Rock, Hard Place

Something happened this past weekend that I can’t — shouldn’t? — write about on my blog.

I can’t write about it, because writing about it may cast one of my children in a negative light. And I don’t want my child to read it someday and think that I thought she was a “problem child” or “troubled” or any of that.

I *want* to write about it, primarily because I am seriously struggling with the parenting of this child. Not because of the child that she is, but because of the parent I am.

I wonder if I am parenting her well or appropriately.
I wonder what I should do differently, if anything.
I wonder if I can love her better. If I need to give her more one-on-one attention, more focused care. If so, how do I do that? How do I find the *time* to do that?

Let me be absolutely clear: I love each of my children equally — infinitely and without hesitation. I show my love differently — after all, my children are all different. I do things with Flora that I don’t do with Kate, and vice versa. I don’t expect that strategies I used with my girls will be wholly effective on my boy. (Because he’s a different child, not because he’s a boy and they are girls.)

My husband is a psychologist. When he was working for an outside agency as a therapist, he saw a lot of children. I can’t tell you how many times he would come home and say that it wasn’t the children who should be in therapy; it was the parents. (Or at least one of them.) He was such a diplomatic therapist, that he would often find a way to get the parent into individual therapy. Surprising how many times a parent would report to him how much better the *child* was doing after some time.

I wonder if I am there, that mom, that parent. I sense that my child is acting appropriately for her age, not just pushing boundaries, but sailing over and through them. I wonder if I am dealing with it the right way. I mean, obviously not, right? Not if she keeps doing it? (Not the pushing part; kids push boundaries, some harder than others. The going-over boundaries part.)

Can I write *around it* like this, and get feedback? Or is this post so very content free that it’s unhelpful to anyone who wants to help?

I don’t want to write a story that castigates my child. That isn’t helpful to anyone. But I also want to talk about this, put it out there, hear, “Been there done that.” Or at least, if a parent hasn’t been there, some words of consolation, support.

I don’t mean to be mysterious. But I feel if I write about this incident in the wrong way, I’ll be doing more harm (down the line) than good.

But if I don’t find a way to do a better job parenting, I am afraid of the consequences of that, too.