Famous last thoughts

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, funny the way it goes, isn't it... the comic sense of timing the universe has sometimes. This week J is going to the activity/play centre where he goes during the holidays (when we are not away) and occasional Wednesdays. He always seems to enjoy it and the staff in the past have seemed affectionate towards and positive about him. As I got out of the car to go into the building, I was thinking something along the lines of "Isn't it nice that J has this positive experience?" Well, as they say, not... When I got inside, the female director was looking VERY stressed and tense and was shouting at her son, aged about 8, who goes to the centre also. I know he and J are particular pals so I said tentatively... "Umm, everything go okay today?" She started making faces, groaning, saying "Well, J is very sweet and all that but... when boys just do naughty things all day and they won't listen, it's very frustrating!" I tried to elucidate what naughty things exactly... oh nothing really naughty, she said, just children's things, boy things... not listening, not obeying the rules. Tried to ask her what rules but no good, she was too stressed and upset. The male assistant was there - seems like a nice character, with dreadlocks halfway down his back - and he got very cross with J while I was talking to her, for running past him and not listening. And for play fighting, apparently...oh dear, seems they are trying to stop them play fighting at the centre "in case someone gets hurt", although they let them at school... I don't think it's very sensible but it's their centre, their rules. Anyway, I talked to the guy after and he seemed sympathetic. Kept saying J was a really nice kid and he was very fond of him and that wasn't the problem but... they had 30 kids there and the kids had to listen, etc. Which I don't disagree with exactly but thus far all I could get out of anyone was that J sometimes rushed past people without stopping when he was playing and his name was called (well, yes, but I don't think that particular thing is being wilfully naughty) and that he and the other boy were play fighting even though they had been told not to. I said to the director that no-one had ever complained before and she said that was she had told the staff to say everything was fine unless it was really not fine and then she would deal with it...
    I did say to the guy that J was hyperactive and that, although of course my little darling couldn't have everything geared around him, he did need to be treated slightly differently and he seemed to understand that - and didn't seem at all surprised by the hyperactivity. He said a friend's son was hyperactive and he recognised it.
    I don't know... I've never thought to say anything to the play centre about J being ADHD - because would it really make any difference anyway, when so many people haven't even heard of it? - but maybe I should. Though obviously this other boy, not hyperactive, was being just as "troublesome" as J.
    How would you deal with it if it was your ADHD kid?
     
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I would say something along these lines, to staff: ok, I want to work with you on enforcing the rules of the centre. Please tell me what constitutes "play fighting", so that I can explain that to J. Also, please know that play fighting is allowed at the school and is one activity that J particularly enjoys and is drawn to in order to get out extra energy, so it may take him a bit of time before he is able to follow this rule to the level that some of the other children are. Thank you for continuing to be patient as J learns the new rule.
     
  3. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I would absolutely explain that J has ADHD and even explain how it manifests itself in him, which of J's behaviors he cannot control at this point at time and the proper way to "teach" him what is ok and what isn't. Explain that punishing and yelling are not going to help and then tell them what will. difficult child 1 had similar issues with a large "daycare". They had so many kids and they had specific rules that applied there but not anywhere else so difficult child 1 was frequently "in trouble" for not following the rules. One example is we live very close to the local swimming pool. When my kids hit a certain age, I allowed them to go there alone. They were allowed to go in and out of the pool area as long as they stayed on pool property. They did awesome and followed that rule. This daycare took the whole group to the swimming pool. Because there were so many kids, their rule was that the kids had to stay within the pool fencing. This was not the rule difficult child 1 was used to so he followed "mom's rules". Yea, you can see where I'm going here don't you? Not pretty.

    You might need to pointedly tell them you need to know what rules J wasn't following so YOU can also teach him the differences. Sound like you want to help teach J what their rules are. If they don't tell you the ones he doesn't know, how can you help? Know what I mean??

    As for the other kid, he's obviously a follower and went along with J because J was doing it and it looked fun and they are friends. I think that might be why the director was more frazzled. She wasn't able to control her child because he was doing whatever J did.
     
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Not sure about that, TeDo. The other boy is 8 to J's 5 and doesn't seem the particularly timid follower kind. Seems more like the delightful scamp kind. Only time I've seen him with his mother before (without J) she was also getting cross with him so it must be partly something in their dynamic.
    This is part of my confusion. I don't think the other boy was "led astray" by J from what I saw of them together - they are both what kindly souls would call little rascal and less kindly ones something less affectionate - and the other boy isn't hyperactive. But I could quite accept that J finds it harder to obey rules and listen to what people want him to do than this other boy. So do I make an issue of it, when it doesn't mean much to most people here anyway?
    I know it's a bit doomed my saying to J "don't play fight" because it's so much a part of how he plays with boys... I could try and have a word with the director about it tomorrow. But this is all so much out of their culture, making exceptions for kids with differences...
    And I'm just confused about what they/she were saying to me. She seemed really upset, but when I spoke about it, she just kept saying "no, no, it's not important, it's nothing, just boys' stuff, we've seen far worse" - and she doesn't seem the kind to mince words or not want to upset people. Same thing with the guy... I really don't know what the message was supposed to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  5. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I guess then I would wait awhile and see what happens. Maybe it was just a very bad day all around, a fluke so to speak. Who knows. If it would cause more problems at this point and they aren't as understanding as you need them to be, it might be best just to drop it for now but remain "aware". Sounds like a very tough place to raise a child with special needs of any kind. I feel for you.
     
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Not to upset you, but is it possible that J just gets under her skin but, technically, really isn't doing anything too bad? That would explain her emotional state (and keep in mind she might be more emotional because the situation involves her son) and her not being able to justify it... I'm sure you've been around people you have nothing bad to say about but, for some reason, you just don't connect with them.
    If it were me, I would be VERY clear that I want the staff to keep me informed of any misbehaviors. Your the parent and you will make the call if it's nothing or not. You should also ask her what rules he constantly breaks so YOU can reinforce them.
    As far as sharing the ADHD part, you've done that already. Maybe don't go too heavy on it unless there are REAL issues.
    Do they follow a written protocol for discipline? If not, ask her to explain to you and maybe then offer some tips. But once again, I would not swamp her with advis she might not be able to process.
    Sorry for the disappointment, but is J affected by it? Or was it mainly the director having a bad day?
     
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    The truth is... I just don't know! I arrived with the director screaming at her son and J quietly washing his hands at the sink. She wasn't going to say anything to me until I asked how the day had been for J. I am not at ALL sure this situation was primarily about J rather than her son - nothing tells me that. They play together and seem to egg each other on. I am sure J does a fair bit of the egging. Does J get under her skin? Maybe, but she said several times he is sweet. I haven't shared with this play centre that J has ADHD - I've never mentioned it. I just said tonight, in a conversation with one of the young assistants, that he is hyperactive (which can be interpreted various ways). He may or may not mention it to the director.
    Part of this is cultural. If I'm honest, I think this is a bit of a storm in a tea cup. I asked them if J had bothered anyone, hurt anyone and they said "Oh no, no." It seems to be about not listening and not stopping when they are told to stop... French people expect more immediate obedience than some other cultures. Though of course it IS frustrating when a kid doesn't listen to you and I get frustrated by it with the best of them. But as the guy said to me several times, J is a good kid and tries to be helpful, so a lot of the not listening is not really about wilful disobedience as that he is fully engaged in what he is doing... I don't find it a problem for J to engage in play fighting, though there is always the danger he will go too far and hurt a kid (not deliberately). But, like I say, if they have made it a rule this time (they haven't other times, and the director isn't always there), then he needs to try to stick to that.
    Following the advice of the psychiatrist, I have said to J that if he tries very hard tomorrow and they tell me at the end of the day he has listened, I will give him a surprise. She says reward him if I want his behaviour to change, not punish.
     
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They need to offer a more acceptable way to burn off energy... its about more than just rules. What can they be redirected to?
     
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh lord, this is such a hard place for an ADHD kid! Or maybe kids in general, I don't know.
    What I think was happening, on reflection, was that J was getting wound up into a state of over-excitement and over-stimulation playing with this other kid and he was beginning to be over the top and running round like crazy, not listening to anyone. It's a kind of basic special needs thing, if you will, but I suspect my words are just going to fall on stony ground with the director if I bring up the idea that he is not really being "naughty". They will think he just needs more discipline, and I am not providing it - the old chestnut of misunderstanding about ADHD kids.
     
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think we all came to that conclusion some time back!
    {{hugs}}

    Here? I have friends to run daycare centers and... the cure for not listening and play fighting and such is... a controlled game of tag or jumping on the mini-trampoline or other such energy burners. And it's "run until we all fall down". THEN things get nice and quiet for a while!
     
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes... that would be good...
    I'm trying not to engage in the "grass is greener" stakes because it's just a different shade of green, probably, but I do feel myself getting so uber-paranoid about what other people think here, about J not fitting in to the mould, bla, bla. Inevitable. And I'm often surprised by how almost everyone thinks alike here, everyone thinks kids should be ultra-obedient, ultra-good. Well,yes, nice if you can get it...
     
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I got a bit more detail from J about what happened yesterday - curiously, it was all mainly the other boys' fault, so I have to take it with a pinch of salt... Anyway, there was a third boy involved, playing with them and I do know, because J usually plays with him, that this third boy is the very active kind that also likes play fighting and is a bit of a tearaway. So I guess it was dealing with these three all day that had got the woman in such a state. J says that he and her son had got scissors and glue from somewhere and that the other boy (mmmm, possibly) had thrown the glue on the ground and that's why his mother was so cross. That would also explain why J was washing his hands in the sink...
    I honestly think... without trying to excuse J (and I would get cross myself about it if it had happened at home)... that this is the sort of thing that J does without thinking, carried away in the moment and not actually thinking at all about things like "are we allowed to do this?" Impulsiveness. And how do you explain that to people who have no knowledge or understanding of ADHD? Just sounds like you are trying to protect your little darling.... But if the woman is there this morning, I will have a brief word with her.
    I have said to J that if he stops when he is called and doesn't do what he is told not to do and doesn't play fight... we can go and buy a power rangers toy, his absolute favourite of the moment, when I pick him up this evening. Base bribery but it's doctor's orders :)
    Well, the guy isn't working there today but I spoke to the (very pleasant) young woman who is and she looked a bit baffled when I said the director had been really upset yesterday. She said that the boys had been very active yesterday, and that the older boy was definitely the leader and J the follower, and that (again!) J was a really nice kid... so it doesn't sound as drastic as it did last night.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To me it sounds that three little boys got little carried away (happens with or without ADHD) and adults were maybe not having their best day and were not on the top of their game early on and failed to redirect them early (happens even the best of them.) And it ended with everyone being cross. Again, does happen. I wouldn't worry about it too much, if it is not happening often.

    Of course it could be beneficial to give some pointers to them what kind of discipline strategies tend to work with J, but then again, if they have managed J just fine till now, they will probably continue to do so in future. And if J is not too upset about the day, I don't think anything serious is going on there. If J likes to go there and isn't upset and they say they like J and things are going mostly well, believe them and don't worry too much.
     
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm sure you're right, SuZir. I was reacting really to the extreme annoyance/upset of this woman last night, thinking things must be really serious for her to be in such a state.
    And what this is telling me, also, is that in any situation there are a myriad of different "truths", different viewpoints. For example... last night the male worker was making this BIG deal about J not play fighting and getting really cross with him when he and the other boy were gently wrestling with each other, in front of me and the director. And this morning when I talked to him (he was there briefly before going off somewhere else for the day), when I said I had talked to J about not fighting, he said "oh, well, just not TOO much anyway, not TOO hard". Big difference from yesterday... because (presumably) the director is not there.
    Everything is always a whole combination of influences, realities. I just seize on my little bit of it - J - but the reality is a much bigger picture, involving lots of other elements (that are also shifting and changing!) I don't think he really stands out at this place as being especially naughty or difficult, unlike his tiny school where he does much more...
    Of course, parents of kids with differences always have a tendency to over-focus on the differences, probably blaming them for too much. Do you think? :)
     
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sounds even more as just a bad day from everyone. When adults are stressed and tired they (we) tend to be stricter with kids and allow less rougher play than then they are in good mood. Rules are seldom totally same all the time. For more disabled kids they should be and they get confused when rules vary, but I think J is high functioning enough that he will learn to navigate different situations and moods and how rules change. And that is an important skill also in adult life. When someone is already cross with you or you have been lately in trouble it is an important skill to know you should tread carefully and do your absolute best until you are back on their good graces. That was something my difficult child had hard time to learn but to be honest I'm happy that he had to keep trying to get it instead of we being able to change environment so that rules would had been totally same all the time. It would had made his childhood easier, but it would had ill prepared him to adulthood there that skill is very important, especially when you are grating on people in authority as much as my difficult child is.

    In my experience it really is easy to get caught to your child's differences even when that particular thing in fact is totally typical. I have found it better to take a step back and wait for little. Often situations solve themselves or people involved in situation do the solving and it is not needed to make bigger thing out of it. Of course it can also be that you end up missing something huge and then regret that rest of your life (like I probably will end up doing with bullying my difficult child went through.) So no easy answers. :sigh:
     
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, a sense of perspective comes in handy more often than not. Picked J up today and the director, a fuming dragon yesterday was all smiles today. I asked how J had been. "Oh well, you know, all boys together, it's the little things... not saying thank you, not being patient, pushing." Well, not saying thanking and pushing I can live with. She kept saying "It's not J in particular, it's all of them together, they're really close and it's nice but they excite each other". So, really, bringing up ADHD feels quite unnecessary for the moment.
    Sigh of relief; it's not J in particular. Until the next time that it is :wince:
    Oh, and bought him his power rangers samurai (get it right) toy and he was over the moon, kept saying thank you... I don't know how much it was deserved but he probably made some effort to be more in the mould today.
     
  17. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Glad today was better and that director was apparently in a better mood. Yes, kids (boys are worse) tend to feed off each other's energy.
     
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