving line with my kids.  At some point, they start to get whiny and wiggly.  Truth is--I'm feeling whiny and wiggly too.  But, because I'm older, I've learned how to tolerate the boredom better.

Haven't we all had days where we aren't at our best?  Sometimes because we're sick or tired or hungry or stressed?  Sometimes because it's just been a frustrating day?

I feel like kids experience that too, but are still working on developing their coping mechanisms--because they're kids.  And so sometimes just showing them compassion is best way through it.




milliemchi

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 12:33:45 PM »
So, yes, "kids are just nuts sometimes, and there is nothing we can do but hug them and hope tomorrow will be better".  I'm going to interpret this as meaning that we can't make them mature faster than they naturally do. (At least not without breaking something in the process.)

jezebel

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 12:51:37 PM »
Is it true that "kids are just nuts sometimes and there is nothing we can do?"   Is it true of all kids?  Is it true across all cultures? 

Has "going nuts" become normalised?  What does it say about a culture in which "going nuts" is considered normal?

Do you have children or have you ever worked with young children?   "Going nuts" has certainly never been normalized, as far as I can tell, for children.  Children are basically expected to be little adults or the parents are vilified by much of the population, many of whom who have never had children.  Even children who are sedate by nature still act out on occasion.  There's no point in pretending otherwise - children have trouble controlling their emotions.

The thing we can control is how we react to an outburst.  I have a child who is naturally well-behaved but known to have the occasional fit related to stress or anxiety.   I also have a younger child prone to melt-downs at home but behaves like an angel at school.  Most kids out grown tantrums and certain techniques work better with certain children for mitigating the behavior. 

tthree

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 02:45:24 PM »
I try to remind myself that kids are just people, and the fact is people are just nuts sometimes.
YES.
The thing we can control is how we react to an outburst.
And YES.

DH has a hard time keeping his cool when the kids veer off course.  I have been know to inquisitively look and him and calmly ask, "Which one of you is three?"

frugalparagon

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 03:11:15 PM »
...

"kids are just nuts sometimes and there is nothing we can do but hug them and hope tomorrow will be better!"
...

OP here :-).

I think what the poster meant was that there is sometimes nothing you can do in the moment--that is, no amount of threats, promises, cajoling, or active listening compassion that will short-circuit a tantrum. You just have to wait it out.

That's not to say that there is nothing you can you do ever. I, for instance, have been adjusting my approach in consultation with a child psychologist. I'm thinking of having the child seen, too, but I am leery of pathologizing his behavior when I'm not sure I've tried everything on my end, if that makes sense.
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former player

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 04:12:24 PM »
Great comments from everyone, please keep them coming.

I have a friend who has a child who does the "just nuts" thing.  He was adopted as a baby and was known them to have foetal alcohol syndrome of which mood disorders is a known symptom.   (Just to clarify, I'm not implying here that this is the "just nuts" cause of issues for any other particular child!)

I'm interested in Starbright's speculation on physical environmental effects in children.  Lead poisoning could be another relevant factor.  But it's a little frightening to think that our physical environment might have become degraded to the extent that children are being damaged by changes to the environment as a whole rather than by localised effects such as particular water supplies or individual buildings with lead paint.
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Laura33

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2017, 06:39:35 PM »
Well of course kids just go nuts sometimes!  Big emotions + minimal words = recipe for meltdowns.  And have you ever seen kids just run and run and twirl and yell and generally go crazy through a park or playground after sitting and sitting? 

My DD had the extra joy of being born basically without a filter -- sounds were too loud, lights were too bright, friends and playtime were just soooo much fun that you couldn't pull her away until she was so exhausted she couldn't stand it any more.  Her two speeds were 0 and 120 mph; she would forget to eat if there were friends to play with, refuse to sleep if there was anything fun going on.  Imagine being inside a brain like that, at 2 or 3 or 4, just being completely overwhelmed and not understanding why -- and not even knowing words to explain it all, or even ask for help?  What else could she do but just completely lose her shit?  AND her brilliant parents had never even seen a child like her and so did absolutely everything wrong for that whole time, which of course just made it worse.
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MayDay

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 06:24:25 AM »
I don't think I've ever met a child that didn't just completely lose their shit sometimes.

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jezebel

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 07:11:26 AM »
Great comments from everyone, please keep them coming.

I have a friend who has a child who does the "just nuts" thing.  He was adopted as a baby and was known them to have foetal alcohol syndrome of which mood disorders is a known symptom.   (Just to clarify, I'm not implying here that this is the "just nuts" cause of issues for any other particular child!)

I'm interested in Starbright's speculation on physical environmental effects in children.  Lead poisoning could be another relevant factor.  But it's a little frightening to think that our physical environment might have become degraded to the extent that children are being damaged by changes to the environment as a whole rather than by localised effects such as particular water supplies or individual buildings with lead paint.

It seems like you are trying to draw a connection between children having tantrums and serious environmental or physiological causes.  If that is the case, I think you and the OP/other posters are talking about very different things. 

StarBright

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 07:41:13 AM »
An acquaintance posted this to a parenting board I read - It is not particularly scientific or well sourced (and it is from a hippy dippy website so caveat emptor) -but I thought it was pertinent to this convo.

http://livetheorganicdream.com/texas-school-triples-recess-time-solves-attention-deficit-disorder/

I think one of the things I was trying to get at in my original response was that kids may be more "nuts" than they used to be - at least anecdotally. But there are all sorts of structural and societal (maybe environmental) reasons why that may be the case.

I felt like the OP may have been going down a "why do modern parents suck so much?" path and was trying to point out the vast amount of things that might contribute to various behaviors.

Sorry if I read OP wrong or started off down a defensive path when it was unnecessary :)

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 08:54:59 AM »
I'm going to hazard a guess that you haven't personally spent much time around young children or been responsible for the caretaking.  This question could be rephrased as  "Is water wet?"

Quote
Is it true of all kids?
Putting the word all in any sentence makes the statement that follows it almost guaranteed to be untrue.  <even water is sometimes frozen or gaseous and would not be described as 'wet' in all situations>

Quote
Has "going nuts" become normalised?
Um.  No.  Does it appear that it has?
We can be on this forum and have a glimpse into other peoples lives that we didn't have thirty years ago.  Thirty years ago there were parents complaining of the same things, but to people they know in real life who also know more of their backstory and surrounding situations.

former player

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 10:07:51 AM »
I was intrigued by the statement I quoted, and trying to elicit as open a discussion on its meaning as possible.  No parental blaming was intended to be implied. Obviously an internet forum is not going to have the rigour of an academic study with quantifiable results.

For information, I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it. 
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StarBright

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 10:35:05 AM »
I was intrigued by the statement I quoted, and trying to elicit as open a discussion on its meaning as possible.  No parental blaming was intended to be implied. Obviously an internet forum is not going to have the rigour of an academic study with quantifiable results.

For information, I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

Ahh - Former Player - now your original post makes a lot  more sense to me. I'm going to let you in on a little secret of parenting: It is a truth universally (and frustratingly) acknowledged that children behave better for anyone who is not their parent. :)




milliemchi

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 10:49:18 AM »
I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

I can offer a few ways to explain this...

1) Little kids, before school age, are obviously much more prone to meltdowns. If you have worked with kids that are 5+, you were not likely to see much of this, because...

2) Very, very often kids behave much better outside of home than at home where it feels safer to express emotions. Also, they are less tired in the first half of the day.

3) (IMO only) There is less reason to get upset at school: all the kids are in the same position and have to follow the same rules - those are not up for negotiation. At home, a kid of a certain age is usually a sample of one. There is no obvious external standard (in the sense that it's harder to assess what is justice and what is injustice) and no 'peer pressure' to behave.

4) You can only have so much self-control - there are studies showing that willpower is a resource that can be depleted. If the kid uses up all the self-control in school, they'll have less of it later in the day.

Following a different line of thought, for the sake of argument, I will agree that kids had more self-control back in the day. From what I've seen raising two kids and watching many of my friends raise their kids at the same time, I testify that kids are "nuts" sometimes. This can be disciplined out of them, and they can develop more self-control, but there are other things that they will not develop then. Resources are limited. The well-behaved kids of yesteryear did not come into kindergarden reading and doing math.

In addition, excessive discipline can break things in some children, or, to not be dramatic, yield sub-optimal results. When raising kids, you never know what was the right thing to do until you see the results, and then it's too late. This is true no matter how many kids you have had, because each is a person of its own. Some would argue that it is safer to dial down the discipline, just in case.

jezebel

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2017, 11:00:28 AM »
I was intrigued by the statement I quoted, and trying to elicit as open a discussion on its meaning as possible.  No parental blaming was intended to be implied. Obviously an internet forum is not going to have the rigour of an academic study with quantifiable results.

For information, I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

Ahh - Former Player - now your original post makes a lot  more sense to me. I'm going to let you in on a little secret of parenting: It is a truth universally (and frustratingly) acknowledged that children behave better for anyone who is not their parent. :)

For what it's worth, neither of my children have had a meltdown for at school or daycare, or for a non-family caregiver.  But they have at home.  My guess is that some children are more prone to meltdowns at school or daycare (for which there are any number of causes, environment, stress, brain chemistry, etc), so it's not uncommon, but it is also fairly rare for most kids to have frequent meltdowns.  The majority of children, however, will have a meltdown, or a period of volatile behavior, at some point.  Therefore, it is normal, but I don't think it has anything to do with a "recent normalisation" of such behavior.  And I'm not even sure what you mean by that.

ysette9

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2017, 11:47:41 AM »
My kid is usually an angel when we are out and saved her meltdowns for home, especially in the evening or the middle of the night. During the day she can often be reasoned with to some extent, but she sometimes wakes in the middle of the night and completely loses her shit. Screaming, flailing, loses most verbal capacity, ridiculous fit. Afterwards she can't explain why she did that. The best I got out of her is that she doesn't want me to intervene when she has her fit, so I just sit there calamity and watch her act like a maniac. Once she has calmed down I give her cuddles and tuck her back into bed. Children are weird little creatures.
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milliemchi

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2017, 11:52:56 AM »
My kid is usually an angel when we are out and saved her meltdowns for home, especially in the evening or the middle of the night. During the day she can often be reasoned with to some extent, but she sometimes wakes in the middle of the night and completely loses her shit. Screaming, flailing, loses most verbal capacity, ridiculous fit. Afterwards she can't explain why she did that. The best I got out of her is that she doesn't want me to intervene when she has her fit, so I just sit there calamity and watch her act like a maniac. Once she has calmed down I give her cuddles and tuck her back into bed. Children are weird little creatures.

Thank you for sharing.

StarBright

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2017, 12:02:20 PM »
I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

I can offer a few ways to explain this...

1) Little kids, before school age, are obviously much more prone to meltdowns. If you have worked with kids that are 5+, you were not likely to see much of this, because...

2) Very, very often kids behave much better outside of home than at home where it feels safer to express emotions. Also, they are less tired in the first half of the day.

3) (IMO only) There is less reason to get upset at school: all the kids are in the same position and have to follow the same rules - those are not up for negotiation. At home, a kid of a certain age is usually a sample of one. There is no obvious external standard (in the sense that it's harder to assess what is justice and what is injustice) and no 'peer pressure' to behave.

4) You can only have so much self-control - there are studies showing that willpower is a resource that can be depleted. If the kid uses up all the self-control in school, they'll have less of it later in the day.

Following a different line of thought, for the sake of argument, I will agree that kids had more self-control back in the day. From what I've seen raising two kids and watching many of my friends raise their kids at the same time, I testify that kids are "nuts" sometimes. This can be disciplined out of them, and they can develop more self-control, but there are other things that they will not develop then. Resources are limited. The well-behaved kids of yesteryear did not come into kindergarden reading and doing math.

In addition, excessive discipline can break things in some children, or, to not be dramatic, yield sub-optimal results. When raising kids, you never know what was the right thing to do until you see the results, and then it's too late. This is true no matter how many kids you have had, because each is a person of its own. Some would argue that it is safer to dial down the discipline, just in case.

I think all of the above is a really excellent post!

Psychstache

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Re: &quot;Kids are just nuts sometimes&quot;
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2017, 12:09:00 PM »
My kid is usually an angel when we are out and saved her meltdowns for home, especially in the evening or the middle of the night. During the day she can often be reasoned with to some extent, but she sometimes wakes in the middle of the night and completely loses her shit. Screaming, flailing, loses most verbal capacity, ridiculous fit. Afterwards she can't explain why she did that. The best I got out of her is that she doesn't want me to intervene when she has her fit, so I just sit there calamity and watch her act like a maniac. Once she has calmed down I give her cuddles and tuck her back into bed. Children are weird little creatures.
I'm no doctor, but that sounds like night terrors. Have you talked to her pediatrician about this (I'm sure you have, just wondering if night terrors came up specifically)?

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farmerj

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2017, 12:10:52 PM »
"she sometimes wakes in the middle of the night"

These are 'night terrors'. For a while DS#1 would occasionally get them, especially when he'd gone to bed a little late or skipped a nap. Some kids are much more prone to them than others.

ysette9

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2017, 12:51:25 PM »
I've wondered about that, but she absolutely is awake, not asleep. It has mostly gone away at home but last weekend we did a visit to a friend's house and each of the three nights she did this around 2-3 hours after going down to bed. Just reading a quick internet article, parts of this experience fit and others don't. She remembers what happened the next day and can tell me that she cried, but she can't explain why. It's actually really funny because she has started inventing explanations "the dog went wow wow wow", "the birds went cheep cheep cheep", "Leo (her stuffed lion) went raawwwrr!".

I probably need to stop looking for explanations for things that are inexplicable. Most things related to sleep with my kid are inexplicable.
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2017, 01:16:14 PM »
I was intrigued by the statement I quoted, and trying to elicit as open a discussion on its meaning as possible.  No parental blaming was intended to be implied. Obviously an internet forum is not going to have the rigour of an academic study with quantifiable results.

For information, I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

Ahh - Former Player - now your original post makes a lot  more sense to me. I'm going to let you in on a little secret of parenting: It is a truth universally (and frustratingly) acknowledged that children behave better for anyone who is not their parent. :)

Yes this.  But it works for adults too.  C'mon admit it, aren't you yourself polite and smiley when out and about, and then you get home, let loose, and bitch about whatever you need to bitch about?  Same with kids, except they don't have words so their bitching just comes out like "waaaahhhhhhhh nooooo".

Right?  Like you're nice to your coworkers to their face, but rolling your eyes on the inside, and then you get home and you can just TALK about it, and get it off your chest how stupid everything is and how work just needs to change xyz and everything would be better. 

For kids, it's probably like [ok fine teacher i'll do this dumb coloring] and then they get home and instead of being able to say, "Hi mom, I just had such a frustrating day at school because the teacher keeps giving us the same worksheets over and over again, and I was really into my legos but she made me color this stupid bear instead", they just say "wahhhh noooo" [kick scream kick scream].

Secondly, in yesteryear parents mostly kept their kids at home.  But there's kind of been a movement that kids are people too and it's becoming more socially acceptable to take your kids out to restaurants or wherever, so non-parents have to see kids now.
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galliver

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2017, 01:30:08 PM »
I'm 28 and *I* sometimes go nuts. Obviously, this no longer looks like a kid tantrum, but I'll be irrationally irritable or irrationally sad for an evening or so. If I'm more conscious of it I'll tuck myself in bed and watch Grey's. If it takes me by surprise, I'll fight with BF over something idiotic.

But, as a kid, not only do you not have as much experience wrangling/recognizing/verbalizing your emotions, but you frequently have little choice about what you do. Eating ice cream and watching cartoons because you're randomly having a bad emotional day isn't an option; instead you get to eat tuna fish casserole and do an unreasonable amount of homework for your age (these days). So "getting in a fight" or flipping out is the way you end up going.

Btw as a kid I'm not sure I ever flipped out away from home/family. I don't think I got into trouble at school once. And in the end my parents did drive home some important things about emotional management/control that I think are largely missing from (or at least not widely accepted in) American culture. E.g. that how you FEEL doesn't HAVE to drive how you ACT or SPEAK, nor is it an excuse for acting inappropriately. I think this is summarized best in the mantra for preschoolers someone shared on here: you may be MAD, but you may not be MEAN.

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2017, 02:15:23 PM »
Thank FSM my kid takes more after my wife than me!  Even then our kid has episodes of being a little nuts.  Usually we can track it down to sleep, food, or over stimulation.  But occasionally he just has a rough day and we struggle through it.

In my youth I'd find myself thinking the world was against me or irrational and go moderatly nuts.  My basic recollection is that my reading of the world was logical, but the world was illogical and I was just responding in-kind.  Looking back I was basically moving down down Maslow's hierarchy due to being hungry, overstimulated, etc and responding accordingly.  Even today I have to be very cautious when I get tired or hungry (or FSM if both) and start losing my people skills and become a destructive jerk.  My wife has been a good partner, and generally either shove food in my mouth or take me aside before I become destructive.

Laura33

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2017, 06:40:03 PM »
I was intrigued by the statement I quoted, and trying to elicit as open a discussion on its meaning as possible.  No parental blaming was intended to be implied. Obviously an internet forum is not going to have the rigour of an academic study with quantifiable results.

For information, I don't have kids, but I have taught kids and worked with kids, albeit not for a few decades.  I didn't have a single instance of "meltdown" in all the hours/days when a kid was under my supervision, which I why I wondered whether this is something that is a recent normalisation of kid behaviour and what might be behind it.

So in the realm of anecdata:  DD is a control freak whose primary driver in life was to be seen as a capable, competent adult.  At, like, the age of 2.  She also has pretty massive ADHD.  So when she hit school age (before she was diagnosed), she would sit in class and try suuuuuuper hard to pay attention and not fidget and not talk to her friends and not play with her dress/hair/pencil and generally not do all of the things that drove her teachers batshit.

And then she would come home, where she felt safe, and absolutely lose. her. shit.  She had nothing left.  Sometimes we didn't even make it out the door and into the car first. 

I honestly don't think kids have changed.  What has changed is that when I went to school, I had massive loads of time to run around outside and decompress from the behavioral expectations -- gym and significant recess every day, hours to run around outside after school, etc.  DD's ES, OTOH, had gym once a week and two 20-minute recesses per day -- and the first penalty for misbehavior was taking away recess. 

I dont think it's a coincidence that when DD went to summer camp (same full day, bus out at 8am, return at 5 pm) and ran around outside all day, not *once* did we have a meltdown.  Some days she was so worn out she'd fall asleep on the bus home!  She'd have a good dinner, and talk, and play games, and behave, and generally be a completely delightful child.
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2017, 07:45:59 AM »



I dont think it's a coincidence that when DD went to summer camp (same full day, bus out at 8am, return at 5 pm) and ran around outside all day, not *once* did we have a meltdown.  Some days she was so worn out she'd fall asleep on the bus home!  She'd have a good dinner, and talk, and play games, and behave, and generally be a completely delightful child.

Wow this is really inspiring.  My boys need more outdoor time.  I'm kinda sick of school.
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Laura33

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2017, 08:47:50 AM »
I dont think it's a coincidence that when DD went to summer camp (same full day, bus out at 8am, return at 5 pm) and ran around outside all day, not *once* did we have a meltdown.  Some days she was so worn out she'd fall asleep on the bus home!  She'd have a good dinner, and talk, and play games, and behave, and generally be a completely delightful child.

Wow this is really inspiring.  My boys need more outdoor time.  I'm kinda sick of school.

Honestly, with her, we really needed an alternative school that focused on being active and doing things vs. worksheets and books.  We started her in Montessori for that reason, but by K they became like an Asian prep school -- they were in the county with the best public schools around, so their "sell" was that their kids came out of 5th a full year ahead of the advanced track at the publics.  Dude, that is *not* what I went to Montessori for!  Unfortunately, all the local private options were similar, so by 2nd grade we ended up with the public schools (I figured if I'm going to have to deal with inflexible bureaucracy, might as well get it for free).  What I didn't expect was that the public would end up being the best of the lot -- several teachers had lots of ADHD experience and were very good at finding her ways to move around and be useful (tho some were not).  If that hadn't worked, we probably would have had to homeschool; she's sort of on the skinny end of the bell curve in a few ways, and the schools just can't really be designed to meet all the needs of those sorts of kids.

FWIW, the same kid is now a HS sophomore and highly self-regulating and manages her work and her ADHD on her own, without medication, and is generally pulling As and Bs in advanced classes.  And *usually* doesn't forget critical assignments. :-)  (Not surprisingly, she likes engineering and band best, because she gets to actually do things.)  There is still a lot of anxiety and depression (control freak + knowing you can't control your own brain = major inherent stress), but we are getting a little support for that from Kaiser, so my hope is that she will learn to manage that as well as she has done the schoolwork.  So there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2017, 08:05:49 AM »
Sorry for the thread hijack, but yes Laura33 that is exactly where I am.  My boys currently go to a very nice private preschool: very academically rigurous in primary school and completely bilingual (important to me since I'm an American raising my kids in Mexico). But they aren't doing well with the sitting and the coloring every damn day. 

Do I homeschool my active boys so they can get more sensory activity and outside time, or do I just put them in public school (because if its gonna be a bad fit, at least it's free)?

Decisions!
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Laura33

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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2017, 11:15:13 AM »
Sorry for the thread hijack, but yes Laura33 that is exactly where I am.  My boys currently go to a very nice private preschool: very academically rigurous in primary school and completely bilingual (important to me since I'm an American raising my kids in Mexico). But they aren't doing well with the sitting and the coloring every damn day. 

Do I homeschool my active boys so they can get more sensory activity and outside time, or do I just put them in public school (because if its gonna be a bad fit, at least it's free)?

Decisions!

Feel free to PM me to discuss in more detail (warning that I don't check that email account frequently).  If it's preschool, why not try keeping them home and giving them more time to mature?  Or is there a part-time option?  Kids not only have different activity needs, they mature at different rates -- my DD was of the "academically ahead, behaviorally behind" variety, so when they pushed her ahead a year to meet the academic needs, it was a total crash-and-burn (because now she was with kids who had an even better ability to self-control, so her fidgets and impulsivity stood out even more).  Maybe by next year your boys will have matured more and now be ready for that.  Or not. :-) 

If you're looking ahead to ES, I always vote for trying free first, because why not?  See how they do, see how they mature, see how the school manages them.  It doesn't have to be perfect -- heck, kids like my DD are going to need to learn to get by in a world that isn't built for them, so some experience with that from the get-go is necessary.  The key is to make sure they get enough of what *they* need to stay mentally healthy and develop appropriately, while they are maturing and learning to modulate their behavior to social expectations.  We took her out of the "Montessori" because the expectations were ridiculously age-inappropriate and clearly damaging her; the public ES, OTOH, was not perfect but just fine overall.
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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2017, 12:33:22 PM »
LadyStach, another option might be to send just the 2-3 year old (I can't remember the age of your youngest).  This seems a bit backwards, but my experience has been that the littler kids are more of a pain to have at home (getting into stuff, have to be supervised all the time) while the older ones can be set to a task, or left for 10 minutes, etc. 

It might give you a bit of peace at home while you work with the older 3, and will cost 25% of having all 4 kids go to school.
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Re: "Kids are just nuts sometimes"
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2017, 09:18:51 AM »
My DH's boss has a 3, now 4-year-old that just "goes nuts".  His other daughter, who is 1.5 years older, is a delight.  This one is a wild child.  Parented the same way, but really is just a tornado.  They have begun doing some mitigating tactics to ward off her crazy times, but yeah in the moment you kind of just let her go nuts (bear hug, put on her bed with pillows so it's soft and safe, that kind of thing).  She can't be redirected or calmed down in the moment.  She is just nuts sometimes.  Most kids are, but she's on the high end of the bell curve.  Most of these "going nuts" meltdowns happen at home, not daycare or at friend's houses.  She just has usual terrible 3's meltdowns those places.