EP2 – Parenting Isn’t Easy
On today's episode I get a little vulnerable.. This parenting thing really isn't easy. I talk about how my 7 year old hit himself so hard out of frustration he gave himself a black eye... and the dumb thing I said that caused him to do it.
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Here we go to Episode 1 of I don't know _____ about parenting.
I have a seven year old amazing kid. I've read every book, every parenting magazine implemented as best I know how with the knowledge I have and I'm still... I always say this, I'm still gonna screw them up because I don't know ____ about parenting. He didn't come with a manual and even if he did, I'd probably misinterpret that manual.
I always say this, I'm still gonna screw them up
So today he's been having some challenges breathing, brought them to see the doctor, they sent him to an allergist and we'll see if he has asthma. No asthma scores 100 on his oxygen test scores, 100 on his breathing and airflow tests. But he has shortness of breath at times and they're a little perplexed and obviously as a parent I'm a little concerned so they put them on some inhalers. We haven't noticed much of a difference. It's been a month and in the last two days it seems as though it's getting more and more.
So today, after leaving the allergist I sent him, or I will send him. He's in the backseat of the car just talking to me about his day and he concerned parents frustrated that we don't know what's going on. He's not old enough to explain what's going on, so the doctors kind of perplexed. I say to the doctor, he has a one year old brother that he gets a lot of attention and we're not giving him as much attention. Not intentionally.
There's not time to freaking literally breathe
It's just life is crazy with two kids and two careers going and a lot of extra curricular activities. Right? I keep asking the wife like slow down and an extra-curriculars, he doesn't need karate and swimming and soccer and like I can't keep up. There's not time to freaking literally breathe. Right. But we don't know ____ about parenting. We're doing the best we can with it knowledge that we have, we don't know ____ about parenting, so
I think there's a level of stress that he senses because it's always go, go, go. There's no downtime and even the downtime he wants to, like any kid at his age wants to play some video games, but we're trying to throttle that back. Right. We don't want her to get it out of hand or that being the thing. So we rescheduled. We've given them very limited time with that. He's not getting as much time with us and what time is going on from my perspective is, is him being busy in an activity, whether that school or swimming or soccer or karate,
Going to a friend's house to play, but he's not getting as much one on one interaction with us. With us as parents and he does get it. He's not getting as much as he used to because we have a baby who's teething and just turned one and just got his shots and has been sick because he's adapting from formula to whole milk. So the last month has been a whirlwind of craziness. Not built in excuse, just saying
I don't know ____ about parenting and dealing with a seven year old while dealing with the one year old while dealing with dual careers and a lot of other things going on. I hope somebody out there can relate to this.
So today we're in the car and there's almost makes me want to go to tears because this is my boy. I love this kid with everything I have. He Is such an amazing kid. Well, he's feeling distressed, so I asked him, hey, you're breathing heavy. As he's trying to tell me. I said, you're doing it now. What do you feel? And he just out of frustration says "I don't feel nothing. Stop asking me". To that, I'm frustrated because I say, I'm just. I care about you. I love you and I want to know what's going on and I want you to be able to describe it as best you can as it's happening. And he goes "just leave me alone".
So I gathered myself and I'm frustrated, but I'm so far from perfect. He says to me, he goes, "Dad, I had a bad day". And I said, well, you know what? I don't want to hear it. You got a bad day and you just yelled at me and I don't want to hear about your bad day. And this doesn't happen often and this is why he starts to cry. And he says, "nobody cares. Everybody's always mad at me. Nobody says nice things to me" and he proceeds, and I've never seen this before... to punch himself in the face to the point he gave himself a black eye.
...he gave himself a black eye
So as I was saying, he punched himself in the face to the point where he gave himself a black eye and obviously I knew he was having a bad day. Says you don't even care, you don't want to listen to me. So I pull over somewhere because we're in the car. And I said, what's going on? Why did you have a bad day? He tells me that some kids, uh, he's at a camp right now, it's fall break camp. And so "some kids didn't want to play with me and everybody's always mad at me". And I said, well, who's everybody? Mommy's always mad at me and says, daddy always mad at you. And he's like, no. I said, I'll be honest with me.
And honestly, you know, we have high expectations for him and we probably put some pressures on him that a seven year old shouldn't have to do. Be aware of your brother, don't hurt your brother. Everything is about his brother these days. I'm aware of it, but we're trying to make sure that, you know, safety, this, that, and the other. Don't run around the house. Don't bang because your brother's trying to sleep and your brother's awake. You've got to be careful your brother, your brother, your brother, which hs got to get annoying. When you're seven and you just want to have fun.
I asked him if he wants a hug
So he breaks down and I asked him if he wants a hug and he's like, no, just leave me alone. I don't know ____ about parenting because every day, no matter how much I've done or what I do, I'm going to have a bad day. He may have a bad day, I may respond poorly. He may receive something I say poorly. I may be a dumb dad and in the moment say, I don't want to listen to you because you hurt my feelings. And then he's like, you hurt my feelings more. We had that banter back and forth.
I don't know ____ about parenting. Now I can tell you this. I wrote a book about parenting and uh, I have an amazing, but I also know that I'm not perfect and he's not perfect and I know that I'm going to make mistakes. And as parents out there, you probably don't know ____ about parenting either.
I have a commitment tonight that I'm pulling up to right now. My promise to him is usually on Monday nights, I'm not there to tuck them in and say prayers and, and, and, uh, talk about our day. Which reminds me, I got to show them a youtube video about how to change your oil because he told me my car needs service. I gotta make sure I'm home tonight to Tuck them in before he goes to bed. And most Monday nights I'm not, but today I'm leaving early and making sure he's there. So he knows that he's loved, he's cared for and I got to keep that commitment as I do all my commitments to him. Because right now he's feeling less than loved. He's feeling as though he's not enough.
He's Frustrated and mad!
He's frustrated and mad because he feels people are upset with him and he's putting pressure on himself and no seven year old needs to do that. Here's the thing, I'm not a perfect parent. I don't know ____ about parenting, but I do know this. My son said he feels as though everyone's always mad at him, which means we need to show him more love.
I heard him, I heard him loud and clear. Now it's up to me as his parent to react or respond in a way that negates or makes him start to feel the opposite of what he's been feeling. So how do I do that? I just show up better than I have. I communicated with my wife, which I already did and she came with a softer approach tonight. Um, but as parents, it kills us to think that our son feels less than loved because he is loved and adored. We're just not expressing it in a way that he can receive that. Alright, that's episode one of, I don't know ____ about parenting.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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