Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Love You. Why Is It Such A Struggle?

Raising a child is tough. Raising four is tougher. Raising one child in the teen years has got to be the toughest of all. So far.

When I was a teen I knew all of the things I wouldn't do as a parent. No way would I be like my parents. I wouldn't yell. I wouldn't say my child wasn't trying hard enough. I would help my child through every school assignment. I would provide an environment where the side effect of living there would provide growth and ultimate intelligence unsurpassed by anyone else. My children would be happy, popular, well rounded, have a future vision of themselves and reach for that vision no matter the cost. Becoming everything they ever wanted to be.

Let's get back to reality. I yell. A lot. My impatience and irritability has always been a weak point for me. When it's work or dealing with someone else's child I am patient and kind and I don't yell. With my own I'm a maniac jonesing for my next fix of silence. I am not a teacher and have no patience for people who argue with everything I say. If I say it is white, it is my house, it is white. Keep in mind that I have lived 30+ years and I have seen more right and been corrected and changed my views to get to this stage of knowing everything. I know also that I don't know everything, but I do know that a 14 year old doesn't know everything. My 14 year old is exactly where I was when I was his age. A know-it-all, with no idea what is going on in the present life. No goals for the future. Because heck, the future isn't right now. Add on bullying that has been a constant for the last four years, no friends and from a broken home and he's more difficult to deal with than ever. After last nights blowout, this is what I do know.

My 14 year old doesn't know what is real and what is not. (I am not sure what he means by that. He just repeats that he doesn't even know). He is continually teased. At school and at home. He says he can ignore most of it at school, but some still really hurts him. He just wants to fit in. Or at least the bullying to stop. At home while our teasing isn't the same as at school. We are not trying to hurt him. He feels it's the same thing. He feels there is no escape from it anywhere. I have decided we need to stop teasing him. I see his point about it being just too much. I expect a certain level of clean that he cannot seem to keep up with. I know he can, he just sees it as he can't. Unsure why. He is struggling with school work and doing the one thing he does enjoy doing Cadets. So he has stated he wants to turn in his mess kit. This scares me as he says he has no interest in doing anything else. As someone who knows the signs of depression that does lead to suicidal behaviour, this is a huge red flag for me. He also wants his dad and I to be friends, but doesn't understand that I refuse to talk about anything else besides my son with his dad. I cannot make him understand. I cannot tell him the full reason. So I went with, when people break up, it is very rare they stay friends, especially if they had children. My job is to not use him as a pawn and just raise him to be the best kid he can be. I let him know that if I didn't have him, I wouldn't even talk to his dad at all. We would be strangers. He knows a kid whose parents were divorced and still hang out. He doesn't believe me that this is a rarity and not the norm. He struggles with remembering the simplest tasks and doesn't see why I get upset at having to repeat myself. He is angry with me and says nasty things because he feels the safest with me. He refuses to go to counselling because counsellors are "nosey" and "want to know to much". He feels like he's a piece of electronics for them to figure out, not a person. His description not mine. See he's smart. Pretty great analogy if I say so myself.

After yesterday I have decided to look into homeschooling. I have no idea what I am doing here. I know I have to wait until this school year is done. Also I worry about things I have no clue how to teach. Like calculus. My husband does, but I am not sure he'd be up to helping teach that. I love my son, he makes living with him so hard lately. I'm glad we talked. I feel let in even if it was just a little. I just still don't know how to fix it. As a true mom. I just want to fix it and make it better. Since I cannot, I struggle. I feel like a failure. I see everything that I wanted to do when I had kids slip down the drain, and I'm flowing with it. Why is raising a teen so hard? Why do I forget a lot of how I was feeling? Or at least feel that because I know life will change and it's better when your done school, that I want to shake him and tell him to grow up and see what I see and get on with it? Ugh.

Maybe I'm asking what I am doing right. Maybe I'm asking what I am doing wrong. I know I want to know if this is normal and my kid isn't going to be some statistic of death because I can't get my act together. I don't know how to help him. What I do know, he shoots down.


  1. sarah,
    you are making me cry. I can totally relate to this. I hate my mom, she made my life living hell, I didnt have problems in school or anywhere, but she managed to make it horrible and so tiring and the guilt attack and negativity and "bring-me-down" talks, that was the biggest trouble in my whole life.
    Now, today she is trying to justify that I overcame all struggles and was able to achieve something because of her, because she helped me grow thick skin.

    There is no success and chosen formula for parenting, we could try all our best. Your kid gotto understand the negative bags are going to be everywhere to use that as Lasso to bring you down, but you got to proceed without giving them chance not let them win by not letting their words affect us in anyway. They are wrong, always wrong.
    As a parent no matter what I always would fight in favor of my kids.

  2. I am so sorry you are all still dealing with all of this! My teacher (who's a licensed counselor for over 20 years) said the best approach for bullying is to just have the child switch schools because it will never change. So that's the only advice I can give you. Sending you thoughts and love during such a hard time!

  3. Having kids doesn't come with a manual. We just have to do our best and love them. The struggles are part of them learning to be independence but it hurts them and us in the process.
    Bullying is so tough to deal with.... But it has to be dealt with! The school have to do something. He and you can't tackle it alone!
    I'm glad you see that he targets you when he is upset because you are the closest. Try to always keep that perspective to help you through xxx

  4. switching schools isn't really an option. He refuses to change schools again. The schools out here also refuse to do anything about the bullying as well as the police. So I just need to keep on top of it.

  5. Even looking into homeschooling, involving him in the process so he understands how much effort you are willing to put in for him, will show that you are thinking of him, listening to him, valuing him.

    There are lots of places to get help for homeschooling, I looked into it as well. Khanacademy is brilliant, with video's to explain many maths concepts and a place to practice the new skills.

    With clean, I found it helped to explain to my daughter, over a few months about the mould that grows when a room is not clean and the effects it has on a person (google it - quite nasty!), about dust and how dust mites (which she is allergic to) breed in it, how clutter makes it harder to concentrate and do things, as you are always digging and searching for items when you want to paint or go out and play soccer. I find kids need this minituae to understand why it is important to do something, before they will bother.
    I totally empathise about the irritation, best of luck controlling that. *hugs*

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