Feeling a little sad...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mamamia, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. mamamia

    mamamia New Member

    I just got a call from one of my good friends who told me about a book another friend of ours (and parent to an ADD daughter) is reading about positive reinforcement and behavior. I don't know the name of the book - my friend is going to find out and let me know later - but the gist of it is that ADHD and ODD like behaviors can be cured by the parent being nicer to the child...this friend of a friend has taken her daughter off all medications and apparently just being super sweet to her daughter has "cured" her of all her behaviors.
    Sigh.
    I've never posted on this board before but I've read it many times. I'm posting this morning because the conversation with my friend made me so, so sad. I feel like she thinks my son is the way he is (severe ADHD coupled with ODD) because I'm mean to him. I know I'm reading too much into our conversation but it makes me feel like I should just shut up about my problems when I'm around my friends.
    I started a full time job in the fall and I haven't seen them much. It's spring break for our kids now so I've seen them more over the past few days than I have for quite some time. 2 days ago we all went on a hike and my son was disobeying me and other people who were telling him not to do a certain thing...so I spoke to him in a commanding mom voice and he listened...this happened again a little while later and I had to do it a second time. I know they all think I'm a mean mom. Yesterday we were out with friends and my son asked me if we could eat lunch at a restaurant. When I told him we were eating at home he kicked me. I gave him time-out. I told another friend about it and she said her 3-year-old acts the same way...but my son is almost 6.
    I know I'm babbling but I just feel very sad and isolated and I think I need to stop talking to my friends about my problems because my feelings just end up getting hurt. My husband and I try to always give our son the benefit of the doubt and to speak to him nicely at least the first time around. We also try to ignore the initial "no" since sometimes after he yells that at us we'll get an "okay." But sometimes we have to be firm with him. I don't think it's okay to be disrespectful to a parent, and every day he's disrespectful with us. But people don't see this. He usually acts ok in public and he is much better behaved with others than with us. They just don't see what we see...and yet I feel like they feel they can pass judgement.
    m
     
  2. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Dear M,
    Welcome! So glad you decided to post!
    It's not you - you're fine and being the good devoted mom you should be. People seem to have a very hard time understanding difficult child's and their parent's resposes to them. No one knows what we deal with unless they've walked in our shoes. You should never be ashamed or embarrased. Get some new friends!
    This is why we all found our way to this forum - no one really gets it but us. I'm sorry you're feeling blue! But you have found a great place to vent and find support. There are many wise mom's (and Dads) with great advice and big shoulders to lean on. Just know you're not alone!!!!!!

    If you hit the user easy child button above you can make a "signature" for yourself so we know a little bit more about you're situation. What do you see going on with your son?
    -Dara
     
  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    The nicer I was, the meaner he was. He had me in tears within hours of waking up. At one point I called my sister and told her I didn't want him anymore, packed his things drove him a couple hours and left him. Never told husband. difficult child pushed MY buttons. difficult child had ME in tears. He didn't do those things to husband until later. (he was 4 then) Never as much as me though. And if I told husband what was said or done, his reply was "why tell me".
    Many people who have perfect little children have absolutely NO idea what it is like to spend one day with our kids. They often (more often than not) think it is parenting. Or spoiled kid.
    After all we have been through, going through...I would so much rather spend my time with difficult child than anyone else! difficult child's, although difficult, have some outstanding qualities.
     
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board. You found a safe, soft place to land.

    Dara and KJ have already said it, but it bears repeating. Parents of angellic kids simply do. not. get. what it takes to raise a challenging child. They are wired different, they are unique. We as parents have to be flexible in our parenting and be able to try non-traditional methods of parenting. Spanking never works. Yelling never works. Does speaking firmly to your child work? Then you have found what works for you and your child at this time in his life. You are 10 steps ahead of a lot of the moms on this site, myself included!

    There is a book called Explosive Child by Ross Greene. I wonder if that was the book that your *ahem* "friend" was referring to. The basis of this book is not necessarily to be nicer to the child, but to pick your battles with the child. Many parents on this site have found great success with that book. When you have a child that has a meltdown when you tell them "time for bed" and an equal meltdown when you tell them "please throw your tissue away", you need these strategies to avoid as many meltdowns as possible.

    Glad you found us, sorry you had to. Do make a signature for yourself so we can get to know you better. Click the "user cp" button on the top left, then go to "signatures". Again, welcome. Warm hugs to you.
     
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hello M, welcome to our crazy mixed up world.
    If being nice and even love could cure our children then none of us would be here.
    I think there is a huge difference with being firm, no nonsense and being mean. I am definitely a no nonsense mom but I spend much more time being nurturing, loving and polite. We laugh together. Mean to me is a person who intentionally inflicts hurt, someone who tears a person down, undermines their success.
    Hold a mirror up and ask yourself what is "mean"? Do I act mean to my child. I doubt you do.
    As far as friends being judgemental, I think that comes with the territory of parenthood. Even people who have pretty average kids get judged in some way. Take it with a grain of salt. You don't answer to them.
    Your first priority is to do right by your child.
    Our kids are very difficult and we don't get a manual of how to raise them. It's trial and error for most of us. I have made some mistakes but every decision I made towards my children was made to help them and raise them right. How can that be mean?
    At one point when I felt somewhat judged I decided I don't answer to anyone but myself, my God and my husband in regards to child rearing. Everyone else including grand parents will just have to get over it.
     
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    been there done that and sending hugs. I've had so many family members tell me about different books, programs and techniques so I can "cure" difficult child. Granted, they mean well but they have no clue.

    I remember a time the summer after we got difficult child. I was "trying out" a friend of mine as a summer sitter for difficult child. We had been at her house before socially and even though I warned her, she was insistant that she could handle him. I tried to explain that difficult child at her house for a social (fun) visit, was sooooooo different that difficult child there all day with her as "boss" but she was adamant. I knew it wasn't going to end well but I didn't have any other options at the time. I worked at a credit union that just happened to be down the street from her house. It wasn't more than 2 or 3 days into this trial week and I was in the cu's PRESIDENT'S office when I looked out the window. There, on the porch of the building was this woman, red faced and in tears (anger tears) and her husband who was carrying an equally red faced and crying (frustration/melt down tears) difficult child. That was the last day she watched him and she never really talked to me again. (turns out that wasn't actually that bad of a thing but I still felt horrible at the time)

    I don't know what people think when you as a parent (and the person that is with them the most) try to explain your difficult child. In our case, I think people thought I was really exaggerating since husband and I had no other kids and took difficult child in as a foster child when he was 9. Apparently because we were first time parents, we were idiots. difficult child's psychiatrist at the time (who we HAD to keep through the transition) was even very patronizing. I had issues with difficult child using the inside of the toilet lid for "bank shots" and after a couple of times, I started making difficult child clean the entire toilet everytime he did it. When I told the doctor about the problem and how I handled it, you would have thought I was a toddler who just made stinky in the big girl toilet for the first time. I got all this praise and affirmation but it was done in such a way and tone of voice that he made me feel like a complete idiot who figured out something no one expected me to. I'm sorry but just because I'm a first time parent, it doesn't mean that I've never seen or been around a child before.

    The next time a friend or family member approaches you with something I would tell them this. "Thank you so much for your concern for difficult child. I'll check out the book/video/program and discuss it with difficult child's DOCTORS. If we think it will work with his TREATMENT PROGRAM, we may implement some of it." Obviously, you don't have to heavily emphasize the capitalized words but by putting those words in there, you are (trying to anyway, some people are still really dense) getting the point across that the situation is serious enough there are actual doctors involved and it's not just you.
     
  7. mamamia

    mamamia New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I should really hang out on this board more often.
    My friends are meaning well...but they don't know the effect of what they're saying has on me. Funny thing is that these are the folks who had difficult child over for a sleep-over (the last one for at least a year) and who finally "gave in" and gave him his melatonin (which he takes in a very low dose to help him switch "off" at night, and which I told them he'd definitely need since he'd be in a strange environment for him) at 12:30 when their daughter, with whom he was bunking for the night, complained that he wouldn't stop talking...they know that he is not the same as their kids. I know they didn't mean to seem judgemental. It's just that's how it feels.
    Feeling judged and feeling alone is almost as bad as having my son scream at me for every little thing...when I'm feeling less fragile I'll try to explain that to them.
    We are actually having a good day today with difficult child...knock on wood! :redface:
    m
     
  8. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Mamamia,
    been there done that, Still Am There, Doing That right now with my 6 yr old twins. You sound like you are dealing with him very well, but I do understand the frustrations of having to deal with those who have NO idea of what our kids are like at home. I have finally gotten to the point where I pretty much don't talk about their behaviors/consequences with anyone other than husband and occasionally my mother. I also try to make sure that any discipline or even "reminders" are handled away from others, so that we avoid the looks or remarks regarding "such good girls". Then if all else fails and someone insists on telling me that I am being so mean or too hard, I direct them to the websites describing the twins' problems and also show them my scars from being scratched or bit. Then I tell them that I am nipping possible behavior problems in the bud for the benefit of both of us.
    It is difficult to feel alone and that no one in your circle understands what you are dealing with. Glad that you found this board. It has been wonderful for me and many a night I have found comfort in reading the posts and knowing that I am NOT alone. Hope it does the same for you.
     
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    MAMA~mia!

    Okay I think what your friend is talking about is called EFFECTIVE communication. There is no cure for ADHD. BUT there is a way to talk to children whether they are ADHD or CD or just normal that is more appealing to their ears and allows the parents to not use trigger phrases.

    Basically? It retrains the parent with workbooks and exercises in speaking so that your kids will listen. And it teaches you HOW to listen. If it were so easy to just speak to your kids - we all wouldn't need a little help.

    I have read everything I could get my hands on over the last 12 years. In all that time - 2 books stand out - One was a course called Effective communication and it is not easy. It's not easy because we may THINK we are saying nice things and we're secretly sabotaging our conversations with negatives. You can do a google search and down load the workbooks and lessons - I have not seen it for sale anywhere. We did it as a parenting class and I learned a TON on how to communicate better.

    The other book I was recently told to examine is called How to Speak so your kids will listen and how to listen so your kids will Speak - it's available through here (AMAZON) and it is ABSOLUTELY the BEST book I have EVER read regarding how to talk to kids or anyone for that matter. You start with week 1 and use it all week long. There is a q and a section and there are workpages in the book with practice conversations - also not easy but WORTH EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that you can devote to doing it.

    Remember too - ANYTHING you do to improve your family is worth it. Some things may seem like an exercise in futility - but a lot of therapy, counseling, etc. can be seeded now - and take a LONG time to grow to maturity.

    Some of the things that Dude learned when he was 10 are JUST now coming to fruition.

    Seriously - check out that book I mentioned. It will help you and if you get it through the site it helps the site too.

    Hugs
    Star
     
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