My son is ten years old now and I feel that over the past year or so he has become increasingly irritable and prone to angry outbursts. He is easily frustrated by the smallest things and tears up and gets into a rage over what I perceive as nothing.
The problem in all of this is that I find it increasingly difficult to remain unaffected by my son's negative emotions. He gets over his fits of temper quickly and returns to a happy mood after a few minutes or half hour, but I feel that his rages destroy my mood irreparably. For example, we might start an afternoon in a good mood, I'm looking forward to what we have planned, and then something doesn't go as he wanted and he gets angry and stomps off to his room. After half an hour his good humor has returned, but now I am sad or angry or both and cannot get out of my funk for the rest of the day.
The worst of these situations happened two weeks ago. My son had an outburst, which wasn't even extremely bad, but it got to me so that I went to bed and cried and couldn't bring myself to get up again for the next few hours. I just lay there, thinking that I didn't want his anger to have happened, and unable to let go of no longer wanting to experience his moods.
By now, I look forward to the afternoons or weekends with my son with extreme apprehension, and I live in almost constant fear of his outbursts. When I am alone with my son, this apprehension and my attempts at not provoking him (while at the same time not bending to his wishes for more candy, more TV, or later bed time) is so stressful, that after a few hours I am so tired as if I hadn't slept for two nights.
I understand that it will take time to teach my son to deal with his emotions, and I sort of know how to go about it, but I don't know how to deal with my own emotions. All I want is to have the happy, easy-going, and fun child back that I had until about two years ago, and I am mortally afraid of his puberty.
What can I do to not let his negative emotions destroy my mood? How can I enjoy the time that I spend with him despite his frequent fits of anger? I feel like all the fun has gone out of my life.