Saturday 20 August 2016

Big heartbreak from a little boy

The picture of William above is generally how he is. He is a happy, sensitive, inquisitive, hilarious, clever and caring. However, he still is a boy; he will be cheeky, annoying, make frustratingly silly noises and will be as mischievous as he can get away with. He is, in many ways, a typical 7 year old boy.
But, just for this moment, let’s concentrate on the good aspects listed above.

I love both my boys; there is no denying that they equally bring so much joy into my life and I love them equally for that reason. Yet, William is very much like me; we share similar interests, humour and characteristics that almost makes him a mini me.
This post, therefore, is a hard one to write because the happy and loving boy shown above broke down, cried his eyes out and broke my heart in doing so.

These last few months I have seen an angry and upset side of him and to be completely honest it is hard to watch and cope with. Something clearly was upsetting him and his only way around it was to lash out at everyone.
To start with it was James. James seemed to become William’s personal punch and the idea of the strong rooted brotherly love started to fade at times. Both his mum and I believed that it was to do with their personal space and decided to create some one on one time; which, up to the last 2 weeks has been working perfectly.

Yet, something would happen and William would snap. He would literally go from happy to hulk in a nanosecond and his one target was James. He wanted to hurt him, destroy him almost; if he could act out the pain he was feeling then all, for him at least, would be okay.
Obviously I couldn’t allow this and on the times I tried to stop him he would physically assault me. Punch, kick, throw objects and even pull or push me over; although this is nowhere “ok” it was safer and better than him doing it to James. It was clear that William had a problem and it needed some resolution.

What also became apparent is that these outbursts only happened when he knew he was heading back to his Mums. Could this be the problem?
Luckily, the boys mum and I both have a good co-parentingrelationship and once we put our own problems aside we both became better parents and worked together. Every step of the way I communicated with her and we, as well as we could, tried to help figure out what was going on.

Then there was Thursday. It happened again, he was going for James and I had to intervene and stop him. This time, however, he broke down and cried and opened up to me.
He told me how he struggles with James and with that how he feels that James gets away with more stuff than he does. He feels like he is always being told off at mummy’s and that he is always being shouted at.

I sat, I listened and my heart broke.
I know the pain because I have moments when I have got cross and snapped at him and even shouted at him. I always hate that I do but sometimes it happens and I always feel like a terrible parent for doing it. I instantly regret it but it happens. I also could relate to why it might happen at his mums too, after all, we are both walking the same parenting path with, at times, two quite challenging children.

Then that single parent conversation happened. He then said he wanted to stay with me and not his mum; he said it would mean that he wouldn’t have to be around James all the time.
Again, I sat, I listened and my heart went out to him. I spoke for such a long time about how much mummy, S and James love him. We spoke about reactions and consequences to our actions and how to best deal with them but underneath it all I could see his pain.

It is such a hard thing to hear and I knew it would be a tough conversation to have with his mum but, as mentioned above, I knew we could talk about it.
After that long and rather difficult conversation I could see how hard it was for her too; I am not sure how easily I would have taken hearing that! She obviously could see his pain as much as I could but, what could we do?

After some time we came to the conclusion that maybe William should have some extra time with me and the days where we have the one to one time should be extended to an extra afternoon and evening. This would echo for James’ days.

I have no idea if it will actually work or not but I am hoping that it will show that we have listened to him and trying to respect his views too.
I really hope it does. I just want my happy little guy back.

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