Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The half-year disequilibrium or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

one of my favourite pics - I love how he looks like he's protecting her

I've wanted to write this post for a while now (about a month is awhile for me) and every time I think I'm going to write it, my kids are SUPER sweet and I tell myself I'm imagining the crazy behaviour.

It happened again tonight - I was having supper and then I hear Connor saying to Kendra, "Kenna, I LOVE Mummy" when an hour ago he was telling me (rudely), "NO! I don't LIKE YOU!" and other such things.

Long-time readers will remember how we went through this business last year at our photo shoot and also generally.

It sorted itself out when we were on holiday for 10 days in January so I thought it was just a quality time thing and because we had concentrated quality time, we were all good.

Well, when he started getting rude a few weeks ago and all, "I DON"T LIKE YOU!", I first resorted to my normal tactics (ignoring but telling him that's not good manners, blah blah blah) and after a few too many incidents, I remembered...

OH MY WORD - same thing's happening, same time of year.

So I sat down to google and instead opened google reader and found this post on my favourite parenting blog, Ask Moxie. And then I remembered this one too.
Apparently the half-year crazy is a bonafide phenomenon! Some bits grow too fast, some not quite as fast so they go into disequilibrium (in a very brief nutshell).

So I suspect the emotions are lagging a bit because he gets very frustrated and cries at the drop of a hat - DADDY!!!!! DADDY! Daddy! No, not YOU. I don't WANT you. And so on.

It's so hard. Especially when the switch to the good version of Connor is so beautiful. So loving. So kind. So articulate. So charming. And in a few seconds he changes.

Connor is an extrovert so anything he thinks he says (or shouts). Kendra also has some out-of-character behaviour but I don't see it that much and she's only said she doesn't like me about 3 times, whereas I can hear it 3 times in 30 minutes from Connor.

Here's the thing that makes me feel very alone with parenting:

Nobody else's kids around me display these symptoms. I promise you - I conducted my own little unofficial focus group and asked everyone around me (about 8 - 10 different parents) if their kids displayed any disequlibrium behaviour and everyone looked at me like I'm cuckoo. I obviously didn't call it that!

So now I've just told myself I'm 1) the only one being honest (the same thing I told myself when {seemingly} our kids were the only ones not sleeping through and 2) I'm the only  South African identifying with Ask Moxie readers. The chances are slim but whatever!

I then went to a link that Moxie referenced and I downloaded the Kindle sample of a book. These people write books for every age of child.

Guess what the 3-year-old's one is called? Your three-year-old: friend or enemy.

Yesssss! That's exactly what it's like. I'm either his friend or his enemy.

I don't like you or I love you, Mummy.

I must say, I hear (and feel) the "don't like you" statements more than the love you ones.

I read the whole sample and said YES YES YES all the way through so I will be buying the book in January because I can't wait to read it.

So tell me, and I promise, you don't have to lie to make me feel better, how have your kids displayed half-year disequilibrium behaviour? 

PS I definitely don't want any rude comments. I get enough from Connor :)


  1. Lesley10:37 pm

    That made me laugh when you said you'd 'conducted your own unofficial focus group' I could just imagine you doing it!
    What I've noticed is - people often dont answer honestly to direct questions. Especially, if its something that is worry you. I dont know why that is.

  2. My kids act out really badly right before they have a birthday. About 2 months before their birthday they start acting up and the issues excalate until just shortly after their birthday when it is just "POOF!" gone. Strange... But I just expect it now and hold on tight.

    My Family therapist said kids act like that when their world expands (gets more freedom, more responsiblity ect) because they want to make sure everything is still okay and they are still secure so they test the bounderies.

  3. I'm too scatterbrained to keep track of when my kids go nuts -- maybe because I am in permanent disequilibrium -- but rest assured, they all do it, and they each have their own unique approach to bring to the table. Some pull the "i don't like you" thing (my kids didn't, though I can certainly see my 10 year old warming up to the phrase) or they can be absolute nightmares at the post office or pull over racks in stores or do other ridiculous things, all of which my kids are total champs at doing. Take heart!

  4. I don't think it's just you - I think it's just that the rest of us either don't remember or don't focus on patterns!!!

    Maybe this is what happened to Cameron when he ran away? Now that I have that as a "benchmark" I will watch that time next year. (Or is he too old?)

    Kiara definitely goes through ebbs and flows of behaviour - it is blatantly obvious in her school work :-/

    I always say that kids saying they don't like you means you are doing a great job - kinda like your tiara of good parenting :))

  5. I don't know that Ask Moxie blog at all. But then I do generally stay away from that type of parenting blog because they don't usually have neuro-atypical kids. My kids definitely go through ebbs and flows - I must admit, I have never keep track of it. I DO know that when one of them are coming down with something (i.e. getting sick)then they act out. I DO also know that when their love tanks are not full then they will act out. I do know that if they are acting out then it's often a case of sensory overload and I either need to brush Child2 or give him a deep-pressure hug (same with Child1 - in fact, he brushes himself now).I don't think that there is a half-year disequilibrium issue here but I will remember to keep track.

  6. Oh I love that last sentence! I have really not noticed worst things around half year, but maybe I just have not given it enough attention. And I can assure you that all 3 kids have told me more than once that they do not like me any more and are without a doubt not my friend any more. Mainly after I said no to something.

  7. I haven't seen anything specific to half years either, but we certainly have our fair share of the "I don't like you!" "You're not my friend." bits around here, interspaced with some extreme "I love you mommy..." days. I think it's fairly natural actually.

    If I had to guess what it's all about my guess would be power. In our case I think Nicola sees that I get to make most of the rules, and that I can take priveliges away if she doesn't toe the very liberal lines that I've drawn in the sand. Naturally she wants to see what she can take away from me to "punish" me for behaviour that she doesn't like either. It's a bit of modeling in a certain way.

    What to do about it? Not much really...I just make sure that she knows that I will ALWAYS love her, even if she's naughty - the two aren't related. And just because I may say things like no TV today, or no sweets before dinner, doesn't mean that I don't love her - it just means that I am trying to bring her up in a more or less responsible way with some manners. She might protest my methods from time to time, but I think the general idea is sinking in. ;-)

  8. I don't want you to feel alone in this. Although you know, my kids are much older than yours and also have a age gap inbetween them, my son also do this precise same thing to his sister. He will tell her now that he loves her and adore her, just to changing to a rude boy later on, telling her that he dislike her so much.
    Me and hubby came to the conclusion, that this happens when it's end of the year. Our son gets tired and then this type of behavior comes from him.
    So don't feel alone.

  9. I haven't necessarily tied it to the half-year mark, but my girls certainly go through "fussy" periods. I think I tend to block those from my mind (!!!), but there are times it seems like they cry at the drop of a hat. At one point a few months ago, I remember thinking, there's as much crying in this house as when the babies were newborns!

    You know I fully support the idea of fussiness when a new milestone is about to hit. Of course it's hard to know ahead of time that's what's happening, but I think it makes so much sense. When the body is changing, and/or when new responsibilities are expected, I think it's overwhelming to the child, and they are more emotional / act out.

    It will pass, though. Just be your consistent self, and your sweet babies will be back to themselves soon. :)

  10. By the way, I ordered the Love Languages for Kids book! Can't wait to read it! I will report back to you! :)

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My daughter is doing the exact same thing at the moment. Last night she actually woke up screaming "not you mommy, not you, not you!"
    I had another friend that said her kid did it a few months before every birthday and I figured maybe she was hitting the "three's" a bit early. It is a nightmare, and then a little switch flicks and she is all smiles and loves! Urgh!

  12. I think stuff like this happens when their emotions are too big for their vocabulary. It's all part of learning how to express themselves. Many of my kids have gone through that stage- I remember one of my girls getting all flustered and telling Aaron 'I'm not your daddy anymore!' instead of 'You're not..' And then even angrier when I busted out laughing at her slip up LOL

  13. If I could eat a chocolate for every time my daughter told me she hated me I would be as big as a house. Did I believe her...NO! Did I think I sucked so badly at being her mom...NO! She is now 23 and she loves me and can't do enough for me. Maybe she is trying to make up for the hell she put me through;-)

  14. Ümraniyedeki sex shop ve erotik shop sektöründe faaliyet gösteren firmamızda
    bütün sex shop, Sex Market, erotik market, ve sex ürünlerini, Geciktirici ürün markalarını şişme bebek
    ile Vibratör çeşitlerini bulabilir ve kapıda ödeme seçeneği ile alıp teslimatta nakit yada kredi kartınızla ödeyebilirsiniz
    İstanbul içi 7/24 motokurye hizmetimiz vardır.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails