What it is like to be an oversensitive parent

Young girl indoors crying

Is it just me that when I see a child cry my heart melts? Where everyone else sees tantrums and manipulation I see an unhappy child, and apparently I have been reprimanded for feeling such emotions. I feel like my 8 year old self again, being told that my emotions don’t matter, that my feelings are invalid and I deserve to be told what to do because I am incapable of seeing reality for what it is.

I thought being a parent would at least give me the right to parent my child with all the love and understanding I wish my parents had showed me. Apparently this wise world knows better, and I am a weak oversensitive emotional individual who shouldn’t be in charge of child who is equally emotional, sensitive and obviously not allowed to feel the emotions he does.

Apparently Autism is just an excuse for indiscipline and a good smack is required to shake the child out of his delusions. So while my child feels inadequate, different and all wrong, a strong hand is what is required to snap him into being normal. Someone should really let the professionals know, especially my sons’ wonderful Occupational therapist, she should just swap her sensory kit developed after years of research for a good sturdy cane, no need for those college courses. Oh and my son’s speech therapist, silly woman she should no longer spend her time developing social stories to explain social nuances to my son, apparently a cane is a magical transmuter that imbibes knowledge with one stroke, literally.

What begs the question is why am I still so inadequate? Apparently at the receiving end of quite rigorous canning, belting and the works, how did this magic fail me? Why did it not magically heal me of my dyslexia that still plagues me especially when I’m stressed?

What breaks my heart and makes me loose my faith in humanity, apart from Donald Trump winning the election, is also how we rationalise the use of the cane. I am a big proponent of love and understanding, and honestly believe that children are pure of heart and only act out when their little worlds are troubled. While it may be stressful for many parents to handle the emotional outbursts of children especially those with special needs, I am not such a parent.

I spend hours researching the latest breakthroughs, I read books by reputable authors and try as much as I can to assimilate all that I can to help my little man. I am actively involved with his therapists and teachers to see how best I can help him navigate this life. So when my 8 year old starts talking about how miserable he is, how different he is to everyone, what an idiot he is and how he can’t seem to do anything right and mostly doesn’t deserve to be happy, the last thing I expect from a psychologist to say is that all he needs is a firm hand and discipline in his life.

What’s funny is that a parenting course I did, circle of security, says parents should help their children to understand why they are experiencing strong emotions rather than trying to repress them. Made total sense to me but that is molly coddling, apparently a good smack should settle that emotional outburst, never mind trying to explain to a child to regulate his emotions. I am beginning to understand why so many adults behave like children; they are still waiting for their parents to discipline them since they never learnt to parent themselves.

We should ask ourselves are we trying to raise individuals who fear punishment or thinkers who reason for themselves the best course of action? This firm hand ideology is what led to an assembly line individual that led to a sheep like herd that obeyed dictators without question. Where free thinkers were ridiculed and often met with violent opposition.

Treat a child and his emotions with contempt and how will you get an individual that is sympathetic and kind? Punish a child for expressing himself and you will get a bitter adult who will resent anyone who dares to question the norm. Our world needs to evolve and go past our archaic ideologies that stemmed from a master and slave mentality. Reasoning with a child and giving them consequences that are not so delightful can get far better results than a dictatorship that refuses to even acknowledge one’s emotions.

After all in the real world we have all seen what happens when you try to thwart people’s right to feel and be happy, a revolution, war and the ugly winds of change. Just as a revolution can be violent and messy, so can a rebellious teenager who has been suppressed for far too long. We reap what we sow and I intend to sow, love, understanding and compassion.

sad lonely boy on street

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