Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nic's 1st Public Performance...and Public Meltdown

Nic (in the sweater vest) had his very first performance at our church Christmas musical today. For his first time on stage, he sang Emmanuel with the other children and did a GREAT job! For his second performance.....well...that's a different story. Between his first and second performance he sat beside his Dad. He's three, so sitting still is not his strong suit. To help keep him still Gary gave Nic his cell phone to look at the pictures on his phone. Nic LOVES playing with our cell phones and looking at the pictures. I hadn't planned on letting Nic play with the cell phones at church this morning because I knew he wouldn't want to put it down to go sing Jingle Bells. I didn't effectively relay that to his fault! When the time came for Nic to go play his bell and sing Jingle Bells, he didn't want to go, he wanted to continue playing with the cell phone. Gary took the phone away from Nic and then the waterworks started. I picked him up and took him backstage thinking that once he saw the bells and the other kids with them, he'd want to play.....NOPE...wrong again. He just stood to the back side of the stage and cried. He cried for Daddy so that he could continue playing with his phone. We then went back to our seats and he still wouldn't stop crying because he couldn't have the phone back....and so a temper tantrum emerged.

Now Nic has NEVER done anything like this before so I was stunned and embarrassed. Gary picked him up and went to the back of the church where we have a kitchen. The whole way back down the aisle Nic is screaming, "Mommmyyy....I want Mommmmy." Oh my word. I'm horrified. I'm right behind them coming up from the other side. When I get to the kitchen Gary is already kneeling beside Nic talking to him. I then pick him up, put him on the counter, give him a hug and tell him we need to talk. I understand that he is only 3, so this type of conversation needs to be at a 3 year old level. I explained to him how it is never okay to throw a fit when we don't get our way and how it isn't fair to his friends who have been practicing for this day. I explained that I understood how much he loves to play with the phone and that it's even okay to be sad when it's time to put it away, but that it is never okay to throw a fit because that is not going to get him his way. I then explained how very sad his behavior made us feel because we know what a good boy he truly is, but that we still loved him no matter what. I then gave him more hugs and comforted him, as did his Dad. We told him he would need to apologize for his behavior and made sure he understood why. He then told us that he understood that it was not okay to throw a fit and that he was sorry. Then he asked his Dad if he could see his pictures on the phone again. After Daddy told him he couldn't because he had lost that privilege after his behavior today, he got all teary eyed. I reminded him of our conversation and then he dried his eyes and that was the end of it. I was proud of him for actually listening to us and understanding and not throwing another fit. I was proud of him because I could see that after he realized how his behavior effected others, he was truly sorry and he meant his apology. He has such a kind heart and is one of the many things I love so much about him.

Everyone at church was so wonderful. They all assured us that they had been there and that Nic didn't have to apologize. I was surprised to learn so many other kids had done this before. I truly appreciated that. I did want to make sure Nic took some responsibility for his actions, though. Even though he is only three, I don't want him to think it's okay to throw a fit and that there are no repercussions if he does. All of the other Moms were just so supportive, I may have just broken down if not for them. It was a comfort to know that I wasn't the only one this has happened to, even though I knew it...hearing it from the other Moms and having their support made this trauma so much easier to bear. Thank you so much, especially to Leslie and Paige!

I think part of what makes me so sad about the incident is that Nic practiced and practiced and was so excited about playing the bells. Because of this incident, he didn't get to do it. That opportunity is gone and he can't get it back. But, I'm going to focus on the positive and teach Nic to do the same. He really did such a great job for his first performance singing Emanuel, you can see it by going to: I don't want to take away from how proud we were of him for that performance. Especially since he is the youngest one in the group. Everyone else is at least 1-2 years older. His temper tantrum was all of about 30 seconds, but before that he was having so much fun with the other kids and did a great job singing, it's just as important to focus on that aspect. We were there to sing praise to God and remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas. Even with this little bump in the performance, that message was conveyed and that is what is important.


Dr. Cash said...

Love the pictures and the video! Re: the meltdown, every one of us has been there, whether it has happened in church or in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. There's not a single parent in the world who won't sympathize. But he's so cute, and he did so great in Emmanuel! You got some great video and pics!

Accidental Artisan said...

Don't worry...
Any mom worth her muster has been there...

There are PLENTY of folks at our church who can tell you about MY kid crawling under pews (simply to vex me) in "big people's church" last year.

I've decided its OUR job as excellent moms to pause, reflect, and move on. Our kids are growing, changing, and learning all the time.

Folks can JUDGE all they want... but it's not their place. Only God may judge - and there's plenty of evidence that he likes spirit over obedience any day.

I think we ALL should take note.