A letter to my angry son

Dear Jacob,

I can remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You surprised us all, arriving at just 34 weeks, and then surprised us all again by being a whopping 6lbs 4oz. You were a little fighter even then – you didn’t need any help with your breathing even though you were born too early. You just needed some help to stay warm and learning how to feed. We were told you could be in hospital for up to 6 weeks, but you came home after just 10 days. 

I remember having to leave you in SCBU, I remember having to go home without you. But the nurses reassured me – you were a tough cookie, you were strong, you would fight. You would be home soon. They were right.

At almost 8, you are still a tough cookie. If you fall, you get back up and dust yourself down. If you get tackled playing football, you jump back up and carry on with the game. I am proud of you for that.

At almost 8, you are still strong. You can lift your baby sister for a cuddle. You help to carry the shopping. I am proud of you for that.

At almost 8, you still fight. You still fight against me. When you are asked to do something you don’t want to, you make your voice heard. You scream, you shout, you stamp your feet. You’d never hurt anyone, but sometimes your anger hurts me. I question myself. Is this normal for a 7 year old? Is this something all boys of this age go through? Are you just testing the boundaries?

We have some lovely times. You will still hold my hand when we walk in the woods. You will cuddle me before bed. You are SO pleased when you bring a picture home from school and we all praise you, when you score a goal at football and we cheer the loudest, when you have been super helpful and earned yourself some extra pocket money.

But we also have some really hard times. The days where I have said no more computer games and you shout and slam the cupboard door. The days when one of your siblings has been given something that you want, or they have earned pennies and you haven’t. Then you cry and scream and kick the bed when we put you in your room. The days when you don’t want to go to the supermarket and you lie on the floor with your hands balled into fists. 

Those days are hard. 

I find it difficult to know what to say to make it better. I don’t know if I should be disciplining you or holding you in my arms. I don’t know why you are so angry some days, where these feelings have come from. Is it something I did, or didn’t do? Was it always there right from the beginning, when you came too soon and had to fight? Or is this a totally normal phase for a 7 year old boy, is it part of you finding out who you are?

Muddy Puddles Snow Flurry jacket

 

You are my bright, inquisitive, kind little boy who would do anything for one more game of football. Who would walk to the ends of the earth for his baby sister, who will sneak up behind me in the kitchen and wrap his arms around me. I am so proud of you. I am proud of your fight, I am. It saved you. You could use it for so much. I can’t wait to see the man you grow into.

Love,

Mum x

 

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12 Comments

  1. March 9, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    I have a son and two step sons and I must say that 7-9 years were tricky for tempers. It’s a weird Inbetween age, not a little boy and not a teenager. Also with experience I tentatively suggest it needs getting a grip of because they get worse otherwise and a teenager trashing their room isn’t fun for anyone. I don’t mean that in a judgmental way at all, believe me I’ve been there and it’s the hardest job in the world. You are doing a great job in sure X

    • kate
      Author
      March 9, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you for your comment. It is reassuring to know that this is something that is common at this age! I agree that it is definitely something to get a grip of before he gets too much bigger x

  2. March 9, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Oh you have really struck a cord with me on this one. Reuben has a fierce temper, though he is only 4 (5 in a few days!) so I’m stressing about how he will grow and if he will mange that temper in the years to come. He’s also super sensitive and so easily hurt or upset. He is my everything too H x
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  3. March 9, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    I can only relate on a tantruming toddler level. But some days with Amelia who has a strong temper can be really tough. I’m sure its just a phase and try to just focus on the good days and the happy things!:)
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  4. March 9, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I have tears in my eyes as this is exactly what I’m going through with my daughter of the same age. All of a sudden she is just full of anger, and is having meltdowns over even the most minor things. I’ve been trying so hard to be empathetic, but it’s incredibly difficult to remain calm. Yesterday I gave her a lot of special attention and treatment, but she still got wild over her homework, went to her room and wrote I HATE MUM in her diary. It hurts.
    I have been worrying too, of course. Is there something seriously wrong? Is something happening at school that I don’t know about? Am I totally screwing her up? I have no answers. It feels like whenever I manage to make her happy, she ends up twice as angry/upset/furiously emotional later on.
    I’m sorry you’re going through this too, but it is nice to know that I’m not alone.

  5. March 9, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    I’ve no experience that I can use to offer advice, my son has ASD and can have small episodes of anger which I think stems from frustration more than anything, but those episodes are few and far between. Maybe your son is just getting to the age where he’s not quite a child anymore, but not yet a teenager, and he’s just finding his place in the world. Hope it’s a phase that passes xx
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  6. March 10, 2016 / 3:37 am

    I think there are certain times when your kids are growing up that can be difficult. My son was an angel when he was in primary school most of the time but he did have temper tantrums, due to his poor speech. All you can do is be consistent in how you deal with his anger. Show him you love him but dislike his actions. He will grow out of this x

  7. March 10, 2016 / 9:02 am

    This was an interesting incite it what we may have to come in a few years. We’re only just getting to the terrible twos! I put everything down to being a phase as that’s what it usually is. I really hope it doesn’t last too long for you.

    Laura x

  8. March 12, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    Having to leave him in special care must have been awful. I dreaded that with my 2. Beautiful post! xx
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    • kate
      Author
      March 18, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      It’s reassuring to know it’s a normal thing at this age. He can be ever so sweet and kind, especially with his baby sister.

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