Is it a full moon or something?  Did I miss the memo?  Is it “Cranky Ass Kid Month”? Because my 5-year old is behaving extremely strange.  She is normally a well-mannered, polite, happy kid, with the exception of a whiny phase she went through a while ago.

I feel like I am walking on eggshells around her.  I’ll just go ahead and say it.  She’s being a bitch.  That’s right.  You never know what’s going to set this mini-time bomb off.  Nothing is making her happy lately and she’s been reacting in ways that I thought were for a much younger child.  If you ask her to do something, even things she previously loved doing, she freaks out.  She throws herself down and screams.  The kind of spazz-out that’s sort of funny at first.  You try not to laugh, then you laugh and make it so much worse.   No words actually come out of her mouth, just wild animal sounds.  Ask her to do something she already hates?  Her reaction is nothing short of thermonuclear war.  She even tries to HIT ME!  Oh yeah, I nearly lost. my. marbles. when that happened.  The flip from good mood to holy terror(ist) takes only a nanosecond.  She even lost it on us at the grocery store last week and she’s never done that before.  Hence the eggshells.

Jeez! All I wanted you to do was brush your hair!  

Of course we’re working on the discipline part of it.  She’s not too old for timeouts to have an effect on her.  And consequences are flying too.  She loses bedtime stories and TV time (which only make the freak outs worse which is, like, so awesome).  But we stick to our guns.  What I want to know is what’s causing this shift in her behavior?  I’ve written before how much Kindergarten has changed her, mostly for the better, but could school be at the heart of all this?  I know she has never been so tired in her life.  But is that it?  Is there something else going on?

She is very closed-mouthed when we talk about how school is going.  I know she’s getting extra help with reading because I’ve discussed it with her teacher. (In Kindergarten. I know, right?)  But other than telling me that she likes lunch and recess the best, I don’t get much out of her.  When she’s super tired and cranky, she tells me things like “Nobody plays with me at recess” or “I’m the worst in my class at math.”  How much merit do I give these things?  In context, you should know that she was in the middle of getting disciplined when she dropped the “nobody plays with me” jag, and she was fighting doing her homework when she hit me with the “bad at math” tears.  I’m beginning to think that school is stressing her out.

I’m going to speak to her teacher about all this soon.  That is, if we all survive long enough living in Cranky Town.  I want her to love school.  But what if she’s just not that kid?  I don’t need her to bounce out of bed and blow sunshine out of her butt.  But I just want to know is it normal for her to behave this way?  She’s too young to be this stressed out about school, if that this is about.  As her mom, and someone who naturally wants to fix others, I want to make this all better for her and find the solution.  And since we could be dealing with her self-esteem, coloring how she views school and learning in the future, I feel a huge pressure to “get it right.”  I don’t want to blow it.


Oh sure, she looks sweet…
Photo credit: K. Stevenson


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