This one is clinically dry so please bear with me.
Normally the younger one is a very calm and composed kid with a heart melting smile on her face. But every once in a while she behaves in a way that we wonder is this the same kid who was all smiles some time back.
We observed a pattern slowly. She will come back from school and instead of taking her shoes off she will run to her room and suddenly scream something
“Who has taken my teddy from my bed?” or some other variation
“Who changed my pillow?”
“Where is the book I left on my table in the morning?”
She would not take anything for answer and will keep on harping on that one thing that had made her upset. The more we try to calm her down the more tantrums will follow.
With fists clenched, voice raised and in extreme cases attempts to attack her mother or me. Initially we would just laugh off her drama as childish and ignore it. But soon the pattern became more frequent and the tantrums more aggressive.
We could not understand what the issue is. Why suddenly she behaves in this manner.
Some other key characteristic outbursts included screaming, refusing to eat, not telling what happened in school and not willing to change school dress. Soon she would start crying loudly and will not let us come close to her, and in her exhaustion go to sleep still sobbing and breaking our heart. Once she would get up, she would be her sweet charming self again and after a glass of juice and some lunch she would come and hug me and say
“Sorry papa I screamed on you. I will never do it again”
We were worried what is happening to her and what is it that we are doing wrong.
The moment we stopped finding fault with the kid’s behaviour and looked at ourselves things became much clearer.
In my typical spreadsheet junkie style I started noting down when she acted in aggressive manner and what calmed her down.
Soon the mystery was solved. Most of the drama happened on Monday afternoon after she came from school. There were two reasons every Monday the school have a physical education period which made her very tired. But the problem had its genesis in Sunday night. Typically on Saturday and Sunday night we watch TV together and even when kids are not watching TV with us, we let them do their thing on Sunday evening leading to late sleep. This made the kid sleep deprived and she was not very happy with getting up on Monday morning, and by the time she returned after her physical education class on Monday she was totally exhausted. The moment she reached home suddenly all she wanted to do was crash on her bed with no desire to do anything.
The kid was not getting enough rest on Sunday night as we were too busy enjoying the last few moments of Sunday as a family forgetting that Monday morning is school time. Add to this the PT period in school and the kid had no energy to do anything except for show tantrums.
So both I and Missus got discussing and Sunday night TV was banned for me 🙁 and all lights were out by 8:30 pm for the girls. Once they were in dreamland I was allowed to watch my TV with headphones. (I hope you guys are noting the bans and permissions a man has to take in the very house he is paying EMIs for?)
With this simple trick the kiddo was once again in her original self, the Monday PT class was not a tiring affair for her, but a game that she looked forward to. Once she is back on Monday afternoon she is hungry but not exhausted. After lunch she dozes off for a few hours, her breath making the most melodious of sounds that only parents can enjoy.
Lesson learned: A lot of times kids are unable to express their true state of body and mind and we as parents need to do some introspection and in management jargon RCA (root cause analysis) to find out what is happening. More often than not the problem is not with the kid but with the adults.
What is your experience in some sudden change in behaviour of your kids?
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.