One of my students this year got away with a lot of tantrums at home. He'd come to school, and anytime he was scolded because of poor behavior, he would toss a hissy fit. His arms would cross, face made a pouty look, eyebrows became V shaped, and he'd make an annoying grunting noise. This would not do. Helen and I agreed that this would not fly in pre-k 108. Anytime this happened, we would send him next door to the other pre-k class. Kids do not like being taken out of their comfort zone. This explains why so many cry on their first day of school. Once they get used to the environment, some of their true colors begin to show. Nothing bad happens next door. They're just not used to that environment. They would sit and take a break After a few times of being sent to pre-k 110, he learned to never throw tantrums in school.
Any time I see a child acting a fool in public, I cannot help but take interest. When they become uncontrollable and unreasonable, my inner thoughts always resort to "HIT EMMMMM!" One time, I was at Panera bread and I saw a couple with their child who was probably 8 years old. They sat at a table directly in my line of sight. The child was acting like a douche. Every time his mother asked him to eat, he'd turn his head around and refused. He would bang on the table kick his parents underneath it. After several attempts to control their child, the parents were at their boiling point. The next time he tried to hit his plate, the mother grabbed his arm and squeezed. He began to cry and throw a tantrum. His father had enough and didn't want to cause a scene. He was grabbed his father and was rushed out the back entrance. I found this amusing and thought about my own childhood. Was I like this jackass child? My initial thought was "no way!" After thinking a bit longer, it changed to…"well maybe I was…"
My mother told me about how my brother and I was when we were younger. We did not always live in Flushing. Our first home was in Jamaica, Queens. As the only Asian family there, it was hard to shop for the normal Chinese groceries. Therefore, my mom would go food shopping in China Town. She'd take the F train all the way to Delancy and come back with two handful of the red plastic grocery bags. When my brother was old enough to come with her, she would take him along. On every trip, he would see one of those toy cars they'd sell in China Town and ask her to buy it. At first, she would refuse. My brother would cry and throw a tantrum which eventually led to my mother caving in and buying him a new toy car every weekend. On the train, my brother would put the car in his mouth and gnaw the tires off before they could make it home. This happened with every toy car he got.
After telling this story about my brother, my mom would always follow up with my tantrums. When I was about three years old, my mother had to take me to the doctor. The doctor's office was located in China Town. I hated doctors and needles. Anytime I knew I was going to the doctor, I would run, hide, scream, and did anything to get out of it. Unfortunately, nothing worked. On this particular visit, I believe my mother tricked me by telling me that we would be visiting my cousins, Schern and Annie. I really enjoyed visiting them, so luring me into China Town was easy. When we were there, my two cousins and brother were used to try to convince me to surrender and go to the doctor peacefully. It was anything but peaceful. The crying, screaming, running, arms flailing like the blow up car dealership guy was inevitable. The only thing that got me into the doctor was the promise of buying me a beloved Barney the Dinosaur doll.
When I was a child, I loved Barney. I had Barney t-shirt, shorts, plates, light switch etc. But I never had a doll. As I grew older, Barney became a guilty pleasure because it became a little kids show. By the time I was 7, I would have to hide my Barney doll whenever friends would come over, in fear of being outted as a Barney lover. I would have to make up an excuse about why my room had a Barney switch. My go to excuse was always "it was left over from the previous owner."
The promise of the Barney doll did not calm me down inside the office. When the doctor tried to give me a shot, my craziness led me to kick the doctor on the groin and break the needle, forcing him to charge us double for the second needle. After the second successful attempt, we were off to the 34th St. Macy's to get my beloved Barney doll! Barney lasted way longer than a train ride home. To this day, my Barney doll is still in great shape and at home with me.
The 27 year old me would have loved to see the three year old me and my brother get our asses kicked for pulling that type of nonsense.