EVERYTHING is a battle - I am TIRED!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Getting difficult child to do ANYTHING is a battle. Brushing teeth, combing hair, showers, homework, going to Cub Scouts... etc. I am so tired of nagging all the time and fighting all of these battles. Actually 2 things are not a battle for the most part - 1) going to bed, 2) getting up. Everything else is a battle - even things he wants to do (go somewhere, etc.).

    So what do I do? I am tired. I am sick of it. I don't want to give us on my son because I love him dearly - but I cannot keep doing things this way. I don't want to fight over homework. I want it to stay at school. I have enough battles at home. I just want to crawl in bed and not get up. I can't do that though. I also can't let my 10 year old son quit life either.

    I am going back to read my old posts because I am certain I have written all of this before. I need help. Medication doesn't help. Counseling doesn't help. husband and I are not getting along. :(
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he have an IEP?

    Ever think of getting him re-evaluated? Maybe he has more than ADHD/ODD going on and can get more services. My son's IEP read that he was not to bring home homework, that it had to be finished at school. He was too wound up by the end of six hours of school to do his homework at home. We had a peaceful house.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Mine decided she didn't want to do girl scouts anymore one meeting after I'd paid for the year and all her new stuff. I wasn't happy but it wasn't a battle I was going to fight. Showers or baths? Oy vey! We have a reward system and I'm lucky if she earns it other day - every third day is more likely. She stays hygienic (uses wipes instead of toilet paper, uses deodorant, is lucky she doesn't have body odor, etc.) and I'm hoping that she'll one day soon learn to wash her own hair. Or at least show interest in learning to wash her own hair.

    Going to bed is often a battle. Getting up is almost always a battle.

    Her IEP specifies that her homework load is 50% that of her peers. She's also in a special class during school that helps her complete her homework so less comes home. If she doesn't do it at home? Hey... not my grade. I stopped fighting that battle, too. If she has to repeat because she didn't help herself, so be it. I offer my help if she needs it, and she refuses me. She's refused help at school, too. If she won't help herself, no one else can force help on her. The classes she's currently failing are due to her not doing classwork rather than not doing homework.

    Mine also won't brush her teeth. I bought her the Crest Pro-Rinse with fluoride to at least get her to do something. I really wish she'd do more - she has 6 baby teeth with no permanent teeth behind them and she's on medications that can wreck havoc on her teeth. Every tooth that can be sealed has been, but that only helps so much. I'm so glad she drinks water and not soda.

    Hair brushing? Pffffft. Rarely happens. She has shown no inclination to learn how to do that, either. I condition the koi out of her hair when I wash it and she's lucky it usually just falls into place, because that's another battle I no longer engage in. Used to it, with a bottle of detangler and gentle brush and little miss tender-head would scream at every little knot. Nope, done with that. It's purely cosmetic, has nothing to do with how sanitary she is, so I'm done. If she doesn't care about it, I don't either. I have a friend cut her hair to a manageable length and make sure it stays clean and lice-free, and there ends my fight with her hair.

    We still have plenty of battles, and I know how wearing it is, but I'm learning to pick my battles (and learning and learning). I know there will be more in the future as she heads into her teens (oh yay... *headdesk*) but sometimes you just have to let some things go in order to save yourself for the more important fights (and your own sanity).
  4. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I was going to ask about an IEP as well. As for the other fights, are they really worth battling? Showers? Honestly, difficult child is 16, and sometimes she will go a couple of days without, but it is winter, and she isn't sweating. She will ask me to help wash her hair. I was fighting her about it, but I figure if she smells, oh well. Someone at school will tell her. Teeth? Bad breath. Natural consequences. I have just learned that I need to let some things slide. I get the H.W. but I have let that go too. I figure she can deal with that at school. But it sounds like you need either a medication adjustment, or some more help at school.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Shrink his world. That was/is the only thing that works for my boys.

    It limited the transitions and the number of places that difficult child had to function. School and home only. Schedule errands so you do not have to take him with, only do essential appointments for him (psychiatrist/therapist), etc.

    Tag team with husband so both easy child and difficult child get some 1:1 time with each of you. And that each of you get one 3-4 hour block of time "off" each week -- during that block of time the other is to only call you if 911 has already been called, everything else needs to be dealt with by the parent on duty.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhh, I'm so sorry ... I hear you!

    I love JJJ's expression, "Shrink his world." Great idea.
    I would also work in some rewards. And compliments. That part was really hard for me. I HAD to find something good, even if it was teeny tiny. For ex, "Thank you for shutting that door nicely. That was very grown-up."
    He'll probably yell at you the first few times but he *is* listening.

    Yes, it really does stress our marriages. I thought it was hard when we were both exhausted from work at the end of the day and that was it!
    I had no idea ...
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((((hugs))))) I know that feeling of everything being a battle! I gave up fighting a lot of the battles a long time ago. My difficult child will probably have dentures by the time he is in his 20s because he never brushes his teeth! For us homework was never worth the battle so it is in his iep that he not have much. Even with giving up some of the battles everything often still seems a battle (but, it is getting better).

    Be sure during this time of stress to be taking care of yourself. Do some nice things for yourself.
  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Oh you guys are so great! Thank you.

    Yes, he has an IEP. He is at a new school this year and we really haven't heard much from his sped teacher. I guess I need to contact her and tell her that homework is just too much.

    His world is already pretty small. I do NOT take him to run errands or anything like that EVER. Way more trouble than its worth. He goes to/from school and supposed to go to Cub Scouts once a week. He says he wants to do it, but we have to fight him to go, and fight him to work on the activities in the book to earn the achievements, etc. He puts nothing on his own into it. We wanted him involved for the social aspect but he hasn't really bonded with anyone. He doesn't have any regular close friends even at school. He is happy to do stuff on the computer 24x7, or play xbox. Mostly the computer and not simple stuff either. He figures out how to build programs to download things and how to bypass parental controls so he can complete surveys and get paid. He also creates web pages, html, etc.

    I physically pick him up and drag him to the shower once a week. I comb his hair and wash his face daily. He will practically not even dress himself. He just keeps saying "hang on" or "just a minute" whenever I tell him to do anything. He has completed homework all these years because I sit down and do EACH AND EVERY problem with him. I don't want to do that anymore. I am tired and the work is getting harder. I've already done my time at school. I have been neglecting stuff with my younger child - like his homework and reading, etc.

    Terry, I do compliment him on specific things frequently. He thinks we hate him and don't want him. He knows he is difficult but that doesn't change anything.

    husband and I don't see eye to eye. I think he thinks being Hitler is the answer our children need. He gets physical too because difficult child will come after him - and I don't like it at all. He will hold him or restrain him and difficult child will just flip inside out.

    The past 5 years feel like 20! I think I have an ulcer.
  9. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Ok, what is he doing when he tells you just a minute or hang on? Is he playing on the computer or xbox? Because if that is the case, it is time to lock them up for awhile. Use that as his currency. Every child has one, you just have to find it. difficult child's is her horse. I agree once a week he needs to shower, but other than that, I would not comb his hair or wash his face for him. Let him walk out the door like that. A dirty face and messed up hair will not kill him. That is one of the biggest things I am still learning. I do not have to have everything be perfect. I need to let things go, and let difficult child learn from it.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I'm facing meltdown time with mine down trying to get her off her computer game and into bed. She had a 1.5 hour meltdown on me last night because of it but got up and got ready in a hurry this morning to get time on it. I'm going to have to set up that computer to kick her off at a specific time and just deal with the ensuing meltdowns. She trashed four rooms last night and I've got scratches all down my arms from her nails. My co-workers have stopped asking when they see me scratched up, and I tell my friends that I count raising her in dog years LOL.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The only things we found that helped at all before we got real dxes and real help, were...

    1) School work stayed AT SCHOOL. The only home work he brought home was reading, and that was limited to 20 minutes a day (in our case, difficult child actually loves to read, across a fairly wide range of material, so it wasn't a battle - and the other kids didn't know that his homework was different than theirs - another important factor for difficult child)

    2) Find something he can succeed at. ONE THING. But it has to tie into school or some social aspect, somehow. A sport, music, a trade-based skill (can he fix things?)... something useful or valued to others.

    3) We did NOT go down the computer games road. Gut feel on our part, but the more I see, the more it seems like the artificial world is bad for difficult children. However... having started? I can't tell you how to back out of it. What it does mean is... almost 24/7 parenting. One of us is ALWAYS available, always interacting (for us, we cover 20 hours of the clock between us). It is far more work, far more intense - but part of what many difficult child kids need.

    The biggest differences came from getting accurate dxes. Which took way too many years.
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I can tell you that I had to learn how to pick and choose my battles with difficult child. Hair brushing? If difficult child doesn't care that he goes to school with his hair sticking up in all different direction, then I decided that I wouldn't, either. I ask difficult child every morning, "Did you brush your teeth?" and his answer is always yes. Did he? Most of the time I don't think he did, but if he wants to go out with smelly breath that's his problems. It was really hard for me to take a step back, I found that everything was becoming a huge battle with him and I couldn't do it any more. It was just not worth it.

    As far as homework, I would definitely contact the teacher and tell her that it's just too much for him. Maybe she will be able to reduce the amount of work that is expected of him.
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    First (((Hugs)))

    Second - let's see if we can help you pare down the list a bit...

    Sounds like you have already reduced the shower battle to the bare minimum. Dragging him into the bath once a week is probably the best you can do.

    If he really cannot do the homework without your help on every single problem, then this needs to be addressed at school. He either needs to be placed at a level that is more appropriate for his actual skill level, or he needs additional support in the resource room/Special Education setting for extra help in the areas he has difficulties.

    And as far as the computer time goes - you probably need to cut his screen hours way back. Unplug those game systems and lock the cords! You can buy little padlocks that fit right through the prongs of the electrical cords....no amount of hacking will undo THAT restriction!
  14. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I agree I do need to give up the control and not worry if he wants to leave the house with messed up hair and bad breath. He is a great looking kid and he already has enough problems, I thought I was helping him by making sure he looks/smells good.

    Re: homework - he CAN do it. He is super smart. He doesn't want to do it - and/or he cannot sustain the mental effort needed to get it done. I do not want to give him more medications just so he can get thru homework. It is agonizing for him just to have to go to school for 6 hours per day. He shuts down at homework time.

    Yes, it is the xbox or computer that he is using when he tells me "just a minute". I know I need to cut that WAY BACK. It's the only thing he likes. I don't let him play the violent games (anymore) as I agree it is not one bit good for difficult child's. He either plays Minecraft or uses the computer. Mostly the computer - like I said learning things about programming, websites, html, visual basic, etc.

    I agree we should find one thing he can really excel at. He hasn't ever really worked hard to succeed at anything and then felt proud of himself. I wish we had technology clubs or something like that.

    I just keep wishing for the day he stops being difficult and does what I tell him the first time I tell him. (holding breath)
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My vote is that he can't continue to sustain the mental effort, once school is done.
    And... medications are NOT always the answer.
    If he is... (among other things)
    - sleep deprived (quality or quantity)
    - fighting through an un-diagnosed or unsupported Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)
    ... medications to help with focus have no impact.
  16. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Jules... (((Hugs))). We live a similar life. I suppose I am fortunate that Duckie is a bit of a germophobe so showering and brushing her teeth is seldom an issue. Getting her going to do it may be, but she doesn't fight the concept of taking a shower, etc. Have you looked in sensory processing disorder (SPD)? An Occupational Therapist (OT) diagnosis's and sets up a treatment plan to give your difficult child an appropriate sensory diet. After school has always been a difficult time for us because she is headed straight into overload from holding it together in school all day. It helps, in our case, for Duckie to wind down. I just re-introduced a few minor techniques and she's become a little less difficult already.
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    And HaoZi~ We deal with Duckie's hair by braiding it nightly, that cuts down on tangles.
  18. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I decided I am going to have his hair cut very short - and I also found Axe Waterless Dry Shampoo Foam Reset. Has anyone tried dry shampoo? I will also buy mouthwash (he used to dump it down the drain - hopefully he has grown out of that).
  19. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I also sent an email to the sped teacher and asked her how we can address the homework issue and if it can stay at school.

    I emailed his scout leader last night and apologized and explained why we have been so wishy-washy. He completely understands - so I can stop feeling guilty about that.

    I am feeling better because I at least have a plan about some of these things - and the support from this board is exactly what I needed. It is nice to know I am not alone in all of this. (Thank you all!!)

    Now I need to take care of me a little bit - starting with a good lunch (and a cookie). :)
  20. Philly area

    Philly area New Member

    Hi I just found this forum. I have four kids - three biological and one adopted. On the whole we're doing ok, but I sometimes feel I need to vent about my adopted child (age 7) who has some attachment issues as well as my 14 year old who has some motivational issues.

    By no means do I have all the answers but I see a couple of times you've mentioned combing his hair. My way of dealing with that would just be to cut his hair very short, like a buzz cut. Fortunately for you, he's a boy and it won't be too weird of a look. Three of my kids are boys and only rarely does their hair get long enough to need a combing.

    And here's an encouraging note. Like so many here have suggested, my whole MO with dealing with my combative 7 y.o. is to pick my battles very carefully. Tooth brushing was one I wasn't fighting. And this despite his older brother telling him his breath stinks. Even occasionally a child at school has said something to him. I coped by simply taking him to the dentist every 3 months (instead of six month) for a cleaning. An extra $120 twice a year has been well worth it. Anyway, he had a cavity which was filled last week. He decided he didn't like it and has been diligently brushing his teeth every morning and every night since. With absolutely no prompting from me. It's a miracle!