Avoided a rage yesterday AM

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Woofens, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Friday morning, I got up and went into the bathroom. I could hear that difficult child was awake, could him him whispering. I called out to him and got no response so when I finished in the bathroom I went to his bedroom door and spoke to him again. He didn't answer, so I went and sat on the edge of his bed he was whispering around his thumb in his mouth (can't break that habit) and was completely hidden under the blanket. I pulled the blanket down and said hey, its time to get up for school. Without even opening his eyes, he yelled, "I'm not going to school". I started to yell back, and then stopped and thought about what I had read the night before in The Explosive Child". I know I didn't do it exactly following the steps in the book, but I asked him why he didn't want to go... and turns out there was music class Friday afternoon, and they were doing something in music he felt would embarrass him. I told him I would call the school and talk to them about him not having to participate (this wasn't something that would have been used as a grade) and he wasn't comfortable with that. He told me that if I wrote notes to the teacher and principal, that would be good. He helped me write the notes (told me what he wanted them to know) and I added some stuff at the bottoms. I offered to put them in his backpack, but he wanted to carry them. He got dressed, brushed teeth etc, and even packed his own lunch. We have a rule that if they want to take their lunch they have to tell me the night before so I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off in the morning. If they forget to tell me the night before, they have to pack their lunch in the AM (help from me if necessary) if they have time before we have to leave for the bus. He carried his letters to the teacher and principal, and got on the bus just like a easy child. :surprise:

    I know that we will still have bad days, I know that we are at the very beginning of this journey into why he acts the way he does. The feeling of accomplishment in getting him on the bus with out argument was so satisfying. WOO HOO! LOL

    I also got a 2nd copy of The Explosive Child and took a copy to the school for the principal and teachers. So that they have some idea what I"m attempting here at home, and why I told him that he didn't have to participate in the activity in music that day. The principal was totally onboard with the whole thing. If it had been something important, I would have not told him he didn't have to do it, but all we are talking about is riding a broomstick around the room while singing Halloween songs. If he was so worried about being embarrassed by that, I didn't see any reason to force him to do it.

    I also went and signed up for a cell phone with a contract (sigh.. I hate anything but prepaid since we have no service where we live and it seems like a waste of money) but I got a Palm Centra with a great video camera with sound built in, and when I realized everything that the phone could do, I fell in love with it. I've got my phone, a camcorder, and a good appointment calendar in one, and it isn't much bigger that the flip phone I was carrying. I have a deep aversion to carrying a purse, so I needed something that would fit in my jeans pocket. This is a bit bigger than I would have liked, but still fits in my pocket. Also has a word document feature so that I don't have to carry the notebook I have been to document his mood swings and rages.. I can input it into the phone and transfer it to the easy child here at home and print it out. Ok... most of you already know what a Palm will do LOL but I had no idea. Had to sign a 2 year contract, but I went through AT&T, so that at least the unused minutes will roll over for a year. I'm also afraid the web access from the phone will become addictive, and I'll end up keeping the extra $30 a month subscription to the web service. Just have to wait and see what I can afford.... I lose difficult child D's child support this month since he is turning 18.

    Today has been a good day so far :)

  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Very well done! Bravo!

    Those power struggles just don't work. What you did was become a team member with him to figure out why he didn't want to go and work as a team to come up with a solution. Yes, there are some things kids absolutely have to do, however, when we can help them work out the situations that are frustrating them, they will be more willing to listen when there is not another solution.

    Here's to your new team - you and difficult child!
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you handled the situation beautifully!
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Woo-hooo! We LOVE little victories like that! Way to go, mom! :D
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you handled things very well!
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Way To Go, Jan!!!
    Are you serious, they really have to ride around on broomsticks and sing? I'd skip school, too! LOL.

    I have to go through the same thing with-difficult child's guitar instructor this wk. difficult child has skipped two classes and I think there's been a misunderstanding. (difficult child said the teacher said he thought he wasn't coming back, but I'm thinking it was said sarcastically, and difficult child takes everything literally. Also, he does not want to do the Christmas concert because he hates having people stare at him (clearly, no acting or ham-bones in his DNA).

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Well done! You handled it well; and so did he. The school, too.

    So the outcome of this is much more than one meltdown prevented. What has also happened through this, is difficult child discovering that there are other ways (more effective ways, less traumatic ways) to resolve a problem. And also, that YOU are there trying to help this happen.

    So the more this happens (you helping him avert a meltdown and find a more productive way of resolving a problem) the more he realises that you are the person who can help him, can also try to keep him calm and can be trusted and relied on.

    And the more this happens, the more he learns to ask for help in managing his own stress, and the more he finds his own ways of coping, much more effectively.

    A few more successes like this (especially with few or no meltdowns) and this positive process snowballs.

    You're off and running!

  8. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks everyone! :) Yesterday wasn't bad at all either... Moonwolf and Moe were here most of the day and easy child T spent the weekend at a friends. We spent an extremely lazy day watching TV and I was trying to learn all the features of this new phone and get the address book and calendar the way I wanted them. We went to the dollar store, since PCS had birthday money and difficult child had money he earned when he went to work with M last Sunday.

    Had a moment that could have been bad last night again, he found a piece of candy corn on the coffee table, and wouldn't throw it away. It was bedtime and he had already brushed his teeth. He raised his voice to me over it, but gave me the candy, Went to his room to go to bed angry about it, but there wasn't any screaming or kicking. About 20 minutes later he came out and we were able to talk calmly about how I'm trying very hard not to yell at him, and I don't want him to yell at me either. He told me he doesn't like it when I yell, and I told him that I don't like it when he yells either, and he agreed that it is much nicer when no one yells. Progress.... baby steps but progress none the less. :)

    He just went into work with M so a quiet day here now. I have to go pick up easy child T from her weekend away....

    Thanks again to everyone.

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Have you noticed that late evenings seem to be the worst?

    On the eating after cleaning teeth situations - I again find other choices. He CAN eat the food, but will need to clean his teeth again right away. Also, if he heats it (as he wants to) but has cleaned his teeth, the food will taste funny because of the toothpaste. Surely it's a better choice to wait until morning?

    You can still give him choice. Your concern is for his teeth, right? Well, if he understands this (and it's in his interests to) he will probably be happy to clean his teeth again afterwards.

    That was a good conversation you had with him, too.

    Another tip we got from difficult child 3's psychologist - we rewarded him for every day that was meltdown-free, with time spent playing a computer game with me - 15 minutes together, the next day. I did find fairly quickly that we had to let time accumulate a little, because sometimes a game would go for longer than 15 minutes.

    It did bring a lot of improvement, on top of "Explosive Child" techniques.

  10. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Alot of the time evening are worse, but then mornings can be bad, its anytime of the day really. I know if he is tired it can get worse.

    Thanks for the suggestions about the teeth thing :)
  11. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Jan, I'm late reading this as I wan't much on the comp this weekend. just wanted to say BRAVO to you and your difficult child. That worked out so well for you and I'm really glad. It is also cool that the school is supporting you. Way To Go!! Keep dancing on the happy cloud as long as you can!