Gosh this parenting lark is hard work. Every time we think we have got it cracked something comes along to start us wondering what on earth we are doing wrong.
I have mentioned before that Mini’s emotions bubble very close to the surface. The bad ones and the good. This means that he is quick to express his happiness and cuddles are never far away, however, conversely it means that he could blow at anytime. It is horrible. I have been feeling as though I am walking on egg shell for the last month or so. Him not sleeping makes things a hundred times worse.
Over the weekend things came to a real head and I just lost it. I can not keep on parenting like this. Wondering what is going to set him off. There is no rhyme or reason to what sets him off, often it can be something as silly as he forgot what we were having for dinner or that he is losing a game.
The thing if when Mini is angry, it is a horrible thing to see. He lashes out, physically and verbally. It is never his fault, always someone else’s and trying to get him to calm down is beyond us at this time. He keeps himself together most of the time at school, but can be disruptive when he is bored. it is at home we seem to get the brunt of it and as I am the primary care giver, I see the most of it. From the minute he wakes up, we are often at loggerheads. He doesn’t want to go to school. He doesn’t want to have breakfast, the list goes on and on.
The scariest thing is I am becoming scared of my six year old. When he hits it hurts, he scratches, he bites and he destroys things. He has lifted and thrown the kitchen table before. We have talked about rules. That it is OK to be angry, but not OK to hurt people or things and that it is good to talk, but once he is on fire we really struggle.
Gosh this post is so hard to write. I do not want to label him and we take great care not to call him a naughty boy and just say that what he is doing is wrong.
We are at the end of our tether and do not know where to look for help or advice. I am so conflicted, I adore him and he is a joy to be with most of the time, but there is always that nagging worry at the back of my mind. MadDad is not excluded and Mini has shown his dark side at football practice too. Maxi gets it if he is winning in a game or he is playing with something that Mini wants.
I can not go on living as we have for the last month. Last year was much better, which is why I think it is linked to his need for sleep.
The good thing is that you ARE open to getting the support you need.
Yes, it’s important not to label children, but part of parenting a child is recognising what isn’t working, what isn’t acceptable within your family, and taking the necessary steps to fix that.
I’m sure talking to your local GP will allow you to contact appropriate services, including family therapy, which might help Mini with his emotions and give the rest of the family tools to cope better and support him when there is an explosion.
Your family set-up is unique and what works for one family won’t work for someone else, so I’m not offering advice as such, but I will say that a boy who scares you at six could seriously hurt you by the age of 10, so you’re absolutely doing the right thing in trying to address this now. And that’s good parenting.
I completely admire you for admitting you need help with his behaviour. He’s a gorgeous little boy but for your sake you can’t carry on like this. The school or your doctor will be able to help you with his behaviour, check if he needs to be assessed for behavioural difficulties etc and point you in the right direction as to what help is out there for you. He might just have trouble dealing with his emotions and might need a little help in how to process them and I’m sure once he gets that help he’ll be just fine. x
Absolutely what Sally says. You’re a brilliant mum and you’re doing the right thing to admit that this is something you need a bit of help with. We all need a hand from time to time. I have a feisty toddler who often lashes out at me (only seems to be me mind you, I always get the brunt of her anger) and I know that feeling of walking on egg shells. It’s not a good feeling and can make you feel stressed and tense, even if everything is calm at the time. I have no practical advice to offer as I’m no expert, but I just wanted to show my support. You’re doing an amazing job Jen. x
I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but the good thing is that you know that you need help. There is no shame in that Jen, professionals are there to help. Speak to your GP but also to Mini’s school, they may have counsellors or educational psychologists who can help. I have used professionals to help with my girls when I felt I was out of my depth, and it has always been a good decision. Good luck hun x
You are amazing admitting that you see an issue and willing to seek help about it, I know of so many parents in my teaching that don’t see the problem, won’t admit it and spend their life living on egg shells. Does the school see the same behaviour in the classroom, playground, PE lessons (especially if not winning is an issue that sets him off) if so speaking to his class teacher is a good place to start. If school aren’t identifying anything at the moment then head to the GP, they will be able to start the ball rolling for investigation, if sleep is an issue (it is with J who has a Sensory Processing Disorder) then there are things that can be done to help him get to sleep easier and improve how he is during the day. I hope that you can find some support and you are an amazing mum xxx
Oh jen, I can imagine how stressed and worried you must be feeling. I’m sure there will be something you can do that will help, the difficulty is working out what it is and who can help. We have often been very worried about our Finn, and many times have checked him against the aspergers indicators – he meets quite a few but not enough so we’ve known it isn’t that but have been sure there’s something not right. He has always coped well at school – clever and co-ordinated but we had this nagging feeling that he doesn’t see the world and react to it the same way as other children. Last year, when we were in SA visiting my mum and dad, through a strange series of circumstances we realised that occupational therapy might be the answer. He was tested privately out there and has sensory precessing problems – everything fell in place as soon as we spoke to the OT afterwards and read her report. We understand him so much better now, he still finds many things difficult and always will (I worry that he’ll struggle as a properly independent adult). We’re gradually getting through the NHS system here to get things in place with their OT help. Slow but worth it.
I’m not in any way suggesting that this is what is troubling mini, but just that you know he needs help and you will be right – parents always are. How about trying your GP as suggested above and see if they can help?
If you ever want to chat some more or just get things off your chest please drop me an email. Take care and good luck. Juliex
I agree with the previous suggestions to contact your GP, they will hopefully be able to point you in the direction of some support or advice for you and your family. It is hard but very brave to admit you are struggling and honestly we all would be in your position. You are not labelling him forever just saying that in this moment something needs to change and that is definitely good parenting.
Also wanted to add I had a terrible temper as a child and I wish my Mom had been strong enough to ask for help because I wanted to get on top of it as much as she did.
Jen – you are doing the right things, in acknowledging that right now there are real problems. That is NOT labelling him forever. The comments above are wise and true- talk to the GP, and check with his teacher if there are underlying school issues.
But DON’T regard yourself as having failed. You are loving, caring parents doing their best.
as always, sending love, hugs and prayers xxx
Just really wanted to echo what everyone else has already said, there seem to be some good suggestions. My eldest can also be pretty foul without sleep, although she is getting better with age, and so I can sympathise a little. I You are definitely right to ask for help now. Hope you get the support you need. Hugs. X
Well Done Jen for admitting you need help. We haven’t had a child of six so I have no words of wisdom to offer but I think you’re doing great. You clearly love your boys, and this can only help.
Hardest part to admit you not happy with it and then the step forward to making it better. G.P best start or direct to Family services who your G.P will refer you to. Though sometimes best to get G.P referral for quicker results. We have had to go down this route for different things at the moment but have been so grateful and impressed with the support and help that is available to you. The help we are receiving at the moment is brilliant and will make a difference and already is.
Don’t be hard on yourself you are a brilliant Mum x x x
Oh no I am so sorry to read this and I know how hard it must have been for you to put this down into words. I think the biggest thing is that you recognised that there might be a problem and asking for help is such a brave thing to do. I only wish I could offer some real advice but I can only echo what has already been said in the comments and hope that your GP will be able to point your family in the right direction. Sending lots of love xx
I think the hardest thing Jen is admitting that we need help with our children! You want to be there for them and do everything you can for them; it’s fine to admit to needing extra help and I can’t say anything other than what has already been said. I hope you get the help you need and deserve! Take care x
Oh I really feel for you 🙁 Have you spoken to school about this? There will be professionals who are trained in specific behaviour etc that can support you and help you through this. Also, sleep experts may be able to help? apologies if this has already been suggested, I am commenting on the run today. Hugs
These ladies have hit it right on the head…. you are a wonderful parent, you have recognized there is something going on with him. It could be nothing more then he needs to figure out an exceptable way to vent, to some kind of explosive disorder. Start with the pediatrician and he will send you in the right direction.
Thinking of you and so hard to admit when we need help. Well done you, everyone has said what I wanted to say. Speak to your GP, take the support offered. You are doing a great job and things will get easier x
It must have been really tough recently, I know we’d talked about parenting spirited children before. I think holding your hands up and saying you need help is completely the best thing to do because if you are constantly worrying about what will trigger his behaviour and scared of him at times then you have to address it. The sooner you do that the sooner Mini will start to feel better too.
Good luck and I hope things improve quickly
As others have said, I would def see GP and maybe ask for a referral to a paediatrician. Don’t be fobbed off; not all GPs have the wide knowledge or the answers. Labels are not always a bad thing; they can definitely bring help. Even without a label though help is out there, and school or GP are a good start. You can check if the school have any group like this attached/affiliated to them: http://www.vistastalbans.org.uk/ (our local one) which can help you – contact this one if you need to, they’re lovely and I’m sure could point you towards one in your area.
Good for you for doing what is right and best for Mini and your family rather than pretending there’s no problem. I hope you get to the bottom of this. I will be interested to read what happens as my 4yo daughter has a temper that even the kindergarten teacher says is “powerful”.
Being a parent is hard. We all need a bit of help sometimes. I hope you get the help you need. You know where I am if you need me. Take care.
As you know, I first met you through the ether when Mini was about 2. I suspect your parenting was excellent and you gave him exactly what he needed to blossom, close attentive care, loads of physical exercise, lots of chances to express his feelings through making and doing. And very responsive sympathetic parenting, loads of TIME.
However as I have found with my own little son, now not so little (aged 10) a lot of traits go deeper than nurture can change. My son was diagnosed with borderline ASD at 8 and I suppose what came out was that he is acutely sensitive to lots of stuff that the rest of us screen out. He is highly imaginative, he loves role play, he loves dressing up, he loves his soft toys, he loves us and his siblings, he gets very very attached to people and places. What the ASD is , is a difficulty in processing events and strong emotions. It is like flicking a switch, and an inability to filter some of his experiences in what adults might consider a “reasonable” way. I’m not saying Mini does have ASD, just that it is sometimes helpful to think of a world where things are brighter, noisier, faster, more bewildering than we can imagine. And that is what causes the REACTION.
Frankly I would never in a 1000 years considered my child had anything “wrong” with him, and it was only when I could use it t his advantage that I even ventured to get a label for him from CAMHS, on advice of his school. It meant he wasn’t “naughty” when he reacted or hit out, but needed a particular style of parenting which I suppose we had already subconsciously worked out, but just needed tweaking further.
One of things we learnt from CAMHS which was of the utmost importance was to “extinguish” violent behaviour, rather than react angrily to it or soothe it away.
Well done Jen, seriously well done to admitting that you need help. We have just had to do the exact same thing with Baba and his sleep and his grief for Rhianna. It is the hardest thing to do to admit that you need help but you know what we are doing the best thing for our babies and that is what makes it ok. xx
Your CommentsI think what we have learned in last few year can be summed up in following words. Acceptance of his sensitivities. Beneficial routines. Downward spirals,and how to avoid them. Distraction. Need for Sensory Input (aka using your body to let off steam). Transitions and how to handle them. Going to school every day would be an example of a stressful transition that you can make easier by all sort of little tactics. Ditto coming home from school.
I really feel for you. The 3-yo can be a bit of a pest at times, especially since the new baby arrived. I wonder what I am going to do if this continues. She, like Mini, can be uncontrollable at times.
Oh Jen, I am so sorry you are having troubles with mini. Isabelle never used to be naughty, but since Olivia arrived, she has changed a lot, and can be naughty too. I think as everybody here suggest, the hardest is to accept that you need some help, and only wish I could help you somehow. Good luck with everything xxx
I am sorry to read got are having a hard time with mini. I think we discussed before that him and V are similar in many ways. I think the extreme emotions are what characterised them the most and I do understand what you mean when taking about treading on egg shells. Unfortunately I haven’t found a perfect solution that I could share with you. Getting support is a great idea, have you thought of speaking to your local health visitor or gp? They should be able to know who to speak to who could offer help? Good luck and hang in there, you are an amazing mum x
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world! It is stressful, demanding, emotionally draining and yet unbelievably rewarding! You have done the right thing recognising there is a problem and asking for help, I totally agree with the saying “a problem shared is a problem halved!” Hopefully it is just a phase Mini is going through, figuring out a way to vent his feelings and frustrations. I agree with others who have commented above, go and see your GP. As a teacher, I recommend you also ask at school, speak to his class teacher and the SENCO, alsp ask if his school has a parent support adviser (ours does and many parents find it useful to talk things through with her). Just keep remembering, you are doing an amazing job and life is one big learning curve for us and for our children! Jill x
I just wanted to comment on this post as I can imagine it must have been very hard to write. I totally agree with some of the comments posted and one of the hardest things to admit is that we need help with our children. I hope that you can all find the answers and get the help you need. Good luck. x
Oh goodness, I really feel for you because parenting can be tough sometimes. I had a six year old boy once who was difficult to manage and the excuses for his behaviour could only go so far.If its any conciliation he settled right down at the age of nine and is a little Gem now! I think age nine is a turning point for a lot of boys. I’m sure you’ll get back to a good place with him soon, especially since you are addressing his difficulties now and not letting it go. Such a refreshingly mature approach to parenting xxx
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Hi Jen, I had left you a long comment originally only to find out that I had an issue with living comments on WP sites. I sorted it since then and you have had a lot of messages offering ways to deal with it. I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you as it must be a hard phase to go through. I have all confidence that you and mad dad will go through it though, you are great parents. Getting help when needed is a sign of strength. Pxx
Hi Jen, I read this weeks ago on my phone so I couldn’t comment but I just saw it again as I have been catching up. I’m afraid I have no extra advice but it’s encouraging to hear you talk about it and you clearly always try to do the best for your family. I wish you all the best with getting help x