Parenthood

I’m not very good at showing my appreciation for your support, more so now then when I was infertility-blogging. I wish there was a way to let you know how much it really does mean to me. However, with that, I probably will then come across as some kind of asshole if I now told you that at this time we probably won’t seek psychiatric help in regards to Doodicus.

Keeping in line with being an asshole, part of the reason is monetary. Please, I know. How could I put a price on his mental health? We put a price on ours during our infertility treatments; we can now as well.

But that is only a very small part of why we won’t seek counseling in the immediate future. It wasn’t that long ago that Dood was evaluated by a psychologist, who while he thought Dood was an excessive worrier, never suggested that we schedule some private sessions with either himself or another professional. Also, I worry that taking Dood to see a counselor might make him worry even more. Worry that something is wrong with him.

To me, that’s not fair. The bullying is not a result of something wrong with Doodicus. It’s due to something being wrong with the bullies and with the system that either doesn’t recognize it or ignores it.

What we will do if he does tell us about teasing in any form is not ignore it. We hear parents tell their kids to suck it up, to grow up, all the time. Sticks and stones and all that shit, you know? But that’s not how we see it. More specifically, how *I* see it as Sparring Partner does occasionally think that Dood can be too immature and too emotional.

The other night, the movie Parenthood (the one starring Steve Martin) was on. If you’ve seen it, you may recall the scene where the child, Kevin, comes unglued because he lost his retainer at the family restaurant. His dad (Martin) complains later that he’s like a high-strung poodle. Kevin’s character is Doodicus. Years ago when Sparring Partner and I had watched the movie, we saw the resemblance. Now that Doodicus is 9, the same age as the character, we no longer think “he’s kinda like that.” It’s “he’s just like that.”

I think what’s important in helping Doodicus right now: recognizing that he is going to need help.

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9 thoughts on “Parenthood”

  1. It is awful to have to make decisions based on money.

    I’m glad you’re taking the bullying seriously. I do not think one can be too harsh on bullies or too much of an advocate in this matter. My best friend recently had to pull her child out of his school because he was se.xu.ally as.saul.ted by another 6yo boy after weeks of being bullied by this kid. Quite a few emails had gone back and forth between my friend and the teacher before the assault. The teacher had 30 kids in the class and didn’t get any backup from the administration. Is D. at a parochial school? (You mentioned talking to Father.) It is worth asking the admin to clarify the bullying policies, in writing. There was no written protocol in my friend’s son’s parochial school, and as a result the principal acted as though HIS hands were tied, he wasn’t obligated to do anything, etc. He also said that the bully was “just trying to be his friend.” It has gotten pretty ugly. I am all for parochial education — I & N will likely go to our parish school — but all parents need to know that their children are safe in their learning environment.

    1. OMG, that is just horrible!!

      Since we get a copy of the school’s policies every year, I know they don’t have anything in writing. I think it’s definitely something that should be addressed. And yes, he does go to a parochial school.

  2. As long as he keeps communicating with you, he will be okay. He needs that safe haven where he can be himself, and be loved unconditionally.

    BigD was almost murdered the night he said to S1, “relax and quit whining like a little girl”. The kid had been teased all week about something that to him, was huge. (in the big scheme of things, it wasn’t but when you are 12, it is–f’ing middle school). I came unglued inside, but didn’t want S1 to see me rip his dad a new one, so I waited till we were alone and told him that not all kids are going to grow up to be macho, ass-kickin, gun-toting fugitive seekers…..and that if he added to S1’s stress level by making him feel insignificant, I would never forgive him. It actually helped him see that S1 WAS going to be a different adult than BigD is.
    I can tell you are the mom that asks questions and can gauge by his movements, speech pattern etc..if he is leaving something out. You’re a good momma.

  3. When I said seeing someone to talk, I wasn’t necessarily talking about paying to go see someone. What about the school counselor or principal? Where he can talk about what happened and how it made him feel…just a thought.

    It sucks that money can affect such important decisions.

    1. I understood what you meant, so I hope I didn’t come across as bitchy (I always come across as bitchy. What am I saying?). I said something to the principal at the time because Doodicus wanted me too. He didn’t feel comfortable doing it himself. I am hoping he sees we take his concerns seriously and plan on using the resources we have to address his concerns. I would rather he come to us first to be honest, but we have encouraged him go to the principal and say, “Can I talk to you about something?” If not the principal, it’s nice to know he can always see Father as well.

      And yes, making such personal decisions because of finances is gutting and humiliating.

  4. Obviously, you know the best thing that will suit his particular temperment. Keeping a close eye on the situation is the only thing you can do anyway. Since it’s illegal to smack children who are not your own and all…

    The only reason that counselling might be useful, in my opinion, is if he’s feeling like he can’t talk to you and Sparring Partner. Or if you and Doodicus both come away feeling frustrated. Just another person to talk to with a fresh perspective and possible solutions…

    I can see where he might feel like he has a problem if you were to take him somewhere, though.

  5. I was quite surprised when I read the comments about psychiatrists/ counsellors. Like you I see the problem as being with the bullies and wanting to emphasise to D that he is not the one with an issue. Your support is so important here and I hope that of his school when they start stepping up and dealing with it.

  6. I think you are doing a wonderful job! Just recognizing his individual needs and paying attention to them are the hardest part.

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