Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Therapeutic Parent Fail

Yes, I'm not perfect.

I make mistakes.

I get tired, really tired, of the behaviors of my kids sometimes.

I still love them.

I understand that today's behaviors are just a continuation of the pain they felt after the birth dad called yesterday and told them the birth mom isn't doing well. I understand that they are hurt that birth mom and the brothers and sister haven't tried to contact them in months. I understand how hurt Ms. D is, to be falsely accused by her birth mom of saying something she never said or thought.

I understand that when they are having a difficult time processing their loss, their frustration, and their hurts, they lash out or withdraw. Well, Ms. D withdraws, sleeps, acts really sluggish, or sometimes even checks out by having a seizure. Mr. I picks fights, whines, complains, and can't settle down.

I understand that as a good therapeutic parent, I need to keep things calm, firm, cheerful, upbeat, playful, predictable, and loving.

But sometimes I really lose it when it all overwhelms me.

Like this morning. 

When schoolwork seemed like a joke.  I might have been able to handle the "I don't know" answer for every...single...question, but I just couldn't handle the sneers and rolling eyes, the lies about what they did, and the refusals to do the simplest of tasks.

It was hard to handle the two hour constant dripping of Mr. I complaining that there was nothing to eat, although the cupboards and refrigerator are full and I had plenty of ideas for him. But even harder was when he told me that the reason he doesn't come home for supper every night is because he hates all the food I give him. Yes, we are not Taco Bell and McDonald's.

Then, when I found out a friend will be coming over tonight, I asked the kids to clean up their messes. And Mr. I's response pushed me over the brink. He knew where to hurt me, and he dug it in.

And I lost it. I yelled. I told him I didn't like him very much right now.

That is NOT what a good therapeutic parent would say, especially the way I was carrying on, crying in the kitchen, cleaning at a furious pace, while he silently ate his eggs in the dining room.

Fortunately we made up after I calmed down. He apologized. I apologized. We hugged. We made up. He cleaned his messes. And for the first time ever, he cleaned a little more without me asking him to. He told me he loved me as he just went out the door to play with friends. I got what I wanted and we are on good terms now.

But why do I still feel so sad about it all?

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