Our kids require a lot more than your typical kid: a lot more understanding, a lot more hand-holding, and A LOT more patience.

We line up the tdocs, the psychiatrists, and the neuropsychs. We battle with the schools to implement an effective IEP. We employ all the therapeutic interventions, behavior mods, and medications and we read all the right books. Then, one night, you lie awake wondering if you've just been trying to put a square peg in a round hole for the past 12 years.

Some days, just everyday life is a struggle for our kids. Then we expect them to be productive on top of that. We expect them to perform at school, at home and socially. My daughter goes through more angst and turmoil in a 5 day school week in just going to school, then the typical kid goes through in a year. And she does this every day, every week, every month. So when my daughter comes to me and she just can't do it one more day, I can't make her. I watch her muster all her resources every morning when she gets out of the car. I watch her swallow her tears, put her head up high and march into the building. And I *know* how hard it is for her.

I know that the line between helping, coddling and hindering is sometimes fine. But, she isn't like every other kid. So, then, I wonder...am I setting her up for failure to expect the same things out of her? These other kids don't struggle everyday of their life. She does.

Instead of trying to mold her into everyone else's (mine included) expectations, I need to find a way for her to work with her uniqueness. I need to give her a chance at success and give her something to build on.

Ok...can you tell why I didn't sleep last night? :wink:


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I wa thinking along those lines for the past week or so as well... (great minds)!!!

I posted to Timerlady- that I had just asked husband, "What does she need to make it throught the day?" I really don't know at this point... I feel so sad some days. My little one is only going on 6!!! I am hoping things will change with different medications. But I truly understand the square peg in the round hole... it is too much some days. I can see it in her eyes, even difficult child 2 struggles already.
I know we want them to assimilate and lead as normal a life as possible... but, can they.
That makes me think about the movie "Mozart and the Whale" I watched it last night, very good. About Autism, a young man meets/falls for a young lady they are both on the spectrum, at one point they are fighting because she wants to embrace being different and he is struggling so hard to fit and and appear normal, but neither one can. Very touching movie. Filmed nearby in Spokane, who knew??? (you would think they would be of help!)

I am sorry you are feeling down. but I am sure lots of us can relate. I don't know the answers, I am just begining this journey.

Hang in there you have had a tough go of things lately. Hugs


Thanks, totoro. :smile: I'm actually not feeling down at all. I feel relieved and renewed and working on a game plan. I know she has to be able to function independently in society, but I think she needs to get there via a different road.


Active Member
We moved away from trying to force difficult child 3 to fit in, to his detriment, and towards a celebration of his individuality and his gifts. He still has to struggle with a mainstream curriculum and right now is HATING Geography because it seems the entire term's work is on "globalisation", which when you think about it is very hard to pin down and define. His view is, he doesn't know about it, he doesn't WANT to know about it, he will never use this knowledge and he feels he is wasting time. Perhaps the lesson for him here is to accept having to embrace apparently unwanted knowledge because the effort itself is a lesson. I've told him to endure, and do it, so he can move past it to more appropriate work.

In trying to cram our square pegs into round holes, we knock off their corners and they lose their individuality. They are never as good a fit as those who were born machined to the round hole; and meanwhile somewhere, there are square holes desperate for a match. And if we can't find a square hole, we'll make one to fit.

There is a reason our kids are born different; sometimes society forgets that it is these differences that drives progress, challenge and change.

Since following his own path, difficult child 3 is now happier and more relaxed and, ironically, can appear more "round peg" than ever before, although it is only a semblance. By allowing him to be himself, we have allowed him to have the scope to also become whoever he needs to be.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I know that sort of thing would set both my difficult child's off. Luckily I'd figured it out before they were out of preschool yrs. Unfortunately no one else had.


I had a Mom like that. I have four sibs who still can't stand up to her, and I'm the youngest at 43. They are amazed, facinated, and horrified that I have no trouble telling her exactly what I think.

My Mom thought this was how you taught respect.

My kids learned respect. But I also taught them they had a right to how they felt and thought. It wasn't necessary they agree with everything I said. My Mom was horrified that I'd let them speak their minds. (still is)

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I like what you wrote regarding expectations. It makes a lot of sense and I think your difficult child is very lucky to have you :smile:


New Member
I guess that is why we get them an educational plan in school that is individual for their needs, and keep fighting for it to be implemented. We keep doing the medication trials and the therapy. Some of us find alternate schools, or decide to home school. We hope that some day they will do better being a square peg, and that their edges might wear down so that they fit in the round hole a little better...even if it is just enough for them to feel more comfortable in their own skin.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I agree with what you wrote. Our difficult children may never quite "fit" into this society of ours. Our job, then, becomes finding a place in this society for them to work, play - dare I say, thrive.

Thank you for this thought provoking thread.