Monday, February 25, 2013

Ball of Emotion

Passion: A strong and barely controllable emotion.

Alice hit me today. She was mad at her swim teacher, so she hit me. That's logical, right? Alice is definitely a ball of passion that bounces around her world. Sometimes the passion is positive, sometimes it's not. Today has been a not kind of day.

"Alice has needed to work on using her words rather than her hands when she wants to assert herself with her friends. Alice can get very wound up if the activity level is high," said her teacher during our spring conference today.

This is my Alice. This is my world, reminding her to talk with her mouth not her hands, trying to help her establish self-control. We battle frequently when her passion becomes more than I can bear, positive or negative. Sometimes it's just too much. She plays with the very same energy she fights with. There is very little middle ground with her. She's in, all or nothing. Watch Alice tell you a story, watch the emotion flow through her body. It's the most adorable thing, she bounces around barely able to contain herself. She can hardly be still.

When the passion flows negative, look out. Her go to move is kill first, ask questions later. She rarely has enough control over her passion to think. The emotion fills her and her go to release is to scream or hit or kick or throw. When I think of this list of her reactions, two years ago I would have had to add biting and a year ago I would have included spitting. So I am reassured that in this never ending parenting saga, I am making progress. However, I fear I will always be struggling with Alice. I can not fathom things are going to get easier. Better, in regards to hitting, yes. But not easier. She is my artistic, inquisitive beautiful ball of emotion. And I love every ounce of her.


  1. Are you ever suspicious of the carefully worded reports teachers give? I'm always trying to translate them. When they say my daughter is "sensetive" I'm thinking "crybaby? Selfish? What does that MEAN?" Your loving way of comparing her only to her past progress is so much better.

  2. I have one of those. It does get better as they mature and learn to control it, but there are still days...

    Hang in there mama.

  3. I grew up in a house where the adults used hands as often as words to express displeasure with kids, so I'm trying very hard to teach the girls here alternatives.

    One of the things that seems to be working very well is having the girls (and nanny Cait!) recognize when we are angry/frustrated/sad and need a little break from everyone else. We say "I need some space" and go to a different room (or a corner if we can't leave) and take the time we need to pull ourselves together. Sometimes a good stomp is necessary. I do this just as often as the girls! We always end with 5 deep breaths and saying out loud, "I'm calmer now. I think I can go back."

    It's not a perfect system. Kicks, slaps, and pushes are still a regular part of our week, but it's getting better. It's also letting the girls know that it's ok to have different emotions, and that there's a good way to deal with them.

    Next step: Figure out a way to quiet down the banshee-like shrieks of joy...