so much for deliberate parenting

My sweet son stepped on our old dog’s tail on his way to throw a fit in the back yard. When he came in I told him he had stepped on the dog; assuming he had done it on accident,but wanting him to know he could have hurt the dog in his anger. What I said was “you stepped on the dog when you threw your hissy fit” I was matter of fact, not accusatory. His response was “So?”
My response to his response was along the lines of “you could have hurt the dog- who did nothing to you- in your anger. You need to know that it is not OK to hurt others when you are mad”
His response was once again “So”.
I told him that “So” was not an appropriate response. I told him that “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to” or “I’ll be more careful” is an appropriate response. He needed to think of a better response and until he could give me one,I didn’t want him to touch any of the animals. They needed to be safe and if he is going to go around hurting them whenever he is throwing a fit, they won’t be safe.
His response was “So I don’t have to walk with y’all then” (he walks with his dad and I each evening after supper-he hates it)
“No” I told him. “You still walk. Your dad and I handle the dogs,not you. That has nothing to do with it”
“So” He countered “If I can’t hurt the dogs,can I go and destroy the plants in the back yard then?” He was using his mega mad,I am going to hurt you voice.
I laughed.
I couldn’t help it.
Talk about not getting it….
I then put him in his room because he was starting to escalate. On his way up the stairs he changed the grip on his pencil to that of a weapon. I told him to change his grip. He asked me what I was going to do to make him. This time I had the sense to keep quiet and let him slam his door ahead of me. His alarm is set. In an hour I will bring him back downstairs.
Just in case anyone out there thinks I have this parenting thing down…. Well, now you know the truth.


About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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One Response to so much for deliberate parenting

  1. Jeanne Holt says:

    And the truth is… wow! Are you kidding me? What could you have done differently that would have produced a more positive outcome? Do you honestly think anyone could be doing a better job of parenting in this impossible situation?

    They don’t write books or hold seminars for parents in your situation, you know. You did not create the damage. If you had access to some exorcism or therapy or medicine that would take away your son’s pain and change his behavior, I know you would be right on it… but right now, you are clearly doing your best with what you have available to you– which thanks to a lack of outside help is apparently nothing but your instincts and experience.

    I pray daily for your safety and for your son’s healing. You are his hero, whether or not he ever responds to your attempts to love him.

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