Emotional outbursts

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Evening all (there used to be a series on British TV when I was a small child - will mean absolutely nothing to anyone here :) - called Dixon of Dock Green about an ordinary copper on the beat and he always announced "Evening all" at the beginning, in a cheery, dependable policeman kind of way. Those were the days...) Anyway, I digress... Sorry if I seem to be perserverating (fine new word learnt here) about not very much but tonight we had a little explosion that leaves me curious... something... The background: it's Wednesday which in this curious (ie different) system here means no school. In the morning J went to the activity centre where he goes and which he likes a lot (the personnel there seem great, very laid back and friendly). Picked him up in the afternoon to go to gym, which has started again. Went fine though the teacher wants to put him in the group with the 6 and 7 year olds as he thinks he needs the physical challenge. Then played a bit in the playground outside, ate some additive-filled biscuits that another mother gave him (but hey! No need to get totally controlling about these things...), then we went to the tennis lesson. This is supersports! That also went fine though J was silly beforehand with some of the other boys who were all doing the four/five year old fascination with toilet and crude language thing... Then after we came home and the boy who lives near us in the village came over to play with J. They played outside for half an hour, and it was fine. I did think, vaguely listening to them from inside, that J seems to have okay social skills in play, reasonably co-operative and flexible. Anyway, I was the Model Parent with the time warning thing - J you have ten minutes to bath, five, four, three, two, one etc when... there was indeed a rocket though this one was not from Cape Canaverel but a tiny village in the south of France. J started crying and shrieking and trying to run after the other boy, saying he was going to accompany him home. I would have let him but the boy had disappeared (he only lives 20 seconds away). Then J went into this rude/angry thing where he refused to come in and I had to pick him and carry him inside. Then he said "I'm going to break things!" and I said very crossly, "J!", at which point he backed down and started getting undressed for the bath. A few minutes later, in the way of four year olds, all was forgotten again and we had a perfectly nice, ordinary bath, supper, bed routine..
    This intensity and fury... is there anything I should have done that I didn't do? Better ways to handle it?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Stop being so hard on yourself.

    Man. I wish I was HALF as together as you are, when MINE were 4 years old.
    You are doing GREAT.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    ??? Insane - I'm not being hard on myself! I don't think I'm handling things badly! I'd just like to know if there are ways I could handle them better...
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I wish I could handle stuff HALF as well as you are doing!
    And I'm serious. I'm not saying that to make you feel better.
    I'd have been a basket case long before the countdown...

    Maybe somebody else can give you a build on this... and if they can, I'm grabbing that part too.

    But, just so you know - I'm no where close to the parent you are, and if you were to meet my two kids? You'd probably give your eye teeth to adopt them. People tell us how incredibly lucky we are to have such nice kids. (obviously, they don't know the history... on the other hand, where they are at right this minute, is in a really good place).
    The point being... you can be a pretty average or so-so parent, and still end up with a great kid.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Sorry, no deal... I'm not giving up my J, emotional outbursts and all, for any common-or-garden nice kid :)
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    1) I did NOT propose giving up J... this would be two teenagers IN ADDITION.

    2) these are NOT garden-variety nice kids... these are wow-your-socks-off kids. Like... they'd take J under their wing, and you'd wonder what on earth happened! K1 would do all the "boy" stuff with him (build things, for example, fix motors, all THAT stuff), and K2 would mother/smother him to no end.

    3) NO, you can't have them. I just suggested you might "want" them... but in fact, you may find that in 10 years, what you have ended up with is... a kid like mine.... as in, you'll end up with your own shining star.

    I can't imagine doing this as a single parent, nor with an adopted kid.
    But I really do know what raising a difficult child is like.
    (not that they are all alike, but they are all a huge pile of work, and those of us who reach "payoff" have to wait a long time for it)
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    I think you handled it perfectly. It is not possible to avoid every outburst from a 4 y/o. That is what they are designed to do. 4-5 y/o's are learning and testing their limits. They will try to see what and how much they can get away with, and, and just like you figuring out your parenting methods, he's figuring out his kid methods.
    He pushed a limit and you set it and he accepted it. He may try to push again a few times. Be consistently cross each time, and it should subside.

    He may not be "normal" in France, but this sounds perfectly normal for a US kid. Maybe you should move.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol, Keista. If I were by myself, I'd DEFINITELY consider moving to the States - probably California, which is now the capital of Buddhism in the west! But with a youngster, the medical insurance/healthcare issue alone would make it prohibitively expensive. Also you are perverse enough not to speak French there and I've just got this thing about J growing up bilingual :)
    Insane, really good to know that there is or can be light at the end of the tunnel! I have become expert at enjoying and appreciating the good moments when they are there - make a big deal of J when he does something good, which gives me a buzz in a way a "normal" parent would never get (eg tonight he came into the kitchen and asked "Mummy, can I have a piece of paper to draw, please?" instead of just helping himself...), really see the blessings that are there so it is NOT that hellish a road any more. Definitely more liveable than even six months ago... Anyway, it must give such satisfaction to know that all your and your husband's commitment and hard work have had a kind of fruition...
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I wouldn't second guess you at all on this one...Sometimes it just doesn't work. But an interesting thing I am sure more than just I can relate to is that it took kind of a "shock"moment to snap him out of it. I remember when mine was little and really into it a spray from a plain water bottle, a clap, etc. would all of a sudden get him out of it.

    While a parent of a neuro-typical kiddo may say this is normal, my kid does this....YOU know if the intensity, duration and situational issues are different than what you would expect. I used to go nuts when I heard ...all 4 yr olds do that. Yeah they do SOMETIMES. (and maybe yours doesn't do it much but I suspect you are on this board because there IS an issue, smile....) Really like your posts, they make me think and smile
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you handled it quite well.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Don't ask me. I tried to do a final Spanish assgnmt with-my difficult child tonight and long story short, he exploded and so did I.

    Sorry. No help at all.

    You sound like a saint. This is very hard work.
  12. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Malika, I don't understand: How can you have a 7 year old, and at the same time remember Dixon of Dock Green? I live in Israel, have been here 38 years, and am originally from London England. I am 66, and I remember Dixon of Dock Green from my early teens. I can still hear him saying "Evenin' all." Oh, that was a time of innocence. But how come you remember it? It must be at least 50 years ago!!

    Love, Esther
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Of course she doesn't want to give away her real age... but... no, there's no way she's 29.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Esther! Actually, I did have a moment of doubt as I was typing about Dixon of Dock Green - I don't think it was actually on when I was a child... I just rememembers seeing a grainy black and white excerpt from it - the copper saying "Evenin' All"... I think it was on in the '50s, which I didn't witness. The 60s, however, I did :)

    Well, wouldn't you know - just looked it up on Wikipedia and actually the series ran until 1976! So it is possible I did see it as a child... And here, for anyone interested in a bit of cultural research, is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixon_of_Dock_Green
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think this is a good point, buddy. Yes, I think there is something going on with J - the hyperactivity alone shows that. I started coming here to the forum at a time when I had minimual understanding about all these issues and our interactions basically hellish, for both of us - him raging and defiant, me getting angry. I was treating J like a "normal" child without realising that thereby lies the road to ruin... The forum has actually been tremendously helpful to me (what a wonderful initiative of the people who created it) and has been instrumental in starting a path of learning and reading and experimenting. What I will say about J, even if I cannot say it about children with issues generally, is that it is not all set in stone. When I first came here, I had heard of ODD and was thinking it about J all the time, as if it was like a disease that he definitively "had". But now I rarely think about that in relation to him. I think he feels more stable now and less anxious generally - and I feel anxiety lies at the bottom of a lot of his behaviour in a way I can't consciously define or pick apart...
    To be honest, from all my thinking and researching, I feel it is possible that his birth mother drank alcohol when she was pregnant with him. This offers the best explanation for his symptoms - what looks like ADHD in some ways but in other ways really doesn't. But I will never know about that and very few here in France seem to be aware of it either so it's kind of pointless going down the road of fetal alcohol effects. I may get stuck with the label of ADHD that isn't really even accurate... What is coming ahead is the issue of learning difficulties. This year and next will reveal whether he has dyslexia or another of the other 'dys's. It's a long road! But I do see hope and I do believe in my kid, who is really a great little guy despite all the rough edges...