Monday, June 8, 2009

Losing My Mind

I am going to use this blog for a dose of parenting honesty tonight.

I just had a major blow-up with Asher and then of course Matt over how to best parent Asher and I am at my wits end right now.

He is a GREAT little boy. So cute, so fun, so full of life.
But when he just is crazy-it is ALL OUT. There is no reeling him back in. I feel like I am at a complete loss for how to be a mom to him because according to Matt the only thing that makes him respond is a spanking.

Which I don't exactly want to do for multiple reasons but
1) there are are about 450 people around at all times in camp
2) I want him to just listen to me WITHOUT needing to resort to spanking
3) I don't want to do it.

But over the last few months, I have noticed that he just tunes me out. It is like I am yelling at him ALL DAY LONG over the silliest things just to get his attention because he just can not hear me. When I am speaking directly to him, it is like he is looking over my shoulder. Not at my face. Not in my eyes. There seems to be no connection unless there is a threat of really bad things happening to him.

Tonight we had to punish him over the silliest thing and he went beserk. Which Matt came in on and then took over and it made me feel like a incompetent parent.
I just want Asher to listen to me and have fun and want to do the things that I ask him to do.
But instead, I feel like I am constantly giving him a talking to and putting him in timeout.
I am really tired and want to just give up.
It is so hard because I feel like as great as Asher is, he is such a challenge .

Sorry for the rant, but is this what 4-year old boy looks like?
I am beat down right now.


Buffy said...

Les - so sorry it's been a tough day. Asher is all out in everything he does, from playing to disobeying. I know that's tough. He's so stinkin cute too, which doesn't help when you just want to haul off and give him a knuckle sandwich. I am praying. Are there any parents out there that have boys and could give you some advice?

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes. A million times yes. I am going to say this in a way that I hope doesn't discourage you, but that gives you some appropriate expectations and the knowledge that most people go through this. Four is hard. I thought it was a boy thing, but apparently it might be a girl thing, too.

With Drew it felt like he had discovered emotions and the depth of them and he could not get self-control. It was hard and I will say that spanking was pretty effective. I do understand, though, your reservations about your current situation. You have to protect him, too, and not shame him.

The thing is, Leslie, that we got there. Drew will be seven in August and while he does have his own little issues, it doesn't usually come with a full-blown fit. I know y'all will get there, too.

I'm sure, too, that being at Crooked Creek instead of at home is intensifying his fits and your reactions. That's just for a season and y'all may just have to figure out a way to endure. Like taking away things he enjoys while there. That works with mine.

I'm sorry to leave such an incredibly long comment, but I know so well what you are feeling.

Jill Rutland said... are a great mom! don't doubt yourself. God picked you and Matt to be asher's parents. I will pray for His wisdom and heart to raise that spit fire!! big ol hugs to you dear one! YOU CAN DO IT!!
love you,

Natalie said...

Oh Leslie! I am so sorry! Not that I know what you are exactly going through because B is younger than Asher and all, but I did recently order some books from Focus on the Family to help give me a little guidance. They had tons of resources to choose from. Miss you!

Michelle said...

Dude--I feel you. I have the same thing with Peter and it comes & goes in intensity. When he's good, he's great and when he's bad, he's awful.
I have struggled mightily with parenting him with all the love & compassion that is in me but some days feel like too much.
Fortunately, those days are much farther apart than they were when he was four. As he gets older and discovers more coping tools, it gets better.
I believe that consistent love, praise and structure will prove to be the best method as he grows.
Hope today is better for you!

Ed Eubanks said...

Hey Leslie-- Marcie and I both go through this all the time. Asher and Jack have a lot in common that way.

I'll pray for your patience, self-control, and humility! And Matt's too.

One thing I've really been working on with Jack lately: to make times of discipline into teaching moments. I try to avoid only telling him "no" without also giving an affirmative instruction. And I try to help him see why what he is doing is wrong.

Just my 2 shekels...

Ed Eubanks said...

Oh-- I also want to affirm, with the others above, that I think you're a great mom. And I agree that you shouldn't let this sort of thing cause you to doubt.

Satan will accuse your heart about this; don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that I have any words of wisdom for you but I do have an observation. Life as a YL kid is very different from the life you knew as a fairly strictly disciplined military kid. In Asher's world, much of the time and many of the people that he knows best are "being crazy." Does it surprise you that he still seems to take skit characters conversations as "real"?
While I know that it is important that he learn when he must control his behavior, I want you to remember that he is only just now four. He is still so young!
I am always telling people how much better both my girls are at parenting than I ever was. Both you and Matt are consistent with your discipline, you do it with reason and love and only when necessary. After a time out, you discuss with you kids 1) what they did wrong; 2) that you love them very much and 3) what they might have done differently. In other words, you teach them about consequences and choices.
In another two years your life as Asher's first and only teacher will be ending. I pray for you to be patient with yourself. This is not a job that you can learn from a book or a class. It is strictly trial and error.
Like Ellen, sorry for the disertation. If you don't want to post it, you won't hurt my feelings. You are truly a GREAT mom.
The RiRi

wes mcmurray said...

I was just sitting in the chair telling Wes how I felt like Owen wasn't listening to me and just at a complete loss. I said he is a great kid, but he just not listening very well to his mommy, and I feel like he can be great for other people.
Wes said, I have something for you to read. You know he keeps up with the blogging world and we both LOVE reading your blog. I think you are such a great mom! Just wanted to say your blog has encouraged me tonight. It somehow just makes you feel better to know someone else is experiencing the same thing.
Love and miss you,
Colorado does sound nice....I am sure it is a lot different being there as a mom than in our younger days hanging out with kids, repelling down those mountains, in volley ball tournaments and such!!
Oh the memories....I feel so old now!