Just Breathe…

I’m beginning to worry about The Narrator. Actually, more appropriately, I’m beginning to worry about my ability to interact with him on a constructive and helpful level.
At 6, he’s an extremely bright child, but he’s also wound very tightly.

He is a highly sensitive child. The slightest things trigger an over the top amount of emotion with him. Sometimes when he’s watching a movie, slow music is all it takes to bring him to tears.

Yesterday, I was helping him with his homework. He had to make ‘addition sentences’ to demonstrate something like “Sally had 7 shirts she put in two drawers. Show two different ways she could do this.”

He quickly writes ‘5’ in one box and ‘2’ in another box. He needed a second example, and wrote ‘2’ in the first box and ‘5’ in the second. I told him he was technically correct, but I’d like to see a different way than that.

And he lost it.

Tears, yelling….red face and everything. It took me five minutes to calm him down and get him to write ‘4’ and ‘3.’

I don’t know if this is characteristic of all six year old kids, but when he has a problem….the world comes to an end. As I mentioned the other day, my mother-in-law likes to surprise the boys with toys…usually things she finds at yard sales. This time it was a knock-off lego table with two chairs. I found it on amazon, it is designed for ages 2-5. The chairs are WAY too small for him. I mentioned that we should get rid of them, and his entire universe exploded. Ten minutes later he was still sobbing and hugging the chair as if it was ‘Old Yeller’ and I was loading a rifle. He’d had the damn thing for less than a day.

He got sent to his room yesterday for not listening to us when we asked him to do something. Rather than yell, I decided to go in and talk to him. He got so worked up and anxious that I was worried about him. I tried to talk to him and get him to take a few deep breaths to calm down.

“Breathe in through your nose and hold for a second. Then let it out through your mouth. This will help you relax a little.”
“I can’t.”
“You didn’t try yet.”
“Yes I did.”
“Just try it again.”
“It doesn’t work for me.”
“How can you possibly know that if you haven’t tried it yet?”
“I CAN’T!”

…..followed by hyperventilating.

I was able to finally calm him down and get a laugh out of him, then everything was alright…but I really don’t know how to talk him down, and its frustrating to me.

I once was able to talk a mentally unstable woman out of her car after she tried to run me and an EMT over at work one night because she thought I was going to take her cat away. But I cannot seem to get through to a six year old kid.

It isn’t just the negative emotions either. He’ll get so excited about some tiny little thing that he ends up driving us insane over it. The worst though, are the shifts. Where he’s happy one minute, then devolves into a simpering mess the next over one teensy little detail or sad song on the TV.

I’ve accepted that this is what he does. I just need to know how to deal with it.
Someone already suggested we have him medicated, which pissed me off. He’s six. I don’t believe he needs medication, I believe he needs to be talked to and taught to handle these emotions properly…but man do I feel under-equipped to be the one to handle it. My first step is to not get so annoyed when he doesn’t respond to one approach, and find another. I’m working on it, but there are no signs of improvement yet. He still freaks out, and I still get frustrated.

Parenting…..is hard.

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