Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Misdirected Anger ?

My “occasional” misbehaving three year old has a magical ability to bring out my bad temper. I never really thought I could lose my patience so fast but I can as he has proven to me. Sometimes when our son is misbehaving I tend to punish him too much (i.e., the naughty corner) and other times I have grabbed him too hard startling him. These occasions generally result when he is not responding to me when he continues to act in a defiant manner or is just not listening to me when I have told him to stop doing something (like running away from us in a store or at home when he continues to take toys from his sister) or he has not listened to his mother after her asking several times. The occasions that really get my goat involve his sister and he is being annoying just he wants what she is playing with.

I realize he is just being a normal, at times difficult three year old, and I don’t mean to lose my temper or overreact but I sometimes do. I feel terrible when I have scared him by yelling too loud or perhaps squeezed his arm a bit too much when trying to get his attention. I have wondered how much of this is just me (needing to get a handle on myself) or something else. I love these children with all my heart and I never want to do anything to cause them harm but occasionally I just get angry. Am I the only parent to lose it? Most likely not.

I recall the anger I felt when I learned about being infertile. I don’t doubt that some measure of that anger still exists in me. I don’t think any of this anger is coming out when I am dealing with my son but I wonder. DI as a method of dealing with male factor infertility is certainly nothing new but I wonder how many dads underwent any psychotherapy before deciding on DI and addressing the anger that comes along with being told you can not biologically have kids and not have kids at all without help. This topic was addressed within a few posts to the Yahoo DI Dads site but with only a few members joining the discussion it is hard to generalize.

[On a related but separate issue I am beginning to think that prospective DI parents should go through some sort of required home study, similar to potential adoptive parents, before being allowed to commence DI – but that is for another posting.]

Before we were successful we did see a therapist regarding our issues generally dealing with infertility and I know we addressed the anger issue but I don’t recall now how that concluded. My wife has us signed up for some sort of class that focuses on parents and anger and managing our kids without them driving us crazy and our not yelling at them too much. It sounds like a good idea to me.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Every child can make their parents angry at some time or another. So what is happening is NORMAL. Of course you love your children. No doubt in my mind about that! But children need direction, love and discipline. That is your role as a parent. I don't think the anger you feel when your son is misbehaving has to do with your anger about infertility. Don't lay that guilt trip on yourself. I was terribly angry when I went through IVF and had no eggs. I was angry at my body for failing me. I was angry at the doctors because they couldn't fix it and I was angry at the unfairness of it all. I took the anger I felt and I channeled all that useless energy to write my books and to help others. I think by creating this blog and talking to and supporting others, your anger may ease. It takes time, but peace will come.