Because. That’s Why. Day 15

Today I was reading a blog and the author brought up an interesting point:

“I mean, how many times have you heard parents answering the child’s genuine question “Why?” with the words “just because” / “because! (with high pitch sound) / “because this is what it is” / “because this is how it works” and the most famous one: “Because I said so”.

How many parents do you know that actually take the time to explain the child the exact mechanics, relationships and the time lines involves within the child’s questions? How many parents actually considered the child’s ability to understand a point so specifically despite of their young age and lack of experience in life?
How many parents justified for themselves that there is no point in explaining the nitty gritty details to the child because the child would not be able to comprehend it anyway?”

From what I have observed, almost every parent does this. So the question is: WHY?  And the answer is: Not simply BECAUSE.  There’s actual explanations of WHY this is happening and it all starts with the parents.

The Problem:

Often times a child asks the parent questions about how the world works are within this they will repeatedly ask ‘why’ – this is not a question without purpose as the child is actually wanting to learn how their world and everything within it works.  Sometimes the parent will answer the questions, sometimes the parent will work with the child to investigate the answers, and sometimes the parent will say, “Because.”  The answer, “Because,” is the problem here.  I have observed parents answering, “Because,” when: The parent is distracted, the parent is doing something that they do not want to stop doing, the parent is doing something that they can’t, for some reason, stop doing to answer a question, the parent literally does not hear the child and their automatic programmed response to the Word, ‘Why’ is with the Word, ‘Because’, or the parent does not know the answer and says, “Because! That’s why. That’s all you need to know.”

I say this problem begins with the parent as the parent of the child asking WHY was once the child asking WHY of their parents and they got the same BECAUSE answer.  Another point to consider is that in Crisis Intervention training we were told specifically to not ask, “Why?” and to instead ask, “How come?” as a person’s immediate response to the Word WHY is ‘because’ and from here, the person shuts down and usually will stop communication. We were told that the reason for this is goes back to childhood to when and as the parent would ask the child, “WHY did you do this?” and as a child they did not have an answer, reason, nor the vocabulary to explain to the parent why they did what they did and aware that they were in trouble and that they had no choice but  to say something so they answer with, “Because …”

So, has the Word BECAUSE has become an expression of: I don’t know the answer and I fear that?  Do we become paranoid when we hear the Word WHY? What happens when we hear the Word WHY?  We react because in our minds we have associated the Word WHY to past memories or experiences that may have been uncomfortable or even traumatic. We will dismiss the Word WHY, try to separate ourselves from the Word as quickly as possible, we become frustrated with the Word, and/or we will just not hear the Word WHY at all.

The Solution

Instead of answering, “Because,” when a child asks, “Why?”, answer the question.  When and as we aren’t certain about the answer, research for the answer with the child.  The child will then associate the Word WHY will research, investigation, and finding answers for questions that aren’t yet defined or explainable.  If we are busy or have our attention focused on something of importance at that moment, simply set a time for when the question can be researched and/or answered to the best of our ability. When making a decision of whether or not to stop what you’re doing to answer a question or not, suggest to see:  We have a small amount of time within which to educate our children and an even smaller amount of time to assist a child with living expressions of Words.  The time goes by quickly and when it’s done, it’s done – there’s no going back.

The Reward

The child will be less-likely to react to the Word WHY in a way that is not best for them and instead they will come to live the Word WHY as a cool and fun expression of finding the answers.  The child will be better equipped for assistance and support when and as they are on their own in the world as they will have the tools for self-support and not react to the trigger Word WHY from others who may be assisting them with points in their life.  The parent in the child will establish an actual relationship of trust with themselves and each other as we give as we would like to be given and work together to find out how this world functions, why things work the way they do, and look at, discuss, and continue to ask questions about how we can improve upon what’s here.

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Why Am I Reacting? – Day 5

In this post continuing with writing self-forgiveness from my writing myself out on How Do I Control My Anger? – Day 1.

Previous self-forgiveness writings are here:

Why Do I Get So Irritated? – Day 2

What’s Causing This Instability? – Day 3

Why Can’t I Get Being A Parent Right? – Day 4

depsicologia.com.wp-content.uploads.manipulation5_thumb

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed the thoughts, “I can’t be a good parent. I can’t do this. I won’t do this. I’m not good enough,” to exist within and as me. I have not allowed myself to see, realize, and understand that I have allowed these thoughts to integrate into and as me because of my fear of failure. Where, at the same time, I see myself as having something to prove and so I push myself and I push my child which keeps us both locked in a polarity battle – as I battle within, I battle without with my child. All the while that I’m busy battling within and without, I’m missing me, my child, my life, and our life together here.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize, and understand that battling with inside with myself and outside with my child has never been a solution – it changes nothing and does more harm than good. Instead of allowing myself to be here with myself and my child and finding out ways for us to live and express ourselves, I accept and allow myself to exist within reactive responses day-in-and-day-out. This is my ‘life’.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to over-and-over-again allow myself to experience and uncomfortableness with my child’s outbursts that I hear as loud and nerve grating. I also experience this uncomfortableness with many of the Words that they choose to express as who they are in that moment – when the child begins expressing backchat, I have a fear response as, “What if I allow this and they ‘slip up’ in front of one of my friends, an older family member, or someone that does not approve of swearing?” Again, I become angry at myself because I see myself as not bringing an acceptable representation of myself out into this world.

I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to see the polarity trap I’ve created for within myself in-relation to how I allow my child to express themselves, where: One part of me would like to allow the child to swear/express whatever Words best describe how they are experiencing themselves/others and on the other side, I see that allowing a child to swear and express themselves is Wrong and only something that a Bad, irresponsible parent would allow. So, again, this adds additional fuel to my self-anger which I then project onto my child and attempt to make them change.

I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to be self-honest within the point of my child being loud, having outbursts, and swearing and then me telling myself that I fear what others will say/act-out/think as a reaction – here I am attempting to separate myself from my reactions to the noises and Words by lying to myself and saying, “It’s their fault my child cannot express themselves as they like,” when all the while it’s been me reacting and not wanting see/hear/experience my mind and mind-body uncomfortableness.

I forgive myself that I have not accepted and allowed myself to see, realize, and understand that Words and certain ways that Words are expressed ‘play me like a fiddle’ – because of my separation from myself as I react, I did not notice this. I have been wholly controlled like a puppet on a string.

How Do I Control My Anger? – Day 1

Art By Andrew Gable

I found that it is often difficult to control my anger with my child.  This is more difficult when the child is expressing anger themselves where they are in a fit of rage that includes screaming, crying, swearing, hitting, throwing stuff, and stomping up-and-down.  To add to the intensity of the experience, my child will follow me from room-to-room with this behavior so many times it seems impossible that I can get myself to a space away from the situation where I can stabilize myself.  What eventually happens here is that I get to the point of where I can’t take it anymore and I end up yelling, demanding that the child stop ‘Or Else’, and in the worst cases, physically restraining them.  I have tried talking them through it, I have tried getting them to breath with me, and I’ve tried using distraction – these do not work for very long before the child is back at it again.  I have even tried saying Self-Forgiveness out-loud with the child but this puts them ‘over the edge’ and they becomes abusive and destructive.  In my mind, I work on other ways to approach this with my child to support us and I do not come up with anything that is lasting.  This causes me a great deal of emotion because I am constantly in-conflict with my child – some moments we are calm and some moments it is hell.

I realize that I cannot support my child to sort out their anger until I sort my own anger out.  Also, I feel guilty constantly because I take their anger personal – I mean, I AM responsible for their anger – I birthed the child, I created them, and I’m the main caregiver.  It IS my fault.  I’m also the one responsible for figuring out how to fix this – and I haven’t been able to so I’m feeling like a bad parent and not worthy to take care of and raise a child.

Why am I angry?

I am angry at myself that I cannot diffuse or stop my child’s anger.  I am angry at myself because their outbursts make me extremely uncomfortable: the loud, nerve-grating noise, the physical attacks, and spoken backchat.  I fear what will happen if I don’t stop it and I fear of what will happen if I do.  In my mind I tell myself that I should have this under-control and the fact that I don’t makes me a Bad Parent and a Bad Destonian.  I am angry at myself for bringing a child into the world when I have no clue how to support them – and, if they end up growing into being a bully, violent, and an abuser then I am directly responsible.  I am angry at myself for not knowing any other way to control the child other than using force and fear.

So, after I wrote the above entry, I saw that my child was getting frustrated and angry from a video game that they were playing.  This anger and frustration would ‘set them off’ and I was not able to get them stable with breathing.  That night, we discussed making some changes as the way that we are living is not cool and is not what is best for us.  We agreed that I would collect the video games and that we would work on ourselves and our anger so that we could enjoy our time together.

Since then, our anger has been improving daily which has given us the opportunity to work on the points that lead to anger and points that we express our anger.

From here, with support, I continued to walk the process of understanding my anger and how to no longer allow my anger to control and direct me in the future.  I will be sharing this process in the blogs that follow.