I’m afraid to write about this.
K-Pants has been hitting me. A lot. And lately he’s started biting me.
He’s always been a sensitive kid who gets overwhelmed in new situations, or even just stimulating situations.
Our preschool had a children’s performer come give a move-it-and-shake-it concert for families and the whole time he was asking, “Can we go home now, Mama?” Meanwhile, the other kids were jumping and shouting and singing along.
In other situations, when he gets mad, the emotion courses through him like an electrical pulse that has to be discharged. Luckily—or unluckily—for me, I’m generally the target of his aggression.
We talk about coping skills, and I try to make sure I still expose him to situations that are overwhelming, but lately I’ve just wanted to hide us away.
Parenting K-Pants is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Not in the your-life-will-never-be-the-same-after-you-have-kids sort of way. But in the way that it makes me feel like a terrible person. A person who can’t figure stuff out.
I adore him. But I am angry at him for this. For breaking a competent person into pieces that are not gluing back together so well.
I am just starting this journey.
But one thing it has taught me is that even though I’m looked at with polite derision or open appall based on how I’m coping or not coping, I’m also welcomed into a group of very humble, kind, worn-down parents who are traveling the path of parenting a challenging child.
When you have a biter, or a hitter, or a manipulator, or any shade of emotionally disregulated, developmentally different kid, you get to be in a special club. And you can only tell who the members are by the other parents who are kind to you—not when you are doing the “right” thing in the face of chaos, but when you are doing the wrong thing.
Resource: “How to Stop Aggressive Behavior in Young Children” via Empowering Parents.