Monday, February 22, 2010

What Do I Do??

As a mom, my most important task is raising our children. I am learning that this parental assignment by God is challenging and complex. With having 4 bundles of joy to parent, and their different personalities and different stages in each of their lives I find myself experiencing extremes of joyfulness to disappointment and hurt.

For months now our Asher has been having an issue with screaming. It used to be more of a communication thing....mainly around meal times. Meal time seems to be under control on the most part now. Now, for the past couple months we have been dealing with screaming, hitting, and pushing from Asher onto other kids. He will also go from extremes when meeting new people or people coming to the door of running to hug them to standing at their feet and screaming at them. I was so frustrated this past weekend when we had people over at our house both days and for hours (seriously) we had to intervene with him screaming at or hitting or pushing the kids that were over. He seems to do this behavior to kids that are younger then him or show intimidation to him after he screams at them. Almost like he is wanting power or control over them? I don't know...does that make sense? What about the screaming to adults that talk to him or come over?

Last night we had people over and one of the adults that was here commented that "he is just mean" and we have had several other parents of children that are over defend their children and attempt to discipline him by firmly saying or even yelling at him. Seeing and hearing other adults respond to him like this is breaking my heart. As a mom maybe I see some of his behavior reflecting on my parenting, but if I honestly knew how I should be handling him I WOULD TRY...I would.

My heart is so heavy for our boy who seems to be feeling so frustrated with other children touching his toys, or sometimes even looking at him will set him off. This behavior has recently caused us to leave the McDonalds play place because he hit a boy with his happy meal toy, and caused us to leave play dates or family visits earlier then anticipated. After last night I don't even want to have friends and their children over to play unless they are older. I do not know how Asher will respond in every situation we go into (and yes I do tell him what to expect before going places and people come over) and it is causing me to feel saddened. I want him to respect others, to be kind and loving. I don't think that is too much to ask. Am I wrong?

If you are thinking of trying time outs...we have tried those. We have taken him to the corner...we have taken him to his bedroom. We have tried spanking and we have tried the other extreme of sitting with him and loving him giving him some one to one attention too. He will apologize but that doesn't always stop the behavior and we seem to be on a vicious cycle. He seems to get like this mainly when people come over to our house or we go to a new place with more kids there. I have heard too many "this is just a stage" to wait it out and have people respond negatively to him in the meantime.

I want Asher to grow up feeling loved and secure. I want him to respect others and be kind. I want to discipline him in a way that is effective to raise a child who is obedient and has the fruit of the Spirit growing and developing within his little body for others to see. I want others to love him as Jesus and I do.

So as Dr. Dobson states "God, in his infinite wisdom, created and ordained the family as the basic unit of procreation and companionship." I ask you to join with me as I seek His divine assistance through the power of prayer to our Heavenly Father.

Jesus, I cry out for your help with my parenting. Please guide me to the tools to effectively handle situations with our kids to promote them to be the best little people they can be. Please come over our Asher and work in him...fill him with peace and remove any kind of anger he feels towards others. You know my heart Jesus and how I long for my actions to be pleasing to you and how I want to do the best job I can in raising these 4 children that you have blessed us with. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

I have thoughts on this post...

First, it makes me ANGRY to hear that someone would say sweet Asher is mean. He's not mean - HE'S TWO! And two-year-olds are all about getting their voice heard. I have found that in larger families, getting your voice heard requires extra volume.

Second, I have the same issue/concern/guilt/fear with my two-year-old boy. He tends to be a bit aggressive (and at high volume). I often see him "defending his territory or property" from other children (including his siblings). I've always assumed it is a product of being the youngest. Asher is the youngest of the boys, so perhaps it's the same thing. (Or, maybe I'm way off base!)

One thing that we have tried (sporadically) has been some hot sauce on the tongue. I read somewhere that if the tongue sins, we should discipline the tongue. I haven't used it for screaming, but for back-talk and rude tone of voice, name calling, etc. When we use it consistently, I have noticed that (with our most challenging child) we start out using hot sauce up to 12 times per day, and after a week or so it's down to 2-3 times.

As for other people disciplining him... As a general rule I appreciate it when friends tell my kids to stop doing things they're not supposed to. My kids usually listen better to them! But if you are finding that they're not being helpful, I think you should tell them, "I will take care of this, thank-you." Or, "I would appreciate it if you'd let me discipline my own child, thank-you."

And for every lie you hear spoken over your precious boy, I want you to speak God's truth over him instead (insert his name). Psalm 115:15, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 139:14, Philippians 1:6, and a zillion more. (If you ask Nicole T at church, she should have a printable list of verses for creating a personal blessing for your child.)

Third (or maybe it's fourth or fifth), you are a great mom with really good kids. You (and they) are welcome here anytime! Or we'll gladly come invade your space again. :) Don't let bitter words speak condemnation over you. If God has given you these 4, you better believe He knows what He's doing! :)

Leah Renfrew said...

Praying for you Shauna.

Anonymous said...

First of all.... big hugs my bestest friend... you are a fantastic mother, and my heart cries for what you are going through, and what other people have said and done.

Asher is a very sweet boy (I would say the sweetest of your boys, but honestly, they are ALL very SWEET!!)

It is so trying to be a parent, but with God at your side, He will support you through this and provide answers to you when you least expect them.

We have had MANY trying moments with Alexa, and we had to find 'her price of admission'. For her, the only thing that worked was ignoring her (which was VERY hard to do as she attempted to bite my arm, as hard as she could... she was waiting for my reaction... and only stopped biting when she no longer got it).

I know you have tried so many ways with Asher, and have put so much effort into this. It will come, don't give up, and don't give in to the harsh words spoken.

We are praying for all of you, and that God may fill Asher with love and calmness...May God pick Asher up, in the palm of his hands, and bless him with all of His goodness...

you are truly an amazing mom...I love you! G

Louise said...

This post gave me goosebumps, and saddness. We love little Asher and would have him over anyday, screaming included. ;)

I definately without a doubt do not believe he is a mean boy. He is going thru an anxious stage that will pass, though it doesn't assist the issue at hand... I have no words of advice. I have seen him cool down, gain control of his emotions and come back in the room with a sweet smile and plenty of hugs. There is hope and you are a patient and wonderful Mom.

Much love

Heather said...

How heartbreaking to have someone speak so harshly about one of your angels!! Also, most likely not know ing or understanding your trials and frustrations of a 2 year old, newly big brother, finding his way in this world (Prov. 18:2)!! I prayed with you as I read, and will continue to do so. God will strengthen you and Wes, and He walks with you; continue to lean on Him. I love you darling!

withajoyfulheart said...

Hi Shauna...I'm visiting from Titus2:3-5....I have no anwsers, but just my personal experience/opinion ;-) when my son was two, he used to bang his head on the floor...I am ashamed to even admit this as I feel it shows bad parenting, but regardless, I realized for him, that he did this because he had no words to express what he was feeling or thinking. On one particular day, I sat on the floor with him, and held him tight against me so that he could not hurt himself (he never left any visible marks) and just kept asking and talking different things until I felt his body stiffen up and knew I had come up with the answer. It took some time to break this learned behaviour, but we did. I have no doubt you are a good mom...good mom's keep trying different things till they find a solution...I'm sure Asher will be just fine and you'll all laugh about it when he is older. As always at this stage...the behaviour is bad but the child is not. My prayers are with you in this...

Loni said...

Shauna, this post makes me sad! I am so sorry that you have been dealing with such hard times in your home. Know that you are a loving mother, Wes is a loving father and your home is a loving, God fearing home... one that we have always felt welcome in. I will be sure to pray for you guys as parents and little Asher. He is a sweet boy and be encouraged. Thanks so much for sharing this... Love Loni

Anonymous said...

Shauna, My heart is saddened for you as I understand how difficult it must be to deal with the frustration of not knowing what to do to help Asher. I will be praying for your family. Blessings

Anonymous said...

I think that every mother has moments of feeling inadequate, and wondering where we have gone wrong. Parenting is a learning process, and so is growing up. When we are frustrated because we don't know why our kids are acting like crazy people and look back at ourselves to try and figure out where we have gone wrong, we have to remember how frustrating it must be for a 2 yr old, they don't even know why they're acting they way they are...that must be pretty scary.

I've seen the same behavior with the girls as well, and with other friends kids.

Asher is not mean and you are not a bad parent.