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Helping my son with emotions

  • 13-12-2022 2:49pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5 switchblade1458

    Hi I'm a dad of a wonderful 11-year-old boy and we have an amazing relationship, we spend all the time I have him together and i try to make sure his time with me is as chill and relaxing as possible. He is very intelligent, caring, considerate and thoughtful of other people's feelings. He is also very busy with his mother, he goes to DCU every Saturday, has football on Monday evenings, Gaa Tuesday swimming on a Wednesday, horse riding on a Thursday and then matches on the weekend. She is a very aggressive kind of lady and was violent in our relationship. She shouts quite a lot, and he is anxious and stressed if he thinks he has done anything she might not approve of. I am trying to be careful as she is still his mum and I never say anything negative about her in front of him as it is a grown-up issue between me and her. I have always let him know that if he has an issue or is upset that he can talk to me about it and not ever have to worry about being judged or worry that I will not hear his feelings or worries. What I am worried about is that I don't show my feelings very much and because of past trauma I am very good at hiding how I feel, and I am worried he will learn this from me and feel he should hide his emotions. I don't really know how to handle this and just want him to see that having emotions, good or bad is ok. Any guidance would be appreciated, Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,748 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    id definitely recommend some counselling for yourself, just so you can process your past traumas, and be an even better father, even though you sound like a great one anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 switchblade1458

    Thank you for being so kind, I have been going to counselling for nearly 3 years now and it has helped me so very much. I just want him to be happy and to be able to express how he truly feels

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,748 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    thats great to hear, no harm in running this by your therapist, they can be extremely helpful in such situations, since you ve ben looking after your well being very well, i dont think i would overly worrying about things, as you re clearly in a very healthy place yourself

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 switchblade1458

    I just want to be the best dad I can be, and my mental health directly impacts him so I need to be in a good place also. I'm just worried he will learn to bottle his emotions like I did.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,286 ✭✭✭ Loveinapril

    Joanna Fortune is an Irish child and adult psychotherapist and she has a few books (and podcasts) that you may find helpful. I know she has a book on connecting with teenagers but I just love the practical strategies she gives.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5 switchblade1458

    Thank you, I will check her out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 51,039 ✭✭✭✭ walshb

    You sound like a really wonderful father. There is no magic bullet. I suppose I would just focus on reinforcing the positives your son has, and keep encouraging him to to try to not think too much of a consequence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭ mykrodot

    You may be overthinking this because of your own past and your own issues with hiding emotions. Maybe your son is perfectly ok and happy and you are worrying unnecessarily , particularly as he hasn't said anything and seems happy and busy (extremely!).

    He will also pick up on your worries and anxiety about him so its best not to show that or ask him too much about his feelings and emotions. It sounds like he spends more time with his mum so he has less chance to "learn from your behaviours".

    At 11 kids are becoming young adults and are not as good at sharing everything as much younger kids, they become more reserved, its part of becoming a teenager soon. I have 2 daughters and both became much more withdrawn, secretive and moody as they entered teenage years. You've just got to accept its part of growing up , it doesn't have to mean anything, and to let them be themselves, while knowing they can talk to you about anything. Its a difficult time.

    I also had a traumatic childhood and have been reserved, shy and less trusting in my life as a result but my kids have both turned out amazing, good with people, confident and happy. Try not to worry especially if your son is showing no signs of anything, it could be just your own anxieties playing on your mind. You sound like a great Dad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 812 ✭✭✭ Citrus_8

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 switchblade1458

    Hearing that hurts my heart, I hope you are ok

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    Can I suggest the book "The Whole Brain Child" for pointers.

    You sound like a great dad.The fact that you're self aware of this is a huge thing.Best of luck, and I am sure you are doing better than you think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 lighthouse76

    Just wanted to say, you sound like a great dad, thinking of your son and how he feels. It will stand to your son as he gets older.

  • Registered Users Posts: 409 ✭✭ herbalplants

    I just want to say I got overwhelmed by reading your son weekly schedule. Does he ever get a break honestly?

    Is that his choice to have so many extra curriculum activities or is it forced by his mother?

    Honestly, kids prefer parents attention than all those activities. Wow

    Living the life