How Do You Stay Calm?

This week has been hard, and it’s only Wednesday.  Raising a teenager is a bit like taking a perfectly good car, beating it mercilessly with a metal rod, and then wondering why it doesn’t drive the way it used to.  Except I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything to make Dylan this way.  He’s simply raging with hormones and has no idea how to live through the constant drama that comes at him from all directions (including inside himself).

I’ve been practicing the principles of Celebrate Calm and Kirk Martin since Dylan was 6.  I went to hear Kirk at a local bookstore for free, while Bill took the kids somewhere.  It was fall, much like today, so they probably went to a farm while I went to listen to someone talk about dealing with difficult kids.  We didn’t have an ADHD diagnosis, but we knew Dylan was a handful.

Kirk talked about remaining calm as your child bounced all over the room.  He talked about the way we tend to lose it with “our kids,” and scream when we should, instead, sit down with them and color.  He talked so much about Dylan, I thought he’d met him before the talk.  And then he said he had lots more information that would help us, on CDs that cost nearly $300.

I called Bill on his cell and explained my dilemma.  This was the first time I’d ever heard anyone describing my child – and offering hope.  I wanted to buy the CDs but we’d have to give up food for a few weeks.  Bill said, “Right before you called, I was standing outside praying about what to do about Dylan.  This must be the answer to my prayer.  Buy the CDs.”

And we did.

{This is NOT a paid advertisement.  It’s just that nothing else worked for us.  And doing what’s on these CDs did.  So I’ll go on….}

And we bought more CDs later.  And we went to see Kirk Martin during all of his local visits.  And we inundated ourselves with calm techniques.  And they changed our LIFE.  They helped us to encourage Dylan to soar with his strengths.  And they’ve made the last 5 years more beautiful and positive than we ever dreamed possible.  Dylan wasn’t the problem.  It was the way we reacted to Dylan’s behavior that caused the most trouble.

And then Dylan kicked into high gear as a hormonal teenager.  The other night, I found myself quite literally screaming at him on the street, like some low-life insane person with a grocery cart and nowhere to go.  I was screaming.  All the CALM went right out the window.  Dylan was screaming back at me.  But I remembered what I was supposed to do and, somehow, threw a Celebrate Calm CD at Dylan and forced him to listen to it.

It was the best I could do.  I could hardly breathe, I was so angry at him for not listening to my sage wisdom.

The next day, he came downstairs calm and relaxed.  I was still an emotional wreck.  I said, “What happened?”

Dylan said, “I’m just trying this thing that I learned on the CD.  It says you don’t have to hang onto bad stuff.  You can just let it go and move on.”

I think it’s time for me to break out those old CDs and listen to them again, with a fresh perspective and a teenager.


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