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Distraught Dad


distraught
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Does it have to be like this? Everyday?

I have two kids... male 12, female 6.

There is no such thing as peace in this house, and it's not just on my shift, mom has to deal with it too. I work days, mom works part time afternoon and evenings.

Latest example of why I'm losing my mind... a year ago we (I) installed new flooring. It was explained and presumed understood then (a year ago) that "no shoes" in the house was now the norm, if we had been lax about it before (before being before the new floor). Tonight, after a particularly awful night of nattering, fighting and general mayhem, son leads daughter on a "chase" around the house... and THROUGH the house...which obviously violates year-long standing rule of no shoes in the house. Sounds funny as an isolated incident, I'm sure. But it's not..and not funny.

I seem to repeat myself endlessly, night after night. I leave work all happy and excited to have a wrap on my day, happy to be home with family, The second mom is out the door to work, the bitching and nattering starts. Sometimes son just decides he doesn't WANT to do something, knowing full well he's instigating a confrontation. This can occur every night. I get the same false promise of sorry, wont do that again...every night. God it's driving me nuts.

I lost my Mom this March, I can't even call her to ask her what to do.. to cry on her shoulder. I'm fed up with my children's apparent lack of respect for mom and I. Oh of course they're sorry, but the second it's out of there mouths, it starts right back again.

My son is anal about everything. When my daughter asked him if he'd ever had rainbow icecream his answer wasn't "yes" or "no", it was "I don't know what you mean". At 12 I'm pretty sure he has a grasp on what a rainbow is and could have applied either of the "Y" or "N" answers correctly, but he has to infinitely dissect EVERYTHING. "what colours of ice cream make a rainbow?" Really, in the context of the 6 year olds question..who the hell cares...no need to make a federal case out of it...

ARRRGH. I don't want to spend another night coming home to this, my head feels like it's going to explode.

I'm 49, and know I'm looking down the gum barrel of heart problems...my dad went with "the big one", I doubt I'm going to be any different. The way things are going it will probably be sooner than later. I want to start enjoying life, not striving to attain something I'm not going to live to see. This stress is going to do me in.

D/D

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi distraught,

Ah, yes, can't parenting be real fun sometimes?;)

Seriously, though, I am wondering if the problem may have to do with you and your wife not being consistent about how you enforce rules. I get the impression that the kids "run rings around you" because they know they can???

That does not mean you and your wife are supposed to abuse them! It does mean that, in some way, are you not sticking to your word about limitations and consequences: rewards and punishments(like taking things away)?

I'm interested in what others here have to say??

Can we help this overwhelmed dad?

Allan

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Allan:

I wont deny that is a possibility. In the struggle to apply "equal justice" for both kids in changing situations, that is possible. Anything is certainly possible. We're pretty good about being on the same page as far as rewards and punishment (mostly taking away privileges)

One of the biggest problems we both have with Son is his constant stepping in to conversations as a parent. What I mean is we can be sitting at the supper table and Daughter acts or says something that requires a parental response, and Son then participates as a parent...correcting or critiquing. Our "no interruptions" rule is difficult to adhere to when he's out of line in this manner. At this point then, the focus of correction becomes him and not Daughter, as was the original situation. Although we do get back to daughter, it's not as situationally timely (wow, there's a mouthful) as it would have been without Sons parental participation.

The "acting as a parent", and his constant "blurting out(which has even been noted by his teachers and on report cards)" are the top two behaviours that both Mom and I find very frustrating, and in searching for a solution, perhaps from time to time, or often - who knows - we may diverge from common methods of correction.

Our house is a vibrant loving home...lots of hugs and kisses before work and bedtime. The world "love" gets used often in a day. It may not come across in my sterile observational style above, but it is a warm, caring home.

D/D

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Hi Distraught

Being a parent can be challenging at times.

Do you remember what it was like being 12 ?

Or a similar age - when you thought you 'knew it all' about, well everything ?

Did you ever challenge your parents authority by answering on their behalf or butt into their conversations ?

I didnt challenge my parents authority - I feared them too much - but I sure remember feeling like I wanted too. :)

Maybe if you could try to remember the way you felt about things as a pre-teen/early teenager. It might help give you a little insight about ways which could help you, to 'reach' where your son is coming from, and talk things through with him ?

Im sorry Im not very good at putting things into words lately - I am not trying to insinuate that you and your son dont have a close bond or trying to insult your inteligence in anyway. I hope you can kinda understand what Im trying to say :)

Im pleased that you have a loving caring home - in my eyes there is nothing more special than that. And isnt it wonderful that you can all say I love you each day. Many families never get to experience that :)

Im sorry for the sad loss of your mum :o

Take care

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi distraught,

I am also sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. That is always a hard loss to take. I am sorry.

About your son, I don't know, but, I was wondering? Because the teachers are complaining about his blurting things out in class, is it possible that he had ADHD?

I had another thought. By interrupting at the dinner table when something with your daughter comes up, is he attempting to take attention away from her and onto him? He seems to succeed. What might happen if all of you ignored his comments and just went ahead?? It's just a thought. You know best.

Allan

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Guest GingerSnap

With an age difference of 6 years between the children, the boy was used to it being all about him until the competition came along. My husband and his sister were 7 years apart and the relationship at his house was very different than at our house where my brother and myself were 3 years apart. Did the teachers more than mention that your son blurts out? Did you discuss this at a parent-teacher conference? The school may be able to help if you are willing to discuss life at home with them. Show love and patience and maybe ease some of the rules that really aren't a deal breaker. What always worked with our older son was to remove everything from his room except his bed, dresser and alarm clock. All posters, games, etc. were removed and put in the basement so that in the silence, he would have time to think about the way he was acting. I never made it a rule to tell the children I loved them because it showed in the way I cared for them. In our home, as well as the home where I grew up, we all had conversation at the table, children and adults and children were taught to wait their turn. I wonder too, is the shoes rule off really important enough for the hassle that it creates? The children should have the same rules and you must consistently enforce them as this is how the kids learn that no matter what you say, you mean it. That gives them a feeling of safety because they know they can count on you to follow through in good and bad times.

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  • 2 months later...

I know you're frustrated with your kids right now, but to me they sound great!! I love it that your son dissects everything, what a great quality to have, I think. You sound very self-aware and analytical too, so maybe he takes after you :-)

I agree with Allan about the possible ADHD. You *MUST* get that looked into, your son will have a very hard time in the world if it remains undiagnosed and untreated.

Your family dinnertime talks sound wonderful, I wish I knew some strategies. My family never talked. My family now is headed by someone who overtalks everyone and always knows best. >_<

I am sorry though, that you are so stressed!! That is not good, my heart goes out to you. Are you seeing a doctor at all? You definitely should have checkups and let your doc know about your family history of heart attacks and about your stress level.

I wish I had more helpful advice, but I can at least offer moral support! :-)

Good luck, you sound like a good man and a conscientious dad! :-D

Jane

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