Kelly - posted on 09/14/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )
I feel like I am really messing up everything for my son psychologically. Most of you know, I'm not in the best mental shape myself and I really don't want to pass these issues on to my son, but lately, I'm at a loss in how to handle him.
I pick him up from school everyday in hopes of spending the afternoon happy, playing together and getting along. Expressing "love" to each other and such....or at least not biting each other's heads off at every opportunity.
Everyday goes something like this...(this is today, but every one this week has been the same).
He gets in the car, smiles all around.
ME: Did you have a good day?
ME: Did you get your picture taken? (It was picture day)
ME: Perhaps it's tomorrow. Tell me about your day.
J: Ask me a question about my day.
ME: I want you to tell me about your day. (slightly annoyed and perplexed because he did not do as I directed)
J: Why won't you ask me a question?
ME: I am rather annoyed that you are insisting I ask a question while refusing to address my inquiry. I do not have any information from your day to base a question on. I clearly directed you to tell me about your day. I want you to tell me about anything that happened to you today. Anything. When I pose an inquiry, you are to address it without argument. Do you understand?
He became visibly upset, then proceeded to tell me everything he did today in chronological order. I am pleased and thus relay that to him with a smile, after which he begins to be more relaxed.
He pauses after telling me that the class sat on the mat, so I ask "What did you learn while sitting on the mat?" Thinking this would please him as he had wanted me to ask a question earlier.
J: We learned about picture graphs.
ME: What is a picture graph?
J: Do you know what a picture graph is?
ME: I want you to tell me what a picture graph is.
J: I want you to tell me what a picture graph is.
I'm finished. I am livid, as I just explained to him, very clearly, that his tone was combative and that when I ask a question or pose an inquiry he should respond with an address to THAT inquiry, not pose another question, disagree, or argue. I reiterated this message and sent him to his room when we got home. He is still there.
I fear that I am putting a rift between us, that I am inadvertently building walls against communication, and he does not wish to open up to me. I want us to be open and understanding of each other, and I want him to feel comfortable talking to me. Where in the above conversation did I go wrong?
A little on my issues :P My Doctor says that I lack empathy and have a slight tenancy to sociopathy.....not that I'm a sociopath. Only that I tend to lack strong emotions and fail to acknowledge emotion in others. I'm working on it. I only mention this here because it might connect to my issues with communicating and connecting with J.