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October 11, 2008



It's so hard to see your really well-brought up kid behaving so differently from anything you could have anticipated... BUT, it's a great learning experience, and it's good to have the opportunity to see how she tests the limits and to take it as a time to show her just how firm your boundaries are. There are always little discrepancies between school boundaries and home boundaries, and finding out where the parameters are is not necessarily a bad sign.

I have always tried to encourage my daughter's "better self" when any kind of altercation comes up - it makes her feel like I'm giving her a really important responsibility to do the right thing. (Of course, right now I am encouraging her to wage all-out social warfare on the mean girl who has it in for her, but that is another story... her "better self" has to be the one that doesn't get walked all over).

I think four is a great age for these experiences - old enough to truly learn that you can change behavior for the better and still end up getting what you want/being heard/ etc.

When I have had to really punish my daughter - like taking away an outing - I always gave her the opportunity to have a special trip/activity to make up for it if she showed especially good behavior. Maybe I'm too much of a softie, but I felt that the reward had to be an option - for us it worked out really well.

Good luck!


I don't know if you remember, but I had a very tough time with Leela the first half of her preschool year last year. (I blogged about it once or twice.) She became extremely aggressive for several months at school, and we could never figure out where she got the behavior from.

And then, it was over. Nothing we did ended it. She just grew out of it, I guess?

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