Hope this is not a stupid question...what is normal?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nandz, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. nandz

    nandz Guest

    I have lived for 5 yrs with my precious difficult child whom I love very much. Our lives were in a constant uproar because of his behaviors that all of it over time seemed like a very normal lifestyle and behaviors even though I knew they were all abnormal. Now that we have him on medications and seemed to have the right combo for him, he still has his moments. I have trouble knowing what is him being a "normal" kid and what is abnormal since we lived abnormally for so long. Does anyone else wonder this? He had a melt down yesterday because it was time to get out of the pool and he got mad at the Wii because he lost. I told my husband these are normal 5 yr old behaviors. Most 5 yr olds get mad at parents if they make them do something they aren't ready to quit doing, right? I asked his psychiatrist this same question about what is normal and he said it is really hard to gauge what is "normal" because there is such a broad spectrum. Anyone else have any insight?

    Me--ADD, Depression zoloft and occasional concerta

    husband--wonderful hubby and father

    difficult child -- ADHD/ODD Adderall and Risperdal

    easy child-- 14 mo. old boy who is delightful, happy, yet very headstrong!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is my experience with raising five kids, the youngest one now being 14.

    Actually, most kids will be fairly compliant. They may whine "I don't want to go now" or "Can't we stay please?" But most kids will go without raging. A rage isn't normal for any age kid. Most of my kids have never raged. I'd say most kids will accept it if they are at a store and want candy, but the parent says "no." They may stamp a foot or pout, but they will not throw themselves on the floor and scream. That is over-the-top. Most kids can hear the word "no" in general. And most do respond to time outs and other forms of discipline. Remember, though, the fact that your child is so much better is a great thing. medications do not correct behavior 100%. And within normal, some kids are still more spirited than others. My youngest was an easy kid, baby to now. You tell her no and she may pout, but that's it. She wants to please. My oldest daughter was very sensitive. She didn't disobey us so much as cried easily if her feelings had been hurt. She had some tantrums too. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid used to rage, oblivious to whether others were around or if we were in public or if anyone could see...that is not the norm. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can not transition well...to this day (and he's almost 17) we have to ease him from one transition to another.

    There is a wide range of normal. I would say any sort of public rage that happens often and causes attention is not within the norm. The best way to see normal behavior is to go to a busy park or shopping and watch other kids. Then you can see if your child is behaving outside the box or like the other kids.

    I'm glad your child is doing so well that you have to ask if he's behaving normally ;) Take care.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good question.

    But even with-my easy child, I gave her 3 tries to get out of the pool, just because I remembered how I never wanted to get out of the pool when my mom came to pick us up. It's normal to want to continue what you are doing if you are mentally or emotionally engaged, and/or having fun. Or all three!

    Do you give him warnings to get out of the pool? Like, "difficult child, time to get out of the pool in 10 min." then "difficult child, time to get out in 5 min." and so on.

    I agree, that whining is normal, full blown rages are not.
  4. nandz

    nandz Guest

    Yes, I always give time warnings. I actually told him he had 20 min and then get out..then 10 min and get out, and finally I said he had 5 min. left and then get out. When the time was up, he whined and sort of threw a fit, but there was no rage by any means. He didn't scream, kick, yell, etc..he was just angry because he didn't want to get out because he loves to swim so much. It's so hard. My easy child has an attitude, but he's only 14 months old and is learning all about emotions and boundaries right now.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So ... I guess that sounds pretty normal, then, for a 5-yr-old. He just digs his heels in, right?

    Funny, that you say your 14-mo-old is just learning about emotions and boundaries. That could be my son ... and he's 13 yrs old! :tongue:
  6. Star*

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

    ((((((((((((((Normal is an illusion created by other people that don't have difficult child's.)))))))))))))
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    "Normal" for me is "weird" for you.

    So. If normal happens where normal is supposed to happen... Normal. If weird happens where normal is supposed to happen, then it's weird. BUT... If weird happens where weird is supposed to happen, wouldn't that be NORMAL? And if normal happens where weird is supposed to happen, then it's weird.

    Know what I mean??

    OK that said... I agree. RAGES are not normal. Even last night Onyxx told me that even if she acted like a typical teen she would be in trouble. I pointed out that her ranting (not a rage, just whining) was typical teen and if she noticed, I wasn't yelling back, I was listening and asking for clarification. When she escalated, I left the room. (She smarted off to me as I left too, telling me I "always" walked away when she was upset. I didn't say a word - though I wanted to turn around, raise an eyebrow and say... "And when you get upset and leave I'm not supposed to say anything?")

    Still - no rage. She escalated, I left, leaving nothing to escalate her further. Regardless, I was ready to rip her head off - which is precisely why I left. I can usually stay calm, but I had HAD it.

    SO - keep your chin up... And don't worry. If he's being well-behaved - ENJOY IT!!!