Friday, June 4, 2010



There are times that I do not enjoy being a mother, like when I have to be the witch from Hell.

So, just as eldest daughter has learned respect, doesn't cuss us out anymore, and frankly, it fun to be around, the second son takes her place. He is, to most people and at most times, and empathetic, kind, and generous kid; however, to us, his family, he reserves bitter, angry hatred. Hatred that his life "isn't fair," that he has chores and consequences if those chores don't get done, and rage against his sister, who, quite frankly, took pleasure in torturing him only last year.

Directed toward eldest sister:

::"You're the stupidest person I know."

::"If it weren't for your skating you'd never be able to get a job."

::Various curse words, asides like "stupid" and "ugly" while passing in the hall.


Eldest sister has a severe delay in language processing. She can't spell, has difficulty reading and comprehending what she's read, and often instructions have to be repeated so that she understands them. She is also flighty and often says, quite frankly, things that she would know were ridiculous if she had just thought before she opened her mouth. If she weren't a redhead, I might think she was the reason blond jokes were invented. What I'm sharing with you here is nothing that she doesn't know; however, she struggles in a large way with her self-confidence because of it.

And the boy knows this. He is skilled at turning the blade Just So.


I am, of course, the mom he loves but I am also the witch from Hell who puts up with none of his nonsense.

::He gets away with NO poor behavior.

::He has has everything in his room taken away for a time when his grades fell because he refused to study (he has been tested for EVERYTHING, his IQ is high average, he's gone the Huntington route, he just has no desire to do well in school.

::He will not be allowed to participate in Cross Country as the move from Intermediate School to Middle School here is like throwing the lambs to the wolves. No excuses anymore. No hand holding. No second chances at turning homework in. No room for deciding that Cross Country is more important than school.

:: He is allowed to play basketball if he meets eligibility standards. If not, no YMCA, no leagues, no traveling teams. Only school.

And of course, I am the most misunderstanding, meanest, and totally unreasonable mother in the world because of this.

Is this how it works? Do you just go through one-hormonally challenged kid to the next until they all leave the house? What do you do when you can see your incredibly sensitive child walking down the wrong path and merely mentioning this to him destroys him for days - and, let's face it - nothing changes anyway? How do I get my spiritual, empathetic boy back? Should I change my name to Mommy Dearest?



Photos, unless noted, from We Heart It


Tonia Lee Smith said...

It's going to take lots of prayer and patience on your part. I understand I too have 2 boys that have been tried and sent through the fire. There is not answer or response set in stone because each child is different, as we all are. I suggest sitting down with him and asking him first and foremost, what is he angry about, because it sounds like he's angry, and then let him know that his actions are not getting him positive results.

janis said...

Hi Erin~ Popping in from Indianapolis, Indiana with the Blog hop thing. Although I have had my blog a couple of years, I am new at the Friendly Friday. Well, love your blog! Stop by and visit me sometime!

Teresa said...

It may seem that way now, but when they are grown and you see what beautiful, smart, sweet people they are and how they treat others, you will know it is worth it. They treat you bad because it is safe, you love them and will be there. They are nice to everyone else, cause they don't love them as much as they love you. My son is 30 now and is a lovely man, so much different than when he was a teen. He is a loving father, and a great son. They pull away and drive you crazy, but then they grow up and come back to you! Hang in there!

Pamela Holderman said...

Wow so sorry, but I have been there. Just stay the course -repeat - stay the course. And just when you think you have one figured out the next comes along with different issues... But let me tell you that when they are gone (and by then you are getting along wonderfully with each) the house is very quiet and wonderful at first, but way too quiet after awhile.

stringsofpurls said...

Unfortunately these kids don't come with instruction books exactly, we have to completely rely on God and his word. We prayer and ask God to guide us as we guide them. We pray that our child will have a real relationship with God, so he feels repentant quickly when he sins. We prayer that their sins are always found out. We try not to exasperate them and we pray that we are not exasperated. We speak words of praise and blessing when we can. We give hugs and affirmation and let our children know that we are just following God, hoping that they will too. Whew! I think I'll pray some more! Hang in there!

Unknown said...

Hello Erin...I am a new reader of your blog. Just wanted to reaffirm you that you are doing what is in the best interest of the boy, and the girl. I have five children with the oldest being eighteen and the youngest being ten so I would have to say that YES, the hormones and testosterone just keep coming until they leave home. It is quite
difficult to be a good parent in this day and age. I have been the witch from hell for as long as I can remember. It thus far has not gotten easier and our sons seem to have a lot in common. My oldest boy is very intelligent, but hates school. He is going to summer school right now and just told me the other day that he would rather go to summer school for two weeks than have to sit in that classroom for a year. I said,"thatta boy!", nice attitude. But he was just being honest. Keep up the good fight- I know it has to pay off in the end.

lori said...

yes - it's like that. i raised 3, and it was like you said, like a relay race. just when one was finally straightening out, the next one was up with all his or her own stuff. it's draining and exhausting, and i remember so many nights just lying in bed wondering what i had done. what i had done in having kids. what i had done in the raising of them. what i had done wrong. what hadn't i done right.

it mainly just requires courage and stamina and steadiness on your part, and waiting it out. he'll return to who he was, for the most part, you'll recognize him again one of these days. even though he's hating the rules, he's still counting on you to hold on to them; everything else feels out of control to him, so he really needs you not to be.

that was the hardest lesson i learned in raising my kids.

you are wise, and you know how to bear hard things. this is another of those. and it too will pass, as you are wise enough to know, even when you're tired.

cheri said...

i have a 2-year-old boy and, while he's all cute and cuddly now, i dread the day that this would happen.

clearly, i have no advice or opinion since i have no experience in this. at least, they get to leave when they turn 18. here in the philippines, it's gonna take a lot of explaining to do if you want to move out...

Lois Evensen said...


I am sure you are a good parent. I can tell that from reading what you have written for the past few months.

One of the hats I wore in my past was a teacher of parent education. When I taught it at Xavier University, the course title was "Positive Parenting" and that's a perfect description of be best approach. Every parent parents differently and every child is different. The core of good parenting is doing things with children, not to them; leading by example; loving unconditionally; patience beyond what you ever thought you had; and time. Lots and lots of time. Until recently we learned our parenting from our parents. When I first started teaching parent education there were about a half dozen books written on the subject for parents; now there are whole bookstore departments devoted to parenting trumpeting all kinds of systems. Whatever you do, recognize that not one system will be right for you and your child. Parent from your heart with lots of time, seek information and guidance when needed, and your children will be fine.

Don't forget the power of touch. In many cultures, when a mother reprimands a child she gently touches him/her at the same time. Try it. I did. It's amazing.

I have three kids who are all potty trained, educated, and employed - that's the goal, right? I am now watching my two sons parent their children and I am staying out of the way as I remain available to be there as requested. They are all doing very well.

I'm rambling.... sorry.... You got me going on a topic near and dear to my heart.


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