I wrote this on a discussion board recently:
Wilful disobedience is a signal that something is wrong, and if you don’t understand and fix the underlying problem, it’s a fast path to nowhere.
My boy has been wilfully disobedient recently. It *is* a signal that something is wrong, I *do* understand what the problem is, but I can’t fix it. *We* can’t fix it, even though we both want to. We are on a path to nowhere, not a fast path, but a determined one, a slogging, ponderous, soul-heavy path.
Sometimes, as much as I wish I could make everything right, I can’t. My boy feels things more keenly than I do, his sensitivity is one of his strengths, at least most of the time. He is withdrawing from me, and it is difficult and awful and I watch him shut down into himself, sad and hurt, and there is nothing I can do. He is going to break my heart, this beautiful boy, and I will give as good as I get. Neither of us will escape from here unscathed.