Terrible Three’s


 

The last few weeks has gotten increasingly difficult with Haru.  She has been defiant, extremely moody, and at times even somewhat violent.  At first, I thought it was my fault.  I thought that I might have been too strict with her and expecting too much of her.  After all, she is only three years old.  But after careful thought,  I don’t think I was doing anything out of the ordinary.  For example, Haru ALWAYS wants to be carried.  My wife tends to spoil her by carrying her around a lot,  but I ABSOLUTELY refuse to carry her.  I think at three years old, she is much too old to be carried.  She also tends to leave her toys all over the place, and when its time to clean up, she  insists that either my wife or I  help her clean.  Well, I always refuse to help her, after all, she is the one who made the mess, so she should be responsible for cleaning up after herself.  Up until recently, my wife tended to help with Haru’s clean up from time to time to which I always tell her that she is not helping the situation.

So initially, because of me not helping spoiling her, and with her mother hardening her stance with not catering to everything Haru wants, I thought this was the cause of her recent defiance towards us.  But in the last couple of days, Haru’s behavior has gotten substantially worse.  Not only does she insist on being carried ALL OF THE TIME, she’ll refuse to eat dinner unless her mother carries her to the dinner table.   She threw a HUGE tantrum last night, and wound up going to bed without dinner.

I was beginning to suspect that it may have something to do with what’s going on at her school (perhaps her teacher -whom I still have very little respect for), but out of frustration and just not knowing what else to do, I did some research to see if this is a common issue amongst toddlers her age.

I have been completely aware of the terrible two’s, but out of sheer ignorance, I thought we had already surpassed that stage, and that things would get easier as time goes on.  However, the terrible two’s is not a chronological event that is triggered when the child turns two, and then magically goes away when she turns three (or so I learned).  The terrible two’s can last for several years, and is most common within the ages of three and four.  According to this website, this is the period within the child’s life where she is trying to establish an identity independent of her parents’.   So in order to have of independent thought that is different from her parents’, she will develop a somewhat of a contrarian personality, or take the opposite opinion of whatever her parents’ have, even if she doesn’t believe it herself.  For example, I would ask her if she likes chocolate (which she does) but would say no, or say I hate chocolate.  And 15 minutes later, she would be stuffing her face with chocolate.

Now that I know that its just a phase, I do feel a bit better.  But this has got to be the most difficult phase by far, because not even bribery seems to work anymore.  If I tell her that we’ll take her to Disneyland if she behaves, she’ll just respond by saying I don’t want to go to Disneyland, and refuses to listen.  And when she is like this, there is nothing that anyone  can do to fix this other than to wait until she calms down.    I have a feeling that its going to be a VERY long phase to endure.

This is the video of Haruka refusing to come to the dinner table unless her mother carries her there.  As you can see, she actually runs to her mother at one point and then tries to pull her over to where she was and begs to be carried.


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Its Showtime!


Haruka had her very first school performance last Wednesday.  I managed to squeeze a day off and make the performance, and it was well worth it.  Haruka had been practicing playing the melodica (a small organ-like musical instrument) for months at her school.  At first, I was expecting just a bunch of 3 years making a lot of incoherent noises with their instruments.  And to keep it real, it turned out to be only marginally better than my expectation (at least for Haruka’s age group), but the four and five year old groups were amazing.   If I closed my eyes, I would swear that it was a high school band playing rather than a bunch a of kindergartners.

This show really renewed my my expectations on what this school can do in terms of teaching children some amazing things.  I do wish that they would focus a bit more on behavioral control as well, because Haru has been pretty bratty lately.  She is currently being punished for being really disrespectful lately.  I have basically hidden all of her dolls (which she’s found already) until she learns to be more respectful.  So far, it’s kind of working, but she still has a ways to go.

 

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Back!


I just returned from a trip to California to help my cousin move to San Francisco from Atlanta where she had spent the last two years studying English.  She wasn’t too keen on living in Atlanta so I suggested that she move to San Francisco, the city where I spent my college career.  Personally,I think San Francisco is a much more livelier city and is more appealing to younger people.

I spent a week in the city apartment hunting, touring, furniture, buying, and just doing all the essential to help my cousin get situated in her new environment.  It was very exhausting to say the VERY least (considering the circumstances, which I will not state here), but in the end, I accomplished what I set out to do, and now I have a relative and a place to stay in California, if I ever need to go out there.

Haruka, has been…well lets just say she’s been a bit of a handful lately (as always).  I am really not too pleased with her school at the moment.  The reason why we chose her school in the first place was so that a bit of discipline would be introduced to curb her behavior a hit.  However, in the last two months that she’s been at this school, her behavior has developed into somewhat of a problem.  She uses poor choice of words, she has become somewhat ill-mannered, and not to mention how rebellious she is towards her mother and me.  I have a good mind to go over to her school and have a talk with her teacher, whom I disliked from the beginning.  I think she is way too young and too inexperienced to be teaching a class of 30+ three year olds, and it’s really prevalent in Haruka’s recent behavior.

Not everything is all bad of course.  She does seem to be learning quite a lot of new things.  She can identify flags of about 7 or 8 different countries (some of which I couldn’t even identify.)  She can ‘kind of’ write her name in kanji.  Its not all right, but the overall nuance is there.  Considering that fact that I couldn’t even write any English let alone Japanese when I was her age, it is pretty impressive.  But yes, something does need to be done about the behavior.  I don’t whether to be more strict, or to lay off and let her grow out of it (if this is even something that can grown out of).

As far as English is concerned, she can pretty much understand a lot of the things I say to her in English, but she can’t (won’t) speak it.  She’s even admitted that she’s too embarrassed  to speak English, so she only does it when she is alone with me.  I wish I could give her more exposure to English speaking people.  The best I can do now is make her watch the Disney Channel, but sometimes she asks me to switch the language to Japanese so she could understand it better.

As for me, work and life balance has been really poor.  Even though I have been with this company for a few months now, I think its time to get my life back.  There are so many more jobs out there that pay more and are a lot less stressful.   Yeah, its sucks to want to leave so soon, but I’d rather do it now than wait until I get sick from stress.  Too many gray hairs have grown in in the last few months, and so as Bill O’ Reilly (Fox News) once said, “I’m going to be the cop that stops this! End of this!”   By the way, I can’t stand Bill O’ Reilly or Fox News.

 

 

Video of Haru playing with bubbles:


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