FAMILY DYNAMICS

It is hard to sit by and watch a child taking the reins within a family at the age of 4. And while at my house, the fists put up before my face because his tantrums get him what he wants is met with time-out in my room.

“Go to Nana’s room, and come out when you feel happy again. In this house we don’t do that,” I said in a firm voice. One he is unaccustomed to and doesn’t like. But in he goes and the quietness makes me wonder what he’s up to.

Later the reason for such quiet is discovered. All the items on my bedside stand were hidden beneath the bed.

Coming out to living room he was told -‘next time you need time to ‘get happy again,’’ you will sit on the bench in the hallway, looking to Samuel adding, “He cannot go into our room again.”

The terrible look on Bennett’s face, that scowl is so horrible. What four year old has such an upper hand?

Last night they stayed awhile while big brother got a hair cut. Mother cuddles him incessantly. I look away until he is peeled off. I’m sure he has told her what a monster Nana is. Mommy coddles him even when he’s supposed to be in time out; pets him, then gives him more sugar. The sugary treats making up most of his diet make it impossible to behave even if he wanted to.

And they talk to him till they are blue in the face, and all during the supposed disciplinary time. Wow, so much attention for such horrible behaviors. I’d keep being a brat too. A rude, disrespectful, very chubby brat. Sugar does that.

It reminds me of what my mother liked to often say to me, “When she was good she was very very good. When she was bad she was horrid.” Unlike Bennett, my rage had a reason other than sugar, though bad parenting exists in both cases. My rage was real with good reasons. My mother had many ways to shut me up, and shut the truth down. (well into my fifties. In fact until after she died when the book process began.)

But talk, and talk, and talk- after biting his brother, or throwing a rock at his sister so hard she had an egg on her head needing ice? When we were all camping, I watch in (horrified) shock after these things occurred and the endless talking happened… I wanted to smack him off the picnic table across the lake.

No four year old is going to put fists in my face. But he does it to his mother, even punches her, and she talks, then says he’s in time out- while cuddling him during the brief moments he supposedly is being disciplined. (Then lets him pour more bowls of Lucky Charms) REWARDS REWARDS REWARDS

Ever read labels Mom? Mommy wants child three to stay a baby, and all the rest help him stay that way too. Velcroing his shoes because the fits he throws if you don’t do what he wants is harder to put up with. Velcro? I think he can manage!

So they don’t do it for his sake, they do it for themselves so they don’t have to hear fits, crying, and tantrums. I seem to have become the awful one, the hated one. We are at an impasse and I’m losing. His father, (my son) tries to intervene, but his wife won’t let him, giving him sugary treats instead of dinner…or lunch, or … well breakfast is always sugar with those disgusting sugared cereals.

It is hard to watch, impossible to change, and unpleasant to be around. Which considering how Mommy was cuddling him before leaving him with Nana monster last night, it won’t be happening too much. Mommy can’t leave her little baby with such a mean monster, can she? Only when absolutely necessary, so not much. Too bad, I may be his only hope.

Life is not easy. You need to learn early how to do things for yourself, and that others are not going to give you all the things you tantrum for. They have a long road ahead with that one, and I feel sorry for them, and worry about a safe future for the little tyke. So much promise wasted and turned sour all to feed Mommy’s need to have a clinging helpless child. She is succeeding, but is that what you really want?