Genie's out of the bottle!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, it's happened... the genie has come out of the bottle and all hell has let loose!
    I was going to pick J up from after-school care tonight when the deputy mayor of the village happened to drive past... he said he wanted to speak to me "for two minutes". So he duly gets out of his car and starts talking to me... saying that one of the assistants in the school had come to talk to him twice now about how upset she was about J's big rages - he had another one on Tuesday evening when I went to pick him up, how upset all the other children were about it, etc. Basically, the upshot of his message was that I am not taking authority over my son, it is my job to manage him, not the school or the after-care, that it wasn't possible to have this sort of behaviour in the village, and so on.... well, yes, flabbergasted I was somewhat. I tried to tell him J is ADHD, that's it's not so simple to control, that I myself had never seen him raging like that and no, I hadn;t really known how to handle it in the moment, that I have been asking for a meeting between the psychiatrist and the school (and indeed that is what another of the assistants had asked for when we talked on Tuesday as J was running off refusing to come with me and speaking to me disrespectfully - something that totally shocks the village, apparently.
    Anyway, the deputy mayor clearly understands nothing of J's special needs and doesn't want to understand. He is involved because the assistant went to complain to him because the mayor's office is responsible for the after-care at the school... I was naturally a little upset and in the evening rang ANOTHER of the assistants, who lives in the village, a nice woman, warm and kind. It was a VERY revealing conversation. Apparently J is often very troublesome in the after-care and they have never told me, often they punish him all the time (by having sit alone with the adult reading a book or whatever), that they all think I am not authorative enough and too nice, and that the director of the school, J's old teacher, has told them he is NOT hyperactive. What?? Last time we spoke, about six months ago, I told her he had now received a formal diagnosis... She has no idea what ADHD is (kept calling it "superactive") or how it might be dealt with. By the end of the conversation she was saying she and the other staff would absolutely welcome a meeting with the psychiatrist to try and get some understanding of how to deal with him.
    All of this just confirms to me what I already know... our days in the village are, and must be, numbered. I think it is probably best for J if we stay out the school year, particularly as he is learning to read and then... some hard decisions to be taken.
    I'd be interested in your reactions to what happened...
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm speechless. It's outrageous to me and I suspected all along they were isolating him and making it worse. I'm sick anyone would approach you like that.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    What a backwater village to be like that is all I can say!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would be furious that it went through channels like that. Geesh-they should have told you themselves if there were problems. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you were in the US, the people who went to the mayor would be in serious trouble for violating J's rights to privacy.

    This is an intolerant little place that may seem idyll on the surface, but in reality simply has no tolerance for anyone who does things any way other than their way. in my opinion you and J would BOTH be much better off elsewhere.

    I would be OUTRAGED if my son were constantly in trouble and no one bothered to tell me that they were punishing him constantly and never saying a word to me. How in the HECK are you supposed to 'control' a problem if you do not know it is going on. This entire village has set up a dynamic that is 'us', meaning everyone else, against "J and his mom". They are doing tremendous damage to him, damage to his self esteem that is this severe and ongoing can create enormous problems.

    If I knew they were going to punish me every day, I wouldn't bother to try to behave. Would anyone? That is sadly where J is pushed to at this school and in this town. He is NEVER going to be anything more than a problem to these people.

    Please, get out of there as soon as is humanly possible. they are not doing ANYTHING to help him, and much to harm him.

    Every. Single. Adult. Involved. Should. Be. Ashamed. Of. Themselves. (Not YOU, Malika, just these ignorant people who are mean and mean spirited.)
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hah, ha, Susie. In the US, politicians don't knock on your door because your child has a behavior problem. I agree that this sounds like a little backwards town. I would move ASAP.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Oh Gosh! You NEED to get out of there! The "small village" mentality will simply never accept you (both of you). No matter what you do or say, it will always be you against the entire village. I think we could on and on trying to analyze the situation. But what for? You should not have to spend your entire life trying to convince everyone around you.
    If I were you, I would find a "bigger" area to settle in.
    Whit a difficult child, you will likely have battles, you will will likely have to be extremely vigilant, explain. convince and explain again. But you simply cannot be doing it everywher in every social situation. The village will never allow you to "excape" for a while. There is always going to be someone watching, someone to report to another someone, etc.
    You have been understandably waiting for a sign, something to guide you in your decision. Here: you have it now!
    Try (easier said than done!) not to get too angry at all those ingnorant, narrow minded people.
    Calmly plan your escape. If you talk to J about it (or when you do should I say?), be sure to explain that YOU are making the decision but you are here to listen to how he feels about it. But ultimatly, you will decide not him. Just to take some pressure off of him. At least, that's how I handle big life decisions with my own kids.
    In a way, maybe it is a relief? Your path become clearer? I don't know, I sometimes find it helpful to focus on the positive...
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They have essentially tossed you out. Waited until they had enough collective evidence. They can't quite hand you an eviction notice, but... that's basically the intent.

    You may have to move sooner rather than later. This can get toxic fairly fast.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Malika, I know J is starting to progress with his academics but I can tell you from personal experience that the "severe" isolation J experiences at the after-care center can do some serious harm. You need to get him out of that program and soon get out of the village before they force you out. Whether it's the middle of the school year or not, he will continue to progress elsewhere. He won't stop learning and progressing because he's in a different location. This village sounds like it's gaining "gang mentality" and you are their "target". I am so sorry you and especially J are having to go through this.
  10. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Wow, I would be very upset to be approached by a town official over my little son's behavior! It is clear that these 'childminders' are ignorant of child development and variations therein. This is not yours, nor J's fault, even though they will try to tell you it is-please know this is their ignorance speaking. J definitely needs people surrounding him that *see* him and can support him appropriately! I don't know that there is conspiracy to 'evict' you and at this point I might be so bold as to ask a few people, do you think J should not attend the school/aftercare? Maybe they would tell you they WANT him to stay, but don't know what to do with him. I would think seriously about talking to any/all person's in a position to help and ask them plainly if they are willing to help and if they are willing to learn and support, keep communications open.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your comments. It is good to have a wider perspective and feel a little less persecuted :( !
    We all act with the information we have to hand and make a judgement in the light of that. When I came to the village I was of course thinking that the small, family atmosphere would be good for him and help him learn. There is truth in that but now I feel guilty about having left him in the hands of people who have no understanding - though I battled to get it for him with his previous teacher - and who have probably damaged him. But it's no good going down that road!!! I myself did not know whether J was really ADHD or not, or what he was, the signs was so confusing. I acted with good intentions and now it is clear that, as you all say, there is a signpost in front of me with a big finger clearly pointing out of the village... and its ignorance and gossip. Not that it will be paradise somewhere else, of course!
    I think whatamess is right. I think at this stage there is no conspiracy to "evict" us but it is clear that they are very, very alarmed by J's raging. Yet why has he suddenly started doing this?? Some connection, presumably, to the constant punishing. Of course kids like J are so difficult to understand and manage, and on top of that we HAVE had our attachment difficulties. For sure and certain, the village is not going to change any century soon! I suppose it is part of their charm. Love it or leave it. I do have understanding for their ignorance, Ktllc, in a sense I don't take it personally. If we do have the meeting with the doctor, perhaps it will be a useful thing for them. Anyway, obviously my point of focus has to be J and not educating them!
    Just spoke to the psychiatrist's office and the secretary said she will ring me today. So hopefully we will be able to set up some meeting.
    I think compassion is always a rare and precious commodity in our world. It seems to be in short supply for this situation right here and now. We do need more compassion and understanding, as all of our difficult children do... At least there are some people who DO understand, who do not judge but want to help. Just have to find more of them :)
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion there are more open minds in a big city...and often also a lot more places to get help. Our little town is a gossip mill, but we stay out of it and my two youngest kids aren't part of it because they aren't misbehaving. You get more anonymity when there is a crowd. Honestly, it is hard to believe there is a place in the world where teachers say J. is the first ADHD child they have ever had. If so, they just don't recognize it and it is probably a good idea to leave the world of rose-colored glasses. Poor J. But he will progress in his learning wherever he is...faster if people understand him. And why would a childminder contact a govt. official???? What does he have to do with things? They must be pretty bored if they can worry about if J is disrespectful or not. Even in my small town nobody would knock on our door because of our child's manner of speaking to us!!!
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    As you well know from the rest of us and you own experience, traditional methods of punishment simply don't work with our kids, and that's exactly what they've been doing far too much of. It hasn't (and won't) occur to them that something else might work better. Consistency is good, but if the method isn't working after all this time and obviously making things worse (as happens with our kids) it's time to find a new method. And we often have to keep finding new, creative methods because our kids outgrow what we cook up for them with alarming frequency.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im wondering if you have given them any of the excellent books and articles on managing an ADHD child in classrooms? If not, I would. I dont think it is entirely these people's fault that they dont know how to manage a child that is different. I also wonder if you are confusing punishment for discipline. I think all children need discipline and boundaries. They are going to test boundaries and need discipline when they step over those boundaries. It is how they learn. From what you have posted I dont get the feeling that you dole out much in the way of either. That just leaves J confused when the rest of the world does dole out discipline to him and that is the rest of the world works. He isnt special to anyone else. You will never convince the world at large that they need to give him a free pass to do as he pleases just because he is ADHD and that really does him a disservice to allow him to think it does from a very young age. He will learn to use that as a crutch. He may have a harder time than some kids but he can learn.

    At any school he will be expected to follow basic rules.
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think it is not as simple as that. Unfortunately.
    I do not confuse punishment and discipline. I TOTALLY refute that I do not discipline J - in the sense of picking him up, pointing out to him, scolding him when he behaves inappropriately, selfishly, etc. I am not a punishment-minded person but I would use what works. The truth is that trying to punish this child is simply impossible and counter-productive, whether at home or at school. I let natural consequences ensue when I can. Having said that, I am very far from perfect or from having perfect tools to deal with this child. I don't. So I am quite sure there are things I could do better, learn, etc. When he is being difficult, he is very difficult and anybody would find him so. Of course I do have sympathy for the school staff. But what I know is that the principal has refused to listen to me or take me seriously for three years on the subject of hyperactivity. I have lent her books, articles, proposed that she meet the psychiatrist, etc. She won't have any of it. She doesn't know about ADHD and she doesn't want to learn. I have also given articles about ADHD at school to his teacher, who told me he was too busy to read them...
    And I do rather take exception to the idea that I am giving him or think it desirable that he should have a free pass to do whatever he likes... Ummm. No. :)
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Mostly it is ignorance. But the personal part is the parenting judgement. Really that's ignorance too because they don't understand the neurological basis so.of.course it's all on you.
    That all happens here too. Every single place I've lived there have been some who judge even among the "professionals ".

    The difference is that we also have many who do understand and resources and support. You are an island in that sense. Even if someone cares, they don't know enough to ongoingly support J.

    I think small towns can be lovely and you couldn't have known this would happen. When you moved, you didn't even really know if he for sure had adhd, he was alot younger and hadn't started any academics. Many of us have to move for our kids and if you remember, Q wanted to stay even with people assaulting him and being locked in the house most days! I had to pack in secret and he ripped open my boxes. Kids will say they prefer to stay because they fear the unknown. Q now loves it here. We have to take on the perspective they can't possibly have but it's hard. Lot's of reassurance about the great new kids and classes and activities etc helps. I admit we did more free rewards like going to eat, chcking out new places etc.

    It's too bad, you know J will not be their only child with an invisible disability. I hope the psychiatrist meeting will help. Are there any one-2 page handouts or simple books in French you can share?
    Moving won't eliminate problems. You've been around enough to know that even with laws and trained professionals many of us still hit snags, but most of us have options and recourse. I.pray for that for you too. I.might be tempted to rent till I found the right location though, sigh.
    Many hugs, keep your chin up. Nothing they say is based on true knowledge. Do lots of accurate self talk about the truth in this. You're doing your best as is J. It's just not a good match with this town now.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Heehee we posted at the same time, you answered my questions
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    And.....extra thought.......

    They seem very group minded, which can be important especially in a small town.

    Individual rights are highly prized here, lots of debate on some subjects where that can conflict with the good of the whole.

    When it comes to race and the disabled or any other group where there has been discrimination ....I do believe living where individual rights are legally protected and valued even if the group has to accommodate somewhat is a good thing.

    When Special Education rights and laws first started there was lots of "it's not fair to the others" over things like a student using a word processor instead of a pencil and paper! I heard over and over, all the kids will want one. Same for figits held by kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD. Now years later it's common and we realize kids are much more capable of understanding differences than we gave them credit for. Simple explanations and kids say, oh....ok!
    Of course there are extremes and kids who strip or beat up others? Yeah we need special places and to work on those issues in private, for the dignity of the special student too.
    You would likely face resistance yearly even if they agree to try. Q is often the first of his kind in places and it's not easy.
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks, buddy! Your input gratefully received...
    Thinking things through, there is basically ONE school in Marrakech, where my friends and contacts are and where I'd like to return, that could work for him. It follows the French national programme and is kind of like going to school in France BUT there are tiny numbers. Maximum 10 in the class he would be in, probably fewer. I phoned the principal today (I met her when I went to visit the school at Christmas) and put all my cards on the table, because I have to do this... Open communication from the beginning!!! I explained that he is diagnosed hyperactive and a little bit of what that meant and would that be something they could work with? She sounded a little doubtful at first but seemed more open at the end of the conversation - she said, yes, in principle but I would need to come in to visit with J to see how things were. She is Belgian, an ex primary school teacher, and said she had taught an autistic child but never a hyperactive one. I said that in some ways there were similarities...
    So if it were to work out with this school, it would not be any WORSE than where he is now. And what I liked about the school - total about 40 kids, just like the village school - is that the children are very cosmopolitan and international. Lots of different nationalities and different races. This is good.
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sounds promising. What about outside supports like psychiatrists, tdocs, Occupational Therapist (OT), etc...?