For a long time, Jakes and I have been battling. Battling each other over everything, power, control, you name it, its been a battle. Jakes even described things to Albert with a war analogy. I was the enemy that Jakes was fighting but Albert was the good guy who was going to come in and help to end the war. Pretty perceptive of my son, huh? Albert was impressed.
Anyway, I was trying to control everything Jakes would do and how he would do it. Talk about micromanaging. Factor in that Jakes is maturing and growing and doesn’t want or need Mom hanging on his every move or decision. So he’d fight me. And I’d fight back.
I have felt that I am responsible for my child and his behaviors. If he didn’t behave in just the way I thought he should behave, I’d panic and jump on him even more closely. And he’d just as quickly try to pull away from my controlling efforts. Typical power struggle.
Something I am learning from all the therapists and my homework book is that I am not responsible FOR my child. I am responsible TO my child. Weird huh? I am responsible to teach my child appropriate behaviors and actions, through control of my own behaviors and actions. If I am not in control of myself, how can I expect Jakes to be in control of himself?
If I am so busy micromanaging my child’s behaviors, he is not able to learn how to be responsible for his behaviors and actions. He has to be allowed to make his own decisions and choices. He has to be allowed to grow up. By micromanaging him, I was not allowing him the chance to grow and make his own choices. My anxiety over his growing and being wrong, were detrimental in our relationship.
I have had to learn to give Jakes his “space”. Not just his own room, but also the ability to choose when and how he does things such as getting ready for school or his chores. This hasn’t been easy for me. I am a controlling b*tch! Ha-ha!
In giving Jakes his space, I have had the chance to get myself under control and relax a bit. All along, I have been saying how proud I am of joining the choir for ME. Well, by letting go of Jakes a bit, I have done the best thing for ME yet.
Instead of getting up an hour before Jakes does so that I have plenty of time to nag Jakes to get ready, I am sleeping in and letting him get himself together in the mornings. Extra ME time right there. When Jakes gets home after school, he has a list of chores to complete in whatever order he wants and whenever he wants as long as they are completed before he goes to bed. There are things around the house that I don’t have to do! Win-Win for ME!
Don’t get me wrong, Jakes still has rules to follow. But I am trying to learn to give him the chance to make choices, right or wrong. As he learns to make those choices, it is my hope that he will also learn to accept responsibility for his behaviors, take ownership of himself.
I also am growing up. I am taking control of myself and my behaviors as well. As Jakes and I grow up together, we will learn to have a solid, caring relationship that will last many years.