I like to have a reason for my children's changing behaviour and this last week my son has been a lot naughtier than he has been in quite a while.
He is 4 1/2 and exactly half way through his first year at school. He is normally a fantastically happy little boy with a level of understanding above his age. If I take him to the local library he heads straight for the non-fiction book so he can find more things to learn about - all his own choice.
But this last week he has been different; louder, more emotional, ignoring me when I ask him to do something and day dreaming alot more. The worst is the louder; he is just hollering everything. 'MUMMY' being the main one, even when I am stood right next to him.
One day when I collected him from school he shouted at me directly in front of his teacher so I took the opportunity to ask her if he was like this at school. She said he had been louder but that at this stage of the school year most children are like it as they are now comfortable enough to fight for attention. That made sense; and I had a reason and it wasn't my fault so no black marks for my parenting skills. I just thought we need to sort this out.
Then yesterday I realised that my little boy isn't just ignoring me he isn't hearing me.
I asked him if wanted some chocolate and I had no response. Now I know I didn't ask very loudly and I wasn't right next to him but normally an offer of chocloate can be heard from any distance. So I went closer and whispered 'Do you want some chocolate?'. Still no response. At this stage his Dadddy joined in and whispered 'Do you want a present?' Still no response. So I said, quite loudly, 'Have you just heard us talking?' and he turned around with a startled look on his face and said, really politely 'Sorry mummy, what did you say?' I felt terrible.
This time last year, when we again had lots of horrible colds my little boy developed Glue Ear. After a few weeks it cleared up without treatment and we didn't get it again, that is until now.
Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes dulled hearing. In most cases it clears by itself without any treatment.
I do deserve a black mark for not picking it up sooner my little boy isn't being naughty at all, he can't hear as well as he can normally. So he is louder because he can't hear himself; not responding because he isn't hearing what is asked of him; day dreaming because he can't hear what is going on around him and more emotionally because he isn't understanding.
I am going to do some research on how best to handle this, as I can't remember what we did last year, but I do know my little boy deserves sympathy and hugs not to be labelled as naughty. It is most definately not a stage but a medical issue.
Off to give my little boy a hug whilst I feel guilty for not picking it up sooner.