I haven’t posted before so I will start by introducing myself! My name is Jen and I have two children who are 5 (let’s call him HBot) and 2.5 (let’s call her Sizzles).
This post is part vent and part advice seeking.
My son is a force to be reckoned with and most of my listening time goes on him!
I’m unwell with chronic fatigue syndrome and so we have help via in home nannies. I try to give my children as normal a childhood as I can within the constraints of my illness; I am there for every one of my son’s kindy drop offs and pick ups. I can’t drive because of my illness, so I have organised a nanny to drive us there and back. My son *adores* Christmas and I have organised Christmas themed craft and outings for them both – and even made “family fun day” a monthly tradition where we do a day (or part of the day) as a family based purely on what the kids want to do – even if it’s eating ice cream for breakfast!
My son has started yelling at me that I’m a terrible mother. I largely shrug it off or try playlistening with it “oh I’m awful. As awful as… (Insert something silly here)”. Or picking him up and putting him over my shoulder and being a “terrible mummy monster”. He’s apologised on occasion and said he’s just angry.
Then it’s started to escalate: he’s started telling people that I am a terrible mother that “doesn’t feed him good food” and “only gives him dirty clothes to wear” and “shouts all the time”. None of this is true – and he’s telling people that have mandatory reporting requirements. They have laughed it off so far because it’s clearly not true (they know me / are in my house etc) but I am (a) mortified, (b) hurt and angry and (C) a bit concerned that he’s going to come out with something to the wrong person. We’ve just explained that these lies are serious and can have awful consequences but he doesn’t want to listen.
I’m generally feeling undervalued by him and feeling that it’s a lot of hard work to constantly manage his big feelings. He doesn’t realise how difficult it is for me to give them both the experiences they have – and it’s not his job to really. I’m really unsure where to go with him. Staylistening doesn’t seem to get us anywhere – he can scream or tantrum for 30+ minutes.
He’s a fantastic boy and I really love him. I just don’t know where to go with him. I have listening partnerships that are fantastic. I’m doing my best to top up my cup. I’m giving him 1:1 time for 30 minutes at bedtime and try to play where I can.
How do I go about an emotional project? How fast can kids turn around? Is this a normal developmental stage to be so combative? Lately it’s just “no no no” and that is SO draining.