Breaking Point

Considering how little time today’s dramatic event actually took, I’m surprised at the scale of effect it has had on my psyche.

After arguing again about the spelling words the very moment he was asked to do them, I managed to maintain my patience for quite some time whilst insisting that the holidays couldn’t start until he completed what I had asked him to do today.
After a few bad nights of waking up at odd times, and after about ten minutes of quietly ignoring the sharp lead pencil being poked towards my eyes in a threatening manner, I finally reached the end of my patience. What did I do?

Grabbing his shoulders to stop the pencil jabbing I shouted rather loudly (ear splitting angry shouting)
“Quit it! Just do your f@$#ing work! I’m giving up my time and my life to help you! Just suck it up and let me help you!”

Son: crying…”we’ll what’s wrong with me?!”
Me: “Nothing! You just need to bloody well stop arguing and stop threatening to hurt me! Now do your work!”

Son: “All you make me do is work! You never have to do anything!”

Me: “I work every day to keep you fed, clean, happy and educated. I work bloody hard to be kind and patient! All the other kids go to frigging school every day and do their f@&$ing work!”
At that point, having now cursed at my child more in two minutes than he had ever heard in his seven years of life, I decided it was time for me to leave the room. I did. On the way out I hissed over my shoulder “do your work!”.

Now my own sense of guilt and need for perfection left me feeling pretty bad after this outburst. Of course I felt that I had failed my child terribly. I washed the dishes and he came out of his room and said quite meekly,
“mummy, can you please come and help me with the words the way you did yesterday? That was really good and helped me 100%”

I went in and helped him. Then I made him write them out again with my help. He did. After, I apologized for swearing at him and told him that my behaviour had been unacceptable. He accepted it. He hugged me and asked me to celebrate the start I the holidays by playing with him. I had to tell him that I just didn’t feel like playing today, but that I would be happy to sit and watch him play. He was happy with that compromise.

So now as I sit and write this with a glass of red wine and a bag of chips, I’m very relieved that term one of homeschooling is over. I’m hoping that the worst outcome of today is that my waist line will expand from the wine and chips, and I can forgive myself for my outburst knowing that I’ve done overall a great thing for my little boy.

I have something to laugh about as well thanks to his sense of humor. On the way home from drumming this afternoon we drove past his old school.

Son: “I miss going to that school.”
Me: “Yes? What do you miss?”
Son: “I miss the other kids. I think they probably miss me too ’cause they probably miss all the crazy stuff I used to do.”
Me: “I’m sure they miss all the good things about you more. Anything else you miss?”
Son: “Yeah. I miss the noisy teachers…but at least they didn’t swear at me. ”

Freaking out slightly I glanced in the rear view mirror to find him staring straight back at me with a huge and very cheeky grin on his face!

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5 Responses to Breaking Point

  1. Ken Thompsom says:

    Hi Kathryn.

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I came to it via Linkedin. I can relate to every word!


  2. Judith Whitehouse says:

    Hi Kathryn
    Remember me? I have been an observer on Facebook, rarely writing anything, because usually I find it all pointless chit chat, but I watch what my friends are up to and occasionally I put my 10cents worth in.
    I have just read Breaking Point. It was great. Good for you and good for Corey too. Good for you to express yourself and to realise that the expectation you have for yourself of perfect control with Corey is a bit unrealistic. I think it is actually possible to be too patient with kids! Corey will never feel that he isn’t loved, but it won’t do him any harm to realise the impact on others of his behaviour.
    I think what you are doing is fantastic and in the longterm, the pay off in terms of Coreys achievements will be worth it. Of course, we can never expect and wouldn’t want our children to feel grateful for the sacrifices we make for them, but just a bit of awareness is good.

    A big hug and lots of positive thoughts
    Judith Whitehouse

    • KL says:

      Hi Judith, of course I remember you! I did answer this comment the other day, but it doesn’t seem to be showing up so I apologize if I’m repeating myself.
      Thank you so much for your feedback, and its lovely to know you have read my blog. We are definitely gaining done good ground with our little boy and can only hope that continues.

      • Judith Whitehouse says:

        Hi again! Really good to hear from you. I’ve remained pretty up to date with how you’re going, and it sounds positive and as if great progress is made. My usage of Facebook etc is as a watcher, and my thoughts are always with my friends, even though I may be silent. My family often enquire how your little guy is going, I would often pick their brains on the topic of the great mystery!
        I’m hope it has occurred to you that in your blog you are laying down a wonderful and useful record for other parents. Maybe even a best seller one day! They always say that if you write about what you know, the rest will follow.
        We have left Sydney and now live at Port Stephens. Franks health has been poor and the big house got too much. I code totally from home, which is really cool. I have done a couple of little jobs for Jarrod, who seems to be doing well.
        All the best to you and yours,
        Judith xox

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