Is it too much to ..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakeupcall, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    ...expect my almost twelve year old to not torture the dogs, not scream every sentence, to not call me an "idiot", to not stick out his tongue to me, to not slam doors, to not kick an ouside ball against the windows... when his medications haven't kicked in yet? I have always struggled with this and here I am questioning it again. This morning was absolutely the PITS with difficult child. After repeated warnings of the consequences (no pool this afternoon with some friends we've not seen in several months), he continues to do the very things I have warned him about. I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND! After I tell him that I will go alone to meet them at the pool, he's all "oh, Mom, I'm so sorry. Give me one more chance..." etc. I told him no more chances and pushed him out the door to get on the bus. I have soooooo much trouble with guilt (uh oh, there goes that word again) of wondering if he really can't help it or if he's being an :censored2: and that's all. It's as if he gets on a roll at this "abuse" of me and can't stop it. I certainly would understand ONE slip up and being called on it and he remembers it from one second to the next, but it's as if I've never said a word as he continues on.

    No, he won't be going to the pool (because I always follow through with my threats), but I AM going. He can sit here in this house by himself and think about the way he's treated me this morning. I only worry about the state of my house or my Yorkies when I return.

    Please.....am I expecting too much?
     
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Pamela,

    I'd worry about leaving a child of your difficult children lack of impulse control & the fact that he is hurtful to animals, alone.

    I know that consequences make little impact with your difficult child. Doesn't work for mine either. All I can offer (which is "working" with kt) is to let your difficult child redo but help him redo with guidance.

    In other words, tell difficult child redo that & show him how to handle the dogs. Redo that & tell him the appropriate words versus the anger filled words.

    Redoing & taking stop & think (immediately after the negative behavior) is slowly sinking in for kt.

    No, it's not to much to expect an 11 year old to act appropriately with your animals or to use respectful tone of voice & words. And having said that, it takes much longer for our difficult children to get that.
     
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Linda, you might be right...I hadn't thought of leaving him alone in that fashion, especially if he's angry at me for leaving him and going on to the pool. I think I'll take him with me, fully clothed, and let him sit there and watch the others swim. I'm just SO angry at him right now.
     
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I'm reading Ross Greene's Treating Explosive Kids (written for the clinician but very readable for the lay person). It really gets into the mindset of our difficult children and working WTIH their cognitive deficits rather than using rewards and punishments (which in Greene's viewpoint don't work because they don't teach cognitive skills). You should take a look.
     
  5. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    I have a few thoughts based on what you've said.

    First, to leave him alone under the circumstances could be potentially explosive. I wouldn't do it.

    Secondly, to take him to the pool but not allow him to swim could also bring on an explosion. It's heavily punitive, which, although reasonable given his behaviors, will also potentially make the situation more explosive. If you buy into the idea that the severity of his behavior is beyond his control then you should question what type of punishment is appropriate.

    If he is at the pool, punished and unable to join the fun would he not potentially explode? It seems like a pressure cooker situation to me: I find it hard to imagine that he would just sit there without a mounting anger. And given the potential for a further explosion, if it were me, the thought of that alone would cancel out any enjoyment *I* might have.

    So given that, I would either:
    1. Go plan C-- and explain that you've given it some thought and the pool outing will be a nice activity for the two of you or
    2. Stick to your original "threat" and cancel the pool outing for both of you-- the potential for him to cause damage at home alone of have an explosiove episode while on the sidelines at the pool is too great.

    I hope I haven't offended with unsolicited advice-- this just occurred to me and I hope it helps.
     
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I agree with EB. It sounds like you are asking for trouble. There is no way I could like my daughter alone when she was angry and there is no way I could take her to a public place and not let her participate without a meltdown. Not at 5, not at 11, not at 20.

    How long does it take for his medications to kick in? Can you possibly give him his medications while he is still in a sleep mode? That is, wake him up just enough to swallow his pills and then have him go back to sleep until his normal wake up time and have the medications working before he gets out of bed?

    If these actions stop or at least become more manageable once his medications kick in, I honestly wouldn't punish him pre-medications because it sounds like he can't help it. To me, this is like punishing someone for having an allergic reaction before the Benedryl takes hold. They can't help the swelling, the blotching, the hives. It sounds like your son can't help the screaming, kicking, hyperactivity once he gets into this mode.
     
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I agree with EB. It sounds like you are asking for trouble. There is no way I could like my daughter alone when she was angry and there is no way I could take her to a public place and not let her participate without a meltdown. Not at 5, not at 11, not at 20.

    How long does it take for his medications to kick in? Can you possibly give him his medications while he is still in a sleep mode? That is, wake him up just enough to swallow his pills and then have him go back to sleep until his normal wake up time and have the medications working before he gets out of bed?

    If these actions stop or at least become more manageable once his medications kick in, I honestly wouldn't punish him pre-medications because it sounds like he can't help it. To me, this is like punishing someone for having an allergic reaction before the Benedryl takes hold. They can't help the swelling, the blotching, the hives. It sounds like your son can't help the screaming, kicking, hyperactivity once he gets into this mode.
     
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Pamela, it is interesting because I was just reading AllStressedOuts post and she was frustrated over the same thing! I was contemplating how to answer her, and then saw your post with the same dilemma. In order to deal with my own difficult child, I tend to ask the question, "what in the brain is not working correctly for my difficult child".

    I have read some research about how for these kids there is a lack of blood flow to the frontal lobe that causes them to have an inability to make good decisions. I am not sure how accurate that it - but, lets just say that this is indeed the case. That in actuality your son wakes up, and does not have enough blood circulating in the executive functioning area of his brain - then literally his brain is not operating correctly - and he is not able to think clearly. His brain is not working like yours and mine - and therefore the expectation of him "getting it" like we might get it is impossible.

    If one is able to operate from this paradigm, whatever the actual biological cause of the brain not working correctly may be, it lessens our anger towards our kids. If one operates from the paradigm that our kids really do want to please, and that there is an actual physical obstruction causing them to not be able to live up to their own internal expectations and desires then it creates in us an intrinsic need to help them be successful, rather than be punitive and frustrated.

    I don't know if this makes sense - but it helps me tremendously when dealing with my difficult child. It makes it easier to do what Linda was talking about in terms of redoing the behavior, rather than punishing the behavior. It also makes it easier to put things in baskets C and B if need be.

    So sorry you are having to deal with this day in and day out! I know how it stinks! One other thing that might help is wake him up an hour early to give him his medications, and then let him go back to sleep until wake up time. Then maybe he will be medicated while getting ready for school.
     
  9. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I don't think you are expecting too much but I also think it's possible he can't help it. In many ways, he reminds me of the way my difficult child used to be and I believe she couldn't help it. Now that we have figured out what her problem is, she doesn't do that any more. All of the behaviour management, consequences, therapy, etc. didn't help until we figured out what caused it.

    I also would be afraid to leave him alone. I would never be able to pull off having my difficult child come to the pool and not swim because it would just be too miserable for me. I think you should do whichever would make you the happiest. If you would prefer to stay home, do that and enforce his consequence. If you would rather go, find a way to make it work for him, too. But based on my own experience, keeping him home is unlikely to change his future behaviour.
     
  10. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I read all the posts that I can and sometimes I find one that applies to my life too. This is one of them, but the problem is, if I do this to my oldest easy child and he gets consequences for his actions, how can I not give consequences to my next in line because he may not understand it in the same way. In a house filled with his/mine/ours kids, you can't do that without coming across as unfair. I know fair doesn't always mean equal, but when you are a stepchild or a biological child in a house being raised by a stepparent or biological parent, if your stepparent gives you harder consequences, you feel like you are treated unfairly and if your biological parent is easier on your stepsiblings than you, you feel treated unfairly.

    I think you're right in sticking to your punishment, but thats just me. I still haven't figured out how much the book applies to my family. The problem I have is that my difficult children have improved significantly since living with me and having structure and guidelines, so I see that some punishment and/or consequences work. If some work, why don't they all? It seemed as if it was working until this year, surprisingly when all 3 became medicated. I didn't have perfect children by any means, but they at least were slowly getting it. Prior to medication of my youngest difficult child he seemed to have good and bad days, but his bad days were awful. Sometimes it still feels the same.

    I'm at a loss as to advice, but just know that there is someone else out there going through the same stuff. I don't think you're asking too much of a 12 year old, but then I wonder how old my 11 year old is mentally. He doesn't act 11, so should I treat him the way he acts? I feel like I'm not helping him by doing this, but who knows, maybe its what is in order for him. Again, I'm no help with advice, sorry! I feel your pain, does that help?
     
  11. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Ya know, maybe that's just it. He's eleven and act soooo much younger. I am unclear, too, how he should be treated. If I treat him as his chronological age, that's much different than his emotional age. On the other hand, are his middle school teachers going to treat him as if he were eight years old? When does he get prepared for the real world and being held responsible for one's actions? I never know if I'm being too hard on him, or if he NEEDS to wake up and start behaving appropriately. Even IF he were acting like an eight year old.....well, actually, I don't even know eight year olds who behave this way over and over and over. *Sigh*, this is so difficult. In the past the therapist has said do NOT let him dictate what YOU are going to do. He would tell me to get a babysitter and go on to the pool without him. I also know the "don't threaten unless you are willing to back it up"...and I've always been one to follow-through with what I have told him. difficult child's emotional age vs his chronological age is like trying to treat multiple personalities........arg....
     
  12. TrishaBC

    TrishaBC New Member

    Meowbunny has the perfect solution! My family has to do in order to be successfull, and if we accidently sleep in and don't do this that we pay the price. difficult child gets up at 7am, at 6am I creep in with his medications and water and gently wake him up just enough to sit up and swallow his medications. At 7am when he gets up he is a COMPLETELY different kid than if he gets up without taking his medications. He'll never be a perfect angel, but he has way more impulse control and is far better at staying on the morning routine. Give this a try it works like a charm :smile:
     
  13. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Actually, we used to do this quite often, when he was younger. Now, I only don't do it so that he has the full benefit of his medications during school hours. There's no doubt that if he could take medications MORE often, then it wouldn't be such a problem. He's taking the max of Focalin XR, so even giving him a "short acting" medication is out of the question. I SO worry about him at school, that we medicate for the school hours and therefore, home life s*cks!

    Of course, now he's arrived home from summer school and he has NO idea why I was so upset. He thinks I blow it waaay out of proportion, but I don't. He thinks it's the norm to treat your mother the way he treats me....and then let's go on with our day! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
     
  14. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I so so so understand! It is hard with all the different parenting advice and how you were raised and what works with other kids...none of it seems to work on our kids. I'm right there with ya on not knowing what to do. I feel your pain and I do the same things you do it seems. I swear I'm just scr*ewing up my kids more, but if you compare them to 4 years ago, they really are better. 4 years though? That seems like forever to have only made such little progress. If I could leave my difficult child's with a babysitter, I'd so choose that option. They just can't be left with anyone who doesn't deal with them regularly, ya know?
     
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