• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

What to do…

I encountered a very difficult situation today, and I just need to vent about it.

There is a certain child that I know. He is adorable, sweet, and a funny little boy. He is not yet four years old, but developmentally seems closer to 2 maybe 3. I get to interact with him about 2 or 3 times a month. He can be amazingly fun, or insanely trying, depending upon his mood and the situation. As far as I know, he has not been diagnosed with any special needs, although it seems to me as though he could benefit greatly from some specialized attention.

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I overhead a “conversation”  between him and his father tonight, and it just broke my heart. The child was crying, and the father was done. His tone was incredibly harsh, he was repeatedly demanding that the child “just stop crying,” and his body language clearly communicated that this encounter was the last thing that he needed.

I’ve witnessed similar interactions before, and they make me feel incredibly awkward. I know that all parents get to that point at times with our children where we are frustrated, and just trying with every fiber to not let them see the actual level of our emotions. But, it seems from my limited perspective that this tone of voice and level of frustration is the norm, not the exception.

I wish that there was a way for me to say something that let’s him see himself from other’s eyes. But, knowing this individual, and the nature of our relationship, it would not be in the boy’s best interest.

The silver lining (because I am a firm believer that they are always there) is that his mother is wonderful. She sees his needs, and meets them. She doesn’t let her partner’s frustrations rub off on her, nor does she react to his tone in a way that will make the child even more aware of the tension. I can’t imagine doing as well as she does…

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At any opportunity I have, I point out the good and the exceptional things that this child does, hoping to clear the fog that is clouding the father’s vision. He seems stuck in seeing the child in one light only, and doesn’t seem to understand that he has the ability to change the situation by changing his attitude. I hope that my little comments and affirmation can help the father and child find a better way to communicate with each other.

(Another silver lining – my lilies that I planted in March have finally bloomed! I just love lilies!)

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One Response

  1. When I see interactions like this, I wonder what is going on in those relationships that isn’t visible on the surface. What does the woman see in the man that leads her to tolerate his abuse of their child? What issues is the man dealing with that leads him to treat his child the way he does? Without really knowing the back story, it can be hard to understand the behavior we see.

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