Wow..it’s not what you want to hear is it?
Anyone hating us is not good. Least of all my 10 year old. Least of all on a great trip to Greece.
But that’s what he said ‘sometimes I hate you’ he growled and he grumped off ahead, shoulders hunched, looking for all the world like a teenager, but too young.
Not too young said the lovely Kasia, who has a 17 year old son. Not too young said the now sane 21 year old Ben. it starts at 10.
And at least he said he hated me ‘sometimes’, not all the time.
‘It’s part of the job’, I said.
It is part of the job of being a parent. If there’s nothing to be cross at, how does he know where the boundaries are? At least when he bashed up against one of my non-negotiable (yes we do have to give someone a lift on the way to the beach, and yes you do have to come because sometimes we have to go out of our way to help out other people’), at least he knew I was there, that the principle was there, that it’s a principle that I think is important, to be able to put other people first sometimes.
So he hated me. Then we went to the beach, he sulked, and then he went fossil hunting and forgot about it, back to being an Enid Blyton 10 year old. And as I watch him from the sea, where I was treading water, I thought: don’t get involved with it.
Just as the thunder storm last night came and went and I watched it. So too his storm came and went and I started to get involved in it. then I stepped back. I asked myself if I was being reasonable and decided I was. So I kept to my expectation and held it and tried to keep out of his mood.
I didn’t completely, but now I’ve had the storm awareness, I think I’ll do better next time.
So my new action plan for pre-pubescent tantrums is:
- Set clear boundaries (as always)
- Check that they are reasonable (and that I’m not applying rules to a 10 year old which don’t fit him any more..I need to constantly up date what I expect as he gets older).
- Stay out of the way of any storms…don’t take it personally, don’t rescue, don’t pander, don’t storm back.
- Give him space and time to calm down.
- Allow him to become distracted
- Resume contact and have a hug and start all over again.
Phew…this parenting lark isn’t easy is it?