After I write these posts, I quickly delete them. Although venting is such a good stress release, I always feel so guilty about having documented information on the world wide web about someone else's child.
However, today, all bets are off.
I just got fired.
I just spent the last two hours crying, yelling, thinking, reflecting, and now I am just plain angry.
Let me do a (small) re-cap of the past 6 weeks:
- I first meet mom and Demon Child (DC). DC proceeds to interrupt us throughout the entire conversation. Mom does nothing. (First warning sign).
- My first day. Mom tries to get DC to eat healthy. DC throws temper tantrum. Mom gives DC sugary treats to calm her down.
- End of first week. I have been told "NO" at least 3 dozen times. DC said "no" to: brushing her teeth, picking up her toys, getting her shoes on, and going to time out.
- Have meeting with mom. Ask how they prefer me to handle discipline. I am told time out is ok, but sometimes DC does not stay in time out. Oh, and she doesn't like to put away her things. (Yes, this is all that I am told).
- Second week. Multiple temper tantrums. DC kicks dog. DC kicks mom. Mom and dad cuddle DC and calm her down by telling her she can go play with her brand new scooter.
- You get the point. The above repeats and continues even until today (unexpectedly my last day)
This made her very angry. She locked me outside. For twenty minutes. She finally let me in and proceeded to scream and kick for 45 more minutes.
I called mom. Told her the situation. She was embarrassed and apologized, but then chuckled and said, "I guess you're getting a taste of what it's like to have children". (Riiiiiight).
I then told the mom I was a big supporter of positive reinforcement. I asked if she would mind if I implemented a good behavior chart. DC could put on stickers if she obeyed the rules every day, and after getting 10 stickers - we could get a treat of her choice. The mom said she loved the idea.
The last two weeks, the chart was doing wonders! DC was actually listening and got so excited to put on a sticker. She made it 6 days in a row without one hint of bad behavior.
Then last Friday, she had a major temper tantrum. So, no sticker.
Today was a good day. I told her to pick out a sticker. She secretly put on two stickers. I caught it and said, "No, you only get one today...you know you can't have one from Friday because of your tantrum." So, I took off the other one.
Tonight, my phone rings. It is the mom. Nothing has ever caught me so off-guard. This was our conversation:
Mom: (Getting right to the point) Hi, I just wanted to let you know, I don't think things are working out. You know, some people just handle children differently. Sometimes, people just aren't ready to deal with children. So, I think we're going to have to part and go our separate ways.
Me: (Literally choking back tears) Umm...Ok???
Mom: I will pay you for the full week, what is your address?
Me: Sure, but can you at least tell me what happened? Did I do something wrong?
Mom: (Silence for a few awkward seconds) Well, honestly, we thought the behavior chart was a bit much...and you did implement it extremely soon. And then today, you actually ripped a sticker off the chart? I mean, that's very harsh for a child. We just didn't think that was appropriate.
Me: That's not what happened, but that's neither here nor there. Here's my address.
Mom: Good luck with teaching.
There are so many things I wanted to say. So many thoughts going through my mind. Like, "If you thought I was too strict, why didn't you tell me?" or "You TOLD me to use a behavior chart" or "Your child locked me out of the house for 20 minutes, and she doesn't listen to a word you say...but I'm the bad guy?"
More than anything, I am just so mad that they broke up with me before I could break up with them.