My son Jacob. My eldest, my most challenging child.
I wonder, is it possible to love your child, but not like him very much?
I ask because, lately Jacob and I have been butting heads about everything and anything, from less serious things like the clothes he wears to more serious problems such as his disrespect and attitude toward the members of his family recently.
He is a wonderful boy and I cherish his existence, but I am wondering if he and I will survive his preteen years, let alone the teenage years! During these past couple weeks, Jacob has been mouthy, rude, too aggressive with his brother (that begs another whole post - why MUST boys wrestle?), and attempting to emulate the 'bad crowd'. Yes, there is most certainly a bad crowd already in the fourth grade - especially in public schools. Heck I think Kindergarten has it's rising issues in that area, as children these days place significant importance on clothing, shoes, who has which video games/Ipods/cell phones, but that also needs it's own post.
If I say one thing, my son says the opposite. No matter what. No matter if he knows he is right, it is simply to contradict me and I see it. I have tried taking privileges away, grounding him, and sitting him away from anything and everyone in an effort to take all stimulation away (a form of behavior therapy that worked with him for years). But gosh, now the child is simply unpleasant to be around and I feel myself brace when he comes in the door because I just know it isn't going to end well - whatever it is.
Those of you with boys, or girls, who have been dealing with issues such as these, or of course any of you readers that may have expertise in this area of parenting, I beg you to please offer up some new ideas. Parenting mags just don't cut it anymore. I am tired already and we have barely begun the journey.