Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Impact on Kids

I don't recall if I ever blogged about it or not, but at the beginning of this school year, as Brenden entered kindergarten, we experienced some out-of-character behavior from him. His teacher was emailing and calling on numerous occasions because Brenden was getting aggressive with other kids. Hitting. Throwing lunch boxes. Doing things that were totally unlike him.

Now that I look back on it, the news of our divorce hit him really hard and I believe he internalized a lot of the pain he was feeling. At 5, how do you begin to comprehend how your world is falling apart before your very eyes. How life as you've always known it is ending? The two people in your life who are supposed to be rock solid have let you down. He's a thinker, my little guy. You can see it on his face. He's like all boys his age - an angel one moment and a terror the next. It's typical behavior for boys his age.

His dad moved out in June. I went to work [more than] full time at DBG in September and on some days I didn't see him at all because I was at work so long. He started kindergarten. He went to before and after school care. All of a sudden this kid was living a totally different life than what he was used to.

I have to admit, when the news came (and kept coming) from the teacher about his aggressive behavior and angry outbursts, I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to "fix" it. On many days I still feel "broken" myself and I didn't know what to do for my son. Does he need counseling? I didn't really know. We tried having him spend more one-on-one time with his dad and my dad, the two most important male role models in his life. His teacher gave him more TLC knowing what he was dealing with in his home life. And I started making more rules around the house for him and his sisters.

Yesterday was our parent teacher conference and we were proud and pleased that his teacher said he has done a complete 180. Interestingly enough, that has been since November 1st when I started full time at Elite. When Shailee started coming in the mornings, allowing him to ride the bus to school. I think it helps that I'm home when he arrives in the afternoon. I think he needs that right now. His teacher says he is a really "fun kid" to have in class and delightful...that is my boy!!

Kids take on much more than we realize. They can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and not say a word, but you can see it in their eyes. Sometimes when I look at him I can see he's worried or he's scared or he's just really thinking about stuff. It pains me. It pains me that I am the cause of this. But, I have to believe that in the end, in time, together, we'll all get through this and his eyes will light up again and he can be free of worry and just be a kid!

I knew this would happen when I made the decision to divorce. And I believe with all my heart that as hard as it is on all of us right now we are all going to be happy in the end, after this all "shakes out".

I've also learned that Pokemon cards can help make a 6 year old boy REALLY happy. :)

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