Ask Teacher Lisa: Feeling defeated

Dear Teacher Lisa,

I’m starting to feel pretty defeated. My son is regressing and hitting us hard every time he gets a “no” and especially at bedtime. But worse is that I’m regressing from all the school teachings too. My patience is really short and I’ve come close to losing my temper several times recently. This is what really bothers me. Especially in the evenings, at bedtimes, it’s just a constant fight of kicking me in my (pregnant) belly, hitting me and punching me. I lose my cool and I just see red. I call my partner to help me, but my first reaction is to lash out at my son. I know that I’m already being a little brusque with him when we put pajamas on. I feel very hopeless at the moment (maybe is also the hormones?) and the guilt eats me alive. Any suggestions? 

Thank you as always for everything,

Feeling Defeated

Dear Feeling Defeated,

Is there a good time we could talk on the phone today (or you could talk with another listening partner)? I’d like to hear more about everything and give you a chance to really vent. Sometimes that alone can be a big weight lifted.

My initial advice is to take some time to just come clean with your son. Tell him you want to apologize for being impatient. Tell him you are pregnant and not feeling well. Tell him you are worried about grandparents because of Covid. Tell him you are frustrated at having to stay in the house. Tell him you hate it that the feeling of barfing is interrupting your special storytime with him. Maybe you can even start to draw it out (since your son likes to draw, maybe even a character story like evil Mr. Barfypants might bring a comedic tension release), or throw a pillow across the room for every frustration, etc. And just tell him how much you want him to know you love him, and you know it’s hard not going to school, and being stuck inside. Make a plan together each morning of what 1 special thing he would like to do with you that day at a time that is optimal for you so you both are at your best. Beforehand tell him how much you will look forward to that, and after tell him how much you enjoyed it. Keep it short and sweet and let your partner bring the fun and pick up some extra work as much as possible the rest of the time.

Hear for you to vent,

Teacher Lisa

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