How do I cope???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Southern child, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    Well today my S.O. told me he's moving into the den, that we need space from each other and time to think...I can't believe that a 5 yo little boy has this much power!!! Tomorrow is Monday and the week begins...I wonder how many calls I will get from school....and then to come home to no support and a S.O. that is barely talking to me, I thought home was to be a happy, safe place????? We go to counseling every week but it's not helping...I think I need to move out, but I wonder how that will effect difficult child. Any ideas??
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Doesn't sound like SO is very understanding or supportive. I can't give you advice, but I"m sorry he feels you can make this "differently wired" child do exactly what you want hm to do. Sounds like he's not a keeper though. difficult child's are hard and he would have to be in it for the long run. If he isn't good with difficult child, the boy may be relieved. Spanking won't change him and sadly many police officers think they are tough guys and just don't get it. And I speak as the daughter-in-law of a Sheriff. Do you have other family and/or friends to help you? (((Hugs)))
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  3. I am so sorry you are going through this Southern Child. I know it is very hard to deal when the SO is going to basically flake out on you instead of helping you. My husband has been against us medicating our son and had a very hard time with the money we are shelling out for counseling for him etc. But in the end he comes around to my side of things. Hopefully, your SO will see what you see and help you instead of hurting you further. ((HUGS!))
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with all of this. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  5. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    Thank you to all of you for your hugs and words of advice.
  6. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    I know it must be difficult, and I'm sorry for you. I had a husband that was the same, except, he just wouldn't come home till we were all in bed. There were other issues, which i found out about later, but basically, he didn't want to deal with the DS and the other little siblings (foster) that took a great deal of my time.

    I'm thinking, that it might be okay to let him have some 'time out', and maybe it will help him if you don't nag him about it. Just treat him as lovingly as always, and hopefully, he will still eat with you as a family etc.

    I'm sending hugs your way, and prayers also. I hope it all works out well for you.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Southern Child,

    raising a difficult child is definately not for the faint of heart. If your SO is one who believes he can force the good out or does not accept or believe the issues your difficult child is dealing with, it's going to be a long, long haul.

    As the parent of a difficult child, you have to be strong and understanding, consistant and emphathetic, firm and compationate, tough and forgiving. There are definately times when you feel like giving up - but the reality is that you can't.

    Have you asked him to do some reading, or speak with one of the docs at one of difficult child's appointments, or even read the board? Perhaps he needs to educated himself a little more so that he understands.

    Sorry that you are dealing with this sad and stressful situation. I hope things work out for the best.

  8. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Dear Southernchild,
    I don't know anything about your relationship, but let me speak as a husband who has a wife and child with a challenging condition.

    Most men don't talk about the things they are feeling inside concerning situations that are going on and how they are dealing with them internally. We men are hard wired to have the need to FIX THINGS that we see are broke or not working properly. When we have no control over things like these conditions, many of us have a hard time dealing with something we can not fix. Having a spouse with a condition and adding a child with a condition, and it is more than can be digested and dealt with by many.

    I am not sure what kind of counciling you are attending, but let me ask what kind of things are discussed during these times. Does the conversations center on difficult child and what is going on? Does it center around only the problem areas and not re-affirm the positive aspects of your relationship?

    Does much of your time and energy center around difficult child and his condition, leaving the time for yourself and your husband to have quality time lagging behind? That can naturally happen, and usually does. However CO needs to be made to feel that he is not being left behind.

    I find myself struggling at times to not feel like being somewhere else when mania's are taking place around me. With my whole being I want to be here for my children and have a wonderful relationship with my wife. The reality though is that the struggles with BiPolar (BP) and other conditions will always be a part of our relationship. That has taken a great deal of time to adjust to, and to be truthful I am still adjusting to it.

    All that to say this, I guess, dealing with these adding things in a relationship take time, understanding and work to overcome. Take time to re-affirm you love for each other and your commitment to each other.

    ok, enough rambling,
    T. Paul
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so very sorry.

    If your SO has asked to move into another room, you are right, this is not a good sign...but perhaps a sign that he is asking for more space and/or for you to take notice that major chances need to be happening.

    You mentioned your 5 yo adopted son having power...but he can only have such power if you give him it.

    True, surely he might be a major challenge and present frustrations...but it is up to you to learn coping strategies and actually problem solving techniques in order to move forward in your life...AND I'm thinking perhaps you want to move forward in your life with your SO

    So, you might continue with- counseling or seek the advice of a different counselor. Please make sure the latest change is discussed and ask for specific advice.

    You might also get some counseling on your own.

    Consider getting a babysitter and going on a date night once a not discuss your child during this time...this is just for starters.

    Pay close attention to what your SO personally and intimately is asking of you and consider doing your best to provide for his needs....hopefully he will do the same for you in return. If you try your best to do things for him and he doesn't help you in return, then and only then would I consider moving out.

    I wouldn't worry too much about difficult child's feelings, until the time actually comes that a decision is made...then cross that bridge at that time. Hopefully, you can restore your relationship with- your SO and it wont ever be an issue anyway.

    For now, if you think the relationship is worth working on...concentrate on that.

    Keep in mind...if you don't make a REAL effort to correct this problem will very likely repeat itself over and over again.
  10. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Dear Southern child,
    I hope that my post from this morning did not come across as harsh or any such way. I was just speaking from my own personal experience of living with someone who has a challenge and having a child with a challenge too. Please forgive me if my post offended in any way.

    Nomad did a much better job of saying what I was trying to say, so just skip over mine and go directly to thiers, :whiteflag:. My thoughts are with you and your family, as with all those that face and cope with this hand that life has dealt us.

  11. Southern child

    Southern child New Member

    You all have given me some very good advise, thank you. We go back and forth at counseling last week it was about difficult child, today it was all about us...It was a good session. We are talking and things are turning around. I know it's going to be a long road with lots of bumps but we do really love each other a lot. Again thank you all for your support and kind words.:D
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    T.Paul, I didn't see anything in your first post that required apologising for. It needed to be said, because there muyst be some reason Southern Child chose SO to share her life with. He must have good qualities.

    The rifts begin in these situations, for two combined reasons:

    1) Communication fails to a varying degree. You not only need to be able to talk to one another, you need to be able to have a meeting of minds on these issues. This communication needs to be supportive, productive, ongoing, selfless - it's not easy, especially for someone who hasn't got the same investment in the child that you have. WHat has really helped CDH & I with this - he lurks while I post. After a few years he joined the site in his own right, because when he lurked using my sig, I would sometimes miss notifications of new posts, because he'd read them and not me. But by having him lurk, he reads what I post and this gives him a distillation of my thoughts and views, things which I thought we were already talking about, but not in as much detgail as I was posting. So he would come home having read my posts, and we would talk from THAT point. REALLY talk. "I want to know why you expressed things that way, I hadn't seen it like that before. You tried to explain it to me last week but we keep getting interrupted, or I get too tired at the end of the day and can't concentrate on things you're tellnig me."

    2) The authority figure parent can often become the "bad guy" in difficult child eyes. Generally very unfairly. In our family, husband is the "because I said so" kind of dad. Or he has been. Trying to change this has not been easy and when he's tired or stressed he snaps back to it. I won't correct him in front of difficult child 3, but I do still sometimes need to say to him, "You're not handling him right, you need to do it this way." And I need to do it in ways that won't undermine him with difficult child 3.

    This isn't easy. Man was raised to be the authority figure. The man is the head of the house. Children should be seen and not heard. Laws must be obeyed. There must be control, there must be discipline. It worked alright with me, I turned out to be a decent human being.

    The trouble is, the methods by which many of us were raise,d WILL work for a lot of kids. And work well. But under certain circumstances, these childraising methods are actually the worst thing you can do, they will actually PUSH the child into being oppositional. If you were trying to make the kid into someon with ODD, then trying to endforce discipline through stricness and control is how you do it. "Do as I say" may work to a point; what works best is "Do as I do." ALWAYS.

    And "do as I do" has to begin with the adult srtting the good example in how to behave. A lot of these kids do not distinguish between adult & child. We saw this with difficult child 3 - he offered to read a book to a baby (doctor's waiting room) and held up several books and asked the baby to choose which one he would read. The baby was 6 months old and simply happy to have eye contact with someone who seemed to be talking to him. But difficult child 3 kept asking him to respond, asking him, "Do you think Spot is hiding in the cupboard?" and so on. People watching thought he was play-acting, but difficult child 3 really was expecting the baby to have exactly the same comprehension he did.

    He still does this - at 15 and very bright in many ways, he still expects other people to have the same experiences as him, the same thoughts, the same understandings. He will be watching TV in the family room while I will be watching a different network in the bedroom. He will run in to say, "Did you see that? Why did that person do that?"
    He doesn't understand that I can't tell him, because I didn't see it. He expects me to know the answers.

    Given that is how his mind works, you can see that when he sees an adult using power to control and discipline, all it does is make him resentful. It also teaches him that if HE wants to feel powerful and get people to do what he wants, he must behave exactly like the authority figure. So the irony begins - the child begins to pound his fist on the table and give orders, using the same sarcastic tone of voice, perhaps.

    I remember when easy child 2/difficult child 2 was about two years old and a real handful. Very demanding. A classic example - she asked for a glass of juice and I said no, she had already had several glasses of juice and she sould have milk instead. So I got her a drink of milk. She stood there, hands on hips and said, "I said I wanted JUICE!" scolding me for inattention.

    difficult child 3 does this even now. He will get is work back from teachers and check through it to see where he made mistakes. If he finds them I have to teach him manners - or difficult child 3 will ring the teacher and say, "Mr H, you owe me an apology. You marked me wrong in Q5."
    difficult child 3 is not meaning to be rude. PUnishing this teaches nothing except, from difficult child 3's point of view, that I'm being mean and unreasonable. What works better is for me to say to difficult child 3, "You need to be polite to your teachers, they know more than you even if you have picked up on the occasional mistake. If this were you making a mistake you would want the other person to be gentle about it and not say anything to make you feel sad or bad. be kind, be gentle. Try saying it this way..." and I model it for him. So if I get the chance I encourge difficult child 3 to say, "Mr H, I checked your answers and I still can't see what I did wrong in Q 5. Can you explain this to me so I DO understand?"

    Even if difficult child 3 is convinced he is correct, learning to go in gently means he learns to save face if it turns out he was wrong after all.

    It's like difficult child 3 finding something not where he left it. "Who has stolen my toy?" he yells.
    When the toy is found (somewhere else, where difficult child 3 put it but forgot) I point out, "You accused other people of stealing it. Now you found it and said sorry, but some words are very hard to un-say. It's far better to think before saying them in the first place, find a kinder way of saying it and don't accuse until all other possibilities have been covered."

    It's a matter of modelling the right behaviour for them FIRST (we have to set the example because we're the big people in the relationship, not the kids). Then we support and encourage, even using rehearsal and role-play to practice more appropriagte behaviour. And then we use praise. Not over-doing it, because then it seems fake and loses its value. But praise works a lot better than punishment.

    A story from the early 'people-saving' days of my church: the congregation was made up of trained counsellors and also a range of people who had come into the congregation from a life on the streets, or a life of crime (including drugs and prostitution as well as stealing to pay for drug habits). One night the group went on an evening outing to a nearby restaurant, to celebrate the birthday of the counsellor leader. The recruits were determined to live a good clean life and had been several motnhs clean in even the newest member's case. But old habits die hard some some rules had never been learned properly. When they were in the restaurant and handing over birthday gifts, one of the newer recruits handed over some very sharp-looking new wheel rims fro the guy's car. "I knew you needed 'em," the recruit said proudly. This is the first time I've done something good for someone else. Your birthday gave me the opportunity. I really think I'm turning over a new leaf, thanks to you."
    "Where did you get these lovely wheel rims?" the counsellor asked. "I didn't think you had the money for this."
    "Oh, it's OK," the former junkie said happily. "I was lucky, I saw the exact right ones in the car park as we were coming in, they were right there. Lucky, eh?"

    The counsellor knew better than to get angry, the ex-junkie simply didn't know better. But he did make the ex-junkie put them back, said he would be happier for his birthday knowing that not only had the thought counted for a great deal, but the subsequent honesty (and the story to dine out on) was worth far more.

    Years later the ex-junkie tells this story against himself. I know it because someone else who was there (one of the counsellors) told me.

    difficult children need different rules by which they can be trained. And a cop especially would find it difficult to question the methods used in his own upbringing. To question such rules means to begin to question so much more, this is very challenging. But the more experience he gets as a cop, the more he will learn that sometimes you have to tihnk outside the square.

    Try getting your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. And if your SO can't read it (for whatever reason - my husband couldn't) then you teach the methods to him.

    It works. It's different, but there's good method in it.

    Give him his space, but do try to work on the communication.