How do I explain?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am trying to figure out how to explain difficult child's issues to easy child to help him understand why difficult child "has it easier" at school and why I handle things at home differently for difficult child than I do easy child. easy child is very intelligent and capable and responsible does awesome in school with very little help. He is also a twin to difficult child so he doesn't understand that difficult child is not like him and that is why things are handled differently at school and at home. I also think that difficult child doing well is causing confusion?, jealousy?, anger? for easy child. When difficult child would have a meltdown, easy child went off by himself during it but then after difficult child calmed down, I would feel sorry for easy child so he and I would spend some time just talking or playing a game. Now that difficult child is doing better, they play with each other until easy child causes a problem (I think to try to get difficult child into trouble) which backfires because easy child ends up in trouble for causing the problem and difficult child is having a meltdown which means I have to calm difficult child down and discipline easy child. Now it's either they are getting along well or ther is total chaos, no time for me to have 1:1 time with easy child. I'm not sure how to explain difficult child-ness to easy child so we can have peace in our house and so he doesn't feel left out or angry or jealous or confused or ???? at difficult child's "special treatment" at home and school.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Hmmmm... that's a tough one, especially because they are twins. Do you take difficult child for counseling? Can the counslor talk to easy child and try to explain it to him? I know that I once complained to difficult child's therapist because I felt like I had to parent difficult child and easy child with two completely different sets of rules, and he explained to me that that was indeed what I had to do because my kids have a big age gap (five years) and because their personalities are so different. Maybe you can explain it to easy child that way. That your kids have very different personalities and need to be dealt with differnently, be it at school or in how they are discliplined at home.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You need to make time for each of them as individuals, and not have it conditional on good behaviour. If easy child is misbehaving, or if he is being good - go for a walk together, just the two of you. Use the walk to just connect, and discuss whatever topic comes up. These need to be discipline-free zones. Also, ask each boy what they want form you, what they would like to do for this one-on-one time. Even if it is only half an hour a week per child, do it. If you can manage half an hour a day, wonderful. But you have to MAKE the time. However, time spent now doing this, will be a connection made with your child that will last life-long. If you do this, then you will NOT be one of those parents later in life complaining how you never see your kids now they've grown, married and moved away.

    Invest now, for a family future.

    As for how to tell him - just tell him. Showing is good - if you could take your easy child to a noisy place, say the mall during Christmas shopping, then give him a sheet of senior high school maths problems to do and stand there while he is doing them saying, "Come on, hurry up! Look at that boy over there, I wonder what that tastes like, who is that woman? Hurry up, haven't you finished yet?"
    Then ask him how it felt to have to try to think, under those conditions. Then tell him that for difficult child, a quiet classroom is as distracting as the mall. Every minute of every day, his total sensory input is almost overwhelming. But he is learning, which shows how hard he is trying. And easy child has the same capacity in him, to achieve what he really sets his mind to. You are proud of them both for being such strong, capable people.

    Affirm, affirm, encourage, love. Educate. Affirm. And above all, love.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Love Marg's advice!!
  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    i second that. Great advice marg ... I will also follow it !
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    :smug:Thanks for the good advice Marg (as usual). I will try that "demonstration". It may be the only way he'll figure it out. I will try to explain it first but the demonstration will be what makes it real for him.

    :confused:As for 1:1 time, that is harder. When difficult child is calm and they are getting along, neither of them wants anything to do with me. When they aren't, it's a knock down drag out. I have the knife stab marks in my door to prove it. I can't just let that go. easy child knows better and I am only "assuming" the reasons he does it. I will talk to him over the holiday week-end. Maybe he and I can work all this out with explanations and compromising. He is intelligent enough to be able to process it with me once he has all the information and then he and I can set a time and day(s) of the week for 1:1 time.

    Wish me luck.;)
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Talk to both of them if you need to, tell them that from now on, whether they like it or not, you are instituting mother and son time. They can use this to bring up grievances, or they can use it to ask you to do something special with them. But the purpose is to ensure the communication channels between you are kept open. Book a time in your weekly schedule.

    For me, the weekly time is any time when difficult child 3 & I are in the car together, going somewhere. Just him and me. I let him drive the conversation a lot of the time, because it is good practice for him. But sometimes I need to step in and raise a topic. Or we might have the radio on, and a news story comes up so we talk about it. I ask his opinion, I value it, we discuss various viewpoints so he understands where his opinion fits with everyone else's.

    Maybe you might need to institute the 1:1 time with the two of them together, to begin with. As they are twins, it could be where you need to begin. If this means you have to ask them to let you join in their games, then do it. Find a game you can stand and ask them to teach you to play it. Make the time. You might even luck out - after you spend the time playing, you may need their help to catch up on chores and they may be more willing to help you.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member youngest two arent twins but they are exactly 2 years and 13 days apart and quite close. They did everything together.

    While I tried to parent somewhat the same, I couldnt do things exactly the same for each kid. Jamie got so jealous when Cory had to be sent off to a wilderness camp that he acted up like you wouldnt believe. Cory behaved like an angel leaving us and Jamie was the devil child Here we were sending off Cory for out of control behavior to a place where we didnt know when he would come home, and Jamie is throwing a tea total fit. We were astounded. Well when we thought about made perfect sense. To him, it seemed that Cory was getting rewarded by going to "camp" by behaving badly. (My boys love outdoorsy stuff)

    It took Jamie about a month or so to get back to his normal self. By then he figured out he wouldnt want to be gone from home that

    Those two could fight between them so badly. One could push the others buttons like no one else. I could never get Cory to realize that Jamie was deliberately making him mad to get him in trouble. Then he would stand there like..what? who me? what did I do?

    by the way...they adore each other now. LOL.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    With kt & wm I explained things in an age appropriate manner. I explained that while wm could ride his bike like crazy kt had an artistic bent. In the same right, each of them had their own issues, disorders, illnesses.

    As my twins have aged/matured the competition is completely intact. The difference in emotional ages are extreme; kt working at almost her physical age however has her disorders. wm is working at probably half his physical age but is doing well for an 8 year old.

    I didn't dwell on the differences or the illness/disorder. I worked very hard on the positives, the talents the tweedles display. When kt is having a dissociative state & wm calls, I let wm know that kt isn't doing well. If he asks for an explanation I keep it short & sweet ~ very to the point & vice versa.

    Marg has very good & insightful advice. Use it, use what works for you & yours.