White Water Rafting, metaphor

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by erbaledge, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    White Water Rafting - that is how I feel my life w/ gfg16 is. You've got the mild water, where you just float further, then the rough rapids where you are afraid you will fall out of the boat, and of course there's the waterfalls that we fall down (depressed cycles). But sadly, I don't feel like I've got a life jacket on, as no one really offers any real help anymore. I also have a hard time seeing the end of this white water ride, or even just a detour to calmer water would be nice.

    Currently it seems like we are rafting above the sharp rocks, with lots of defiance. Lots, being almost an understatement.

    So while my kids and I sit mercifully on this raft, I am also supposed to help teach and parent my younger two kiddos. My youngest has overcome several behavior issues (all of which are mostly learned behaviors from seeing her oldest sib, BUT the BIG difference is this youngest CAN and DOES CHANGE!), however she has 2 more to overcome, well one's a fear and one's a behavior. So we try to work on it. She's working on controlling and dealing with her anger in a more acceptable way instead of the verbal way she does now. Day 1, yesterday, she did well. I helped her along when I could tell she needed it. I told her good job when she really held it together and walked away from her older sib instead of verbally lashing out, even when she would deep breathe on her own. Me doing this totally enraged the oldest sib, gfg16. gfg said things like 'oh yeah she's so perfect' (sorry, but I never said that). Or 'how come she's getting all the praise' (i'll say this here, but didn't to her, but DUH! She was actually trying and being successful and changing herself around).

    Tonight I feel stuck. How can I continue to help my youngest be successful at changing her behaviors and fear around, when we have gfg16 attacking the progress? I can't be certain, but it seemed like today gfg16 purposely tried to set off the youngest several times, just to watch her get mad.

    I'm nervous about when my youngest tries again to address her fear, that gfg16 will sabotage it, yet again - because honestly gfg16 is the one that help set in the fear into the youngest.

    In case anyone does wonder, I do normally & regularly praise my kids when they do positives/good things, it's a natural instinct now. But I do it more so when one of the kids is working on something to encourage them to continue.

    Tossing this in this mess, but I got just under 700 days until gfg16 is over 18 AND hopefully graduated from high school - then I hope we can get off this raft or at least swim along side it.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am in the same spot with my twins. Pc/gfg is constantly "egging" gfg on and then when I call pc/gfg on his behavior, he either plays dumb or starts crying because "he can't do anything right". I can't win so guess I am on that raft with you. Pass the paddle and a lifejacket. LOL
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I like the metaphor... and know what you mean.
    Life jackets? a spare paddle? "They" say you can't get through this running solo, but so many of us don't have any options... it would be a boost to have people around us who can actually lend an appropriate hand and/or ear... (things that keep US afloat) - but once you're running rapids, there's no one around.
    Some in-fighting among the crew? Not unusual, either... especially when everyone is all cooped up on a small raft.

    A few years back, the kids were assigned a novel to read in school - no idea now what the title was, but it had a good point, which was that when disaster strikes, the difference between those who survive and those who don't is just "survival instinct" - the ability to do whatever you have to do to "stay afloat".

    So, fellow paddler... Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you have survived this long... at some point, it will be like the first team that made the journey through the Grand Canyon... one day, your boat WILL come out the other side, and you'll know that you've survived.

    But if I happen to see you going over the waterfall... I'll do my best to try and toss a line. We all need that sometimes, and the only people around are fellow paddlers.