I am willing to admit that I am a hard ass. I am tough on my kids. I have high expectations because I know they can be achieved. Even when teaching Special Education, there was no excuse. You have to learn to play by the rules, because the real world doesn't care if you have trouble coping. The real world doesn't care what color chair you want, or what color of paint brush you must use in order to avoid a temper tantrum. My old principal used to tell me it wouldn't kill me to "soften up" some. I'm sure he'll be one of the first to agree though, that nobody loved my kiddos like me. Ok, sure, some of their parents did. However, there were a few that I used to want to adopt because I could love them better.
I find myself in the same situation here, only now it's with 3 yr. olds. They need to learn. Yes, I get that they are 3. I get that they cry easily. But I also get that behaviors are learned. If you start young, they learn right. One particular kiddo of mine is a handful. And by that, I really mean BOTH hands. Oiy. Defiant to the hill. However, we're learning. Today, a time-out was put into effect and it didn't seem to bother this kiddo in the least bit - until the time out was moved to my office with me. (I was actually on planning) Well, that changed everything. Then, later on, when told to straighten up again, and again the defiance kicked in, the other teacher just said, "Ok, I'm going to get Miss Johanna." Well, things went well the rest of the day. No, I'm not a miracle worker, but I am consistent. That is one thing I am good at. And the kids who push limits often need the boundaries set a little tighter. They need to know there are rules to follow and that people will not let you brake them. They need structure.
This doesn't mean that I do not love on them. This particular kiddo actually gave me kisses at the end of the day as I was helping to get the snow pants on to go home. That reassures me that I am right. I am doing the right thing. I have a lot of respect for parents who stick to their guns, despite the kid crying, throwing the fit, etc. You have to be consistent. And when you are, you and your child win. Tomorrow is another day. I hope it's a day filled with learning, laughter, and lots of hugs. After all, that is the best part of my day. :)