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My Child’s Behavior Is Making Me Depressed

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 01, 2019

Question

As-salamualaikum, My son is two and a half years old, he is very hyper active, naughty and troublesome . He doesn't listen to me, always messing up the house. I find it very difficult to handle all this. Sometimes, I feel very depressed even though I have wonderful in-laws and husband who look after my son.

I know caring for a child demand a lot of patience but I don't have patience at all. As a working woman, I find myself too exhausted and I also have the responsibility of my mother. Very often when I feel low, , I think of abandoning everything and going away (which I won't do), sometimes when my exhaustion reaches its peak, I burst out crying aloud saying I want to die (this happened on two occasions)

Note: I do love my son a lot, I do communicate a lot with him and give him all that he wants. But it's very difficult for me to handle this. The thought of having a second child scares me.

Counselor

Answer


Hyperactive

In this counseling answer:

•Ensure you take time out away from your daily challenges by spending time with friends to focus on something other than your normal daily responsibilities, give yourself the mental space to step away, but also, take time to yourself as well, even if it is just 15 minutes a day to just be by yourself and relax, away from the stresses of daily life.

•You may wonder how you could possibly fit this all in when you have so much else to do, but it is very important that you do make the space to do these things otherwise your negative feelings will only get worse.”


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

Toddlers of this age can be very troublesome, they don’t call it the ‘terrible twos’ for nothing. This can be a very difficult time for mothers because at the age of 2 children love to explore, but are not yet fully aware of right and wrong. At this stage of exploration, inevitably that house will be turned upside down as he learns about the world. This will make the thought of having any more children a daunting prospect, but let me reassure you that you are not alone sister, most mothers of 2-year-olds also struggle in the very same way that you are.

Let me reassure you however, that this phase will pass in sha Allah. As he gets older, he will become interested in things that don’t involve causing so much chaos and as he learns and understands the difference between right and wrong he will come to calm down and listen to your instructions more.

So the first thing to do is just to realize that his behaviour is perfectly normal for any 2 year old and that he is not likely anymore ‘naughty’ or ‘turbulent’ than any other 2 year old, so try not to worry that that is any fault of your own, but is just part of childhood and growing up.


Check out this counseling video


You are also a working woman, so this will only add to the stress that you are facing as you manage what you might call 2 full time jobs – your normal work and your role as a parent. Doing one of these jobs alone is hard enough work and can lead to exhaustion, but the fact you are managing 2 important roles (not including those of a wife and daughter as well) is a very tough job.

With these added responsibilities the danger of burnout becomes something to look out for and your thoughts about wanting to abandon it all certainly suggest that you are almost there, if not actually there already. The solution to this is self care. We all need to look after ourselves, especially when you have so many responsibilities. You need to take time out to look after yourself too. After all, if you don’t care for yourself, how can you expect to effectively
care for anyone else, especially a busy 2 year old.

Firstly, beginning with your basic needs, make sure you are eating well and getting some exercise. Ensure you take time out away from your daily challenges by spending time with friends to focus on something other than your normal daily responsibilities, give yourself the mental space to step away, but also, take time to yourself as well, even if it is just 15 minutes a day to just be by yourself and relax, away from the stresses of daily life. You may wonder how you could possibly fit this all in when you have so much else to do, but it is very important that you do make the space to do these things otherwise your negative feelings will only get worse.

Time management is crucial to ensuring that you can fit all these things into your daily or weekly roimage-40146utine and you can do this simply by planning ahead and make sure you block the time out so that nothing can interfere with your personal time. Alhamdulilah, you say you have supportive in laws and you can use this to your advantage, but kindly asking them to take care of your son every now and again so you can do these things and have time to yourself.

Ultimately, in time, you will find that once you start giving yourself time and taking care of yourself that you be much more able to be patient, because you will be in a better, more calm frame of mind. You will be able to enjoy your son more and will not be so stressed by his behaviour as you will feel better in yourself.

May Allah bring you ease through difficult times and help you to find comfort in His remembrance.

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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