Okay, I'm really stumped. When my son gets angry, he gets dysregulated and yells, argues, and sometimes lashes out physically or damaged property. I get that sometimes its because the demands are too much for him, but often it's because of a certain scenario where I have a boundary of not listening or responding to him when he's calling me names or yelling at me that everything is my fault. I usually just stay right where I am and wait for him to calm down and then make a brief comment about how he was really upset and reinforce that he calmed himself down. It's a technique a therapist recommended. He calls it being ignored. He says he would much rather we get angry back at him. I think he does not actually want to calm down, he wants to stay mad so he does not want me to praise him for a skill he doesn't want to develop or think he can develop. As a matter of fact, when we debrief, he says he can't calm himself down. And that the solution is that we can't do the things that make him angry in the first place. Mashed sense logically, but rests on the presumptions that we always know what will make him angry and that we can do things differently. I could see his point, though I don't agree, on the case of us telling him that the TV is going off for an hour in the morning. Obviously we could do something differently. However, even in that situation, we are very clear that if he wanted to come up with another way to spend time away from the TV, we would use that input to come up with a plan together. But he won't sit at the table for that discussion. Usually when I ask him if he wants to learn different ways to deal with his anger, he says he does not. I tell him it sounds like he feels that I am in charge of whether he lashes or against me. The logic being I do something that makes him mad, he lashes out in response, and because he believes he has no control over his anger responses, he has no other option. Therefore I am in control of him. When I ask if he wants to be in charge of himself, he says no. He then goes on to say that if we had punished him more when he acted out when he was younger, he wouldn't have an anger problem. I asked him what if he didn't like the punishment and acted out when punished? Then what? Punish him even more? I have been told to try to validate him as a first step when processing with him. I guess I get that he feels like we should have taken more firm action. And we can't go backwards. And I don't know what we could have really done differently. He always felt such shame when he did something inappropriate out of anger. Most of the time I had very little emotional support and ended up crying, then trying to help him see that there was a reason for what he did. But he always shutdown and withdrew. Maybe he needs to understand all of this to be able to move on from his rumimitions about how his anger is all our fault because if we had just punished him like "normal" parents, he wouldn't be the way he is. Maybe he needs meds to be able to withstand any of this processing? In the meantime, I can't let him do whatever he wants just because he's angry. I am asking him to reimburse for the things he threw and broke. At the rate we are at, I will have to just deduct it from his bank account. I really do feel very stuck.

Posted by sophieno at 2024-06-12 23:50:50 UTC