My son is really angry. Like violently so with a cherry on top and maybe a potential injury, too. And I get that people don’t like it and they’d like it to change (BELIVE ME, I DO, TOO!), but Please Stop Trying to Help with My Angry Kid. I’m begging you. It’s only making things worse.
Please Stop Trying to Help with My Angry Kid
Everyone has an idea. A little offer of advice or a “here’s what I’d do”. Some of them are borderline child abuse (some are just out-and-out child abuse), but oftentimes, they’re offers for intervention, a way to “talk to him about the consequences of his actions”. I appreciate the offers of help, I really do. But, here’s what my life would look like if I took all that offered “help”:
- Monday – Probation Office’s in-home visit, preceded by 1 hour of tantrum/rage, during which someone will be hurt. Also, during the in-home visit, there will be yelling, crying and some version of a tantrum/rage, during which there will be death-threats. Afterward, my house will be as silent as a tomb and high-anxiety.
- Tuesday – School’s in-home “Parent Training”, preceded by 1 hour of tantrum/rage, during which someone will be hurt, probably me. Lots of awkward, embarrassed comments will occur, followed by a hasty-retreat of the trainer with worried looks shot my way. Afterward, my house will be silent as a tomb as I cry into my toddler’s shoulder. This will result in ultimatums from me to my husband about his attendance at these events.
- Wednesday – Probation Office’s in-home counseling visit, preceded by 1 hour of tantrum/rage, during which my husband will be injured in some “grievous” way that will result in days of complaints that make me grind my teeth because I can do little else. The appointment itself will be spent with my son in a rage/tantrum and perhaps a visit to the local mental health hospital. Joy.
- Thursday – If we didn’t go to the mental health institution for a family vacay: Psychiatrist office visit. This will be a 30 minute drive, during which a tantrum/rage will start. The appointment will be spent with my son being venomous toward myself and the doctor. And home we’ll go, the car silent as a tomb. My week is looking bleak.
- Friday – Psychologist’s office visit. This will be a repeat of Thursday. Every. Damn. Time. I literally ended-up in the bathroom of their office one time with him screaming that I was killing him as I restrained him…or the time I just “let him go” to see what would happen (on the psychologist’s recommendation) and he ended-up throwing rocks at her office windows…
- Saturday – Animal therapy on the horse ranch. Yippee! We’ll–oh, no, this will be a repeat of Wednesday. Because, really, it’s fun to scream invectives around large animals that might bite, kick or run away.
- Sunday – Church, because, yeah, I’ve got the energy in me to do THAT. Oh, wait, no. Because it’ll just be another Saturday. We all know pastors are very forgiving, right? But I’ve never been brave enough to find out just HOW forgiving.
So, what works for us? Being left alone. It’s weird, but the psychologist helped us with the term: Planned Ignoring. I know it, on the surface, sounds like we’re doing nothing to help our kid with his underlying issues. But really, all that “help” was doing nothing but reinforcing that he is in control and can rule the world through tantrums. So, this planned ignoring, though it sounds like the dumbest thing ever, is actually making things less violent in our home. So, just, maybe, leave us alone?