How do you deal with a child who is sad when you as their parent were never given any tools as a child to deal with sadness yourself?
It is very difficult.
Coming from a home where it was never OK to be anything other than “OK”, I find myself, at times, having to re-parent myself while attempting to parent my child.
That sentence seems confusing… even to me.
Today I experienced, as I have many times before, my child sad and frustrated. He was outside playing with a group of children that live in our townhouse complex and he kept trying to have the kids come over to play at his house. Given that my house is in a state of mess due to spring cleaning, I really didn’t feel up to having five boys tramping all over.
For those of you who have boys, you get this.
One boy is equal to six girls lol.
My lovely son tried every which way to get me to say yes.
I am so proud of his tenacity.
After about the 5th try I started to get frustrated.
After the 8th try I started to get mad.
I had said “no”, acknowledged his feelings of disappointment and continued to encourage him to go outside and “get back in the game”.
The other kids didn’t seem to be disappointed, but my son could not get past his sadness.
I really did not know what to do.
I envy parents that can make a rule, explain the consequences of not following the rule, stick to their guns and employ gentle discipline when the rules are not followed.
For me, as a person whose feelings were never acknowledged, that is very hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I in no way think it is easy for any parent to see their child sad, but not knowing how to deal with sadness as an adult it becomes more complicated.
I realized today I don’t EVER want to see my child sad…or angry or hurt.
Having felt so much sadness frustration and anger myself, it is hard for me to imagine anyone feeling that way.
I just want everyone to be happy.
That is not realistic.
I actually considered letting the kids come over.
But I stuck to my boundries, as hard as it was, and said “no”.
I’m not that comfortable with how I feel but I think I did the right thing.
I think I did.
I’ve heard so many people tell me kids will manipulate you in any way they can.
I really hate that.
While I do think kids can manipulate a situation, which I prefer to call tenacity, I don’t think kids are inherently manipulative.
As I am writing this my son has completely gotten over what ever was bothering him.
I, on the hand, feel like a worn out dish rag.
Which leads me to believe kids are very resilient.
As for me, not so much.
But I’m trying…I have a little “sad child” inside me that still needs some reassurance.