Monday, March 30, 2009

Something inside me is broken

That sounds overly dramatic, but I am feeling pretty vulnerable right now and that is the phrase that comes to mind.

The past two days, I have completely lost my temper around my kids in ways that make me very ashamed. One instance is due to childishness on everyone's part (though I am not supposed to be the child here) and the other one was due to my temper being released much too quickly.

Ultimately, what so often causes me to act in such a juvenile and contemptible way is the fact that my kids see fit to argue with me on things I have just answered them about. If someone is eating an apple in the van, comes home, throws the unfinished apple away, and then asks if they can have a different snack, I'm going to say "No." And then they start whining and mewling and trying to give me bullshit reasoning about how they didn't know they were going to be wasting anything. And it simply doesn't matter what I say or how I try to explain the idiotic flaws in their statement. They are too busy contradicting me.

Its the audacity of it all that drives me to such anger. How can they ask me a question, knowing completely that they don't CARE the answer I give? And they don't. If they really cared about the answer, if they really needed to ask the question to achieve approval, then they might actually consider the answer that I deliver. But they only do it as some sort of meaningless, hollow formality because we've trained them (at least this much) to ask questions and not go off half-cocked and do whatever the hell they want. But it amounts to the same thing in the end, because I'm simply wasting my breath and my time flapping my lips about some answer they don't like and they don't care about.

I can't stand it when pre-pubescent kids think they are smarter than me or have the right to contradict me--especially when it is my own children. I have tried to be fair and I've tried to teach them the reasons behind the choices that I make. But if it happens to be something they don't agree with, they feel free to argue with me about it.

(I really shouldn't be writing this and making it public, I guess, but I've just got to get this out. It is eating me inside and its just going to cause more anger and more tempers.)

I don't know where I went wrong, because it must have come from me, right? It is my responsibility to raise them correctly, so if they act this way, it can't be anyone's fault but my own. And I don't know how to fix it. They get angry, they don't respond to spankings, and it is surely due to a pattern of reactions that I have created over the years in similar circumstances. Maybe, maybe it'll change as they age but who's to say? I am so afraid inside that it is going to escalate into much more dangerous behavior once older kids are confronted with much more dangerous choices and much more significant consequences.

Every time this happens, I am so furious with myself and I try to think of ways to prevent it from happening again. But I just don't know what to do.


Sven Golly said...

I'm going out on a limb here, so forgive me for overstepping.
" must have come from me, right?" Wrong. Your kids have lots of exposure to influences other than you and Lynda, with mixed consequences. Some of those influences amaze and delight you, some drive you crazy.
" can't be anyone's fault but my own." Wrong again. You can't determine their behavior, only your response to their behavior.
Sorry, I've already said too much.

Sven Golly said...

What is this, the McLaughlin Group?

Mom said...

Man, there is nothing easy about parenting. My advice (which I can give because I'm your mom) is to love them to death when you are able, be true to yourself at all times, and don't beat yourself up when you think you fall short of the mark. As long as the loving outweighs the impatience, everything ought to work out well in the end.