The difficult arena of anger

Most days I’m pretty good at handling whatever my son dishes out. Some days I just feel like shouting at him or whacking him one! Fortunately I have enough self control now that I don’t actually go there. Today though, I very nearly called him something not so very nice.

I’ve been desperately trying to catch up on my studies and so have been spending time in my bedroom on the lap top. He’s been pretty happy in the lounge room with his Lego and his Dinosaur Train episodes or movies. He’s also been playing in the garden and just generally hanging around.

Around lunchtime I spotted him out on the lawn with a picnic rug and all his dinosaur toys. He was sitting in the sun and talking to them. It was so lovely I decided to put down my work and make us some lunch and take it out to the picnic rug. We sat together and had a lovely chat about dinosaurs and different time periods and thought about some new information we would like to look up and find out about. He was happy, I was happy.

After lunch I needed a little nap (this pregnancy is still really making me super tired in the afternoons!), and he asked if I could watch three of his favourite episodes of Dinosaur Train, which I agreed to do before my nap. So, now I had spent a good two hours with him, giving him my attention and talking about stuff he likes.

After my nap I started back up on my uni work. My son proceeded to keep coming in and out of my room asking me to ‘look at this!’ or just generally jumping around on the bed and making a nuisance of himself. I didn’t really mind though. That’s him and I’m used to working while being interrupted! Another hour passed and he complained that he wanted me to play with him. He wanted me to jump on the trampoline. There is no way I’m going to do that in my current pregnant state, so I suggested that I could read to him while he jumped. He liked that idea. I grabbed “The Complete OZ” that we are reading at the moment and out we went.

He had with him, a Lego caravan and trailer he had built that afternoon, and set it on a table near the trampoline. Unfortunately, the table was on an angle and the vehicle kept falling off. Provoked into a mad rage by the evil intentions of this inanimate object (and his madness at repeatedly placing the thing back on the slanted surface!) he picked up the vehicle and threw it at the ground hard enough to send Lego pieces flying in a million different directions around the garden!

I took a deep breath and calmly said to him.

“Hey. That reaction was out of proportion to the situation. It’s not OK to destroy things when you get frustrated. You need to take a deep breath and find and pick up all that Lego.”

Naturally he raged on a bit about how it was the stupid Lego’s fault, and how I was an idiot and needed to shut up. He was getting quite abusive so I got up and walked back into the house taking the book with me. I did manage to say a few more things on my past about getting himself back into control, and I might have mentioned that if he does that sort of thing when he’s an adult, he’s likely to end up in jail.

After five minutes, I looked out the door to see that he had picked up all the bits and was re-assembling the vehicle. He was calm again and doing the right thing. Yay. When he brought the vehicle back inside and placed it safely on the side board, I congratulated him on a job well done and picked up the book to read to him.

So I spent the next half an hour reading while he jumped on the trampoline and it was all great. Then I continued reading for another hour once we came inside as he was really into the story. By this time, I needed a break from reading and I had to start thinking about getting more work done and getting dinner sorted. So I committed a terrible crime. I said I was stopping now and that he needed to clean up the lounge room as it was strewn everywhere with his Lego and dinosaurs. Uh Oh.

Another rage came on him. He bounced all over my bed, complained about how he shouldn’t have to do so much work, and how he has to do everything around here. I ignored him studiously because he says that stuff to me a million times a day if I ask him to do anything! Then….. he decided to close the lid of my laptop…. bah bah… I lost it.

Well in the scheme of ‘losing it’ I guess most people wouldn’t even have noticed that I lost it. My face went red, my heart rate rose, and I looked at him and said,

“You little….” Yes, I stopped myself just in time. I didn’t complete that sentence. I then continued in a tight voice.

“Get out of my bedroom and do what you’ve been asked to do.” he left. I sorted out my laptop, and now he’s emptying the dishwasher (and moaning about how it was never his job in the first place and why does he have to do it). Phew!

I guess the point of this post is to try and remind myself and others that if you are the adult, you have the responsibility to control your own anger even in the face of someone else’s out of control anger, otherwise how can that little person ever learn that it’s possible? Then go and write a post about it later to get it out of your system! 🙂

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2 Responses to The difficult arena of anger

  1. Mal says:

    Hi, saw this and thought you may be interested:
    Magazine seeks parents of children with ADHD

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