We have two sons, fraternal twins, who are in middle school. They both play sports, participate in other activities, and have some mutual friends.
This past school year, I’ve become more emotionally involved in their social interactions. For example, there is one boy, “Matthew,” who bullied one of my twins last year, and now seems to be getting into trouble this year with my other twin. I don’t like how Matthew is acting. I’ve talked endlessly to both of my boys about him, tried to give them advice and let them work it out, but now I’m so angry at Matthew I can barely say hi to him at school. I recognize that my kids have faults as well, but I can’t seem to separate my anger from how I treat Matthew when I see him.
Another example is during sports. Both of my boys are on the same lacrosse team. Another child, “Peter,” brags all the time and puts my kids down in subtle ways. It bothers my boys—one much more than the other—but it bothers me so much that I find myself angrier at Peter than I should be.
Why am I getting so emotionally charged lately, when I know I should just be there for my kids and let them work this out?
It’s natural for parents’ protective instincts to kick in when they feel that their kids are being mistreated, but it’s also important to be curious, as you are, about the intensity of these reactions.