Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just Like Mom

(Post by LeMira)

At some point, we all look at our kids and start comparing their attributes to ours and to the people around us.  It's natural.  "He bounces his leg just like his dad," or "his mom bites her tongue in concentration, too."  For my son, it's obvious just by looking at him who his father is, especially when they're together.  My mom thinks we should have named him after his dad because they look so similar.  He even has some of his dad's personality traits, but not as many.  When it comes to many of his more noticeable traits, he's just like me.

As a child, I cried whenever someone raised her voice or if my parents started arguing.  I tense up when voices start rising and opinions start conflicting.  I just want everyone to get along. 

I'm a people-pleaser.  I want to like everyone, and I want everyone to like me. You tell me that I did something wrong, I cry -- not because I'm offended, but because I'm affected, deeply.  My son is exactly the same way.  When I raise my voice, he cries.  He's very fearful of getting in trouble.  He's a rule follower (I was, too).  You don't break the rules, you just don't.

It takes some time to feel comfortable in a big crowd of people. We wait a minute or two to volunteer, if we volunteer at all.  If we are black sheep at home, in public, we're white, like everyone else.  We obey all the rules, follow the crowd.

We're both very passionate.  Although we are affected when others begin disagreeing, we are not afraid to be right.  We are not afraid to voice our opinions at home or with those whom we are close and do not feel stranger to.  We want to be right, we are afraid of being wrong. 
Not good.

I have this uncanny ability to come "un-glued" very easily and very quickly without warning.  When I'm frustrated, deep breaths don't usually do it for me.  I'm someone who needs to break dishes, punch a wall, throw a chair, cry uncontrollably, or scream.  My son is the same way.  Yes, a lot of it is inherent behavior, I've learned that just by watching him, but I know that much of it is because it's how we handle things in our house.  It hasn't been easy to watch this lately, knowing that he has the prime example in his mother.

I'm working on a longer fuse, or getting rid of the fuse all together (meaning I never blow, not that I blow every time), but it's so hard.  I'm hypocritical when I yell at my son to not yell every time he's frustrated.  Yeah, nice one.  Anyway, I've been trying to find ways to help us let off steam immediately; here are some of the things we've tried:

1.  Deep breaths.
2.  Count to 10 (never works for either one of us)
3.  Screaming into pillows
4.  Tarzan yell while beating your chest
5.  Screaming matches while plugging our ears
6.  Clasping hands and squeezing the life out of them -- either squeezing your own together or a partner's.
7. Raiding the pantry (I don't recommend this one)

What are ways that you blow off your steam to help you cope with your power struggles and frustrations?


Andy, Mary, Nate, Lizzie said...

I have to take a time out, not the kids. LOL! I'll leave the kids in the living room and remove myself to the bathroom, my bedroom...sometimes, L is pounding on the door. I have been known to tell them, "I need to not be around you right now." L's speech therapist used to tell her kids, "Go to your room before I abuse you!" For me, I just need a complete break. Driving is good, too, for both me and L. She gets lost in the world going by, and I get to feel in control by driving a few tons of metal around. :)

N, on the other hand, needs something physical. We're thinking of getting a punching bag. He needs that physical release of energy.

Katie said...

hahhahaha...did you read the post I just did on my blog.

Uhm USUALLY (today not counted). I get upset and then go clean. While cleaning I usually get calmer and can think more rationally....then, when I've come to a good conclusion I have a clean kitchen too.

Natalie said...

Who says that I blow off steam? It comes out my ears most of the time. While I used to comfort myself with food I now go to the gym and exercise my frustrations out. You would know, sometimes I take you with me on my phone. Exercise releases endorphins and everything looks better when those things are flowing in the bloodstream. I sound like a drug addict.