Is this just a phase?

Let me write a disclaimer right here at the very tippy top of this post. I love my children. They are my little sweet hearts, my little miracles. They are my heart. I love them more than anything. I am not complaining. I’m just commenting on an issue that’s very present in our lives right now.

Okay. Ready?  Here’s the scoop:  people always told us before we had the girls that raising twins would be hard. It hasn’t been hard. Up until now.  I’d gladly trade – having twin babies running around rather than having twin 6 year-olds running rampant. Why? Kindergarten has messed up my angels. They misbehave quite frequently now. They’re little stinkers.

Both my husband and I work very hard with the girls. We always have and we always will. We want our children to be raised up right, to be respectful, to be polite, to be NICE. The girls have not been any of those things lately. They’ve been sassy, they’ve talked back, they’ve been impolite, they’ve been fighting with each other, they’ve been possessive, and they’ve been MEAN.  What?!  Where are my little sweeties?  Where did my nice girls go? 

I know that our standard of what’s “bad” is not the same as other people’s standards of “bad.” We know kids that are horrid. Our kids are not horrid, but, to us, they’re just not acting right. They’re not acting how we expect them to act.  Now, we could take the easy road, we could ignore these behaviors and let them fester, like the parents of the horrid kids do. But we don’t want to do that. Because those horrid kids are not pleasant to be around. We want others to enjoy spending time with our children.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this has been happening. I have a couple ideas. They have more freedom now than they ever had. They get on the bus, and they’re off … no mommy or daddy to tell them what to do until they get off the bus four hours later. So maybe because of that freedom at school, they think they should have that type of freedom at home?  But, I know that they have to behave at school. So maybe that’s not it?  My other idea – they’re exposed to all sorts of kids at school now. Maybe some of them are sassy or bad. And maybe they are imitating that behavior?  But then again, the other kids have to behave at school somewhat, right? 

All I know, is that they are pushing buttons and boundaries BIG TIME. I find myself fighting with them morning and night. It’s a constant challenge.  Not one that I can’t handle, I’m not saying that. It’s just markedly different with them.  I keep telling myself that this is a phase that they’ll grow out of.  We have been instilling different punishment techniques, for example, we a chart we keep on the fridge. If they do something good, they get a check in one of their 14 boxes. If they do something bad, then the check gets erased. If they earn all 14 checks, then they earn their $5 “allowance” but if they get all of them erased, then there are different levels of punishment. Lydia loses her favorite blanket for three days. For her, that’s like torture. Arlene loses dessert for three days. Dessert is very important to her. Here’s the rub though … while they do earn checks, they also lose them. They’ll earn three in one day, and then lose them before bedtime. So we’re not accomplishing anything with the chart. We will send them to their room, but their room is a fun place and they end up playing with their awesome toys, not sitting there sad because they’re in trouble. We’ll tell them to sit on the couch with zipped lips, and they do, for five minutes. Afterward, we tell them they can get up, and they do and it’s shaaabam!! crazy time again! 

They still listen to us, to a point.  They’re still respectful of us, to a point. It’s almost like they’re trying to figure out how bad they can be?  They’re both remorseful if they do get into big time trouble, and they are learning from those mistakes. Arlene got into big trouble for disobeying me at the Girl Scout meeting. She was sent to bed a half hour earlier than Lydia. You would have thought we took her birthday away! She was so distraught over it.

Does anyone else have an experience similar to this?  My mom tells me that when I went to Kindergarten I acted the same way – same with my brothers too. Is this just a Kindergarten thing?  To become a spaz?

I can only hope that we’re doing the right things with them. It’s a challenge! Even though it’s harder now than it’s ever been, we’ll work through this phase. I will just have to visit my hair dresser more frequently to cover up the gray hairs that keep sprouting up.

4 thoughts on “Is this just a phase?

  1. i have no experience to help you with this. like, at all.

    but, just hang in there and keep being consistent. they may just be adjusting to school/new kids/freedom? it's the age of independence, yo.

  2. Oof. I have no advice, either, but it sounds to me like your “more freedom” theory holds water. Sounds like they're just testing their limits. From all those episodes of Nanny 911 I've seen, if you are firm but understanding, it'll all work out. 🙂

    Really, though: Hang in there!

  3. I do not have experience with school-aged children, but I can see how it would make them push boundaries. I think you are doing an awesome job by not letting them get away with it. It sounds like they will soon realize that you still have rules and they need to follow.

    Hang in there!

  4. I am sorry. They must be testing boundaries, but it sounds like even as frustrating as it is….you are doing the right things. I commend your for that, as your girls really are two of the most well behaved girls I have met. Hang in there, I am sure it will get better. Just stick with it. They will only like getting punished for so long before it loses its “new-ness”.

    I wish I had advice for you….I think you have the oldest kids out of those who have them, so it makes you the one who has to experience this so we can talk to you later on down the road with ours 🙂

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