Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Kid, The Button-Pusher

I have a kid who pushes my buttons…I mean really, seriously, and almost continuously pushes my buttons.  If there is a button to be pushed, he will find a way to push it.  In fact, sometimes I wonder how his fingers aren’t sore (From all the button pushing…kinda like George Jetson).  It’s like he can just walk into a room and suddenly he has somehow annoyed the snot out of me.

Most of the time, I can’t even tell you specifically what he’s doing wrong.  But I’ve tried everything from reasoning to bribery to isolation to outright yelling and….yes, even corporal punishment.  And he continues to push my buttons….and I have continued to lose emotional control and wonder what I’m doing wrong.  What do I do to handle him?  How have I failed this child?  What can I do to change him?  I’ve seen it as one of my greatest failings as a parent.

And it is one of my greatest failings as a parent; if not THE absolute biggest failing on my part….because the problem isn’t him at all.  It’s me.

The questions I should be asking aren’t about what I can do to mold this child into what I believe he should be.  He is his own person with his very own unique personality.  How horribly and completely selfish of me to want to completely change someone just to make my life easier.

Perhaps instead I should be asking, “Why do I have so many buttons that are so easily pushed?”  Instead of constantly searching for ways to change my child, the more appropriate course would be to seek what I can change about myself.  I’m reacting too much to little insignificant things my child does.  And they are little things.  In the grand cosmic scheme of things this is by most standards a good child.  He’s intelligent, (usually) polite, loving, and generous.  He’s not out vandalizing the neighborhood or putting the smack-down on other kids.

This is really a problem with me, not with my kid, because as much as I might fume and attempt to control him, there’s only one person on the face of this planet that I have an ounce of control over.  And that is one hundred percent me. I may not be able to choose my son’s behavior, but I can certainly choose my reactions to that behavior.  I am the adult here, after all.  If I invested as much energy into controlling my reactions to his personality quirks and my anxiety over his “button pushing” as I have spent trying to transform my child into something he is not…well then I might actually accomplish something (as opposed to continuing to bash my head against this immovable wall and producing one frustrated and stressed out kid in the process).  

Then, feasibly, there might not be any more buttons to push….and then he can go pester someone else instead…

Except his brother, because that just opens up a whole other grisly can of worms…

5 comments:

Patricia Moss said...

Alice, that's just a part of life with teenagers...Daniel is your first and you still have three to go BUT it does get easier...

thaliaimbolc said...

Yup... this exactly. Ayla can just ask a question and I knee-jerk into "what does she want *now*?" Why does her questioning bug me so much more than anyone else's? The only one I should try to change in that * is* me because what else is there to do... never let her ask questions ever again??? Lol.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing what you write. How contradictive you are in your subject manner. You have such a high opinion of yourself and your own children yet lash out at others. You call other children, and I quote from another of your blog posts, “snotty little brats”, “selfish punks” and ” immature urchins”.
In others you write about being different, being humble and how you hate the society norm but yet, you use every opportunity to boast of you’re and your families so called superior accomplishments.
You claim to be different than the rest but you speak as if you are above those reading your blog. How does that make you different?
What this all says to me is that you are putting up a front to hide your own insecurities and failures. Your life must be an emotional train wreck. You are stuck in denial of an unsatisfying existence that you are too emotionally crippled to do anything about. You are nothing more than a hypocrite hiding behind your writing.

Alice said...

I will admit that the "selfish punks" blog post was written in a pretty emotional little fit. It happens. Most good writing comes from some emotional place. That particular one came from a place of deep, suppressed, childhood emotional baggage. Perhaps not my best moment...but a very human one.

However, I'm not sure how THIS particular post comes across as lacking in humility. It is not an easy thing to write about one's failings as a parent (and I have plenty)...so I'm confused as to whether this post came across as overly boastful....or if you are just being a troll...either way thanks for reading...I appreciate the input (both positive and negative) and my site stats appreciate it, too.

Shawn said...

I am amazed at what people will say while hiding behind the online anonymous veil. I have to think that the condescending commenter is either a troll or a very jealous person! Wowsa!

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