All parents should brace themselves for a dramatic shift in their child’s temperament upon entering into the school system. Our once “innocent” children undergo a profound metamorphosis, in which sass quickly replaces sweetness. As they opt into defiance in order to test their ever-increasing boundaries. It’s the bad attitude phase I call “brat-olescence” and, it’s a real son-of-a-bitch.
Time For an Attitude Check
My son’s quirks are a cross-section of both his mother’s and my own. He harbors her competitiveness and focus, while involved in most activities. Yet, displays a sense of unconventionality and humor in his interactions, summarizing my demeanor in a nutshell. These are the traits we’ve grown to love throughout his budding development. Finding entertainment through the reflections of ourselves we see within him. However recently, much of the same characteristics have spawned a rebellious streak neither of us had properly anticipated.
“Brat-Olescence” With a Vengeance
Asking Miles to perform the most mundane tasks, of late, is often met with resistance. Whether it’s disconnecting him from his tablet or simply sending him to bed. No request is acknowledged without a sprinkling of refusal. I repeat myself so frequently that I’ve begun to question if English is indeed his first language. Due to the sighs, grunts, and groans, we’ve received once he’s (finally) adhered to our “demands”. We have yet to enter into his teenage years but have somehow summoned its condescending essence. A disposition that is no doubt influenced by his equally moody classmates. I’ve uttered more threats and reprimands in the past 6 months than I have his entire existence. And, I’m assuming things may just get worse. What to do? Oh, what to do? When sarcasm, indifference, and pint-sized cynicism is the new norm?
Side story: The other day, Miles came home utterly mortified. To be brief, he’d received a stern and purposeful middle finger from his longtime friend. This was surprising to hear, as she’s normally very evenly tempered. As I stopped myself from laughing as he re-hashed the events that lead up to the “flipped bird”. I couldn’t help but think, “that girl will not be the one to fuck with as she gets older.” These kids be crazy.
Don’t Leave a Bad Attitude Uncontested
A change of nature in young children should be expected, but not always accepted. Of course, growth and experimentations of personality are inevitable. However, if bad attitudes are left uncontested and free from consequence, this may send a bogus message of approval. I’ve let my boy know that his behavior directly impacts the quality of life he’ll experience. If he insists on exhibiting passive hostility, then the luxuries he’s grown accustomed to will dwindle until respect is shown. I’m empathetic to complaints that are warranted and encourage dialogue to reach a compromise when possible. That said, this doesn’t include him acting like an ass due to false entitlement. As is stated, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude”.