Declan will be 4 in January. He is a homebody through and through. He is my most strong-willed child. If anyone is going to cause my blood pressure to rise it is him. I don't know how to describe him other than once he decides he is not doing something, he.is.NOT. Not now, not ever. You can't coax or bribe. He's just DONE. I used to teach preschool and my degree is in early childhood education, but this child doesn't seem to be impressed by that. LOL!
I'm posting this today because Tuesdays are our Bible study days at church. Sometimes Declan goes right in to his Story Hour (an hour of Bible lesson for 3-4 year olds) time and other times, like today...nada. He balked at the door. I finally picked him up and walked in with him, but ultimately left him curled up in the corner of the room with his head buried into the floor repeating this grunting "no" sound. He wasn't screaming, wasn't flailing about. I thought he would come around (his cousin usually comes, but didn't come today) but then I found out that the little ones were going to be walking to each adult classroom to carol for us and hand out candies. Yeah. Um. We *tried* one rehearsal for the Christmas program at our church and it was a complete and utter failure. We didn't even bring him to church the night of the program. 100% not happening. So today the group came walking toward our room and Declan was in the back being carried by one of the teachers...and he was sobbing. Just heartbroken. I got up and went to him and took him in to be with me. He sat with me on his own chair in the Bible study, good as gold for the entire hour. Quiet, appropriate, adorable. But like I said, this is hit or miss. If his cousin comes he loves it.
It's the same on Sunday mornings for children's church. The kids go out during the first few minutes of the service while the adults are singing. I ALWAYS have to walk with him, but I also have to remain with him the entire time or he will not stay. It will be a sobbing mess if I try to leave...and it isn't that he's so traumatized, it's that he's got his mind set up and about it and that's that in his mind. Know how I know this? One week a few months ago he sat with my parents - mommy and daddy were not at church. When it was time for the kids to go out to the classroom my dad walked him about 10 feet to meet the group and then off he went...and stayed in there the entire time with no issues. But every time if it's us with him - he won't go without me staying (which I do).
Interestingly enough, we also belong to a local gym with childcare. Declan loves to go there. No problems with me leaving him (his twin sisters do stay with him there, maybe just the security he needs?). He especially loves it when he gets to play on the giant slides and indoor climbers. I have not had one single time when he has an issue with me leaving. Ever.
He is going to start preschool 3 mornings a week in Sept. Can I assume this will get better? I truthfully don't know what I'm doing wrong - I am open to any and all suggestions!! He makes me want to completely avoid anything at church, which I know is not the answer, either. Do you think he sees this as winning and losing like I'm making it in my mind, a power struggle to be fought? Or do you think this is just a stage and will pass?
He's strong-willed, yes, but he is GOOD for me 99% of the time. He's typical boy, he's naughty but I want him to be when it's appropriate. I'd worry if he wasn't. I can take him to the store, I can tell him no to things without him flying off the handle (which hasn't always been the case, but he's matured a bit). I just wish this one issue wasn't such a big one!