Friday, 27 May 2011

Bringing up boys - Where did my little boy go?

The Boy and best friend, Tattie Whippet
Where did my little boy go the one who was a cheeky little monkey, who loved finding things out, who ran with abandon, who giggled and laughed, who made up jokes and told stories, who had lots of friends?
He certainly wasn’t about this morning or indeed last night. And although I glimpse him from time to time it seems as though he is getting more and more lost and I don’t think I am helping him all that much. The thing is I don’t know how.
This morning he was a screaming, wailing foul mouthed termagant thrashing about in the car telling me he hated himself, hated me, and hated his brother. Saying how he wished he had never been born. And all because we had said that we were taking away his privileges because he wasn’t working. He isn’t even trying to try. He was giving up.
I know a lot of it is to do with the fact he is learning to try but to just throw down your homework because I suggested he use a ruler to draw lines and then refuse to do it was a little much.
I get this a lot with his homework and indeed anything we ask him to do. It is almost as if he uses his epilepsy as an excuse to not do anything that he doesn’t want to. It is such a battle to get him to do anything at all from putting his dirty clothes in the basket in his room, to brushing his teeth. I sometimes feel that he actually likes being a martyr, that he enjoys feeling miserable.
And through all that fog of anger and frustration I cannot reach him. I don’t know what to do.  I need to be able to do something fast but what?
He has no self-esteem, and he constantly measures himself up to his friends and comes away feeling bad because he’s not as good. I try to explain but he doesn’t listen or cannot comprehend what I am trying to say.
I feel cack handed, awkward and stupid and while I try to sort him out I neglect his younger brother. God I wish parenting wasn’t so complicated. It’s not much to ask to find your little boy is it?


Sugarplum Kawaii said...

Sigh. I know how you feel. My good-natured soon to be 9 year old has over the last few weeks become cocky and snarly. He flinches if I dare cuddle him in public!

Lovely photo of your boy and Whippet (-;

Zoƫ said...

What we did with Tom was to find him something he could excel at - something he loved that was just for him. Tom has specific learning difficulties, and lacked self esteem and self worth big style.

We let him try out several different activities, place no expectations on him doing them, just allowed him to decide and explore and see if it was for him. Sport, Art, Reading all hit the not interested pile in quick succession. But how computers worked fascinated him. We started him off on electonics, first thing he built was an alarm that went off when his sister went in his room. By the time he was 7 he was doing an evening class with adults every week!

I am not suggesting electronics as a cure all, but there must be something out there that lights your young man's fire, something he could do and in time be good at? Something the other kids can and do admire?

Just a thought - know its not easy xxx

Anonymous said...

It's hard isn't it, we don't want to be harsh on them but we can't wrap them up in cotton wool for ever. One day, they will fly the nest and need to be independent and working is something they will have to do regardless.

I am very slowly learning how to differentiate between Amy's autism and her being an 11 year old hormonal monster. I often get it wrong but I've stopped beating myself up about it. Because the minute you do that, they have you over a barrell.

Firm, assertive, kind and understanding usually works.

Take care, CJ xx

Bluestocking Mum said...

Oh dear, Tattie. Being the mum of a 17 (nearly 18) year old, I have HUGE sympathy.

I used to have bad PMS so I understand all about hormones and ones inability to control them!And that is essentially what this is all about, as well as becoming independent and asserting himself.

In my experience, all you can do is try and listen, give him your time and attention but deal with him matter of factly.
I got to the stage with Idle Jack that I had to take a step back let go with certain matters. It is tough to see him making mistakes but it's 'tough love' - mother's love - and sometimes it's the only way to get him to see instead of constantly going head to head with him!

I don't think I'm through it all completely but after a truly terrible 2 or 3 years Idle Jack is
far more the loving, funny boy he used to be. He still tells me he loves me at least 5-10 times a day. And he says it in front of his mates/girlfriend now, and he hugs me in public!

I PROMISE it will get better. Hang in there.

Tattie Weasle said...

Sugarplum Kawaii - it's horrid ins't it adn being a girl I am not sure what is goingon. Hubbie says it will play itself out and he'll be OK. I suppose he's right but it still hurts!
Zoe - You have given me such hope. He loves riding when he gets the chance and on your advice about lgetting him to try lots of things to see what sparks his fancy I went to the local stables and we're booking him into lessons - he is SO excited! (Actually I might be too, I always wanted my own pony as a kid....) Love the picture you painted of your Tom building an alarm that went off whenever his siter went in his room; that boy will go far!
CJ - it is so difficult working out which is which and I do try to be calm but there is something about him that just triggers things off with me. I do adore him but I fear we are far too alike. Will work very hard at being calm and will try not to beat myself up too much...
Bluestocking Mum - hormones as well!!!!! I get your point it will work out in the end I have just got to keep going, keep holding the faith. Boy is it hard sometimes though. However, this evening he has been a delight like glorious spring sunshine is...have said that he has won back his trip to the cinema to see Pirates of the Caribean! (I think I deserve my Johnny Depp fix after all this!)

Thank you all so much for your wonderful support and advice. I feel better able to cope with the days, week, months ahead!

About Last Weekend said...

Termagant! what a great term, I'm going to have to use that one. Love the little picture, really sweet. My kids change from week to week. Just when i think I have a handle on being babies toddies, tweens and teens, I have to move on...

Tattie Weasle said...

About last weekend - all is quiet in the Weasle household, for now. I find that he changes like the wind, tempestuous one minute a breeze the next. love him to bits just wish he'd give me a weather warning!

Spencer Park said...

Hang in there. I suspect he needs to find himself first. Until my daughter had a piece of paper saying she was dyslexic, and not stupid, she had almost given up.

Norma Murray said...

Tattie, you're not 'cack handed, awkward and stupid' you are a mum and no body ever really tells you what its going to be like once they reach the 'growing up' bit in life. They come out of it though - once they reach about 25 (Sorry, that wasn't very helpful, was it)
love Lampie

Nicola said...

Oh God these last 2 posts break my heart. I wish I had something constructive to say, but I don't. All I will say is that I do remember my friends children going through an 8/9 year old phase of being totally obnoxious and rude. I have yet to hit that yet with my oldest (who is 7) although I already have it on a daily basis with my 5 year old, so heaven help me if he ups the ante when he gets older...

So good to read in the comments about the riding - I really hope that helps xx

Tattie Weasle said...

Spencer park - you say just what my husband says, you are probably right. Hope he does ut soon though!
Lampie- yes it is helpful, thank you. It looks like being a parent means hanging in their and having patience, a virtue I am sadly lacking!
Nicola - were getting there and it is wonderfully comforting to know I am not the only one having a crisis of confidence about parenting! We'll get there in the end...

Von said...

So hard being a parent.Is there anything he likes or enjoys right now you can encourage or something that can be just his activity or is achieving anything too hard?

Go on you know you want to...


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