Kindergarten. Who knew what giant hot mess it would make everything?
Change is often tough on kids and affects some more than others. Even the anticipation of change can set off some pretty difficult behaviors. This is what we have been facing for about 3 months now, since we made the decision to transition our older daughter out of the preschool/kindergarten program she was in, to a K-5 school not far from campus. It was a good decision - the right one - but we've been paying for it ever since like a gambling addict pays their loan shark. Suffice to say, it's been a painful transition.
I don't know if it's the age, the school switch or some magical pu-pu platter of child angst, but it's a challenge just to keep the daily tantrum total in the single digits. And bed time? Holy fuck, bed time. I would worry that our neighbors think we run some sort of insane asylum/slaughter house combo if they didn't have kids in roughly the same age bracket.
It's exhausting. To keep your composure while your child yells at you, hitting and screaming. To not give in to the urge to just lock the kid in their room and go drive for an hour. To not question whether you're a terrible parent raising a future rage-junkie. And the worst part of it all is that it is causing me to dread spending time with her - and that kills me to admit. I never imagined having to force myself to spend time with my own 5yo.
And yes, we've tried what you're going to suggest. One-on-one time, sports, time outs, hugs, etc., etc. My guess is that time is the only thing that is going to work. I'm sure there will be a time when we look back with perspective and think this was no big deal, but right now it's the black cloud that hangs over ever breakfast, every dinner prep, every bath time and every bed time. While tolerable for a while, eventually it's like living in 1980s Elizabeth, NJ.