Bad Mum

Magazine

23 August 2018

Fourmones or Foresight?

First, it was the terrible twos, then we moved on to the threenage year and now we’re calling it fourmones… its comforting to know a stage is so common it has its own nickname but what if it's more than just a stage?

Through every single day of these ‘stages’ I have wondered that question – pushing away my motherly instinct in favour of a million other options…

MAYBE:
  • I don’t parent well.
  • I haven’t set clear boundaries.
  • I’m not cut out to be a parent at all.
  • I need outside help.
As parents, we’ve tried all the different techniques…naughty step, time out, removal of privileges, early bedtimes, avoiding situations likely to cause tantrums, sugar reduction, daily routines, increased talking around the plans for a day and increased independence/confidence building.

Still, we are left in situations where we run a gauntlet of terror; constantly trying to second guess and prevent anything that may set off the most epic of tantrums. I know tantrums are normal, but something niggles me with my eldest, its like he cannot calm down – what other would have forgotten about and moved on my son is still escalating beyond recognition.

The top triggers at the moment are trivial things that he’s trying to control or disagree with like if he doesn’t have a pair of black leggings to wear, if his favourite pyjamas are in the wash, if I have driven to pick him up from childcare and he wants to scooter or if you break a puzzle he has completed. I could carry on the list is endless – it can be about anything that goes against his belief of how a situation should happen.

I’ve sourced help from those around me to more or less get the same few responses:
•he’s no different to any other 2,3,4 year old.
•he never does it at nursery, pre-school, whilst in the care of others – if he can control it, it can’t be. anything more than stubborn behaviour.
•don’t be so desperate to get him ‘labelled’ as troublesome or having a disorder.
•its a sign of his intelligence and him being ‘beyond his years’.
But that’s the thing, I am desperate, desperate to enjoy being his mum and not dread every interaction for fear of getting it wrong. The fact that I have even thought that makes me feel a failure but I know that away from this side of his personality he is and can be such a caring, thoughtful and considerate little boy.

I have thought about going to see the doctor or health visitor but will that help or will it just underline my poor parenting and open the airwaves to hearing yet more useless solutions.

I need help! How and when will I know if these tantrums are not just tantrums and the sign that my little boy needs more specialised help?!

Anyone?…

Written by Rebekah Smith @being_that_mum 


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