I have been working over a post in my head for a few days now that I wanted to get out today, but then someone on Facebook mentioned something and I felt the need, desire, want to share as I am learning that I am not alone.
I have, what I can best describe right now at this moment, an explosive child (and I am not saying that as a diagnosis, or label but it is the best way to describe his behavior at this time.)
This is my Buddy.
He is 6 years old and let me tell you, my heart melts when I look at him. I tell hubby all the time that he is the second man of my life, because this little guy right here is the number one boy in my life.
There are days when he is the most loving and lovable kid I could ever ask for.
He is helpful, polite, loves to cuddle, and is really such a great kid that you really wouldn’t believe he has another side to him.
Little kids love him. He does great in school.
He has a friends. Not a lot, but some that he holds very dear to him and is very sensitive as to how these friends treat him.
He has a very sensitive side to him.
He can get anxious when it comes to talking about something negative such as people he loves dying, or people he loves leaving him forever.
He is isn’t a big fan of change either so discussion of moving to a different house is a sensitive topic and upsets him.
These topics can almost become obsessive to him.
There are times that he becomes very quiet, withdrawn, and appears on the outside to be very sad.
There are days when he says he wishes he would drown so he would die (his exact words about two days ago.)
Every day, at least once, he yells at us, asking why we hate him (actually, as I type this and look back on today, he didn’t say it today which is a first in quite a few weeks.)
He has explosive fits that are usually a result of something (in my mind) that really does not require a fit. Telling him it’s bedtime. Telling him it’s time to turn of his game. Telling him it’s time to take a shower. Not letting him do or having something he wants. (For the record, there are times that asking a different way can help eliminate the fit. For that day. That same technique may not work the next time though and we resort back to explosive fits.)
These fits include screaming, crying, banging things (material things, not body parts), yelling things, and on most occasions, throwing things (he has been known to throw toys, plastic toy bins, books, etc. in his room at his wall/door and not directly at people.)
We have also witnessed his anger be turned on his older sister. And while there are some times she probably deserved it for whatever reason, his anger can look very scary and I fear that he could possibly hurt her if we aren’t there to intervene (the behavior is usually hitting, kicking, pinching, or grabbing.)
I have always known Buddy was different in his own ways. It took him until after the age of 4 before he actually drew a picture that wasn’t a pre-made coloring sheet. It was almost as if he wasn’t allowed to take his imagination outside the pre-drawn lines of a coloring sheet and use his imagination. The day he did, I was so happy he finally took that step.
To this day, at 6, he follows written directions very clearly. He can put together difficult Lego designs in a matter of an hour or two following directions. He will take them apart and put them back together on different days, but he does not take the Legos and use his imagination to build. He does not build random things.
He has never been evaluated. He has not been diagnosed.
In fact, I haven’t talked a lot about his behaviors to many people. In the back of my mind, I knew there was something different about him, but I also figured people would blame me. In fact, re-reading this to make sure it all flows and says what I want it to say, I am second guessing posting it because I know who will blame me.
They will blame me that I am a physical person who hits. I yell. It’s my anger that he learns this from.
Without turning this post to be about me I will share this – I am not a physical person. I have spanked once and let me tell you, I cried more that one time than the child did because I felt so bad for it. I do yell. I will admit that. But I don’t hit things or people. I don’t throw things. So if you insist on blaming me, then so be it, but please feel free to remove yourself from my life because being a mom is hard enough and I don’t need your judgment when I am trying to do my best by my child.
I am not seeking to label him. I am not looking to medicate him. I am not looking to necessarily change him because I love him just the way he is. I just don’t love the behaviors that I am sure he does not always have control over.
A friend posted this today:
“You see, the common assumption – even among many well-intentioned mental health professionals – is that kids are explosive because their parents are passive, permissive, inconsistent disciplinarians. Of course, this doesn’t take into account that many of the siblings of explosive children are actually very well behaved, and that many well-behaved kids have parents who are inconsistent disciplinarians……These kids do not CHOOSE to explode any more than a child would choose to have a reading disability. These kids lack crucial skills required for handling life’s challenges…..The crucial skills for flexibility, frustration tolerance, and problem solving” -The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
I believe that. I believe that he doesn’t have control over this explosive behavior.
I am looking for ways to better understand him. To find ways that allow us as parents to work better with his needs and what he needs.
After today, I have realized that I am not the only one.
There are other parents out there. There are other kids out there. It’s not just me. It’s not just my Buddy.
It also gives me a sense of hope. That I can find help. That I can ask for help. That it doesn’t have to stay this way.
I will be seeking a child therapist and a child psychologist as well as family therapist so that we can be better suited to deal with Buddy and help him with what skills he needs to move forward.
I am hoping to share our journey so that others who feel as I feel, can relate and share too because we aren’t alone and we shouldn’t have to feel that way either.