Being misunderstood at any age…

There are a hundred different things I could write about this morning, some great, some painful. I landed on “parenting” and from there go on to write about how I am like my four year old when it comes to life.

So I did it, I went to the used book store yesterday and bought a book on raising a defiant child. I know my limits and I officially can’t handle this problem on my own. I remember a child behavioral expert (who happened to be my dear friend) telling me that punishing in certain ways could have the opposite effect. That was new to me. After my first two kids were so receptive to our punishments, I was thankful that I didn’t have to deal with a child that had bad behavioral issues. My little J-Bird was only 2 at the time so he was just a cute little kid in his terrible two’s(although it never occurred to me at the time that my older kids never went through the terrible two’s). Now I have an extremely bad 4 year old.

If you have never had a child that is extremely defiant and kicks holes in the wall and tries to punch you in the face on a daily basis, don’t judge. The strange part of all of this is that he is also my little love bug. He truly loves me and we have a connection that is so special. Chris and I have tried everything. For about a year now we have cracked down on punishment with this child. If he’s still like this at five or six, I can’t even imagine what my homeschool would be like. He is already a HUGE disruption now. Just thinking about all the trouble this precious child has been to me and Chris is raising my blood pressure. So I’ll move on to the book. There were a few different ones to choose from and I skimmed through each. This one seemed like it fit our needs the most by the random pages I spent about an hour reading.

Today I am going to begin this book. I am so grateful that there are people who have studied this, gone through it, and chose to take time to write a book about it. There’s not a whole lot of money in writing a book. Hopefully I will learn how to handle him, avoid his meltdowns and punish him in a way that doesn’t disrupt our family dinners and our school days.

Something this experience I am going through with J-Bird has shown me is that not all adults respond the same way to circumstances either. I can relate to his anger and sadness over feeling so misunderstood. Trying to explain my feelings makes it so much worse, and just like my irate 4 year old, I end up very angry and upset. I really do try hard not to be a difficult person, but it feels like not many people get me. And that automatically makes me difficult, in my book.

Here is an example of something I just don’t understand, and others don’t get about me. Maybe some of you can relate. It can happen in any form or fashion, but I’ll specifically write about using facebook as an avenue to correct. I don’t get that. It can be hurtful if I think that maybe someone is trying to teach me how to be better on a public forum, like facebook. If it looks like I may be struggling with a problem, then a post about that problem pops up, what the hell? Especially since no one ever has all the facts. Writing a instruction type post, but not emailing it to me or directing it at me is confusing. I know they just want to “help” by re-posting quotes, or lessons that they feel I could benefit from. I guess most people respond well to that? Once I even emailed the poster and thanked him for the insightful teaching, but what he was trying to help me with was not necessarily what I was going through. He agreed that he thought it would be helpful and so we wrote a little more about what was actually going on and that was that. I respect this person tremendously and so I knew I could honestly and openly go to him. I also knew that he was wise and always very loving to me and my family so I knew his motives were out of love. 

The problem with correcting, or directing teaching to another in this way, is that if someone feels like a correction type post is directed at them, and all the opposers of said person give it a thumbs up… BAM, you get a facebook gang up. Now, I am trying to be funny and dramatic, but there is a little truth in that final part.

I am great with writing, so much better than in person. But, there have been times when I’ve had to bring a touchy topic up in person, both in a group and one-on-one. And it did not go well at all. I felt completely misunderstood and at times attacked and decided that from now on, email was the way to go, but never a public forum, like facebook. Like I wrote in a previous post, my hubby told me that it was my fault for walking into a hornet’s nest and coming out with bee stings.

You will notice that in my blog I will always refer to myself and what I’ve got a problem with on the day I happen to be blogging. Some of my favorite professional writer bloggers do the same thing. If it convicts another, then that’s on them, but I won’t ever write a blog to try to “teach” someone anything. I write what I am going through so I can get it out, get support (usually from the most unlikely of internet friends) and move on. And because it’s a very personal, truthful, wholehearted blog I have never felt conviction about it. And just recently I got a reply from someone who never supported me in public on a specific matter, but agreed with me here, online. It helped me to see that maybe I am not so misunderstood at times, just not afraid to be the only one to feel a certain way about something in a group. When I was writing about the matter in the post, this person didn’t come to mind and I didn’t even know they even read it. But it resonated, and alas, I find I wasn’t so alone after all.

So today as I go about our schedule and my youngest gets on my last nerve, I will try to remember what it’s like to get punishment, or correction, in a way that demeans and confuses. I will post more as I learn from this book and hopefully get feedback from other parents of defiant children. Or anyone else out there who feels so misunderstood that at times they want to die (I also suffer from depression). I don’t believe that it’s up to us to do anything with the intention of correcting another person. There is only One who has the authority to correct and He will never do it in a way that confuses, demeans, embarrasses, or makes a person want to die. (yup, I know I’m dramatic)

Thanks for reading today.

Love,

Jackie

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2 thoughts on “Being misunderstood at any age…

  1. Both my kids never had terrible twos but had horrible fours. My son is 5 and he is still stuck on horrible fours :-). I struggle with being too hard, and the too soft all the time. I am 100% sure that I do a lot of things wrong…while I am really really trying to do it right. That is every parent’s struggle, I am convinced. But the kids find a way to show me that my love is greater than my untimely and irrelevant punishment at times. I asked my daughter, “why do I love you?”. She answered without hesitation “Because I came out of your belly”. Not because “I am a good girl”, and “I do my bed”. My heart melted. She knows she is mine! That’s why I love her.

    • What a beautiful response. And what an amazing picture of another love- between daughter and Father. Chris and I have probably been doing so many things wrong while thinking that we were doing everything right. I am hoping the lady in this book knows what she is talking about because I could really use some practical, straight forward advice. It also feels good to know I’m not the only one. I used to think his super-duper-strong will was a good thing. I’m sure it’ll come in handy when he faces peer pressure one day. But right now he drives us crazy! Thanks for the reply.

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