‘I hate you’ he said, hot angry tears falling from his eyes. He was so cross, so cross, being denied TV while his sister watched on. It was due to his inappropriate behaviour following multiple warnings.
I anticipated that when I heard those words from my kids that it would sting and I would hurt for days, but it didn’t to my surprise. I think because I am secure that he loves me, and he knows that I love him deeply. It was so clear to me that he knows he is deeply loved because even after he said ‘I hate you’ and growled at me like a bear, I asked him if he wanted me to cuddle him or if he wanted to be left alone, he replied “cuddle”. I cuddled him. Swaying, I tried to sooth his hurt feelings without retracting the punishment.
I feel proud of the way I parented him today. And let me tell you this week has been a challenging week, where I have not been proud of the way I managed his many, many many behavioural challenges. I had the resources to parent a little differently today, the way I’d like to all the time, because I had some time to myself this morning recharging my ‘Mummy batteries’ I was armed to deal with the shitty times.
I have been cross with Foxy in particular this week, his constant whinging; the “it’s not fair” the “why did she get more than me” the “I want…”, the air kicking and punching when things didn’t go his way……was all pushing my buttons, and when he has reacted angrily or aggressively this week I’ve tried to squash those expressions of emotions. I can hear my self saying “That is not the way to behave…blah blah blah”.
Today when those angry expressions of emotions came up I let him feel them, really feel them. I asked if he wanted to punch his pillow, or jump up and down and show me how cross he was. He did, he jumped hard, really hard – albeit on his bed! He got to express his feelings and he had me there with him seeing just how cross and sad he was. He remained antsy for the next hour. When his drawing wasn’t perfect he screwed it up, when his writing didn’t fit on the line, he cut up the page, and when he tried and tried and tired but couldn’t draw Peppa Pig the way he wanted, he screamed. And I sat with him to show him I loved him and that he could feel all those feelings and be with them and that I was there for him. I think he just got to the point where he needed an outlet for his emotions and today they bubbled over, cause he doesn’t usually get so angry.
I don’t always have the luxury of being there fully just one on one. But with Marco at home I had the chance and I used it. And I hope beyond hope that my little Fox feels utterly loved, that he feels he can express his emotions (even the uncomfortable ones) and I hope that he can wake up tomorrow in a bloody good mood.
I wouldn’t have the resources to do what I did today had I not had time out this morning. It highlights the need to ensure I get time away more regularly. I used to feel guilty taking that time. But now I know that it is really important for all of us that I get time for just me, so when I come back I can roll with the hard stuff and be a better Mum to those beautiful little people I love so dearly.