it comes and goes

I’m thinking that maybe I’ll be lucky if I post once a month in 2009.

De-lurking for a moment, on this holiday weekend, to post.

We’ve had an up and down month so far. Our spring, which has been filled with so much stress, finally exploded in the first week of May in a massive, all-out fight between me and the Bee. Which culminated in her exploding in a way that was not just inappropriate, but dangerous to herself.

For a long time, we’ve known that the Bee has issues with anger management, and dealing with frustration. I once wrote a post about feeling like the prison warden from The Great Escape, and to be utterly frank, that was not an experience that was limited to the Bee’s toddler years. As she’s grown older, it’s become more and more apparent that when she gets very angry, she loses the capacity for rational thought.

So we’ve been seeking help. I got a great parenting book The Explosive Child, which has helped me to see that our method of interacting with the Bee when she’s in a state of anger is practically the worst thing we can be doing. It’s always nice to know that your instincts are completely wrong. On the other hand, this was practically the only book that didn’t advocate being harsher disciplinarians, up to and including physical discipline—and there’s a road I just won’t go down as a parent.

We’ve also been searching for a therapist, and I think we’ve found one. Landisdad and I met with her on Friday, and we both really liked her. She’s seeing the Bee for the first time next week, so we’ll see how that goes. The Bee is not so thrilled about having to talk to a therapist—the first one we found was not really acceptable to any of us. But she’s happy that no one at school will learn about it—unlike when she was seeing the school counselor once a week.

It’s hard, feeling like we need outside help to parent our daughter. It’s also hard, imagining that we will spend the next nine years fighting like this if we don’t get help.

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May 24, 2009. books for grown-ups, thoughtful parenting.

5 Comments

  1. elise replied:

    Sarah recently ripped the bathroom towel rack off the wall during a fit of anger. (she’s twelve now) In her self imposed apology note to me she ended it by writing “don’t hurt me”. She’s never been spanked once. Talk about irrational….

    I’ve figured out that her infrequent rages come from her sensitivities to life in general. When they build, it finally comes out in frustration that is masked as anger. She’s not really angry at all although I call it anger when I talk to her. Light bulb moment…maybe I should start calling it frustration.

    Good luck with the counselling!

  2. Library Lady replied:

    You know, asking for help instead of toughing it out yourself is good parenting. And as I always tell patrons “if it was easy, we wouldn’t have all these parenting books!”

    Hope the therapy helps.Hang in there.

  3. chichimama replied:

    Many hugs. And hope the therapy helps your family, it isn’t easy this raising children gig…

  4. Jody replied:

    I’m sending hopeful thoughts your way. We’ve dealt with some anxiety/explosive anger in our household, and while it seems calm now, I stay alert to the possibility that we’ll someday seek out a therapist again.

  5. the five-year mark « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] I took a step back and wrote two posts about ten things I love about each kid. We had some major emotional breakthroughs in our house, which were difficult for everyone. And on the cusp of fifth grade, the Bee got made a […]

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