Ms Ally's New Strategy...???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, May 23, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Had another session with Ms Ally this morning.

    She now agrees that confronting difficult child during a rage would be bad. OK!

    She feels that one of our goals is to keep difficult child from raging in the first place. OK! Agreed!

    Ms Ally feels that this can be accomplished using a behavior contract system. She would like us to impose consequences on all of the things that indicate that difficult child's anger is building.

    The theory is that if difficult child does not start up with these angry behaviors when upset - then we will not get a build-up into a rage.

    IOW - if difficult child is upset for some reason....we are to forbid her from stomping, slamming doors, muttering under her breath, speaking in an angry tone of voice, etc...and if she does engage in any of these things - there is to be an immediate consequence.

    I am a little confused. I'm not sure how I am going to be able to police things such as "muttering".

    Did I hear muttering? You just lost your telephone priviledges, young lady!

    I also cannot help but think that the behavior contract is not the correct way to control a person's emotions. But that is the solution Ms Ally seems determined to use.

    I also asked her about DBT to help difficult child break her cycle of always interpreting things around her in a negative manner - but Ms Ally says they don't offer that.

    She just keeps stressing that if WE change OUR behaviors - then difficult child will change HERS.

    She emphasized several times that we need to stop arguing. Well, arguing is not one of our problems. difficult child doesn't argue - she just flies off the handle.

    Ms Ally said that if we didn't yell and scream - neither would difficult child.

    She asked the classic question: "How many people does it take to have an argument?"

    We told her that we know the correct answer to the question is "two" - but in our house, difficult child doesn't need anyone to argue with her....she will have whole conversations at the top of her lungs as IF she is arguing with someone - even though no one is actually answering her.

    So that went on the list of behaviors we are supposed to prohibit. 'difficult child will stop ranting and raving to herself.'

    So -

    What's an appropriate consequence for an angry kid that is muttering and talking to themselves?

    And do we think the consequence will make any difference?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This would never work for me. You can't punish someone for getting angry- at least you can't expect to get good results from it. I agree on setting boundaries and limitations to what's acceptable as far as how to express that anger but some of those things- well, we all do them when angry. Maybe the conversation should be about acciptable ways to deal with anger. Isn't this supposed to be about teaching coping skills? I have never understood why people in these systems get the idea that punishing bad behavior is the same as actually teaching good ways to deal with life- ie, coping skills. Has she brought up a single thing yet that you haven't already thought of?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    by the way- no matter how many times I tell people ITRW that difficult child pulled the knife on me right out of the blue, they are convinced that we must have been arguing and that I did my part to keep it going until it escalated to that point.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wow. And I had hope for miss ally...
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I agree that this seems likean impossible "fix". And like Karen I also had my difficult child attack me for no real reason. I had simply said "sit down and lets talk about this like adults". My reward for my very calm statement was a broken rib. But when the police came to the house the first think I was asked was what I did to difficult child to make him kick me. I'm sorry, so many of the therapists out there just do not understand what we deal with. Have you considered videotaping her in action? A nannycam works very well for this and you can hide it easily. Get what lead up to the outburst as well as the actual outburst on tape and take it to your next session. It will be an eye opener for your Miss Ally. -RM
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are going to have to catch this, both her actions and yours, on video to get through to this woman. She clearly ahs no clue as to what life is like with a difficult child. Esp after all the various parenting classes many of us have had. Heck, Wiz once beat me to the ground because I asked him how his day was. That normal, everyday way that you ask, not something unusual or anything. Just "How was yoru day?" and he leaped on me, wrestled me to the floor and hit and kicked me. But the therapist, cops, psychiatrist all asked what I did to enrage him - did I say he had doen soemthing wrong? Had I searched his room or backpack that week, anything? No one but the judge believed it was unprovoked and he wouldn't do anything - just said he believed it but since the officer did not write up the report he wouldn't do anything. This was when I decided that the very next time would be the very last time and he would leave our home because I just couldn't take it and wouldn't subject the kids to it any more. husband didn't even really believe me - he wasn't home yet and just figured I had egged Wiz on. Wiz taunted me with the fact that no one would believe me no matter WHAT he did - it would be all my fault anyway for making him mad.

    I would try giving her a chore, a way to work off the angry energy. Scrubbing the tub with baking soda or comet is a good way to work out anger, as is floor scrubbing. Or have her hose down the windows outside (YOU make sure they are all closed!) either just with water or with that windex stuff you hookup to the hose. Or have her dig up a garden or pull weeds. We did this for a logn time with Wiz. You will need to get her started and to supervise. Part of Wiz' turnaround was that my dad would take him out to trim hedges and clear the brush from their yard when he was in trouble or blowing up. Even just have her dig a hole, then fill it in and dig another. I know a family who had their son dig over a dozen holes all over five feet deep and then fill them in. They put trees in some, others just got dug up and filled in. It works off the energy and wears them out so they cannot rave so much and then they are less liekly to go off because they know they will be forced itno doing that. Or that is the idea. It took over a year with Wiz, and my parents house had truly NEVER looked better.

    You NEED to invest in a cctv system or at the least a nannycam and get this on video. It will be the ONLY way that anyone who can help ever believes you. It is also often truly shocking to them, so they are then willing to give more than they therwise would ever consider. Or that is what we have experienced. You can get some cheap handheld video cameras, like the flip style ones, on . Nothing fancy and nothing hidden, but something you can grab to film her at her worst. They have one by creative labs with 4 gb and 2 batteries for about $35 and 8 gb and 2 batteries for about $45 - both are pllus shipping. Big Lots also often has them relatively cheap if you don t' go for a cctv system or nannycam.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Susie, I know you're right about what it takes to get someone to believe you but I always felt like if I had to go to those lengths to get those in the system to believe me, then they surely have no experience in this and there's no way they would have any solutions for it so why bother.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Physical labor is great - IF they will do it. Usually when we so much as ask for help in the yard we get a rage.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    a;phabet lady, I know what you mean. chances are they don't know how to help, but it will maybe get them to look for something. I just think sometimes you must go to great lengths to jump through their hoops because otherwise they won't ever do anything helpful. For us, several times Wiz was very very dangerous to Jess, me or himself and with-o a TON of in your face proof no one ever helped. TOO many people just think we are over reacting to "normal" things because there are so many parents who either cannot or will not do even basic discipline with a child. SOOOOOO many parents want to be friends with their kids rather than parents and don;t want to insist on anything that upsets the child. Then these contracts, etc... DO work because the problem is the parent. So when WE parents of difficult child go and say what is going on, the docs all think it is NOT because nothing has worked it is because we have done nothing to discipline the child and don't know how to do it.

    Video can jump you past that **** a lot faster than going through all of the various things that don't work over and over. I saw one therapist actually cry and wince at video of Wiz attacking - she said it was a flat out miracle that we hadn't beaten him to death to get him to stop hurting others. Just to get him OFF, I mean, not to discipline or punish him. She said she would have lost it if her hcild had acted that way, and would have lashed out at him. My comment was what would that fix? It would just make him madder and more violent.

    There are so many parents who don't want to enforce rules or make a child unhappy so those of us who are good parents to our kids but have difficult children anyway have a long, uphill fight. If video shortens it, I am all for it!
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    It's even more fun when you have a difficult child, plus a parent who doesn't want to be the bad guy. And even better when you have no legal standing and the kid uses that.

    DF - is your husband doing any better at this???
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O my goodness - the funniest thing!

    DS was invited to join us for part of the session today...and Ms Ally asked him lots of questions. One of the things that DS explained to her was that difficult child often prefers to ask husband permission for things because "Dad usually just says yes, whereas Mom actually listens to the question."

    So....yes and no. I see some improvement, but clearly, the kids can see that he lets a lot slide...
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree. And I have been gently trying to suggest that perhaps difficult child needs help with her coping skills, problem-solving and communication - as well as her aggressive manner toward others in general (not just family)...

    but so far, I have been re-assured that if WE change, difficult child will change.

    (Interestingly, all the things that have been suggested as "new" strategies are things that we are currently doing - such as "redirect difficult child", develop a safety plan for DS, etc)
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I like the physical labor idea....maybe I can use that as a "redirect" instead of a "consequence"... IOW, it's not appropriate to take your anger out on the doors, so go take it out on the weeds.


    We actually had a surveillence system in our old house (no sound, just pictures). We have not been able to set it up in this house because the configuration of the house doesn't work with the system we have...

    The other night, husband tried to record some of her ranting and raving, but was not able to capture clear audio. We'll try again next time.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    From klmno -
    The reason we go to these lengths, even if we feel the effort will not be valued - it's because there are people to come after us. SOMEONE has to educate these people. They have generally been put in the job they have, to learn. They have some academic expertise, but need to see real practice. And while ever we walk away from the problem, they will continue to believe (wrongly) that the intervention failed because the family would not follow through.

    They NEED to have their eyes opened. And you can't argue with video.

    DF, your description of Ms Ally wanting you to begin using techniques that are already in place, reminds me of the time I was in hospital for physical rehab. They had me walking on a treadmill every second day, in between I was to walk a certain number of lengths of the corridor. They asked me how far I walked in an average day and because I already used a step counter, I knew exactly. They then halved that and said, "Let's start you off gently."
    Over the three weeks I was in hospital, I was NOT ALLOWED to walk more than a certain amount, and they graded it up over the three weeks to the point where it matched what I came in with. They then declared the whole program to be a success, they had successfully upgraded my walking. I was not impressed, I pointed out to my specialist (in writing, as usual) that my starting point should have been my entry point, not some artificially lowered level in order to guarantee non-progress as success.

    I think you're dealing with the same sort of crud - you've already moved beyond where Ms Ally is at, but she can't grasp this because until now in her experience, and the experience of her entire department, it is generally bad parenting as well as parents who are less than honest about how much they do.

    We need to SHOW them that sometimes the problem is far more complex than they believe, and that we need their help, even if it is only as one other person, not a family member, looking on and thinking outside the box.

    If it was as easy as they expect it to be, why would we need them?

  15. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Totally honest answer? Fire Ms. Ally and get a therapist who has a clue what a difficult child is like. She obviously doesn't. Just my .02.... YMMV, etc.
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    LOL - Mr S - Easier said than done... DF and I are both still looking... Sigh.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know- but isn't that really the problem- they are putting the least knowledgable in charge of our kids' future? It isn't the first time I've said it- but my kid isn't a guinae pig. They should be putting the most experienced, most knowledgable in charge of these kids. And why on earth get people right out of college or who have no experience with PCs, much less difficult children, and put them in a position where they are telling parents how to raise their teens? I'm so over it I can't see straight.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    As I said on the court witness stand to "miss GAL" and judge- if this state wants to train newly licensed attnys and pwople right out of college, fine, but don't use my son's case to do it- use the mass murderer caught on film- give me your parent with expertise for my son's case. We (my son and I) would have been better off with a jury trial- which of course is not allowed for juveniles in this state. So much for our judicial system.
  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    We have been on a waiting list with the state for over a year...

    then six months and several intense meetings between the state and county FINALLY led us to a referral to Ms Ally. There is no "firing" her....there is only cooperate or lose our spot in the program. If we exit the program? Then that's it. End of road for services.
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I agree...there is a duty to those who come behind.

    And I do think that the pressure to show success on paper often drives these ridiculous goals. (eg difficult child will refrain from beating her brother 6 out of 7 days.)