Mini Kat is now half way through Reception at school. I remember last Summer with a grimace. When your child is destined to be one of the oldest in her school year, the summer before may be a little challenging, at least it was for us. For every great moment there was a tough one. We tried to fit a lot in over the Summer, I was back working from home so I had the time to take Mini Kat out and we’d booked a week holiday in Blackpool as well as arranged glamping at Warwick Castle and a trip to visit friends in Cardiff. I’d also booked Mini Kat onto a weeks long swimming crash course to help her burn off some energy and help her confidence with swimming. Team that up with visits to the park and seeing family as well as two weeks away with her Dad you’d think she’d be happy. But no. Part of me thinks it was all just a bit much for her, she got excited and then very overwhelmed and perhaps in her mind the idea of going to school was scary, although when we talked about it she seemed excited.
When she started school she was exactly the same way she had been when she’d started nursery those few years ago. There were no tears, no complaints and she went in every day happy and came out happy. She seemed to really being enjoying school. Her first parents evening after half term showed that it was true. She was a polite girl who was making friends and enjoyed her time there. She really began to get an understanding of time aswell, asking when it would be the weekend (I get two days off, don’t I mummy?) and how many days she would be at school for. When half term came around she was not as difficult as she had been during the Summer holidays. She was excited to go back to school and start working on her Christmas projects.
The build up to Christmas was fantastic. She was so exicted and it was the first time she ever really seemed to get what it was all about. I watched her Nativity production and Christmas concert with pride after listening to her practise at home and on the walk to and from school for the last few weeks. She really got into the spirit, more so than she had before and actually for the first time enjoyed giving presents. She’d attended a Christmas Bazaar and had chosen, semi-wrapped and purchased an item for me and Adam. It was very sweet. She got me a bottle of perfume and Adam a packet of sweets which she insisted he share with her.
In those few weeks between Christmas and February half term Mini Kat really became herself and had a lightbulb moment with her reading. She no longer really needs my help and is so independent. There are times when it really catches me out that my little gremlin can read a whole book, start to finish with no help. She practices her weekly words too with comfort and ease but her favourite lesson is apparently PE. I have a girly girl, she loves to dress up, hates wearing trousers and enjoys getting her hand on my make-up collection. But she also really, really loves running around and climbing, jumping and generally being a five year old child really. So she likes PE (She didn’t get that from me though…). She was also really, really excited about going to Disneyland and it was the most frequent topic of conversation in our house during that part of term. February half term was so busy with Disneyland, then seeing her dad and then coming back to two Birthday parties of two of her closest friends at school.
Then she went back to school, and her behaviour reverted to how it was in the summer. The last six weeks or so have been quite challenging again. I think a big part of it is that light bulb moment she had and now when we’re out and about her mind is processing things differently as she’s noticing letters and words and reading them. Her mood swings could rival a teenager. One moment she’s lovely and sweet and the next moment the attitude she has shocks me. She’s become quite aggressive, mainly I think through being overwhelmed and frustrated when she tries so hard to ‘get’ things but she’s still learning them. She’s often got right in my face and screamed at me with teeth gritted and I worry about where she has picked up this behaviour. Whilst she’s always been a bit of a growler in her mood swings the aggression is new to us and it worries me. The way she clenches her hands and grits her teeth and you can see the anger in her eyes.
Have I done something wrong?
How can I help ease this aggression?
Is it a phase?
Is it normal?
I ask myself these questions over and over again, constantly blaming myself thanks to #mumguilt. But then she does what she’s just done right now, run into the living room to sit by me and give me a cuddle, saying you’re the best and a little kiss. So I am hoping it’s just a phase, just because of so many new things in her life and that my kind, compassionate and sweet natured daughter is always there but sometimes her emotions get the best of her.
Do you have a five-going-on-fifteen year old at home? How do you cope with the mood swings?