Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have been seeing a counselor. difficult child see's psychiatrist (although that only seems to be for medications) he sees therapist and counselor. He likes the counselor but only goes every other week. I would like it every DAY.
    I tried to call all of the above yesterday when school called and he refused to go to class. No one was in on Friday. "please call back on Monday" Well, Monday doesn't help.
    What really burns me is difficult child can get me crying for hours wondering what to do. husband was interupted from a meeting, yet when husband picks him up from school difficult child is happy like nothing happened and asked ME if he can go on the computer. I asked him why he is asking me, and he said because I am the one that tells him if he can or cannot. When I told him no he cannot, his actions deserve consequences he left and went to his room. I told husband that he CANNOT do this to me every single day. He cannot cause such emotional stress for either of us, he is going to kill us. husband just looked at me like I was crazy and a real meanie for saying no to the computer.
    difficult child listens to easy child, so I was telling easy child (24 yrs.) easy child said, "so what do you want me to do about it, he's only 12". There was a time when easy child and difficult child would go at it, but since easy child is not here much of the time He is either use to difficult child's actions or just doesn't see it. easy child takes difficult child all over, to concerts, movies different events. He already made plans with him for Summerfest. I heard and said difficult child isn't going anywhere if he doesn't do his school work and go to class. Nobody said a word. I just cannot do this. Then...when difficult child came home from school all happy and such he says, "MOM, guess what. Two kids in my new class got into a fight. Teacher had to seperate them. One said he was bringing a knife on Monday, the other said he was bringing his gun and was going to shoot him 6 times."
    I asked if anyone heard this, he said only a few kids. I asked him if he told his teacher he said "NO,I DON'T LIKE THE KID MUCH ANYWAY"! Where is his MIND? Here is a kid deathly afraid of school shootings, who wants metal detectors and the doors locked. He said he would NOT participate in a lock-down he would run because if you stay at school you'll get killed. I don't care if he gives a hoot about anyone, How could he just say that. I told him I am going to contact school and let them know and he flipped out. He said they will know it is him and he will get in trouble with these kids then. What should I do?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess I would contact the principal to say what you heard difficult child say about the other two kids. I would ask his name to be kept out of it. Chances are if the teacher separated them she may have heard it being said.

    The other thing I would try to do is ask your husband to get on the same page as you with consequences-maybe you both need to give a bit to reach a compromise on what you feel is fair but presenting a united front is very important.

    There is probably not much easy child can do. It's great that he takes him places. If you want difficult child to earn Summerfest set it up with him now-clear expectations-whether it is a certain amount of homework done or whatever (although I think I would just let him suffer the natural consequences of not doing his homework).
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you want my opinion I think you need to sit down and make a clear and precise set of household rules. Set the rules and the consequences. Make them fairly simple. I would honestly keep school out of it at this time because you are spinning in circles with that issue and it is driving your family insane. If your son wants to be a 7th grader for the rest of his natural be it.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    A united, strong front with husband & leave school issues at school.

    You don't need anything else on your plate right now.

    by the way, never let 'em see you sweat (or cry). My difficult children love that - gives kt & wm a sense of power/control.
  5. oceans

    oceans New Member

    You could call the school anonymously and tell them what the other kids heard in the classroom.

    I agree with the others that you need to be on the same page as far as discipline and consequences go. You need to have a meeting with husband to discuss how you will both handle things and that it is important that you back each other up. You might need a counselor of some sort to help set something up that is agreeable to both of you. Can you get husband to go to your counselor with you?

    difficult child probably realizes that you are not being backed up, and that makes it easy for any kid to purposely go to one parent over another and cause havoc between you, while difficult child gets what he wants.

    I don't think anything is going to change unless you and husband agree on the rules and back each other up.

    I struggled for years to get my difficult child to do his homework, and it never worked. I found out missing assignments from teachers and brought everything home. I got him an extra set of books from the school. I put rewards and consequences into place surrounding school and homework, and none of it worked. He still failed 7th and 8th grade. Your difficult child needs to be stable enough so that he can do the work. He needs to participate in the work. I am afraid that you can not force him no matter how you try. I get the sense that there is something missing for him, and you can make yourself sick over it, but I don't think you can change it in the way you are trying to. It needs to be approached differently, and a good place to start is in how you and husband make rules, and how you agree on the rules. A different place to start is to look into what issues might not be getting addressed by difficult child's medication. Is there something in the combination missing or is there something actually causing things to be worse. Does he have all the supports he needs in place both at home and school. Does he need a different school setting.
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    I want to do a different 'take' on your post and suggest you follow your husband's lead. There is so much positive there ,but in my humble opinion your perception ( as I see it ) that ' doing to' your kid , the united front against your kid , enforcing consequences etc ,is that what is going to change your kid is getting in the way. A united front is important if you are in a war , but if one approaches parenting as ' working together and solving problems , everybody can be himself and make a contribution. You cannot pretend a united front , the kid will pick it up , it is not natural.
    husband and easy child seem to be coping so much better. husband picks kid from school , they both come home in a happy mood , connected, bonded, husband seems to flow with his kid, they have a relationship. For me that is wonderful , husband has to take it further ann exploit the good relationship and help his kid do some problem solving , him finding ways to be more successful. Then you have your easy child offering and planning to be with difficult child, isn't that wonderful , again it is a relationship which can help difficult child open up, discuss his issues and talk about solutions. The idea is that easy child or husband don't lecture or tell difficult child what to do , but through dialog questioning , help difficult child explore the issues , reflect on his behavior and try come up with a better plan. Consequences will just reinforce his perception that your are unfair , don't understand him , and damage your relationship with him, while easy child and husband have an unconditional relationship with him which I think many would envy. Most of the husband's here , its basket A and consequences (belt). It is hard to advocate for a kid and ask for positive , working with, learning interventions from a school when one is looking to fix things through consequences. Consequences puts one in a confrontation mode , it adds stress , there is enough of it. You write in your profile husband: 53 Yrs. not much help. I suggest that you , husband , easy child listen to an interview by Myrna Shure , I think the positive relationship can be a springboard for helping difficult child.
    A difficult child can come home after a bad incident in school and then the parent can without any blame empathize , a rough day for him, get him to talk , just validate his feelings , let him express his concerns, you express yours , define the problem , try to come up with a better plan , reflect on what happened etc. When you get a kid first on your side , then you can work with him.
    The kid tells about the knife and gun problem. Why not ask him, what he would do , think about various solutions. Maybe the class could discuss conflict resolution and problem solving.
    I apologize for being hard on you. I just think that by trying to change a kid by consequences we are just adding so much more stress to our lives. When we our relationship with a child the mosty important tool in helping him , things are so much more relaxed. We look for ways to help him help himself , make a change from the inside , not try and change him.
    It is not easy and becoming good problem solvers takes months.


  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Obviously, you all have to be on the same page. If difficult child is affecting you, it's affecting the whole family.
    Sit down with-your husband and talk to him about where you want to go with-consequences. It can't be general. It has to be specific... ie if difficult child doesn't go to school one day, he's off the computer for one wk (or whatever you come up w).
    Going to school isn't a choice for difficult child. It is nonnegotiable.

    You sound very stressed out and angry. I understand completely. Been there done that too many times! Then I get very negative and difficult child gets the brunt of it. I end up barking orders and I'm the No Fun Mom because I spend the most time with-him and "make" him do things.
    husband gets to come home after work and relax, because by that time, difficult child has finally done most of what he should do and now it's time to reap the rewards. It's a typical pattern.

    I'm trying to learn to distance myself from difficult child and I see that you need to as well. I have a friend who trains dogs and she always reminds me, "Dogs bark." That's my mantra when it comes to difficult child.

    In re: to the school threat, I would have broken that conversation into two pieces (and believe me, I've blown it enough times to know this from personal experience). First, listen to what he has to say. He's excited (Guess what, Mom!) so be excited with him. He's looking at it from an excited, kid point of view and you have to be there with-him, horror or not. After you've "sided" with-him in that regard, you can ask him why he didn't tell the principal. He will reply that he doesn't want to get caught by those kids (a reasonable fear). Then you ask him if anyone else heard the conversation... point being, if you can share the experience, then it could have been any kid who is/was to blame for tattling. Then explain that this is NOT tattling. It is a safety issue. Show him the article on Va Tech if you have to. Ask him if these kids are bratty bullies or really crazies. He will have an opinion. (Actually, the outcome may be the same... violence against other kids. It's just that one is containable and the other is not.)

    If you are absolutely convinced that they are dangerous, then you can call the school and tell the office yourself, but be sure they don't use any names (most schools are very, very good about that... they are all well aware of the repercussions).

    I wouldn't blame or dump that on difficult child at all. That's a typical kid reaction. They just don't "get it."

    I hope that helps.

  8. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    I've learned to not tell my kids I'm going to do this or that if I anticipate an argument. If you approach the school, I believe it's less likely they will accuse your son of participating in the conversation. It would be more suspicious if someone else mentioned his name. Your son doesn't necessarily need to be in on the plan.

    I remember the time my easy child came home after a classmate had stalked her calling her filthy names. The kid had slept at my home many nights and had eaten dinner at our table.

    I didn't discuss anything with easy child, I drove to the kid's house and spent 10 minutes in her very own living room letting her in know in no uncertain terms that if she continued to terrorize my kid, that easy child would hit back and hit harder. And shame on her for embarrassing her mother like this.

    easy child would have whined, begged and demanded not to make a big deal out of it, and the argument would have overshadowed the bigger issue of her getting bullied.

    About school, my difficult child is the 'smart one' and my easy child is the challenged one. When problems started hitting for difficult child at school, at the very first meeting I said, "I'm here as an advocate for my child. I will always assume she's telling the truth unless proven otherwise". Well, the IEP people were very impressed with that and I was an active part of her accommodation. However, after things got progressively intense, and I was getting calls every day at work because this or that happened, I finally said to them, "I am officially allowing you to handle her in the manner you see fit. I will not contradict any of the school's disciplinary policies and she will be expected to realize the consequences. The calls stopped and although difficult child had to go to two more schools to get her diploma, it took a great weight off my shoulders.

    She's always had the capacity to do well at homework, she just never did it. But I remember helping her with Middle School math homework. It wasn't the way the teacher did it, but it was the only way I could do it. She got very frustrated and angry and when that happened, I always put the homework away. You see, it didn't matter if I got the same results - the right answer - it wasn't the way the teacher did it so it was wrong. So much for teaching the kid to compensate - to find another path to the same conclusion. She'd shut me out.

    So, I haven't been as stringent on school work as I should have since it was always such a source of frustration for us. But, ultimately, even if she was such a bad student I couldn't bring myself to go to parent teacher conferences, she did finish HS, she has a semester of community college under her belt and she has the desire to go back.

    It was just one battle too many for me, and I refused to fight it. I think kids are well aware, certainly by middle school, of what happens if they do not finish homework or school. If not, he'll figure it out when he sees his friends going out of state to college and living in dorms. My daughter sees many of her friends doing it now and I think she wishes she had used the brains God gave her.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So, what happened Kjs? Did you call the school?