Sometimes I sound like I have it all together. Even when I have a raging child, it may seem as if I am always able to step back and calmly ascertain what is really going on inside their traumatized minds.
Since I don’t sit down and blog during a storm but rather much later as it comes to my mind, I am then sometimes able to figure out what really just happened. Usually I run it by a very smart daughter of mine, adopted at age 11, now 27 with her Master’s Degree in Social Work, she translates for me; her knowledge and understanding comes from her many years in the foster care system.
I am very concerned now about a nine year old defiant son of mine. I know I am very old school, very old-fashioned, and my own child raising knowledge comes from the way I was raised many, many years ago by very strict parents.
At age nine I would have no more defied my parents than would I have smoked crack, which wasn’t even invented back then. I just wouldn’t have done so, I knew no one in my elementary school who would have behaved in such a manner.
Honestly sometimes I think my son’s behavior stems from the lack of consequences that I am able to dole out. Butt-whoopings are out of the question, yet that fear alone kept my peers and I in line back in the 1950s.
Hmmm, but look how my generation rebelled in the 1960s.
I read with great interest Julia Fuller’s post on children who don’t learn anyway from consequences. Indeed I thought about what she said all weekend as I struggled with defiant children and our own version of Holiday Hell that comes with traumatized children and their many issues.
I started reading an email to me, “In your expert opinion….” I’m so not an expert. Every morning I wonder and pray about how to face our many challenges, often flying by the seat of my pants, trying one way and discarding another. This uncertain terrain I navigate each day, factoring in the disturbed perceptions of some of my children and basking in the accomplishments of others, no matter how small they may be, if we’re heading in a positive direction I’m thrilled.
Maybe that’s all I can reasonably expect, and it’s really enough when one considers the big picture.