Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Can I have a day off?


Mini seems to becoming quite angry at the moment. He is shouting more and more.
On a positive note, he is beginning to tell us when he’s becoming angry, which is good because he’s recognising a feeling, and can name it. The downside is that these ‘I’m getting really angry with you’ exclamations are always followed with a threat of violence if we don’t do what he wants.

I know Mini is struggling with the imminent end of term. He’s tired, he needs some rest time. And he’s anxious and worried.

But I’m getting really frustrated and honestly – upset, with the constant shouting. And I’m starting to get snappy with him. A typical conversation at the moment is:

Me: Mini please stop trying to make Dollop fall over/break that/bang her head/hurt you/get in trouble by swiping her legs/pushing her/grabbing her hands/pulling her hair/telling her what to do with the hobby horse/edge of the table/fish tank/toy soldiers/felt tip pens.
Mini: NO! I like doing it, and she wants me to.
Me: No Mini, she doesn’t, it’s dangerous and I’ll have to take the <insert toy here> away if you can’t be safe with it.
Mini: NO YOU WON’T!
Me: Yes Mini, it is dangerous like that.
Mini: NO YOU WILL NOT TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!
Me: Try me… *Takes toy away*

Result: Massive meltdown from Mini, and I get wound up. 

or

Mini: Can I have 5 more really chocolatey biscuits now (5 minutes before dinner)
Me: No Mini, dinner is nearly ready, perhaps you can have one or two chocolatey biscuits for pudding.
Mini: NO I WANT THEM NOW I DO NOT WANT DINNER I WANT BISCUITS  AND YOU WILL GET THEM FOR ME BECAUSE I WANT THEM AAAAARRRRGHHGHGHGHGH
Me: I know you really want the biscuits Mini, but dinner comes first.
Mini: YOU'RE MAKING ME REALLY ANGRY BECAUSE YOU ARE A BAD MUMMY AND I WANT THE BISCUITS....I'M TELLING DADDY AND I'M PHONING THE POLICE. DOLLOP THINKS YOU ARE A BAD MUMMY TOO.
Me: Yes, I know I'm a horrible mummy, but that is the rules my love!

I’m trying to be therapeutic I really am, but Mini is really pushing my buttons at the moment, and like him, I’m also tired and need a rest over the summer holidays.
After episodes like this I try to empathise with him, and accept that he’s feeling cross and hard done by. I try to ‘wonder’ why he was doing what he was doing, and what he means by his actions.

But do you know what, I’m only human and I get it wrong…often. I will persevere but sometimes I need to just own up and say ‘I’m not feeling very therapeutic today, I’ll try my best, but hopefully tomorrow will be better’. Is that allowed?



4 comments:

  1. Yes, you're human. Allow yourself to admit it! And Mini needs to know you are fallible too. OK he needs you to be reasonably firm and consistent so he will feel safe - but he needs human parents not superhuman ones.
    He needs to know that you get tired, and angry and fed up. That he is not the only person with needs. That will surely help him develop empathy?
    I often feel that if our role models are too perfect we will always feel inferior (My Dad never got angry with me when I was a kid. Sounds ideal? Actually, no, because it wasn't until I was in my mid teens that I began to realise that he was not perfect. It didn't help our relationship ).

    Is there any chance you CAN have some time off? Maybe a complete day for yourself?
    My in-laws have just offered to take our bous for a couple of days in the school holidays. The feeling of relief is overwhelming.

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    1. Oh he does know I get upset. I've cried in front of him, especially when he's physically hurt me, and he used to be really sensitive and caring at those times...all changed now.

      I do get time off...I'm lucky that my in-laws have Mini for odd days during holidays and of course he's at school all day, and the NC takes over in the evenings so I get a break.

      I'd just like a day off from my own expectations. I'm trying so hard to do the therapeutic thing, and not get angry (because that takes us back a stage or two), that I don't often allow myself to get things wrong without beating myself up over it...

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  2. Those interactions sound exactly like our house! And I think it's 'normal' (whatever that is!)
    Like megs, I agree that children sometimes need to know that their actions upset others and that there are consequences.
    Our SW told me at the beginning when LE came home, "use your support network" and I kind of scowled at her.. but now when someone offers to take her swimming / to the park / Mcdonalds (mummy fail!) for a couple of hours.. oh bliss!!! (I usually spend the time cleaning or ironing - but next time I WILL bake a cake or do something else I enjoy!) Have you got someone who could help out?
    And yes - trying again tomorrow and the day after is perfectly allowed. if it wasn't I think I'd have given up by now... xxx

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    1. As I've said above to Megs, I'm lucky in that my in-laws take Mini for odd days (sometimes overnight) during holidays and as he's 5, he's at school full-time so I do get a break.

      But lots of Mini's issues and anxieties are around abandonment and being taken away, he can't cope with spending days with other people, and on the odd occasion when he does, we get it twice as bad the next day when he punishes us for making him feel abandoned and scared...
      However, I have got a handful of activity days planned for him (where he's at a day camp type thing) and we hope that a school friend is able to go with him, so that will provide boredom-busters for him, and respite for me too :-)

      I'd just like a day off from my own expectations of having to be therapeutic all the time - it doesn't come easy yet...despite 4.5years of practise :-(

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