Some said brave...nope just stupid

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mum2JK&TH, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    Well at least we have made it past mid-July with being medication-free, I don't know what I was thinking :hammer: :smile:

    I don't know if it was the car accident that has caused his behavior lately but he has been so difficult this week! He is constantly finding trouble or putting himself in positions that he knows will upset me. He is very aggitated and whiny. The whole "whoa is me why is she so happy all the time and I'm so sad" thing is happening. Anxiety is pretty high. Tonights issue was that he wanted us to shut our door because it scares him being open. "Um? We've lived here how long and you are how old?" He is complaining that his neck is bothering him (he did get whiplash from the accident) but there are times when he is running around or doing things that if his neck were really that sore I would think it would cause him pain but it doesn't. I know part of it is for attention and that's normal but he takes it to the extreme.
    I'm not sure how long he will end up medication free for. I'm ready to scream and it doesn't help because then I feel guilty because he could have been killed last week and I feel like I should be more patient. I feel like I should just be happy that he is alive and well.

    Ugg! That is simply how I feel :crazy2:
     
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You can be happy he is alive and still not be thrilled with his behavior. One has nothing to do with the other. It's like loving someone but hating the fact they are cheating on you. He's alive but he's still a royal pain in the neck.

    If it gets too much for you, put him back on the medications. Do what is right for you and him.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Christine, the car accident had to have been very traumatic for your difficult child. He may need counseling around this issue. In addition, stimulants (which I know he was previously taking) will only exacerbate pre-exisiting anxiety. You may want to talk to the psychiatrist about a medication for anxiety rather than for ADHD.
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A couple of questions - why is he medication-free? Is it a school holiday thing? Because if he was coping on medications, and you've changed things by taking him off medications - there will be a period of not coping, as he readjusts. And he may not be able to adjust fully, if the medications really were helping.

    Anxiety - we're working with this one ourselves. Can't take them off stims because without stims there are really bad problems. Both boys. Different problems, but bad.
    So we deal with the anxiety. Who cares how old he is? So he suddenly wants the door shut? So shut it, unless you have a good reason not to. If you're keeping doors open for cool in summer, then find out what is REALLY bugging him and reassure him. Is it security? So show him the locks you have in place and how hard the place would be to break into, even with doors open.

    Too often I think we misinterpret our roles as parents. We try to train our kids into putting up with things exactly as WE want, instead of finding out what is worrying them and trying to compromise with the child.
    There is nothing wrong with compromising with the child, on things that really are no big deal. OK, you don't compromise on school attendance, for example, without a darn good reason. But other things such as door open, door closed; sleeping with window open or window closed - it comes down to a COMBINATION of what you feel is best, coupled with their own preferences. We need to consider what they want also and be prepared to discuss it, so they can learn for themselves, the art of compromise and adapting to other people's needs. Especially with difficult children, the "because I'm the parent, that's why!" increasingly doesn't work, nor does it teach them anything about how to behave when they grow up, apart from "throw your weight around because you can."

    The trouble is, a whiny kid comes at you while you're watching the last five minutes of a TV show you like and you just want them to go away, at least for five minutes, so we go for the 'quick fix' - go away, because I said so, no you can't, stop bugging me. Hey, I do it too.

    But we have to stop ourselves from doing this. A kid who is whinier than usual because he has good reason for his anxiety to be much worse than usual - needs support, understanding, someone to talk to, comfort. Forget his age - I've seen grown men reduced to the level of a two year old, because of a crisis or bad shock. Give the reassurance that's needed and it tells them, "It's OK if I'm a bit needy, I'll get the support I want." And knowing the help is there, actually reduces the demand for it. Push a scared kid away and they'll cling tighter. Reassure a scared kid and hug them to you, and soon they'll be pushing you away to go and play.
    The problems arise worst when you're hugging the kid close and not letting him go and play when HE is ready.

    Raising a difficult child is like teaching someone to swim. Some kids are born to it - throw them in the water as babies and they're swimming underwater, eyes open, holding breath, loving it. others will get traumatised by this. And some kids, like difficult child, have other coordination problems that stop them learning properly. Do you say, "Good heavens, you should be able to swim by now, you're 13 years old, go jump in the deep end and swim down to me - no touching the sides, now!"
    Of course not, because you don't want them to drown.
    But neither do you forbid them going near the water - learning to swim can save their life later on. They must learn.
    So you teach them in a way that helps them learn, but without making them so scared that they can't coordinate their arms & legs properly. Maybe you teach them a different stroke (difficult child 3 can swim breaststroke & backstroke now, still lousy at Australian crawl) or you let them wear a flotation device for a while longer, or you hold a hoop near them so they can grab on if they begin to panic.

    The sore neck - there are many reasons why he seems OK one minute, then it hurts later on. I suspect most of the time it hurts, he's inactive and not concentrating on something else. He is able to distract himself from the pain most of the time, but when he's no longer so distracted or no longer so physically active, it becomes much more obvious to him. Denying he could be in pain is not the way to go - all it will do is make him more determined to convince you his pain is real. But if you talk to him and say, "You managed OK before while you were playing, what has changed now for you to be complaining of it now?"
    You're not denying it, you're drawing his attention to what you've noticed - it doesn't always seem to hurt (from your observation).
    He might say, "I wasn't really noticing it while I was running around, but it really hurts now," or he might say, "Maybe I jarred it a bit while I was running."
    If it is purely imaginary and he's using it to get attention - after the scare, he probably needs that attention. Give it to him but not overboard. Let him know help is always near in the event of a real crisis. And you can't just tell the kids this - you have to show them. This is a perfect opportunity.

    A kid with a sore neck - give t hem sympathy, maybe a hot pack, then tell them, "Go lie down in your room for a little while with the hot pack - the extra bit of relax might help the pain."
    That way they are voluntarily excluding themselves (a good test of what sort of attention they are seeking) and you're also saving yourself the sight and sound of a kid moaning loudly on the couch. A kid who moans for attention - "I've given you a hot pack, I've given you a pain killer, if you're still in such LOUD agony, then do something about it such as get ready to go see the doctor. Of course, it will mean missing games for the next few days, but if you're in that much pain we need to check it out."

    Sometimes difficult child 3 gets a wryneck (aka 'stiff neck'). He hates it. Not much I can do for him, but when he complains, I try to help. A hot pack sometimes can relax the muscles enough to reduce the pain. difficult child 3 has a warm skivvy with a high neck which keeps his neck warm after the hot pack has done its job. And if a friend comes to play and the hot pack is a bit embarrassing, or the pain is now forgotten - you showed him the TLC when he needed it, not just for the physical symptom but for the emotional reassurance.
    And a really quick, easy hot pack - get a hand towel or cloth nappy, wet it thoroughly, wring it out, fold it into the appropriate shape for the need then put it in a crinkly plastic shopping bag or freezer bag. Microwave it on HIGH for a couple of minutes until it is hot. Fast, effective and very, very easy. Just be careful if it's just out of the microwave, you might need another towel layer until it cools a little.
    Boiling the kettle for a hot water bottle takes a great deal longer.
    A really good one, too, for period pain.

    It costs so little in time and effort to give our kids a bit of TLC when THEY seem to be needing it. And while they're being hugged can be a good time to ask, "Now what is REALLY bothering you? Let's talk about it."

    There is no age limit on this. Ignore the calendar, ignore people who say, "Is he STILL needing x, y or z?" Because THEY aren't the parents, you are. Have faith in your own instincts and think, "How would I feel if I were my child?"

    I remember in my early teens, I used to prefer going to bed with the door open so the light from the hallway would stop my room from being so dark. But I would still get night terrors, made worse by the extra layers of shadows round the door, when all the lights were off. So I began to test myself - go to sleep with the door closed so my room was really dark. It was scary but at least if I woke later on, knowing the door was shut made me feel safer. A night light would have made the world of difference to me, or even a reading lamp I could turn on when I needed to (having a sense of control alleviates a great deal of anxiety). But my parents were sticklers for rules being followed, regardless. Even rules which really seemed to have no purpose other than to get me used to following rules... sometimes we need to re-examine our rules to see if it's time to adapt them or throw them out. If you can no longer determine the purpose of a rule, or if the purpose seems irrelevant, then change the rule. You're the parent, you have the power.

    Marg
     
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Is this the boy who was hit by a car on his bike??

    I can tell you from first hand experience that an accident can cause anxiety to go right off the scale, most especially an accident of this nature. I know. I was hit by a truck while walking my dog a few years back. I suffered a shattered shoulder and fractured skull. But the worst was the anxiety it caused.

    I found myself plunged right into anxiety h#ll. I'd always had anxiety, but never like after the accident. And I thought I was loosing my mind because most of the things I was having panic attacks over had nothing to do with cars or such. Like I suddenly couldn't sleep at night because of the overwhelming fear the house was going to burn down the moment I fell asleep. It wasn't too long before the anxiety reached crippling levels and I began to refuse to leave the house or answer the phone....

    If the accident has put difficult child's anxiety into overdrive he is going to need his medications back asap. And it might take some time before his brain gets unstuck from the "flight or fight" mode.

    Hugs
     
Loading...