My child is a screamer. Please don't judge me.

I have been struggling with what to say about life with Max for too long. Struggling with my quirky desire to present our relationship as progressing in a gradual incline towards normalcy. That when looking from a distance our daily skirmishes are making a difference, and that my awesome parenting skills are making a difference in this little boy's life.

But really months 8 and 9 are just serving me one slice of humble pie after another. Over the last few weeks my son has added screaming and trying to pull out teeth that aren't loose to his bag of tricks. It's not uncommon for him to sit in the middle of the living room and scream at the top of his lungs for two hours because of a simple infraction such as Annie has the green crayon and he wants it. And the tooth pulling? The best we can figure is that he thinks it will get him out of going to church. Which it won't.

He recently told me that he wants to be the king, and that everyone else in the house should be the people who listen to the king. Aka his servants. Chuckle if you will, but that clears up a lot about why he's so frustrated with us, and our lack of willingness to obey his commands.

How does one parent that? Clearly the solution to these problem is deeper than time outs and losing rewards and other natural consequences. We focus on meeting his sensory needs (which helps) and focus on his developmental age (which is about 2 years) instead of his biological age (which is 8) so we are swaddling him, and rocking him, and letting him be a toddler, which helps. But at the end of the day he's still screaming at me for hours on end and the only thing I can really do is put on headphones. Because I feel like if I get frustrated and lose my cool then he's won. And theres nothing worse than losing a standoff with an eight year old who's really two.

I admit, there are days when all 5 of us struggle to love this child. When we wonder why on earth God asked us to welcome him into our family, and why oh why did we listen. But all I can say is that God has a plan, and this is a part of it. I can't pretend to understand why God asked me to pay a ton of money for such a headache, but I can focus on what I know over what I feel. I know that God has a fantastic plan for this little boy, and that plan included us. I feel like I don't have the slightest idea how to parent this child, but know that God's going to get me through it. There's a very good reason behind every tantrum, every scream, every moment of frustration. I don't have to know what those reasons are, I just need to know that they are serving a purpose.


Melissa said...

And please know that you aren't alone. I often struggle with these same thoughts. Am I doing what's the best for my son? Am I a good mom? Oh I can only hope I am half the mom to Colby that my mom was to me. Some days I chalk it up to our similar attitudes (both being a Taurus and as stubborn as a bull!). But he listens to others better than to me. Is he only trying to push my buttons? Who knows? I guess he does. As for screaming, Colby just had a total crying melt-down at the restraunt simply because his cheeseburgwer fell apart and "broke". UGH!!!

Megan said...

I'm not really one to offer advice in this situation, but I do have a thought that might not have crossed your mind. (If it has, then just ignore me)...

When he has these "tantrums", have you resorted back to how you dealt with them from the girls? Just a thought from an outsider.... Ignoring TWO two-year-olds having meltdowns couldn't have been easy...

I love you sis. I pray for you and the little dude nightly. Show him my picture and tell him I love him, would ya?

Ed and Carrie said...

Elissa, i just wanted to say I read this and it made me think if this is what may be in my future when i bring Grisha home? If so, I am comforted by the fact that I would not be alone. Hearing your strength (eventhough you may not see it or feel it)gives me strength that with the Lord's help we can get thru anything! Thank you for your honesty!


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