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My Second Born.

September 25, 2010

I have failed. I am failing. Completely and utterly. Totally failing.

My oldest son is wretchedly disrespectful to his parents and horrifyingly mean to his older sister.

There it is. I said it. It’s out there for the world to see. God help me, but it’s just too much to keep to myself any more.

I cannot seem to convey to him the importance of kindness and respect. I do my best to mirror these traits to him. I look for every opportunity to praise him- even the smallest things that would easily be overlooked with a child that is behaving better. It is becoming harder and harder as I feel I have less and less desire to even be around him.

How horrid is that?

I don’t even want to be around him. What kind of mother says that about their child?

This has been going on for an entire year now. And I’m so tired. 

Emotionally and mentally, this child has broken me. Is breaking me. Every day.

I pick up my pieces many times throughout the day and hold it together till evening. Sometimes. Other times I cry my way through my day with him. I put myself back together with the help of my husband and prayer each evening, and am ready to face the next day, fresh with new hope and positive expectations. And then. It begins again. Sometimes before I am even out of bed. I will hear him lash out verbally or physically at his sister. I will sigh, say a prayer, and get out of bed, already feeling defeated. We might make it to breakfast without an outburst. But probably not.

 I pray fervently over him each night, whispering my hopes and my aches to my God. I pray for him and for me, throughout my day. I am not the best mom I could be and am trying to learn as I go. I am trying to look for the opportunities to grow and improve. I am trying. So hard, I am trying.

This isn’t anything that you would send them off to one of those Find-Yourself-In-The-Woods-Through-Hard-Work-And-Survival-Skills type things. Just blatant disrespect and unkind behavior. I realize he’s only six. But I’ve been dealing with this day in and day out for more than twelve months. He doesn’t act this way around other people- adults or children- so I KNOW he can behave better. That makes it worse, in some ways. He didn’t used to behave this way. My memories of him are of my sweet and affectionate son, of a happy child. Now I feel like he is full of anger and frustration that is always just below the surface waiting for any opportunity to rear its ugly head.

I don’t know. Maybe there IS something wrong with him. But my gut and my heart say no. In times he chooses, he is fully capable of controlling his behavior and attitude.

He is so wonderful in so many ways. But this is taking over everything about him in my mind.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do for him next. I am seriously sucking it big time at this mom thing.

I don’t know what I can do better as his mom. But right now I am completely failing him.

And it breaks my heart.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 1:28 pm

    Oh Anne, I will be praying for you. One thing I’ve learned is that kids are who they are. We can pray for them, try to teach them, love them, and try to show them what is right and what is wrong, but ultimately they are their own people. You are not failing. The choices he’s making may not be the ones you would choose for him, but you are doing what you are called to do by praying for him, disciplining him, loving him, and being a role model for him.

    • September 28, 2010 8:09 am

      Thanks, Linda! Wish I could just stuff his little mouth with a cannelloni! :) Yes: choices, choices, choices… it is all about those choices and learning their consequences. And, thank goodness for prayer! It’s reassuring to know that we serve a God who knows all and understands.

  2. Susan Spencer Linda's mom permalink
    September 26, 2010 2:56 pm

    Dear Ann,
    Please know that you are NOT a failure. At any given time when you do the best you can do, that is the best you have to give. There are many facets in life that we cannot control, one of the most important and heart breaking is in raising a difficult child. Of course the self doubt is first to take hold. Next, the feeling that we lack true Christian actions follow suit. Please do not follow that path. Know in your heart that you love this child and you are doing your best. Know that all children are born to be their own people. Know that Jesus calls us to love everyone. Love is not the same as liking everyone. No where does Jesus say we have to like everyone.

    Sometimes these little people need some intervention for help for themselves, or at the very least for help for the parents and the rest of the family. Please know that children are not an extension of their parents. Parents should not feel shame by who their children are. Therefore, there should be no shame in searching out counseling or therapy for a difficult child.

    Ann, I raised a challenging child (Linda’s brother) and was very heart broken many times. I also raised my husband’s adopted daughter for 10 years. She was not just a challenge. As she grew older the onslaughts, actions, misbehavior, disrespect, arguing, lashing out, denial, etc. etc. heightened. Our “daughter” has been in constant therapy for the past 10 years and even though it doesn’t seem to be helping her as we wish it would, it has helped us as parents.

    I would like to encourage you to speak with your physician about your son. I know we got the most help from our Children’s Resouce Center in our local county. I could ramble on with what you might do, but I won’t. If you would like more info or even just to talk – please email me.

    Again, know that you are not a failure. God calls us to these challenges, but sometimes we need to be broken in order to see the whole picture.

    With Love through Him

    • September 28, 2010 8:05 am

      Thank you, Sue. What a wonderfully heartfelt response- and coming from such experience, as well. I will speak with his dr. Thank you for an encouraging push and reassurance that I’m really NOT doing anything wrong.

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