Am I doing this wrong?
I feel like there are days, weeks, and sometimes even months where I question pretty much every parenting decision I make. The thing that keeps running through my mind is I don’t want to raise a spoiled, entitled child. But my oldest, who is 3, is a very spirited child. He also has sensory processing disorder (SPD). And it’s this combination that makes me question everything I do. I’m never quite sure when I should give him a pass for his behaviors, or when I should stand firm and ride out the tantrum.
He’s just… MORE…
If I had to describe him in one word, I would say he is MORE. More passionate, more opinionated, and more full of life than the average kid. When he is happy, he has this uncanny ability to brighten the mood of everyone in the room. His laugh is ridiculously contagious.
But this child can also go from super happy to uncontrollably upset in a split second. Often it is seemingly silly things that can push him into a painfully long meltdown. His trucks need to be lined up in a certain way, or they need to be carrying something, or he needs to do some specific task before we can move on. And I know if I give in and let him complete his task (which can sometimes last more than 10 minutes) it will completely avoid the meltdown. But I also know this isn’t how life works. Sometimes we need to get moving quicker, or I need to set a firm limit because he’s being unsafe, or whatever. This, unfortunately, will almost always trigger the epic meltdown. His ability to ruminate on the single thought is impressive. It’s almost OCD-like in his ability to perseverate on the offending thought/behavior.
So now what?
I just don’t know how to handle these situations. We recently started occupational therapy with him for his SPD, and hopefully this will help resolve some of these issues. But what if it doesn’t? What if, even after the treatments, he continues to struggle with these things? I know he’s only 3, and that we need to be more lenient with him because of this, but when do we then change our stance? When do we start to be more firm with our limits and our NO’s?
And that’s my problem. I just don’t know. Worst of all, no one can give us a definitive answer. Parenting just doesn’t work like that. What works for one child may not work for the next. It’s not a black and white thing, which really sucks. So, I just continue to push through, hoping that I’m making the right choices.