I Hate that Sound…


frustration by Sean MacEntee

One of the worst sounds to my ears is the sound of The Boy expressing frustration.  Partly because, if left unchecked, it could lead to a meltdown, or perseveration on some negative thing.  But mostly because he is 11, and I have tried and tried for years to teach him to ask for help when he gets frustrated, and instead he continues to do this thing…  This “ARGGHHHH!” thing, to which I think I am supposed to come running and solve his problem.  Or the extremely loud self-talk that sometimes accompanies it (but which I can’t understand, because it is often coming from the basement).  I don’t ever respond, except to say, “Do you need help?”  I rarely get a response, just more “ARGGGGHHHH!” and indistinguishable self-talk.  Beyond that question, I do not respond, knowing that if I do, he will learn that I will try to anticipate his every need, and instead, I want him to learn to communicate his needs and ask for help, even when frustrated.

And so, I will wait him out, turning on some music to drown out the “ARGGGGGHHHH!” until he comes to me of his own accord, or gets interested in something else.

But that noise is just about the worst…


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