What are all those staring people thinking?

What are all those staring people thinking when they look at me restraining my tantruming child?
Do they think that I am hurting him? I can understand why people would think that, especially when he screeches at the top of his voice that I am killing him.
But, they don’t intervene, so I guess they must assume he is ok really.
Do they think that he’s badly behaved?
As my son swings off my arm, sinks his teeth into my shoulder, spits in my face, rakes his nails up and down my hands, are all those people tutting at how terrible his behaviour is?
They are almost right about that. His behaviour doesn’t help him or me right now. But this isn’t about behaviour, not exactly. This is about feelings, and he can’t control his feelings right now; right now those volcanic emotions are controlling him.
Do they think he has special needs?
Again, they are almost right. My son needs extra consideration sometimes and extra help with some things. But, he is able to understand speech perfectly well. He may tantrum like a toddler, but he doesn’t think like one.
Do they think that he’s been badly brought up, or that he doesn’t have enough boundaries?
I am always worrying that people are thinking that. Sometimes people – even friends who know some of the children’s struggles – have suggested that I ‘try’ consequences. Do they really think that I would prefer this behaviour to setting limits?
We have a routine. We have limits and boundaries. Later, after he’s calmed down, long after everyone had stopped staring at us, we will discuss consequences for this. But, now is not the time. Right now, we are just clinging on and staying alive through this storm.
Do those staring people think I am a fool?
While I’m ducking his fists and dodging his feet, when I reel back because he’s headbutted my face, are all the people around us shocked by my apparent lack of parenting ability?
Do they think I am too authoritative, too soft, too weak, too strong? Do they think I spend too much time with my son or not enough, that my standards for him are too high or my expectations too low? Do they think I have made my own bed and should lie in it, that I am making a rod for my own back? Do they think I can’t cope?
Is that what all those staring people are thinking, or is it just me?

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