Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am going through a weird and difficult thing with my 3 YO DS. if he gets hurt and i come to see what happened , he gets mad at me and will even go so far as to hide from me. i think it partially comes form the fact that he stepped on a tack like a week or so ago and i squeezed it to make it bleed and that hurt him alot and upset him considerably. yesterday he fell off the slide and i could tell he was hurt ( didnt quite see what happened --just a small slide we have on the swingset in our yard) but he wouldnt talk, just looked at me very somberly and kept shaking his head if i asked if he got hurt. i thought maybe it was cuz his frined was over, cuz he has been doing that also, like he gets embarrased about crying.

anyway he also gets very angry with me if we have some sort of disagreement over something and i try to help him process his feelings. or if i show compassion over the fact he is sad he hasnt gotten his way, or soemthing like that. or if he gets in a struggle with another kid and i try to help him. its not every time, but it happens alot and it makes me feel bad for him cuz it seems like his feelings get locked inside him and he cant let them out. then he just gets angry instead of sad or hurt or whatever the original feeling was.

he seems almost ashamed ? i dont know what it is but i am trying to work through it with him and it seems like my offers for hugs, showing sympathy, and stuff like that are not working

he has been a little like this since early toddlerhood. he would throw tantrums and i asked about it in GD and people said i should hug him when he is tantruming, but when i would try that he would freak even worse and start hitting me. so i got in a habit of leaving him be when he was out of control, so he ouwlndt be pushed into hitting me, etc. but has this made him feel reallt isolated when upset?>

thanks for any advice on how to help him work through this. i want him to be able to say " i am sad" etc. instead of getting so mad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts
I would respect his need for space and at the same time verbally walk through what you think needs to be said. "ouch, that looked like it might have hurt. If you would like some ice for your knee, let me know and I'll be glad to get you some" or even "if you'd like some ice move the stool close to the freezer and I'll help you get some"

When I worked with kids that age sometimes it really helped to avoid eye contact when they were upset like that- sometimes even going so far as to have the conversation with a doll or stuffed animal... sounds goofy, but it often worked


good luck!

-Angela
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so i am not hurting his feelings more by walking away and leavig him alone? i sort of do stuff like that, like i will say when you want a hug you can come get one. he usually says no, but then sometimes he will come to me for one after a few minutes. sometimes i worry that if i dont act persistant and show him i care, he will decide i dont. kwim? like what if he is acting mean and mad but what he really needs is affection and sensitivity?

your feedback makes me feel less worried that i am sending him the wrong signal when i give him the space he demands, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts


A lot of kids seem to need more space at that age. Maybe talk with him about it sometime when he isn't upset- maybe have a secret code word or sign that he can say or give if he needs a hug/more attention. But no, you don't need to follow him around- you're being a great mom already


-Angela
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
I like to stay in visual range when dd gets like that, and let her approach me. Usually she's just embarrassed herself a bit & needs to sort that out. I do let her know that if she needs help let me know, and offer her anything I can think of that might help at the moment - but if she says no I back right off. I try and say something like, Oh, you need a little space. That's ok, when you feel a bit better or need some help, just let me know. Then I get busy so she doesn't feel all self concious but I'm still easily available. good luck, jen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,628 Posts
stirringleaf-First,


Second, my DS is very similar with his rxns to being hurt. We had a major scare a few weeks ago where he really hurt himself and there was a lot of blood involved. He wouldn't let me NEAR him to help him, or wipe up the blood. I actually had to eventually get a little authoritarian (???) on him and sort of force him to let me put him in the tub and clean him up. It was quite a scene. The nurse at the Dr.'s office kept saying, "Look at his mouth and tell me yadda, yadda, yadda". And I'm like, You obviously don't know my boy. He won't LET me look at him and his too big to physically hold him down or "force" him to do just about anything.

Anyway, this is becoming more about me, and I'm sorry about that. Suffice it to say that my DS is definitely not a boy that is easily consoled or "taken care of". I've often said to my DH that he just doesn't let me "mother" him.
I don't really fully understand WHY he is like this, (and he's done the same thing during tantrums) but I think he has real issues feeling vulnerable and needing my help. Isn't that a funny thing to say about a not quite 3.5 yo???
He needs a lot of space to process things that scare him.

I'm guessing that your DS is an intense, smart, perhaps was a high needs babe?? Just curious.

Hang in there. You're not alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,157 Posts
My oldest is like that when he gets hurt. He needs a little time & space to process. I tell him I'm right there (keeping a distance) and he can tell me when he's ready for a hug. Sometimes if I give him a minute I'll then ask, "would you like a hug now?"

I have understood his need for a little space and stay close enough to monitor and yet far enough for him to feel he has his space. There have been times when I've just quietly said, "I'm right here if you need me."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
My oldest DD is exactly like that. I've gotten to were if she gets hurt or something i go up to her and see if she needs my help if she pushes away then i let her have her space but stay close and let her know i'm there for her. I havent figured out why she does this, but she has pretty much been this way for a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
I'm guessing that your DS is an intense, smart, perhaps was a high needs babe?? Just curious.
well as a newborn i remember thinking he hardly ever cried. iin fact most of babyhood it was so rare that he would actaully cry hard that it would realy get to me when he did. but he was high needs in that he nursed ALOT , had a very strong suck, and never slept thru the night till he was almost 3. i was one of the moms going on the nighttime and family bed board saying i was at the end of my rope, so sleep deprived and irrational from cosleeping and waking every 45 minutes . but i nursed him until just a month ago


he walked early, at 9 mos old. so he started with tantrums very young, like 10 or 11 mos. at 3 he is energetic and talkative. ( like his mommy :LOL )
and of course i think he is the smartest guy in the world! lol .

but mainly i want him to grow up and not hide or stuff his feelings, and be an emotionally healthy man. i think men have it rough in that department as far as societa pressure goes, and i want to help him be able to express his feelings. my DH is horrible at knowing what he feels, and i feel sorry for him for that.

thanks for the advice, it makes me feel more confident about giving him space, and not so guilty and sad for him being alone when he is sad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,419 Posts
StirringLeaf,

It sounds to me like you are doing just fine. And I agree with the other posters who have found some of their kids sometimes need a little space.

Offering your availability and love - even if he is not ready to receive it at that moment - is very compassionate indeed.


Just keep listening to your instincts. You know your son better than anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh wait i have one more question though. when i tell him he can hug me when he is ready, or that i am sorry he is upset and he can get me when he needs me he literally scowls at me and growls! is that normal and ok also? i just feel like he really hates me or something when he does that! i know he doesnt ,but it just seems so intese and i dont know how to react to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
I can really identify with you and the feelings you are having about your dc's reaction, stirringleaf. My nearly 5 year old dd has a similar reaction when she is upset or gets hurt. I think she has been this way for a couple years. I give her the space she needs, but it is so hard to want to comfort your child and have her push you away. She makes a terrible face at me and gets angry at me as if I were the one that hurt her. I have no explaination for this, but I am assuming this is in her spirit and trying not to take it personally. Which is very hard to do!

s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
Sorry- no more insight so far. When I talked to her about it, she said," I don't know why I feel that way, I just do." She's a verbal kiddo, but since I have not asked her before, she may have not had enough time to think it through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,756 Posts
StirringLeaf,

I am thinking that the emotions they are experiencing and the reaction they have is so visceral that maybe they have not reflected on where it comes from. When I asked my dd about it, she seemed surprised, as if it never occurred to her to question why she reacts that way.

I gave her an example when I asked her about it: "Say you stub your toe- your toe hurts and you get angry and don't want me to hug you..." A few minuets after we talked, she came to me all sly smiles and said,"Mom, I stubbed my toe. Want to hug me?"
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thats so nice!!!!!! i am havin a little progress here too. last night ds had a fever and so he had a nightmare. he wanted comfort but when i would say things to him to comfort him he would get mad. also i realised ha hadnt had much water in the day so i told him some water would make him feel better ( he was crying , and sometimes likes some water when really crying) and this made him really mad. whenever he calmed down i would ask him does he want that sip of water now...and it would tick him off all over again. i tried explaining my motives to him ( that he was sick and his lips are dry and he might need some) etc, and he was so offended anyway.

so i let it be, and finally he goes mommy i dont want you to tell me to drink water. and i sympathetically said, " you really dont want me to offer you water, do you " and just did that mirroring thing, and he softened up almost completely and started telling me his dream! ( he never tells me his nightmares) so i kept mirroring. and after he got it all out about the dream and absorbed some sympathy, he said he was ready for some water ( on his own) he seemed amazed that he was getting what he needed ( which was sympathy, just not offered on my terms) and today he seemed alot more trusting of me and could tell me a little more what he needed instead of just getting mad
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top