I could use some input here.........

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    The weekend with kayla and alex has be great. Other than normal kid stuff........and alex being alex.......we've had no real issues. The kids are having a wonderful time.

    So ok obviously that isn't the problem....... lol

    I've know since they got here that both alex and Evan are babied........FYI this is extreme, not just pampering.

    Well, I had to laugh because Katie sent "instructions" with the kids. Okkkkkk.......hmmm I haven't raise 4 along with oh, I dunno how many of Nichole's friends not to mention how many neighborhood kids along the way. easy child is on her 3rd child, geez We're both nurses. I think we can handle a 9 and 10 yr old without instructions. LMAO But we both got a huge laugh out of it anyway and I guess it does show she cares on her part.

    Kayla's were age appropriate. You know, make sure she really brushes her teeth ect. Foods she does/doesn't like, which is irrelevant in our family because you eat what is set before you or you don't eat. No fuss, no muss, just the way it is, the way it always has been.

    Alex's on the other had were ridiculous for a 9 yr old and I don't care if he is a special child or not. She wanted easy child to physically bathe him. Seriously? You're kidding? He can't put soap on a rag, scrub himself and rinse off? Please. omg She had on there that easy child would have to button his pants and help him dress. Really?? She wanted him to sleep with his batman blanket. (ok this one isn't too bad at least. Then listed foods he refused to eat. Ok same rule applies to him, sorry. And went on and on about how he will drill you nonstop over everything from the menu of every meal to every movement/activity of the day. Hmm. We knew that one already.

    While I get the maternal concern....... MY concern is that Alex's are soooo age inappropriate that it's not even funny. It's not even geared toward his level of functioning. Yes, developmentally he is hovering at between 4-5 yrs. Last time I checked, while a child at that level may need some supervision......they are capable of putting soap onto a rag, lathering up and rinsing off. They can dress themselves. At least all of mine were including Travis.

    Surprise. The boy has done just fine. And holy moly he can button his own pants. geez

    Yup. He did the 1 million questions over meals, activities, you name it. He got answered once, an honest answer which means if we didn't know, then get over it we don't know. After that he got ignored. Totally. We didn't answer the same question twice. I watched the questioning become less and less........just as both easy child and I figured it would. Both Katie and M feel compelled to answer him every single time........does not help that they allow him to get up in their faces and he refuses to move until they tell him something.

    Kayla says to me, but grandma that is just how he is, it's part of his "condition".

    I replied, "yes dear it is how he is, and he won't learn to do better unless someone teaches him"

    "But grandma he can't help it."

    "Yes Kayla he can, if he is taught. Travis does not act that way because he was taught not to act that way."

    Oh boy. :sigh: Kayla got quiet and sat and thought that one over for a while, she also noticed that her brother did not do things with us that he does with his parents. Why? We just simply refuse to tolerate it. Never a raised voice. Momma voice was used once or twice. But we expected, he delivered.

    He has done very well. Kayla has done well too.......but I do see some gfgness in there that is concerning me now that I've spent time with her away from her parents. She is majorly role confused. She is not sure if she is an adult or child. She received a few of those momma looks herself. (they respond well to that by the way lol ) And she is having some serious reading/spelling issues. I should not be telling a 10 yr old how to spell "girl" and many other 4 letter words, she should have those down by now. I should not be having to read her Little House on the Prarie, she should be able to read it to herself. Do I think it is dyslexia? I don't know.......I'm not seeing signs of it so far.....I'm seeing a child who does not read or spell well for her age group. I see no letter reversal, word substitution ect. Her skills just seem poor. Although I may pick up more later.....I just didn't see it this weekend.

    Another concern, she spins some of the wildest tales I've ever heard. lol A concern but not a huge one as she could just have a great imagination.

    Did have an odd moment. I made my homemade cocoa, popcorn and husband set up things so we could watch xmas cartoons. I put in Santa Claus is coming to town..........now if you know that one then you know the part where the winter warlock is singing about how to change? She was hiding it but she was crying. Because she was hiding it, I didn't bring it into the open. She recovered once the song was over. Not sure what that was about as she was fine after that clear until she fell asleep.

    Ok. I need input on how to maybe approach this treating your kids like they're infants thing with katie and M where hopefully they'll listen and not just take offense and not hear what they really need to hear. I mean yes, I get Alex is a special needs child, I've raised my own. But that doesn't justify treating him like a 9 yr old toddler when he is capable of doing for himself most of what is apparently done for him. And we already know she's treating Evan the same way only more so. The school brought it up and Katie got defensive. She was not pleased that I backed them up.

    I do plan on highly recommending to her 123 Magic and the Ross Greene books. Katie certainly needs some sort of guide.......perhaps reading it in print will help it sink in and give her some skills for parenting the kids, most especially the difficult child boys.

    This is not only sad but ridiculous. Alex is slow in learning, he's obviously autistic. Seriously? That is it. That doesn't mean he can't be taught rules of proper behavior, manners, and independent behavior. In fact I see no reason so far that he can't learn those things like any other child. He certainly responded just fine to both easy child and I, and he does to his teachers at school as well. Alex may not progress much further academically.......staff hinted at that as he is not progressing much at all....snails pace would be faster, even with interventions in place. He needs to learn independent living skills, and to start learning those skills as soon as possible so that by the time he reaches adulthood they're ingrained in him where he basically does it automatically. And from what I've seen so far with Evan, it's going to be the same scenerio.

    Katie and M seriously lack parenting skills, there is no doubt. I'm just not sure how to bring that up without sounding like I'm attacking them (which is not what I'm trying to do ) and them getting defensive.

    And I'm going to have to really lay it on her over Kayla's glasses. She's falling behind in 2 very important skills. She needs them yesterday.

    Only big thing I saw with both is they have trouble understanding that adults decide, not children. There is no debate, no discussion. It's done. Period. (talking about situations in which this is appropriate) Both backed down when they saw we were budging, we couldn't/wouldn't be manipulated like their parents. But still, if their parents don't get this under control now........I predict in a year they're kids will be walking all over them. Alex already gets in katie's face and tells her what she is going to do or else. The or else part would give any difficult child on this board a run for their money. ugh And sad thing is..........I can see katie backing down.

    She told me on fb chat on friday (and this is exactly how she words this sort of thing) M told me to tell you that you should be proud of me. A child took Evan's toy, this child has been hitting Evan for a week, Evan hit him and took his toy back. The mom went off on both Katie and Evan and evidently Katie actually stood up to her and told her off.

    It took her a week? A week of watching her kid be hit by another kid? OMG I have my work cut out for me....................................:hangin:
  2. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Hound Dog - from everything you've written about the situation with the kids, what they are lacking most is STABILITY. The issues with Kayla's reading could just be from being switched from school to school and missing out on the important "building blocks". Sure, most kids should know how to spell "girl" - but where was she when those subjects are usually covered in school? Was she in school, being switched around, or having to parent the other two kids herself? And I'm sure the lack of glasses doesn't help.
    And again, with Alex, if he is autistic, or just somewhere on the spectrum, you know how important routine is for these kids. What routine has he had in his life? Katie's overprotectiveness is understandable - many parents feel that way when their child has issues. Has someone taught HER how to teach him to be more independent, even if it means he fails once in a while?

    I really think without some type of long term intervention (whether that means you taking the kids, some agency getting extremely involved, what have you) there's no way these children will begin to recognize boundries, know what they should or shouldn't do, or work to potential.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think the best way to approach this is to just show them that he has done it for you, so apparently he is capable of doing it.

    I wonder if her "instructions" were given so that you and easy child wouldn't become frustrated if he really wasn't able to do those things for you. Not saying that katie doesn't do those things for him, but gave the list to protect the kids maybe. I can't get my thoughts out the way I want.
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Oh,my, you certainly do have your work cut out for you. And you're doing a great job so far. My guess is that those kids are craving limits. Kayla might be very confused, but my guess is that she would like nothing more than to completely assume the role of the child. Her taking on adult roles at times were probably out of necessity. They will learn,by your being consistant, that children do not make big decisions (but do allow them the power to make small ones), that children do not debate with adults over decisions and that the rules are in place for their own good. They will accept this over time.

    The babying would bother me, too. Most likely, they need a little of it. By reading Kayla "Little House on the Prarie", you're giving her the warm, special attention every child craves ... attention she may have gotten precious little of in the past. By reading to her, you'll expose her to the words and that will help her reading and spelling skills. Have her follow along with you. Her crying while watching the movie breaks my heart. That poor little girl has beent hrough so much. Praise her to high heaven when she exhibits age-appropriate independance but allow her special moments of being a child.

    With things like bathing and dressing, I would simply expect Alex to do it. I would praise him when he is succesful and then move on to setting higher goals. When my daughter was that age, the praise and reward system worked very well. He (like my daughter) sounds very attention-seeking with the zillions of questions. Sounds like you're handling that part very well. Answer once and ignore.

    I hate to say this, but I doubt that bringing this up to Katie and M is going to do a darned thing. They are taking the road of least resistance with raising their kids - as they are in life. The only way you're going to help is through the kids themselves, as you are now. I would not waste my energy trying to educate the parents.

    Many hugs to you.
  5. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    It may be that doing things for Alex began when they were in situations where there was very little time allotted per family in shelter facilities for bathing,
    and if Alex sat there not washing himself Katie stepped in and did it for him - and then it became their pattern. Then she assumed he can't do it - something
    like that. Perhaps you can approach the topic with Katie by expressing delight that he has been able to do this and is clearly making great progress. You could
    suggest in a positive way that he may be making strides forward in different areas, and then continue expecting him to do age-appropriate things while he's with

    Re Kayla, I agree that likely the main reason she's behind in reading and spelling skills is chronic instability and lack of sustained teaching. Reading to her and along
    with her will be a huge help to her. I read to all my kids through middle school - by then it was a mutually-enjoyed thing and I chose books that were a bit beyond their
    level, but within reach if they tried. They then tended to re-read them, having enjoyed the story. Do carry on with the Little House books! Wonderful for kids. If Kayla
    needs glasses that's virtually an emergency at this age. I don't know if any local agency will pick up the tab, or if a place like LensCrafters will have a special program,
    but without necessary glasses she'll really have academic difficulty.

    It's great that you're providing a stable, disciplined, loving place for them to be. They'll want to return to it. And it does sound like Katie, in sending the instructions with the
    kids, is trying hard. I'd give her positive feedback on the concept and be gentle about bringing up your differences in opinion/experience. She needs guidance in parenting and
    the books, and your advice, will help her a lot. I'm very glad the weekend has gone well. :)
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    What you describe strikes me as....let me see if I can explain it..... It reminds me of a child who plays with baby-dolls - and then treats the new dog as a baby-doll, too - pushing him around in a stroller and tying bibs around his neck.

    It sounds like the two boys have been "the baby"...and parents K and M can't seem to move past that role. Maybe they really can't see their babies as anything else?

    Rather than confronting them - K and M probably need to see their baby doing something age appropriate for themselves. It might be a moment of realization for them. Maybe you can say "Look! Alex has been working really hard on this - he wants to show you that he can ________________."
  7. Star*

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

    Hey Hound -

    My initial thought was these kids didn't get this messed up over night - not going to get fixed over night. When I read Daisy Faces analogy it was like a light bulb went off and YES - that's what comes to me too. I think K never got to be a child and if you take that roll away from her too quickly she will resent it. So baby steps on that. As far as the fantasy yarns? That's her escape. Life was awful so she created an alternative world where things were nice, and decent and not shelters, and crazy Mom's and her doing the lions share of the work with adult responsibilities - probably a place where either things are very fair or she's in total control would be my guess - but either would seem almost appropriate make-believe to me. Dude did the same when we left x. His dad was WONDERFUL. I mean - the man sold him for crack. The man was not wonderful, but the stories he told others about him were absurd where Daddy Disney was almost Godlike and I was told while fantasy play in some cases is healthy; this is not. So we got Dude into therapy so he could deal with the underlying truth and pain of his life. If we didn't? Those things - later in life set patterns that can (CAN) manifest into undesirable behaviors - you tell a lie so long even you believe it kind of reality. Or you get lost between the truth and lies - you aren't able to tell the truth any more. These are dangerous things. She needs to know the difference now.

    I don't know if it translates to children - but I was told that for every ONE year of abuse it takes approximately TWO years of therapy and environment change to make a positive impact in a victims life. When I did the math in my own life? I counted I'd be near 60 - and freaked out. Talked to the shrink about that - and he said it depends on how well you respond to treatment. I was in an abusive situation for over ten years - and spent 15 in therapy - some of which was three times a week plus EMDR thearpy treatment. I still have my moments. But now I have tools - and I'm an adult with adult coping skills. Katie and Alex and E - have very limited coping skills - they need those -PLUS an environment like your home with stability. Stability and love are just part of the equation - not all of it. I wish that it were. therapy was so time consuming and some days for Dude it seemed like such a waste - but at 20 he's saying things that at 14,15,16 - he KNEW but never uttered - and is NOW....even though I swear some days he can't pull it together he's doing so much better - but he's using the tools he learned at 8,9.10 - it's weird how the brain remembers those things that far back. It's even more amazing when he says things like - I don't want to get in MORE trouble. I mean this is DUDE we're talking about. I figured it would be - I don't care -

    So - don't forget to keep the journal up - I think that will be INVALUABLE to any p doctor. with these kids. And God love ya for what you are doing. Extra jewels in your crown for sure.

  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My thoughts are that the general instability of their lives, gaps in school, changing schools often, and Kayla needing glasses all contribute to her trouble with reading and spelling. The behaviors? You're exactly right in that they have never been taught to behave, and it's been overlooked by his parents as part of his "condition."

    You're an awesome woman and a wonderful Nana!
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well I dunno about awesome woman or not........

    But the kids had a fabulous time despite being disciplined and kept in check. By some miracle we managed to squeeze into 3 days what we normally stretch out through the whole month. On the whole, they were well behaved kids for us. A good thing as of course it makes it so much easier to invite them back for another weekend later down the road. Anything that needed us to step in was nearly all normal kid issues, a very good thing.

    Yes it could be the notes were in case Alex refused to do for himself to protect him, I hadn't thought of it quite like that but that is a good point.....But he did really well. I even showed him how to wrap presents a time or two and he was able to wrap the rest of his presents himself. He was sooo proud.:likeit: We continued to hold the bar high behavior wise for him and he rose to the occasion. I plan to do some heavy duty bragging to Mom and Dad. Actually I plan to lay it on thick. lol Not a single repeated question today........no badgering over when the next meal would be or what would be on the menu, no attempting to zone out with a video game, and no tantrum when easy child told both boys today was a no video game day. I was very proud of him. Kayla did better remaining in the child role.....a few over looked slips....but she seemed to enjoy being a child today which is good.

    Yes Star the tall tales are concerning mostly dear ol' dad............and can she spin them! Good thing I am well practiced at keeping a straight face. To hear her talk I expected him to walk on water. Those concerning katie were slight exaggerations, they hit pretty close to home. I recognized it because I had the same issue as a kid. I'm embarrassed to say some of the enormous whoppers I told about my fabulous mother and my awesome homelife...........omg. lol I never got to the point where I actually believed what I told everyone else.....but then I didn't escape mine either until I left home so I was faced with cruel reality every day.

    I worry over the reading/spelling because those are such critical skills to have as an adult. Yeah, it's most likely from all the moving and such as Kayla is a very smart child and eager to learn when given half a chance. She learned how to loom over the weekend and took to it like a duck to water. Xmas eve I'll be teaching her to crochet, I have a feeling she'll take to that well too.

    Hmm. Perhaps if I brag about how we set the bar higher for Alex and he was able to meet it well it will at the very least show katie that he is not functioning as low as she believes him to be. We gave him lots of praise when he earned it and he just beamed. (I don't give false praise as I feel in the long run it can cause the opposite result) I hope he goes home and brags to them all the things he did for himself.