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Control issues in children

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 9:18 am
I have a son has control issues and wondering if anyone can give some tips on how to deal with it.
In a nutshell: I got married with alot of emotional baggage and had my own control issues and felt that I needed to control everything and everyone including dh. I went for intense therapy for many years and have come a long way with this issue. Now I'm seeing my son (he's the oldest) having some similarities. He grew up seeing this behavior, but it's been several years now that things are a lot better now. I'm noticing how he feels like he needs to control and fix his sibs at all times. I also noticed how he's very on top of waking my husband to daven maariv when he falls asleep at night (without dh asking him to). I'm concerned about it. I feel like I'm being a good role model by now, but a bit too late Sad and it makes me really sad.
Is this something I should address? And if yes, how?
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 10:00 am
How old is this child?

This seems somewhat normal for a firstborn, assuming that the child is not yet a teenager. I'm assuming he's 7-9 or something? If so, I think that a lot of oldests behave like this, regardless of "control issues" in the family.

If he's a teen, I wonder whether discussing how you dealt with this issue (without connecting it to him, at least at first) would be helpful.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 10:09 am
He's thirteen.
What do you mean by discussing it? Discussing it as a general idea?
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amother




Brass
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 10:33 am
I wouldn’t automatically assume he learned this behavior from you, I’m more inclined to believe he inherited this wiring from you. This type of behavior usually stems from anxiety and a hyper-vigilant, stuck nervous system, which is very very epigenetically hereditary I would personally approach this from an angle of trying to calm and heal his nervous system.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 11:56 am
amother Brass wrote:
I wouldn’t automatically assume he learned this behavior from you, I’m more inclined to believe he inherited this wiring from you. This type of behavior usually stems from anxiety and a hyper-vigilant, stuck nervous system, which is very very epigenetically hereditary I would personally approach this from an angle of trying to calm and heal his nervous system.


I agree. Sounds like anxiety, which yes, is hereditary. I have an anxious child, and I find it really helpful to talk to him about how I deal with my own anxiety (which everyone has, although I'm not generally an anxious person).

We talk about how we can't control other people, can only control ourselves. About how it's normal for young children (or other people in general) to act in a certain way, even if we are older and have refined those middos in ourselves. About how people have different struggles, and how it's our job to support them if they want support, and to empathize with them by thinking about the things that WE struggle with, and how we're not perfect and that's okay. A lot about perfectionism, and flexibility, and techniques that can help calm down physical anxiety and help us think more clearly and make better choices that aren't anxiety-driven.

In other words, you can be his therapist Wink But you'll have be vulnerable enough to share your own small stories. I'm not saying he needs to know the whole background, even gory detail of your life, but at least to find more pareve examples that you struggle with ("It also bothers me when little Yitzy touches muktza toys! But I tell myself that...").
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 12:49 pm
Thank you, amother brass and Alwaysgrateful! Yes, it is anxiety driven. I'm an anxious person and so is he, so I guess that's where it's coming from. Looks like my anxiety is kicking in here as I'm just worried that he shouldn't struggle in the future the way I did in my marriage... Your responses were helpful and reassuring. Thank you.
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