Young Widow Forum

Specific Situations => Young Widowed Parents => Topic started by: markb74 on March 09, 2015, 10:47:36 AM

Title: I guess I will go first...
Post by: markb74 on March 09, 2015, 10:47:36 AM
me and a 5 year old son... when he cries he always throws in a "mommyyyyyy" here and there. for a while I fell for it, but I think now I am getting taken advantage of :) does anyone else have this happen to them, How long did this phase last?

while this bothers me and  hurts when he cries out for her, what hurts more is when im cuddling him in my recliner, he makes some random whiney sounds and puts his hand up and starts grabbing for the air. I ask him whats up buddy and he says he reaching up for mommy...

its so fucking hard to do this single parent shit. then people say they are there to help you, but after a few times helping they feel they filled their obligation and move on...
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: Justin on March 09, 2015, 11:19:23 AM
Mark, while I am not in the same exact circumstance (DD was 15 when her mother died), I will say that it hard to differentiate behavior stemming from grief from just the regular ol' shit kids/teens do. I do remember that around 4 or 5 DD realized that she could start manipulations  :)
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: newnormal14 on March 09, 2015, 11:47:42 AM
I have 9 year old triplets, 2 girls and 1 boy, and they all react differently.  My son is the one who has the most difficult time with my husbands death.  He cries more often then the girls, and lasts a lot longer.  I know sometimes he does it to manipulate me, but the majority of the time, he is sincere.  We will hit our 1 year anniversary in April.  I have let a lot slide this first year, but will start addressing the manipulating outburst after April. 
Yes, it sucks having to do all of this as solo parents, no doubt about that one.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: robunknown on March 09, 2015, 11:48:29 AM
My son turned 6 soon after my wife passed, we are now 5 months out. I love him, and I know he misses her, but I absolutly know he tries to use missing her to manipulate. When we are rapping up the bed time routine, he'll throw in a, "I miss mommy" (That I'm 99% sure is just to try and stay up later). He'll do this if I am discipilining him too. My response is the same and I think it has reduced him using these (he's moved onto other manipulations trying to test boundries), I say, "I miss her too bud", I'll give him a hug, and add, "but you need to ...(go to bed/start listening)".

My son right now is afraid of someone breaking into the house to take him. His councilor says this is feeling is normal for kids that lost a parent.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: SimiRed on March 09, 2015, 12:33:43 PM
Mark,  my son was 8 when his Daddy passed away.  He would sit and throw temper tantrums at anything I would try to discipline him for.  A simple, "No, you can't have candy now" and he would kick the stairs and scream like he was in pain.  I wanted to hug him as hard as I could to take away the pain, and I did, for a while.  However, after a time, I had to make the hard decision to discipline him.  I remember sitting in the corner crying and shaking, waiting for his tears to stop, for him to calm down.  He couldn't see me, so he didn't know that it had an effect on me.  I just sat close, where I could hear him and when he calmed down, that's when I would go to sit with him.

I'm trying to say that it's okay to acknowledge that he wants Mommy, but don't allow him to use that button on you.  You can say, "I miss her too", but right now I need you to focus on putting your stuff away.  Or whatever task you are doing. 

My son is now 14, and the single parent thing is still HARD!!  I don't know how to do calculus, I can't help him in some of his school work.  His Daddy would've been great at it.  I just have to use what resources I can, (tutors, etc.) to help me instead.  Yes, the friends and family help goes away quick. 

My son is also afraid every time he gets sick, stomach pains, etc.  He thinks he may have cancer too, he's afraid to die.  It's been almost 6 years for us, and his fears are still there.  I catch him Googling medical stuff, he wouldn't even use the Acclear acne medicine I got for him cause it contained can cause cancer.  I did try to explain to him that he isn't exposed to it in a massive amount of levels, so I'm sure he's fine.  He still threw the brand new tube away.  :-\

No, it's not easy.  You are not a "Single Parent", you are an "ONLY parent".  Yes, there is a difference. You are the only parent he has, you'll do great and you both will and can "grow" together.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: Mangomom on March 09, 2015, 12:44:42 PM
My kids were 12 (she was one month shy of 13) and 15 (just had his birthday 5 days before).  I have struggled the entire time knowing if the behaviors are grief or teen.  I think it is a fine tightrope we walk in raising these kids alone with grief.  It will get a little easier to differentiate the older they get.  My daughter cries all the time that she just wants to be normal and have a normal family.  And when pressed, it is mostly teen angst.  Guess what, kiddo??  THIS IS NORMAL NOW.

I would certainly listen to and sympathize, even empathize that you miss her, too.  "But she's gone, lets make Mom proud by showing her that you can rely on me, too".  I would hesitate to say anything like we have each other, or something of the sort.  Both of my kids seem to think my emotional well being is their responsibility.  I don't think you want to foster that.

Anyway... Your loss is still new, fresh, painful for everyone.  Be gentle and allow the extra dramatic responses, but help him pick himself up and tell him that you are doing it because mommy taught you so well how to do it.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: AaronP on March 09, 2015, 01:45:38 PM
My girls were 3 and 5 when we lost their mom.  They would do a lot of the same as your son, cry and tell me how much they missed mommy!  This was of course mostly at night while they were getting ready for bed.

I allowed them to have their moment and reassured them that I missed mommy everyday as well, and so did everyone else.  But I would follow it up with something along the lines of "bedtime is not the time or place to talk about mommy!  Sleep is very important and if they wanted to talk about how much they missed mommy we should do it when we aren't so tired and getting ready for bed."

It took me a couple months to realize they were using this a lot at bedtime and rarely any other time.  Of course it started to become more and more regular when they realized I would stay longer with them at night.

Many times it was a delay tactic, but there are times they really need you to sit and talk with them.  Just make sure they know it's alright to talk about their mom/dad but that there are more appropriate times!

We definitely made sure mommy was a topic of open discussion but I had to make sure the boundaries were well known.  They know how to tug at those heartstrings for sure don`t they?  :'(

Be there for them without question but don't let them take advantage of you!!

I've used the velociraptor reference before, but they are exactly that.  They test the fences and when they find a weakness they will exploit it!!  If they know they can use emotion to get you to do what they want they will continue to use it.  I swear they're much more intelligent than we give them credit for sometimes - sneaky little beings they are!
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: LostMyCharles on March 09, 2015, 02:44:43 PM
Hi Mark,

I'm in the same boat with you. DD is 5, we lost DH 3 months ago, sudden, unexpected death.

My daughter also reaches up in the air to grab for Daddy, but she really only does it when she is in the throes of a good, grieving, sobbing fit.  She's only had 3 or 4 of these in 13 weeks, so I tend to think they really are valid and not just manipulation. However, I treat these fits the same way others have mentioned; I miss Daddy too, it's okay to cry but also okay to be happy, enjoy life, etc; bedtime is never delayed more than 5 minutes somehow, so if she is manipulating me she's not getting very far.

I agree though. I'm having a hard time differentiating between grief and typical acting out and boundary testing. Some things were easy to define (she had an "accident" at school a few weeks out from the death and she's been successfully trained for 3 years), but others not so much (I got a note this morning that Friday she punched another student in the arm when she got angry).

My community has a fantastic program called Children's Bereavement Art Group; it is offered at no cost. I have DD on the waiting list and she is supposed to start the program in about a month.  The group meets every other week for 10 sessions, each session is 1.5 hours.  I'm hoping this gives her an appropriate outlet so she doesn't act out in anger, in case that event was a grief/stress event.

Off-Topic - I switched my forum view from that Chalkboard, and now I'm not seeing I can "Like" posts. Is anyone else seeing the same thing?

Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: EBeyer23 on March 09, 2015, 08:26:56 PM
My daughter is also 5.. DH died two years ago. She will throw out "I miss Daddy," "I wish Daddy could be with me", "I wish Daddy would see our house" and so forth. She does domit at nite to stall sometimes, but that is usually, tell me a story about daddy. Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit for.

I agree this solo parenting is so f-ing hard. My frustration with her is just temper tantrums, yelling back and at me, sassy talk, etc....what most view as normal kid stuff but I always have to wonder if it's normal kid behavior or a way she is dealing with frustration from not understanding why her dad isn't here.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: Elizabeth29 on March 09, 2015, 09:12:53 PM
Oh, I've been there as well.  My almost 4 year old wasn't even 1 when my husband passed, but just before she turned 3 she learned that calling for daddy would get a reaction from me.  It didn't take me too long to pick up that she was only doing this when she was being disciplined.  So, for us, it was a complete manipulation.  After months of reinforcing that we have pictures and stories of daddy, but he can't be with us (and me keeping my reactions in check), she has finally stopped calling for him when she's being punished.  In fact, she is now able to have a very calm conversation about missing him.  I will always encourage her to do this, and to ask as many questions as she wants.  Hopefully that will  prevent her from going down that road again in the future.

Hang in there.  Single-parenting is tough, but it gets easier with practice (although, I'm sure none of us wanted to practice this...ever.)

Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: Virgo on March 10, 2015, 02:04:08 PM
My youngest daughter talks about her dad the most right before bed and in the morning. I don't think it's a manipulation on her part. Those are the times that he was the most involved in her daily routine, so it makes sense that she thinks of him then.

It's harder to differentiate between grief and normal teenage dramatics with my 15 and 13 year old daughters. Parenting is hard with two parents, and here we are doing it by ourselves!
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: DrMommy on March 10, 2015, 02:53:47 PM
That last part about your son reaching for his mom just broke me. That is the hardest part for me. When they are in true emotional pain for their lost parent (not that manipulative stuff we all get from time to time). My kids will cry unable to breath because of their pain in not having their dad. All I can do is validate their feelings and let them know I love them. Hugs to you and you little guy.
Title: Re: I guess I will go first...
Post by: Justin on March 10, 2015, 03:28:23 PM

Off-Topic - I switched my forum view from that Chalkboard, and now I'm not seeing I can "Like" posts. Is anyone else seeing the same thing?


We decided to do away with the "karma" option, since it really wasn't tied to any certain posts. We are looking at adding functionality in the future so that users can "like" posts again.