Afterschool Fussypants Problem – Solved

May 1, 2009

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Remember my post about Ilana needing a time in after school?

I think we have found the explanation for the fussy behavior, and the solution.

I sat Ilana down and asked her why she was having such a hard time after school. “Are you hungry?” (No – they eat a snack when they get home.) “Are you tired?” (No – we take a nap at school.) “Is someone mean to you at school?” (No.)

Then she came out with it.

“I don’t like Sadie.”

I try not to react when my kids make statements like this. I know she doesn’t mean it. This is the same girl who will run back into the house and give her baby sister a kiss if she forgets to do so in the mornings.

“Why don’t you like Sadie?”

Because she messes up my room!

Now – the day she said this, Sadie had only been IN her room (actually, THEIR room) for a moment. She had gotten out her big sister’s lip gloss and brought it to me. I told her to put it back, and she did. She didn’t even use any.

But Ilana noticed that the tiny little drawers to her tiny little makeup organizer on her dresser were OPEN.

This is the child who cleans her room without being asked to. She loves to organize and clean up and occasionally decides to completely rearrange the place – furniture and all.

So that’s it.

This was the whole problem. The thought that her little sister was tearing through her stuff while she was at school all day made her feel vulnerable or out of control or mad or whatever.

So, yesterday while she was at school, I went in her room and made the bed for her. (She usually does it, but didn’t have time, we overslept.)

I straightened up a little.

When she came home, she walked in and said, “My room looks beautiful!”

We had a MUCH more pleasant evening. :-)


Have you seen this article on gentle discipline for the older child?

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One Response to “Afterschool Fussypants Problem – Solved”

  1. Elizabeth Ashe on May 26th, 2010 3:14 pm

    You know what Carrie this is a good article, my oldest son has been having problems w/his little brothers messing w/ his things. We moved to a bigger house but now thinking of moving to a bigger one so that he can have his own room. Soon after I had the last baby, I know longer allowed him to co sleep w/ us because That would mean three kids in the bed…….with me lol….

    I know I love co-sleeping. But since he was 3 I had him sleep with his brother to give him that extra warmth for another year. And know his brother is sort of getting tired of it. So I might have to wean hims to another room w/ his younger brother.

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