Friday, 31 January 2014

The Sudden Appearance of a Stereotypical Tween Girl

My little guy & his evil grin!
Apparently patience is a virtue.  I so wish an abundance of it was gifted to all parents . . . or perhaps it is just me . . . because lately I have been doing a whole lot of counting to 10 in my head accompanied by even more big deep breaths.

There has been a whole lot of seemingly out of control crying, elephant like stomping, the occasional slamming of a door all of which is punctuated with angry cries of "Go Away" and "I don't like you".  It appears that we are currently living with what TV depicts as a typical tween girl, except that this is all coming from our 4 year old boy.

The little man has been emotional . . . to say the least . . . and it has been exhausting. Days on end of crying at the drop of a hat and almost continual whining have sapped the patience from even Brad and let me tell you, that takes a lot.  

Not that long ago I would have been worn down to the point of reacting with anger.  I am fully aware that getting angry would not help the situation in the least bit but anger seems to be the most dominate emotion when I feel life is completely out of my control.  Brad would ignore and I would yell.

I don't know if I would call it a New Year's resolution so much as a promise I made to myself but I have made a promise to myself that I would be better than that, that I won't be the yelling mom because I don't want to be the yelling mom.  I don't want to be angry.

So cut to us in the middle of our living room with a large couch cushion fort that was testing my ability to deal with large clutter when suddenly the already incredibly whiny boy decides that he is going to hysterically cry. The stated reason for the over-the-top crying had to do with the fort not meeting the architectural plan that was known only to the boy.

Brad offered to help.  Little Miss offered to help.  I offered to help.  Each and every one of these offers was responded to by a gruff "No" and more crying. The little guy would then try again to make his vision become a reality and when it didn't work there was more hysterical and angry crying.  Crying that was wearing my already . . . or is it always . . . very thin patience. 

This was a moment.  You know those moments where things could have gone one of two ways.  I took a HUGE deep breath and asked again if he needed help. "No!" "Go away!" Sigh.

Then I told my boy, who was sitting among the couch cushions, that I wished I could help because he seemed so frustrated.  I told him that it hurt my heart to hear him cry like that and all I wanted to do was give him a hug.  I told him I loved him.

My approach did not work right away.  In fact, I think it took at least another 15 minutes of angry crying and being told to go away before my words seem to penetrate and he actually heard what I said.  The crying stopped and he climbed out and onto my lap for a hug.  

I tried to pour all of my love for him into that hug . . . without actually squishing him. In that moment I felt proud of myself.  I didn't give into the anger that was brewing under the surface.  I pushed it to the back and tried my very best to let my little guy know that, even in that moment of great frustration for him, I loved him with all of my heart.

I know how scary it is for me when I feel overwhelmed by intense emotions.  I know all to well the terrible feelings in my stomach when I feel so out of control and fighting to not to get lost in the emotions.  I can only imagine how someone so little must feel, so scared by their own intensity.

So much is going on for the little guy and I am certain there are many times a day when he is faced with the fact that he has very little control over his life at this time.  He is growing and trying hard to be figure out his little place in this huge world.  

My moment, my breakthrough has not put an end to the emotional roller coaster that is being a 4 year old. The whining has continued and I admit that I have yelled but it has been less and I am working to diminish it even more. 

According to my little guy, I am his "best" which when translated that means he loves me more than he can say.  Well little man, I feel the exact same way about you.

Jenn



3 comments:

  1. I know this feeling so well. It's so hard to press those frustrations to the back and be patient but when we do it seems to work. Good for you.

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  2. Aw Jenn... I hope you come back to this post and read it on the tough days. You sure are "the best" and well done you on your resolution. I know I could do with adopting the same x

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  3. Oh good luck dear, it will get better! I know what you mean when you say even Brad's patience is being tested. It's the same with Hubby - when *he* fades, I *know* it's bad!

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