branding Z.

Z.’s had some trouble at school lately. I am a mix of emotions about it…everything from sadness to anger.

It’s a pattern of behavior where she lashes out when angry or scared. It’s just that she’s  so black and white. On one end she is incredibly  loving and social but on the other end she is equally big in her emotions. Her angry/scared behavior of late ranges from coloring on another kids coloring sheet when the kid didn’t give her the crayon she wanted, to cutting a kid’s skirt with scissors when the kid threatened to tell on Z. to the teacher.  Once you might say “oops” and talk to her about making better decisions when she is angry. However, this is now a pattern of behavior that we know must correct immediately.  I mean, we heard scissors and thought sh*t, what the hell was she thinking? We are taking all of this very seriously. We talked to her. We wanted her to fully understand the consequences, even the social consequences. We prepared her for the fact that most likely those kids won’t want to play with her anymore.

Social consequences. I guess we weren’t prepared enough though. These social consequences are making me angry and sad . Z. has had more than one incident with one kid in her class. That child’s parent has first told her child not to play with Z. and second had her child moved away from Z. in both class and in the after school program. I expected some of this but it also doesn’t feel right anymore. Instead of Z. dealing with those consequences privately, it has been made known to many of the kids why it is happening. I am sure the violated kid told some of the story but A. also knows that whole story. We kept it between Z, mommy and me at home so that Z. would have some privacy to deal with her issue.  A. knows the whole story and it didn’t come from us. This makes me think that it is likely that the after school teachers also made it known to kids. If I am right about this, then this is really upsetting.

Here  is where I struggle with the question of how much? How much branding her a bad kid worth it? Z. knows all of this is happening. She tears up knowing that her actions mean that she is now being ostracized for her behavior. Is she being labeled? Will she have the opportunity to make this mistake, learn from it and then move on or is she now stuck in a behavior label? I am not sure and I know now that what we thought was an issue that was addressed and Z. could move forward is now something Z. is having to face emotionally over and over. Seems like enough is enough already.

Now, I am just trying to figure out how to help Z. change the soundtrack that I am guessing is forming in her mind and heart right now.

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