A "positively" delightful day. LOL Not.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child had a field trip today. I went. We toured the state capital.

    I didn't carry my paper and tally, but I did try to keep track, and my "natural' comments (narrating life that I do anyway) was better than a 1:1 ratio, already, so it wasn't too hard to up it a little to hit the 2:1 mark (positive to negative comments).

    All in all, I thought it was a decent trip. Til I got home and read my notes.

    Just some highlights...he doesn't wear underwear and pulled his shorts up so that jimmy and the twins were hanging out in the capital rotunda. He laid on the highly waxed floor and spun himself in circles. He screamed in the whispering gallery. He climbed the ornate wooden railing up to the House Speaker's seat in the House and poked his teachers. He climbed the box to the House Speaker's seat...

    And I thought it was a good day? I'm twisted.

    Then we went back to school. I had to run 2 errands, figured he could stay at school while I did that. Took me 30 minutes to leave again, he had to be restrained. He was there a whopping hour and he told one student he hated them, another they were stupid, hit another, and kicked another, and ran from the teachers when they tried to stop all this. When I got there, they were holding him in time-out at the picnic table.

    And I easily managed the 2:1 positive/negative ratio on a day I considered to be actually somewhat successful?

    I am off my rocker.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, so how would you classify a BAD day?

    Seriously, though - I know a lot of people who would call that a good day. YOU held it together and didn't escalate anything yourself by tipping him over. He managed tat all by himself.

    An excursion like that one is a very difficult thing for a young difficult child to go on (I presume it was your 6 year old and not your 19 year old?)

    If he's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in any way, I can sooo relate to this. The anxiety goes hand in hand with the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). All the fidgets, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) stuff, the repetitive stuff, the "what will happen if I do this? Oh, I just did it anyway. Let's do it again" stuff - it all fits.

    Screaming in the whispering gallery - it's what 6 year old boys do. A lot of what you describe is fairly typical little boy stuff; the poor impulse control adds in a fair bit more without needing to be excessive.

    Back at school - I suspect your difficult child had it in his head tat because YOU were along, thenas soon as you all got back he would STILL be with you and you would both toddle off into the sunset together. Leaving him at school so suddenly, when he considered he would be going with you (very strong belief system - very hard to shake it and convince him he is going to do things differently to his belief system) - it would have seemed the worst betrayal and THAT tipped him over into rage and tantrum. So EVERYTHING he did after tat, was all connected.

    If you look at his behaviour in terms of how it all hangs together - I think he had a really good day, only spoiled by the tantrum at the end.

    Did they HAVE to restrain him? They don't do it that way here in Australia (at least, they never did with difficult child 3) although at 6, he wouldn't have understood when I suddenly wanted to leave without him, and he had expected to come too.

    I probably would have either re-thought my errands or taken him with me. I can almost guarantee you wouldn't have had those tantrums. You MAY have had other tantrums ("Mummy, I want that toy!"). Alternatively (and maybe for future reference) prepare him in advance. "Son, we'll be back at the school soon. I will leave you there for an our because after all, the other kids will still be staying at school and it IS a school day, even if we've been out on an excursion. I have some really boring stuff to do, some offices to visit. If I go on my own I can be really quick and come back to pick you up. If you come with me you would be bored." (Obviously, play it by ear, what you specifically say).

    If your son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and also tends to be obsessive, you can use that obsessiveness to your advantage. "School work during school hours" is one that really stuck with us - if I had difficult child 3 in my custody during school hours, I made sure it was NOT seen as a "get out of school free" card, but had a supply of schoolwork for him to do (such as his homework for that week, for a start). That's when I made the interesting discovery that his schoolwork = routine, which would quiet him down. I began doing similar things on school excursions, too - as he got older they handed out worksheets for them anyway, but if he didn't have a worksheet, I got him to take photos of what we were seeing, to help him document it. He had the photos to label later on, to help him learn exactly what we'd seen and what the importance of it was. I bet your son didn't really understand the significance of what today was about. He will get it one day though. It just takes a little longer, with our kids.

    Hang in there. I think your first assessment was right, apart from the hiccup at the end.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for you at getting in the positives! It sounds like the field trip itself was o.k.. If my difficult child had a day like that at the field trip the part that would have bothered me was the poking at teachers, otherwise as Marg said, fairly typical boy stuff.

    Sorry about the tantrum at school. My difficult child didn't (still doesn't) do well with transitions. If he thought he was going home it probably threw him for a loop. I agree with Marg about doing some foreshadowing and maybe you did and he still tantrumed. I hope tonight is more peaceful!
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Deep breaths..... Kudo's to you for holding it together. Good for you for recognizing some good moments in the day. I guess it could have been worse, something could have gotten broken!!! lol

    Take some time tonite for you, take a nice LONGGGGGG bath and relax. :)
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yes, Marg, sorry, its the 6 year old.

    And don't get me wrong. It WAS a good day (til the tantrum at the end). And then as I recapped my notes to document for the in-home, is when I realized my idea of good and normal has gotten a little strange. lol

    There were 14 kids on the trip. I think 5 are girls, and one is an older boy, maybe 8 or 9. Several of the kids are 5 year olds. Other than some running and being loud, the rest were very well behaved. Heck, I was pleased with difficult child (although I'm not sure it quite qualified as "socially acceptable", so we'll see if I get an F from the in-home tomorrow....)

    He was forwarned that he would stay at school til the school day was over, just like he went early this morning at the regular school day start, and I disappeared until field trip time. They did not have to restrain him after they finally caught him, but they did have to corner him...if ther didn't keep him "cornered", he kept running off.

    The only real bad part of the day, for me, was after they explained how the rest of the afternoon went, I learned that both of his regular teachers are going to be gone starting tomorrow for at least the next 10 days (one had vacation plans and airline tickets, the other has a family member in critical condition after an accident), and the "subs" (not true subs, all are teachers at his school, just not generally his teachers) don't think they can handle him, particularly in off-site situations, so I either have to take off work to attend with him, or he stays at school and misses out on the field trips til the regular teachers come back.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I've not been feeling well and must have missed a post or two. I'll have to look back and catch up on the school.

    I agree, our definition of a good day would seem warped to parents of only easy child kids. And I also agree that this sounds like a pretty good day.

    I had to laugh at the screaming in the Whispering Room, though. I guess I'm bad. I probably would have had a hard time not laughing if I were there, too. Naming a place something like that just begs someone to do the opposite.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have to have different standards for our difficult child kids. I think you described a good day. Was he happy? Until the tantrum at the end, anyway.

    And you forewarned him, but I suspect somewhere in his head he was dreaming about that warning being wrong, you would surprise him with an early mark.

    Sometimes even despite your best efforts their obsessions take over and leave you breathless.

    It's a pity about the substitute teachers thinking they can't handle him. It doesn't seem fair that he has to miss out, because of THEIR inability.

  8. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    It is funny how our perspectives change isn't it? A good day to us may be a PP's worst nightmare.

    My difficult child went on that field trip in the 5th grade. Did you walk by the wall with the painting that changes perspectives depending on where you stand? My difficult child was so intrigued he wouldn't leave that area and kept running back and forth from one side to the other. He thought the wax floors were great for practicing sliding on his knees, like the rock stars do on stage. We went to a court proceeding in the building across from the capitol and difficult child stands up and yells at a classmate in the middle of the judge talking. On the way from the court building back to the capitol, he pantsed (how in the world to you spell that???) the kid in front of him.

    No meltdowns, no running off, no big disruptions. All in all, a good day.

    I have learned to never leave difficult child at school after a field trip. The day is just too far out of his routine, and he's too overstimulated by the end of the trip that he can't handle the rest of the day. It's even in his IEP that if I am not on the field trip, that he can go somewhere besides the classroom for the rest of the day and read.

    That's too bad that they think they can't handle him on a field trip, and like Marg said - THEIR inability. Same thing happened to me after he had a meltdown on a field trip once, and kicked a teacher. The principal was there and had to sit on the bus with him the rest of the day. After that, I had to go with him (and drive separately) or he couldn't go. I fought it at every IEP and finally they agreed to send a Special Education student teacher with him when he went. Is this school or summer camp/daycare?
  9. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You are showing an incredibly positive attitude. Good for you. I know how this can be. I was just visiting the Baltimore Aquarium with my son, my dad and his new girlfriend. difficult child did well by difficult child standads, a lot of running ahead, pushing his way in front of others, I always feel like I'm walking an untrained saint benard. He had a meltdown over the gift shop and it made for a long and difficult trip to the car. The rest of his day was horrible. He kept melting down and was sent to bed early. I hate how even good times usually end up bad because too much stimulation is so hard for difficult child to handle. Now for the positives, he is truly facinated by science and animals. He was able to identify the sharks by sight from books that he has read :) He actually stops and listens to the educational tidbits that the volunteers are trying to share. He found the dolphin show and the 4D theater delightful and it's so nice to see him smile and hear him giggle. Despite the meltdown, he was very pleasant on the car ride home. At one point, during the gift shop fiasco, he screamed, "I hate you mom" and ran away from me and YET, I would chalk this up as a good day with many fond memories. I guess we difficult child moms have a different rating system than most!

    I am sorry that the school has put you in a difficult situation with field trips. On the other hand, I would be a nervous wreck if my son was on a field trip with teachers who did not feel they could handle him. I hope you will be able to find a solution. Maintaining a work schedule with a difficult child is no easy task. Any chance you can get another relative to take him or hire a sitter to go with the school? Just throwing out ideas.

    Good luck.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    It was a good day, until the tantrum, and I should have seen that one coming. You guys are right that school after a day like that is asking for the moon. Lesson learned.

    He will not miss any field trips. I am arranging to go on outings with him until both teachers are back and in attendance. While it is disappointing that they can't handle him, I have to applaud them in that they were honest and proactive about the situation. They are short staffed, and both teachers who know difficult child are out of the mix...that truly is a setup for disaster.

    We did walk by the paintings that change perspective, and those were VERY cool. I don't think difficult child truly understood what was happening with it, tho. The first part of our tour was given by the grandmother of one of the students, so we got to see the governors office and climb to the top of the dome, which was VERY cool, and I was proud of difficult child, cause he worked hard to overcome his fear to go up all those steps and look out over the capital city. He called daddy from there and told him all about what he could see from the top of the capital building.