aggression and other parents

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by EB67, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    It happened yesterday but it still feels so fresh. I woke up this morning with a lingering sadness and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    Yesterday was Field Day at Seb's school-- what we used to call Color Wars before it sounded vaguely un-easy child. I, along with many other moms, volunteered to help out.

    At a certain point, Seb came running over to me, hystericallly in tears: "Why didn't you give me my medication! I can't believe it happened! I didn't do it on purpose!". He collapsed on the ground sobbing, clinging to my legs. Confusion. My heart started to pound in dreaded anticpation. I wasn't sure what was going on.

    I quickly learned that there was an incident involving another boy. Said boy was pelting plastic hockey pucks at Seb and Seb, somehow, "accidentally" kicked said boy in the balls in an effort to block the puck from hitting him. So says Seb.

    Mother of said boy is a former schoool psychologist-- a very patronizing, rigid and unfriendly woman who I made the mistake of talking to about Seb recently at a BBQ. Said mother of said boy is notoriouslty over involved in all matters concerning her son. She and her son, who was legitimately in pain, went off to the nurse's office.

    Seb's teacher who witnessed the event filled in the blanks. She felt that it was an accident. It's important to note that Seb's teacher thinks he can do no wrong-- she thinks he walks on water. Thank God for that. She adores him.

    Seb and the teacher say it was an accident, but in my heart of darkness I know better.

    There have been a lot of "accidents" this year. One accident involved a rock that Seb threw that resulted in his breaking a boy's fron teeth. Another "accident" involved Seb head butting a boy on the school bus who was teasing him. There have been other "accidents" involving "inadvertant" head buttting, pushing and throwing things. Seb and the teacher can call it an accident and maybe it was, but really, how many "accidents" really happen?

    Back to the story...

    Seb and I followed the injured boy and his mom to the nurses office. Seb, still crying, wanted to know if the boy was okay. Boy's mother shielded the boy from us as if protecting her child from viscious animals. "I didn't mean to hurt you" Seb sniveled.

    The mother spoke up: "That's not what my son says. He says you pushed him down and kicked him". The son chimed in: 'I didn't say he pushed me down". Seb wailed: "I didn't push him down! We were playing, I was trying to block the puck from hitting me and I accidentally kicked him!".

    The mother scowled. "It's not true Seb. And you will talk to Mr. Principal about it tomorrow and you, Mrs. Seb's Mom, will be hearing from the principal and the vice principal soon. You've told me about your son's impulse control problems, Mrs. Seb's Mom. I assume that Seb became frustrated when pucks were being thrown at him and he lost control".

    Seb cried "That's not true!" as the mother left the nurses office with her son. Moments later Seb went back to class. I remained in the nurses office and what happened next really surprised me. I cried. A lot. I sobbed like a little girl at school. I sobbed and sobbed in the nurses office.

    The nurse consolled me and gave me an ice pack to bringt down the swelling of my puffy eyes. She felt the mother was harsh. "And what about her son throwing hockey pucks at people? Why didn't you ask her about that?". And I realized that I never do. I always just apologize.

    When I looked vaguley human, I returned to Seb's class and spoke with his teacher-- the woman who thinks Seb walks on water. I relayed the nurse's office encounter with Mother-of-Boy-Who-Was-Kicked-in-the Balls. Teacher was livid.

    "I'm going to go out on a limb here and I probably shouldn't say this, but that woman is notoriously difficult. There will not be any meeting with the prinicipal about this. I will see to it that this ends here. Seb has been more than apologetic. That woman is awful"

    We went home. Seb felt vindicated, and I cried all day, on and off. Accident or not, it's so hard to always be the center of this type of injury drama. It's so hard when its always *something*. It's so hard when it feels like the other parents of the world judge you and your child. It's just hard.

    Seb and I know in our hearts that this was not purely an accident. He cried to me last night: "Maybe I'm just evil. Maybe I can't help but to hurt people. Maybe I'm the worst kid in the world".
  2. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    Oh hon, that was such an awful situation. UGH, a school psychologist?!?!? NOT good experiences on my end, but enough about me!

    I am so sorry this happened. I, too, always find myself apologizing for something Aly may or may not have done. I hate that of myself, I need to "buck up" and advocate for my difficult child more when it comes to the "she pushed me first stuff". Oooops, I did say enough about me, but just wanted you to know that I understand. ((((((HUGS))))))

    What in the world was that other child doing throwing hockey pucs at your son? That is ridiculous for the other mom to be so angry for what your son did, either by accident OR by self defense!

    Hope the teacher is right and that there will be no consequences for your difficult child.

  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Ella, I know your frustration. Many mothers automatically assume it was our difficult child who was in the wrong. That comes from living history. It hurts. All of our neighbors, many teachers in the past, lots of family members, automatically point the finger at our difficult children. It doesn't take long for the other children to find out THEY won't get into trouble if the just blame ___! I am wicked tired of always having to be on the defensive for them.

    It sounds as if this was a pure accident! Good luck.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    The very diagnosis that helps our children with treatment guidelines & such have behaviors & choices that will dog them throughout their school lives.

    I know that wm gets very incensed that someone would accuse him of anything; especially if he wasn't involved (which isn't very often). Foster mum & I both told wm that because of choices/antics of the past, he is going to have to prove himself now & in the future. That past behaviors many times predict future behaviors.

    wm hates that.

    I'm sorry that yesterday was so hard emotionally on you. I hope things get better soon.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I've been there.

    Big hugs and prayers to you and your son. I am sorry that you both had to go through that.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am with you......the constant judgement from others is something that has literally changed my life and the way I live. I can no longer walk down my block or go to the grocery store without hoping to God I don't run into past ghosts. I can no longer drive by a school without feeling that horrible gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, or see kids out on the playground without flashbacks of the many altercations my son got himself into. I feel like a part of me was stolen - the part of me that was able to see the good in all people - the part of me that was confident and poised.

    I have contemplated the concept of judgement a lot, and the impact it has had on my life and my sons. I kept thinking, that there was a way, somehow, to change the minds of these adults that accused, judged and ostracized my son - that somehow if I just showed them the good side of mat they would stop their rumors and gossiping, and embrace mat - the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, I have come to realize that judgement is just an inherent part of human nature. It does not matter if it is our difficult children, or the clothes we wear, or the car we drive, or our monthly income - we live in a society where judging and blaming is simply second nature. It is also human nature to want to find the scapegoat, the person who is "less than", so that we can be "more than". Unfortunately, our difficult children are likely targets, as well as us, their parents.

    I would like to tell you that I have found peace in the midst of this - however - I still cry every time something like this happens. What I have found, though, is a depth to life that I do not think most people have (except those of us on this board.) I think these experiences have made me grow, think, become stronger, and have caused me to stop allowing other's perceptions to define me. I also think this is what is SO amazing about this board - a group of people who would never judge or criticize - because we have all been through hell and back with our kids.

    Again, I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I can offer one ray of hope, however. My son, who is 16 now, is finally able to control his impulses better. I see it time and time again. He is able to rein in his emotions, and breathe. So there is hope! It might just be a longer journey through judgement land than you wanted - but hang on to the fact that someday Seb will be able to control his impulses and emotions 100 times better than he can now.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had a similar experience with my only biological son, so I have a different take on this.
    My biological son had no diagnosis. as a young child and definitely does not have ADHD nor was he really difficult for me to raise, but he had some issues with other kids, mostly that many would get hurt around him. It was never serious, but it was often. I didn't want to see it so at first I would defend him, but eventually I realized that it just happened too often for me to ignore it and he got counseling. Using Time Out worked really well with him. Every time he so much as put his finger on another child who didn't want him to, He was put in his time out spot, and he eventually quit the aggression, which may be considered mild, but, like I said, it happened way too often. My son is now 29 and I suspect he may have a cross of mild, mild Aspergers and a mood disorder, but I'm not sure. It's not his diagnosis, but look at his medications and they do help him from being so anxious. He was always a hyper, hyper, nervous kid, although he managed to have lots of friends--even his hitting didn't stop that. He could also be mean verbally, although that has stopped as an adult too. We had to throw the book at him to change his behavior. I do realize that some kids don't respond to behavioral modification--really depends on what is driving the aggression. With my son, he would hit somebody if they were beating him in a game or running a race and getting ahead of him. That seemed to be the overriding matter with him; he just couldn't lose. I guess the motto of this post is, if it happens "too much" it's probably on purpose. I hated to admit it, but I had to. I think you're probably right, and the teacher is probably wrong. Unfortunately, I found that when somebody accused M. of hurting thier kid, at least in his case, it seemed to be try, although he always said, "By accident!" I think you have a good reading on your son, and hope his aggression calms as he gets older. My son isn't aggressive at all now. He's never even been in a fight.
  8. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    I'm so sorry this happened. Just the mere fact that you can recount the conversation word for word tells me how heavily this weighs on your mind and your heart. :::hugs:::

    If your Seb is anything like my M- somewhat clumsy in the physical sense...not quite totally coordinated athletically...then I could totally see Seb's explanation of events being truthful. It truly may have been an accident.

    And, had that woman said to me, "...I assume that Seb became frustrated when pucks were being thrown at him and he lost control". I would have probably made a snide comment about, "well, you know what happens when one ASSUMES, don't you?" LOL

    Hang in there...I hope your day gets brighter today! :::hugs:::
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    EB, I feel for you. It is a tough job to parent these kids.

    Did he really miss his medications that day? To me it is an accident if missing his medications allowed his impulses to be on high alert. He probably could not help himself. Even if he thought through kicking the boy.
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    One way to make yourself feel better in this situation is:

    School Psychologist or not, she has her own eyes closed to shortcomings that her "perfect" son has. You're a far better mother to your son considering you've invested your soul in him and the betterment of his life as opposed to the malignancy that she is to that entire school! Sounds like her aspiration is to be blind to her own childs behaviors and shooting for the easy target. Best role-model for a bully!

    Don't beat yourself up about not shooting out the great comebacks. You showed yourself to be a caring, supportive, high-class, loving parent as opposed to a pushy, manipulative, punative, cruel vaguely human being that would slap at a childs self-esteem.

    For all it's worth, I truly respect the way you handled yourself and will think more clearly the next time I'm in that type of situation.

    And Seb isn't cruel or evil. No one who is cruel or evil is sorry that something went wrong.

    Hugs and smiles to both of you!
  11. waytootired

    waytootired New Member

    In no way do I want to step in anyone's toes...and I am not saying this of all Psychologist,School psychiatric's or counselors(I am a counselor myself). But, in my experience, I have come across psychologists & counselors who are good at their job but so in denial of ther own children's behaviors and issues. I don't know if they are so drained at the end of their day that they just can't deal with anymore at home.

    Hugs to you and your son...
  12. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Poor you and Seb. It is interesting that he recognizes that the medication help with this.
    I feel your pain, and know all about crying like a little girl in front of virtual strangers. Oh ya, I have been there. It really makes you feel like a child and no one can help. My son Liam punched a boy in the mouth on Monday and knocked out his tooth. I don't even want to imagine what that child's parents think of us.

    Big hugs!!!
  13. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    <<<HUGS>>> The words "field Day" always bring a cloud of dread over me every year!

    My difficult child II "blacks out" when he loses control, so in his mind it is always the other persons fault, which is very hard, because he really believes it!

    At least you know you (we) are not alone.

    a toast to you and to Mom's of difficult child's everywhere, we deserve it :smile:
  14. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    This passage is so meaningful to me Amber and I thank you for it. It's illuminating.

    Similarly, I have been very honest (too honest) with people about Seb's shortcomings and strengths in hopes that they will see that he is a complex and wonderful person. I have a sort of polyanna approach at times-- I assume that the world sees things as I do and it's not the case. I am fairly certain that some people don't allow for the possibility of Seb's incredible side-some just run from him as if he were the plague.

    I just thought that if people see objectively (as if) that he is compassionate, brilliant, hysterically funny... that somehow they would feel empathy for him where it concerns his difficulties. Some people see him for who he is. Many won't. And like you, I need to find peace with this.

    I have always prided myself for not getting caught up in the high school-esque catty social scene in this oppressively one-upping town. The nasty people, the social climbers-- they just aren't on my radar and I act as if they don't exist. If they judge me, then so be it because at heart they don't affect me. But where it concerns my children it's devastating. I have to learn to get past this.

    But I've been in hiding ever since the event. I declined an invite to the end of term party. I am dreading the parental farewell tradition at the end of the last day of school tomorrow. And I am dreading seeing this mother at the pool all summer. This one event has made me feel like going underground. Since it happened I have done things in other towns (went bowling with the boys, went to a beach an hour away this afternoon...)

    I have to find a way to get on with my life and not get consumed by whatever gossip passes around this town like a virus.

    Thank you.
  15. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    He didn't take his medication that day, no. I decided not to put his Daytrana patch on in the morning because it was to be a short school day with no work requiring focus. I was trying to preview what a drug-free summer holiday would be like, my thought being that his behavior *seemed* greatly improved and no academic focus would be required of him.

    I should have anticipated his impulsvity. And competitive sports and similar events are pathways / triggers for Seb and I really should have anticipated that there might have been a problem. I've been spoiled by the way daytrana improves Seb's impulsivity to the point that I may have started to forget what it's like when things go wrong. I have an uncanny ability to cancel out the bad bits in my mind.

    Now of course I don't know what to do about weekends / summer and his Daytrana. Was it actually an accident? Was it an impulse issue? Could this have been avoided with medication??? In retrospect I made a bad call. But what to do moving forward?
  16. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    I appreciate this. I am happy at the very least, that Seb felt sorry. I truly think he felt sorry. Though his version of sorry may have been enhanced by fear of getting in more trouble, anger with himself for losing control and other anxieties.

    That said, the mother was horrible to MY SON and it did chip away at his self esteem and for that, I loathe her. She refused to hear him, she treated him as though nothing he had to say was valid and seeing the hurt that caused Seb has been enough to keep me up at night.

    I just have to thank all of you, really, truly. I am so grateful for your understanding and support. What a gift to be able to connect with people who understand.
  17. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    Well if it is any consolation, the boy who lost his front teeth thanks to Seb and a rock still invites Seb to play and to his parties. In fact, they called just this afternoon asking for a play date. I approached the parents and they were more understanding than they needed to be. "It happens, boys can get a little rambunctuous, Drew really likes Seb, he's not mad at him..."

    Did you talk to the child's parents? As I have learned now, oh considering the various injuries inflicted by my son, it can go either way.
  18. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I do hope that you are able to find peace in all of this. People that are like this school psychologist lady have more problems than we do - and if we cave to their judgment, than we have truly robbed ourselves of a full life. I posted on this board today my essay on judgment because of your post, I hope you are able to read it and relate. And please, do not cower and hide like I did - it will deeply and profoundly affect your life in a negative way. Stand tall, and embrace who Seb is, regardless of whether the community can see it - you will be glad you did - for his sake and yours.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you had to deal with this unfortunate experience. I'm glad the teacher was supportive. It does sound like an accident to me. Hugs.
  20. Ally

    Ally New Member

    You cant always go around guessing what your child is going to do. Its not your fault that this happened. Maybe it was an accident. They do happen, even with "our" kids. I am always the first one to say, what did you do first, when difficult child tells me something happens to her.

    There are other kids out there that provoke our children so that they can be blamed. My son, who had Down Syndrome, has communication issues. We have been teaching him to use his words instead of actions (Hitting, biting, scratching) and last week he scratched a child. Why you ask?? Because he used his words and told this child to stop several times and the child didnt and he then scratched him on the face. No its not right, but he did what we taught him, to use his words first. I cant fault him for using agression after doing what he was taught if this child didnt listen. Yes, I talked to him about it, but didnt give him trouble. I explained to the school that he had indeed used his words and then his actions, what more could they ask (going back several months he would have just reacted and not tried to use words)

    What Im trying to get at is that its not always our childs fault. Yes, 90% of the time it probably is, but we have to give them the benefit of the doubt from time to time, or they dont ever see any reason to be good and do whats right.