Guilt. The choking emotion that overwhelmed me as I dared not speak while crushing my son in a bear hug this morning.
Leaving the school-grounds, I waited in anticipation for the feeling of relief to wash over me after enduring a morning that threatened to push me over the edge. Walking to school I dared not speak to him, afraid that my tone would clearly reflect my irritation and annoyance, much like his defiance punched me in the gut from the minute we awoke.
My mind is still reeling from the experience. How do I parent when he always has the right answer, when his questions are on point – reflecting a reasoning beyond his years. How do I mother a child with patience and care, when that child mirrors an adult while at the same time the behavioural response can, at times, be likened to that of a toddler?
With his intellect he can manipulate. Through his reasoning he can harshly criticise. His depth of emotions can annihilate and debilitate even the most composed adult through its intensity. These moments may be brief, but the effects long lasting.
On morning’s like today, I fight with all my might, and heed the professional’s recommendations:
- understand the relationship between anxiety and control
- remove emotion when communicating with him
- ensure that he knows where he stands with you and that you love him
I now know what was meant when I was told that the best and toughest thing that I can do for my child is to set up a daily planner. Plan every aspect of his day, “this will be the hardest part, but will assist profoundly in minimising transitioning anxiety” – I now understand how very difficult this is.
I am a parent, a constant work in progress.