Impulse control

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    No, not J's... Mine. This morning he was very rude and disrespectful and it got my goat, as we say - not because he is talking to ME but because you do not speak to anyone like that and... I ended up giving him two taps on the back of the head, not really hard and more symbolic than anything else, but as always I felt wretched and regretful afterwards. It just doesn't work... might be a moment's relief or transmitting a message to him but it does more harm than good.
    For me I think this comes more down to a practice of catching these habitual impulses in the mind and staying with them rather than acting out on them immediately... obviously this is hard! Bringing up a difficult child gives ample and frequent practice, needless to say.
    I feel all of our success and failure depends on keeping things calm, stable and reasonably predictable. I've realised that, unfortunately I dare say, he is not a child who does well with free, unstructured time. I therefore have to structure it as much as possible... and rules for most things, pre-established. Like 3 hours maximum television watching at the weekend, and then we don't have a scene like Sunday where he wants to watch more and I am not in agreement....
    I do actually feel like I could organise life so that he has a minimum amount of meltdowns and scenes, but it is quite a lot of work and not very "natural". I like a loose routine but not rigid. But I can see that I almost have to sit down and plan weekends ahead of time... and keep on working on my impulse control. :)
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Malika, you've just described me. Everything is planned to within an inch of its life. I allow for contingencies, but there is no such thing as "unstructured time" in my world. Now, my particular flavour of aspergers leads me to try to organize everything right to death, but a real benefit has been that it seems to help my collection of Aspie/Dyslexic/ADHD/BiPolar (BP)/Generally crazed children to know what to expect, where to find things, when things are going to happen, etc.

    I guess if you're not obsessed with organizing it doesn't feel natural, but maybe "naturalness" is part of J's struggle and a little bit of rigidity might help him to cope.

    I have no idea if I'm making any sense, so please let me know if I need to clarify anything.
    (Sigh...there I go again ;))
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol, Trinity. Well, I just don't do hyper-organised very well but I could manage hippo-organised (rather lumbering and gap-toothed :)), I think. I can see it's good for J and that's why our very structured week days are generally stress free and why he likes school so much, I guess. If something is pre-established and stated, he accepts it. It's the in-the-moment decision that seems to send him over the edge. I do try to prep him for the unexpected and calm him down when it happens because that's just how life is and so useful not to be fazed by change. But I also have to accept the reality of how it is for him...
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika, my dear,
    If J were your bio-son, I'd be telling you that you grow more like him by the day.

    Well... by the time I had husband plus 2 kids not yet in school... I was a basket case.
    Had to go get ADHD medications for ME.
    And yes, I still need them.
    And yes, they really help - like to the point that if I miss a dose, "somebody" tells me to "go get your medications".

    medications and the impact on adults is far less...
    Maybe you should check into it?

    (oh, right, you're in France - where it's hard enough to get stuff for kids... )
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi IC. Not quite sure what you mean, or whether you are just joking, but I'm not ADHD and I'm not about to take any medications to make me zone out of the difficulty with J :) Mind you, little magic pill with no side effects would be very nice for us both to pop on occasion...
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That was partly tongue-in-cheek...

    Because J is adopted, the usual logic does not apply. But it is amazing how many parents discover they actually ARE part of the ADHD "family"... when their child gets the diagnosis. There IS a definite genetic component.

    And IF the parent IS ADHD... sometimes getting medications for the parent is of more value than getting medications for the kid (me being a case in point... none of us would have survived without ME being on medications).

    But you're not, so you don't get THAT "advantage"!
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Structured doesn't have to be rigid or regimented. Judging by the pandemonium usually underway in my house on an average weekend you wouldn't necessarily be able to spot the structure, but it's there nonetheless. For example: Sunday afternoons, the children have lunch, then Play Time, then dinner, then baths. The time of day is fixed, but what they get up to is total chaos. But since they have a predictable schedule, they're less antsy about what to do with themselves.

    Also, they know that if they don't find something to do, I will find something for them to do and they will not enjoy it nearly as much. (Would you rather Go Outside And Play In The Yard, or Fold Towels?)
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello trinity. Like your new hat :) Well, I think it will pay to define things more clearly at the weekend, not so much in terms of precise times for things but in terms of having things planned. I don't like living that way, I confess. But J seems to demand it.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Thank you Malika. I figured I was due for a new bonnet, with the change in the weather and all :biggrin:.

    I've found that having a framework seems to help my Monster-Tots (and myself) deal with the unexpected things that inevitably come up. If the Older Monsters show up unannounced to take the Younger Monsters out to the park, it's still lunch, then play time, etc. It's just lunch out with Big Sis and brother in law, and play time in the park rather than the back yard. It's not terrible, and I find that it takes the thinking out of it a little bit, which frees up my mind for the bigger questions, such as Just What Am I Going To Make For Dinner, Anyway?