How do you ladies keep it together?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Archives' started by momof3boys, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. momof3boys

    momof3boys New Member

    I find myself getting so angry with my difficult child, eventhough I know that his outbursts and bad behavior are not his fault. I try so hard to stay positive and focus on giving him a lot of positive reinforcement, and only using negative consequences for major offenses. But there are days where I'm so exhausted, and feel so deprived of a "normal" life where I could enjoy and pay attention to all of my kids, where I could drop him off for a playdate without sitting on eggshells the whole time, etc, and I find myself blaming him. I know this is wrong, and I rarely let it effect how I parent him. But sometimes it does. I find myself yelling and saying some thing that I know I shouldn't say, but I have trouble stopping myself when I get to this point. How do you ladies stop yourselves? Please don't get me wrong, I don't think that I'm abusive or anything, I just know that sometimes I end up parenting in the way that I know doesn't work with our guys, but I just sometimes can't help it.
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's hard. It takes a lot of self-awareness in order to recognize you are approaching your break point.

    I don't know anything about your history, so what I'm going to relay may not be applicable to your situation at all.

    I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I'd have a child that would tell me "no" or who wasn't able to follow directions. Nothing in my life had prepared me for raising a difficult child.

    My traditional parenting skills are good. Problem was that my son did not respond to traditional parenting skills. I learned that first I had to change my behavior and attitude before I could change his.

    It takes a lot of time and patience to deal with our kids. Patience was not something I had a lot of to begin with. I had to really, really work at it. lol And I'm still a work in progress. lol

    Really coming to understand difficult child's ADHD helped me a lot. Not the surface stuff such as a list of symptoms -- the stuff you have to dig deep to find most of the time. Example: ADHD kids chronological age doesn't mean a whole lot. The 2/3rds rule applies (child acts 2/3rds their age).

    Other things I learned:
    Do not give directions such as "go clean your room." Break it down. Put your toys up. After that's done, then direct difficult child to "carry dirty clothes to the laundry room," then direct, etc.
    Create a hand signal that means "stop doing that" and use it consistently.
    Be consistent.
    Pick your battles wisely.
    difficult child's life must be structured.
    Give him lead time so that he can adjust to transitions. (Ex: Bedtime in 15 min, bedtime in 10 min, bedtime in 5 min)
    Don't sweat the small stuff.
    Take time for yourself.
    Talk is worthless for young children with-disabilities, but can help parents retain sanity.

    Couple of good ADHD links for you:

    ADHD and Executive Dysfunction:

    Hugs. I remember well when difficult child was this age. Every day was a battle. The first battle of the day was getting shoes on little feet. Socks had to be "just right." It could take 30 min. Sigh.....

    Turned out it was the ADHD at all but Sensory Integration Disorder. Sigh again.....

    Hang in. It will get better.
  3. franTW

    franTW New Member

    I know how you feel!! I just found these boards and just knowing there are other moms with children like ours helps me right now. I feel so alone. Families don't understand . friends don't understand. all I can offer is a big hug! I see your in pa. so am I. I just moved from Phila to close to willow groove in Mont county. I think moving has put alot of stress on the whole family. I love the area, but again it's lonely, family and friends are about a half an hour away.

  4. momof3boys

    momof3boys New Member


    I delivered my youngest child at Abington Memorial. You aren't too far from us. We live in Chalfont.

    Thanks for the support ladies. I really appreciate it.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Two things that were especially critical when difficult child was younger were sleep and time for myself. If I didn't have suffient amounts of rest I was far more likely to respond to his antics in ways that would escalate him. I don't need much in terms of getting out of the house for time to myself--a quick trip to the bookstore alone does wonders.
  6. TerriH

    TerriH New Member

    I liked to go to lunch with one child, and ONLY one child!

    OK, that usually meant fast food, but that's OK!

    We would sit and talk about burgers, dressing up, the neighbors new puppy, or WHATEVER! After running a household it was EASY to have lunch with just one! Lunch with the other child would be another day.

    Enjoying a meal with one child was quality time for them, and it helped to reinforce to me that I WAS a good Mother! Just not always so good at juggling many tasks at once!

    And, difficult child was much less likely to act out because without the other child to distract me, I could see what was giving him trouble BEFORE he did something regretable.

    I have fond memories of those lunches.
  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    It's good some people have advice. I have 2 difficult child's, a easy child with heart disease, two insane puppies, four outrageous kitties, a full time job, a 5 acre farmhouse, and a SO.

    Honestly, between work, house, animals, kids, doctor appointments, phone calls, school, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and all the nonsense in between, I don't know HOW I do it. I just do.

  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Terri, I work in alone time with each child, according to their needs. difficult child and I go out to a bookstore cafe on Sunday evenings all through the school year when the other kids are at church activities. My oldest easy child stays up late on Friday nights and after the younger two go to bed we often go out to the bookstore or catch a movie either here or at home. My daughter still likes me to read and lay down with her at bedtime plus I bring her home for lunch once or twice a week. I agree these are really important to maintaining relationships and not just letting how things are going with difficult child to call the shots.

    Speaking of going out, I will mention this because it's worked so effectively with difficult child. One of the best things we can do for him when we sense he's in that premeltdown stage is to get him out of the house. Ditto when he's got into it with one of us parents. If it all possible one of us drops everything and takes him out until he's had time to cool off. Now I can't say that going out with him in that mood is the funnest for *me* but it's sure beats dealing with a 2 hour meltdown!
  9. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    What works well for me is getting up about half an hour earlier than the rest of the family to have my tea and breakfast and watch the news alone. It is a small thing but it helps me to start the day. I can't imagine jumping right in without this time to myself.
    Also, wine in the evening helps.
    Oh and today I went to an intensive yoga class, it really helped me to relax and get difficult child out of my mind. I plan to go every day this week. I am taking some time off work because I am so stressed.

    That's my advice!
    I am enjoying this thread and learning a lot!!

  10. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Well-let's see--I take alot of deep breaths. I don't waste my time talking about difficult child to people who don't understand. It only frustrates me to listen to people complaining about their easy child's. I would love to have their problems.

    I try and get out. I attend a monthly book club and bunko club. I spend alone time with each of the kids. I eat tooo much. I tell myself it is not personal--I spend alot of time reading this board. I try and exercise in the mornings.

    I don't let difficult child go to people's homes--as I don't want him to mess up. I allow the kids to come to my home. I praise and encourage the easy child's that he plays with so that they want to come again.

    It is is frustrating..but it must be done.
  11. momof3boys

    momof3boys New Member

    Thank you ladies for all the great advice. Each one of you had something great to offer. I don't know what I'd do without this board. I've been taking a look at this thread in the mornings and re-reading it to get me in the right frame of mind for the day. Its really been helpful.
  12. OK, I'm a little late to the party here, but I'll throw in my two cents. I know there was a thread in one of the forums where people wrote their tricks for coping, but I couldn't find it. I myself have trouble not saying what I am thinking at times, as I grew up in a house with a lot of verbal abuse. When the cub is driving me nuts, I have a little mantra I say to myself. "He didn't choose to be this way." I'll say it over and over to myself. He didn't choose to inherit the brain chemistry he has. Who would? He is what he is. [I say that a lot, too.] Doesn't mean he can't learn more appropriate behaviors and develop more self-control with time, but life is much harder for him than it is for those with "normal" brain chemistry. Perhaps you can find a little mantra that you can repeat to yourself a few times to help you get a little more space before feeling and speaking. Good luck!

    P.S. If you find a good one, share, OK?