What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by Shelly.
Yes I am that mom, the one you see at Disneyland with a screaming child. Maybe you think I gave him tons of candy or won’t buy him something he wants, but that’s not the case. You might think I’m sitting there ignoring him while he is ranting about the fact that he doesn’t want the drink he was offered or that his siblings picked a ride he doesn’t want to go on (and it’s usually his favorite ride), but really I’m waiting till he is rational enough to get himself under control. He might yell, spit or even attack and the whole time I have to keep my wits about me because he can make a scene that would have people calling social services.
People that see his tantrums might think, we are horrible parents or that he acts the way he does because we aren’t consistent or that we yell at him like he yells at us, the reality is he has anger issues. If you came to our house you would see that my husband and I are on the same page, we hand out appropriate consequences like time outs and are consistent. He watches mostly PBS, goes to preschool 2 mornings a week, doesn’t play violent video games and plays with neighbor kids who are well behaved.
He has been this was since he was born. We were lucky enough to adopt him at 10 weeks old and since the day he came to us he was stiff and rigid. His personality is the same as that sweet baby we brought home, stiff and rigid. He argues with us about everything. I never know what is going to set him off. It could be making a choice for breakfast between items he loves or not being given a choice at all. If he is asked to put on shoes to go somewhere his automatic response is no and he argues about it. There isn’t a moment in his day that he isn’t oppositional. He even wakes up in the middle of the night explosive if you give a kiss on his head while he is sleeping. I could tell him we are going to do his most favorite thing and his automatic response would be I don’t want to. I can’t please him with anything or make him excited in any way.
When I see the looks from others that we must be the worst parent on earth I want to pull out his twin brother and older sister and show them that I have raised two other kids fully adjusted to life, that are normal kids with normal issues.
What I want you to know about being a parent of a child who is always angry is that every day is a challenge. I have to be ready for the war every second. I love this child with everything I have. I cry after days were he has raged for hours. I’m scared of what might happen if he loses his temper with the wrong person as he grows into a young man. All I want to do is pull him close and tell him I love him but he just pushes away any love offered.
It is hard to share with others that you have a child who can be down right horrible. Once they know they start pointing out his every move. He is a great kid
I now look at kids that are throwing tantrums and know some of them are acting up due to parenting or lack of parenting, but I want you to know some kids are just wired in a way that is not acceptable to society. I know you don’t want your kids to be friends with my son and that hurts but I understand. Maybe just try every now and then to be friends with that mom and kid.