Sometimes, raising a tween boy is ridiculously hard. Lately, I’m feeling like he and I are stuck in the middle together between so many polar-opposites that we might never find our way out!
No one said that things with my son would be easy, but they NEVER EVER told me how hard it might . When we adopted him 5 years ago, it was all: “He’ll be the little boy that slams the door and screams into his pillow.” Honestly, if that was the little boy we’d been living with all this time, I would not be writing this post. Or even doing the whole blogging thing…I’d still be working a desk-job somewhere, beating my way up that “career path” that I’d laid-out for myself so long ago.
Nope. Life is mighty different with a boy that stuck somewhere between angry-sad-happy-anxious-raging-fussy and any other major emotion you can imagine. And I’m stuck with him. When he’s not yelling, he’s escalating to violence (though I have to say, that is getting less and less in the last couple of weeks–thank goodness!). He’s moody and the whole family has to walk on eggshells constantly around him not to set him off.
But he is trying to improve. And that’s where we’re really stuck. Constantly trying to improve and grow-up, but always (ALWAYS) fighting hormones, time, maturity, and all the normal things that boys go through–that he just has a hard time dealing with, on top of all the things that make my son so very special.
But he is trying. So, I’m trying really hard not to sweat the big stuff, to put each day in it’s own little box and forget about it in the giant warehouse of my mind. But each day is a struggle not to be overwhelmed.
Even just writing this makes me feel sucktackular.
I’d like to become a happier mom. To really bust free of this “stuck” feeling. Here’s my easy 3-step plan:
- When my son yells any variation of: “I just want to be left alone!” I will not bark back at him. I will take a deep breath and remember that time he asked, very quietly, to talk to me. That was a sweet moment I want to hold onto no matter how hard it gets.
- When he insults and/or threatens me or my daughter(s) (or even my husband, though that is so very rare), I will not let that make the hair on the back of my neck stand straight-up in fear. I will simply close my mouth and remove myself (and my daughters) from the situation. I don’t need to hear that (the girls certainly don’t) and I don’t have to stand there and take it. The more I stand there and engage with him, the more angry I will be and the cycle will begin anew. It’s not worth it. I will walk away.
- When violence is eminent (because that’s just flat-out how it works with him sometimes), I WILL NOT ENGAGE. Hopefully, I will have walked away by then, but in the even that I have not, I will not attempt to do anything more than defend myself or my girls. I won’t let us be hurt, but I don’t have to step-in before it gets to that point. Instead, I can step-out. Maybe it’s counter-intuitive to most parents, but since we’ve been trying the stepping-in for 5 years and it’s not working, maybe stepping-out will work. Maybe, if he has no one to fight with, he’ll deflate.
Let’s just see if I can do this…maybe we’ll both be happier in the end…