No, this is not a Confessions post about the best Trick Or Treating strategy or the 10 greatest costumes in the history of Halloween. Although, that might be a fun post to write! (#1 would definitely be Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite…stash and all!)
This is a post for any parent who has ever had the urge to hideout!
Be honest, some of you have been there…
- Your daughter threw such an enormous tantrum in front of your house (and all your neighbors) that you fantasize about tunneling your way out of your neighborhood to a remote location where your cars are kept in a secret cave so you never have to be seen entering or leaving your neighborhood again! (Think Bat Cave entrance from The Dark Knight).
- Your son picked on another kid at school so much that the other kid’s mother stopped by your house to politely ask if you could make your son stop!
- Your daughter stole things from her teacher’s desk drawer and flipped out in front of the class when she got caught!
- Your son threw such an enormous tantrum in front of his entire baseball team and 50-75 other parents that you’re not quite sure they will allow you back on the field the next time there’s a game.
- And one of my personal all-time favorites– Your son threw a violent screaming fit at a home where your family was a guest for Thanksgiving. It was so bad that you had to drag him kicking and screaming to an upstairs bedroom until he calmed down!
These are all true stories. And nearly every one of the parents involved wanted to do the same thing- Hide away from the world! Wear a disguise in public! Pretend not to exist!
Can I be honest? Our family has been there. A lot actually! We’ve been there so many times that I’m pretty sure we could have our own reality TV show! (Take THAT Honey Boo Boo…)
We fight the urge to just hide away from the world every single week. Sometimes, we don’t want to show our face in public after our child has done something horribly embarrassing! If you fight this, we know how you feel. Our family is already on display, despite the embarrassing things our children do sometimes.
We have 8 children, all of whom are adopted. Three of our children are African American and two are 21 and 26. Then we have 3 little boys who look like us but aren’t biologically ours. That solidifies us as “not a normal family.” Besides looking different, we deal with severe behavior issues and impulsive choices brought on by things that happened to some of our children before they came into our care. And sometimes, it’s all we can do to not run and hide!
We FIGHT that urge. Even when we feel like giving in (which is a lot), we continue to fight. The reason? We’ve discovered that giving into it is not a healthy option. It only makes the problem worse and it makes us feel imprisoned.
If you’ve felt like this, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering how to get over it, we have some advice. Here are 3 things that have helped us tremendously:
- Find a good support system. Surround yourself with people who care and understand.
- Seek out people you can trust and who will listen. This goes right along with the aforementioned. Trustworthy people are those who fully understand what’s going on and won’t judge you, no matter what you’re issue is.
- Be honest about your situation. We all fight the tendency to make excuses and duck and cover when something embarrassing happens. Being honest about your situation helps to strengthen you. One area of caution though– be careful to not to share too much information about your children or your situation. Make sure you keep your circle of listeners close. You don’t want your information to haunt you and you certainly don’t want your kid’s information to haunt them.
As hard as it is sometimes, we have to pull ourselves together and face our greatest fears and most embarrassing situations with our kids. The reality is, your son or daughter may continue to humiliate you in public. They may continue bullying other kids on the playground. They may still flip out in front of guests when they don’t get their way. And they just might make an impulsive choice that puts you in an embarrassing conference with their teacher. It’s a reality we must accept.
This in no way means they shouldn’t be disciplined for a bad choice or horrible behavior. By all means, outline a consequence that fits the crime. But don’t resort to hiding out. That doesn’t solve anything and it just makes you feel like a prisoner to your children’s behavior.
Come to think of it….. a “Parent In Disguise” Halloween Costume would be kind of cool. I’ll just go as myself, in that case! 🙂
Join the discussion! Have you ever felt like just hiding out? How did you personally overcome the urge? Comment now!