I went to the parenting class at church today that is being held during the Sunday School hour. I offered advice like I knew what I was talking about. I thought I did. When things go well, it's hard to remember what it's like when things don't go so well. Then I am reminded of how hard it is to be a parent when I get home.
To parent a child who has intense feelings and opinions, who explodes with anger and sadness when the world doesn't fit what he believes it to be, is not easy. I have learned how to handle these displays of intense negative emotion a little better over the years, but not sure I did it gracefully today. I so want to convince him in the moment that life is not as bad as he makes it out to be. That people are inherently not evil and the whole world is not out to get him. I want to assure him that it all will be alright. And I want to say, "get a grip" because what he is emoting about is not realistic. Part of me is sad for him and part of me gets annoyed and part of me is angry. I feel powerless in these moments. That's probably the bottom line for why these events are so very hard for me.
And then suddenly the event is over and he is fine - humming, whistling, happy. I'm still holding on to it, though. I can't let go. How will he make it in this world? How can I prepare him? How can he be fine now, when just a little while ago he was shouting and calling us stupid and crying and screaming and saying he just wants to go live in the woods by himself? It is maddening if I let it be. If I bring the subject back up, he'll likely go back into shouting and crying mode. I hate this walking on eggshells feeling. I want to talk things out, and that is usually not an option for me. I don't understand boys. I feel frustrated and mad. Right now he is chipper and talking with his dad and I am still over here stewing in the blue upholstered chair with this laptop in my lap and my thoughts coming out of me through my fingertips. I WANT TO SCREAM!
How can he be over it now? Now he's singing. All is well. I am still frustrated. This is not over because we will have to bring up the subject that started it all again. And we will have to deal with an explosion again. So far when we have brought up the subject recently we are 2 out of 2 for emotional outbursts. I just want it to go away.
I sure do love him, and I am so proud of him and what he has accomplished in his young life and the neat young man he is turning out to be. I continue to pray that I will have enough patience and wisdom to guide him into learning life skills such as being wrong, getting along with others who have different opinions, and being open to hearing other viewpoints.
I love that he is sensitive, and I hope he can find a balance between being highly emotional and controlling his reactions when the situation calls for restraint. Lord, help me be the best mother to him that I can be.