Reality check -- Mom you can't make me normal!


Here we go again!
And I don't want to be normal! I like how I am! Stop trying to make me like everybody else.

That's what difficult child 2 told me today when we were discussing his obsessive behavior in the store today (very persistently insisted I buy him an electric toothbrush, which he already has, interrupting me several times while I spoke with another parent in line at the pharmacy, wouldn't take no for an answer, then started to shove me and push his head into me until I told him the consequence he was seconds away from earning) and I commented on the way out to the parking lot that he may need to go back on Lamictal because it helped with this kind of behavior before. He's not as bad right now as he was before, because he's not screaming at me yet or having a nuclear meltdown in the middle of the aisle as if his very LIFE depending on me buying the electric toothbrush, but I sense that it's bubbling under the surface.

He had a hard time going to sleep last night, and is up again bouncing around tonight, even though he removed his Daytrana patch about 3 1/2 hours ago.

He got his 0.125mg clonazepam about two hours ago, and clearly it has had no effect on him. He's busy with a paddle ball. Very busy. Last night, he decided to mount a new wall light in his room without any help or instruction (or supervision for that matter).

I'll be keeping an eye on this for a few days. I already updated the psychiatrist on the dystonic reaction he had on Monday and the addition of the new medication.

Stability would be nice for once. I hope we're heading the right direction here.


Well-Known Member
Well, maybe it's time to turn the tables on him? He has figured out that he doesn't have to change if he doesn't want to get better. But, he needs to know that you don't have to give in to his wanting special things at the store if he doesn't try to change. Because you're a person too, and you don't want to.

It's tough when they refuse to do medications or therapy, even when they are so young. You can't make them want to change. :(

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I've had the tweedles make comments of this nature. It frustrates me. However, I'm not the one dealing with the disorders, medications, therapy, etc.

That doesn't take away kt or wm's responsibilty for their choices, their behaviors. As the tweedles have gotten older, I've let them know that the reason we have the medications, therapy & whatnot is to help them make the right choices. Choices that are acceptable in our home, in the community (they both know what it's like to not be in the community), to make & keep friends & to be reasonably successful in school.

It's difficult when they begin to feel so overwhelmed by all the "help" we are getting in line for our difficult children. Our babies know they are "different" for lack of a better word & don't quite fit in. The "why should I care" attitude kicks in at that point.

For kt, that attitude seems to have been a short phase; for wm it's sticking about much longer.

We've taken breaks from some of the therapy - even have cut back on the in home help when it interfered with attachment issues.

I have found that when I relaxed a bit about some of the antics pulled; when I've detached things have calmed down.

Don't let difficult children comments get to you. In the meantime, I hope there is something that will help your difficult child calm. Does he know any self calming skills?


Active Member
That sounds like a pretty stressful day for you. I'd be pulling my hair out- although we've been there done that, too.

That sounds like pretty good advice. Ladies!!


New Member
My son's latest lament is "I'm not like other kids." He uses this as an excuse for any number of behaviors. He used the excuse with the therapist last week and her response to him, "Learn to be." difficult child was baffled by the response. I'm not sure that he realizes that it is possible to change. Yes, it is harder for him that for a "normal" child to make good choices but still possible.

The other day, he asked after he had come down from a meltdown, "Why is my life so damn hard?" We talked about bipolar disorder and how his brain is wired differently but then I remnded him that sometimes he makes good choices. And that he is lucky because he does have the power to make changes in his behavior even if it's hard. A blind person can't make himself see. Someone who is permanently paralyzed can't make himself walk. But, he CAN make himself do the right thing sometimes.


Well-Known Member
That sounds exactly like my son at the store! He loves to head-butt and shoulder-butt me. Sometimes the clerks will tell him to stop it. (I love it when that happens.)
Sometimes I agree with-him, that he is different, but as others so wisely pointed out, that does not mean he does not have to comply with-rules of society, politeness, and responsibililty.

Also, when my son gets totally obnoxious, I have been known to be obnoxious right back. I'll jump up and down, make faces, scratch my armpits, you name it. He'll tell me I'm embarrassing him and, since he has just taken the bait, I reply, "But you're different, too, and you just told me I have to put up with it. You expect me to change?"

It actually works. Once he starts up again (preferably, in a public place) I'll say, "Uh-oh, I'm going to have to embarass you!" and he stops what he's doing. Which shows me he CAN control it! (by the way, you've seen that video of the mom who throws herself in the aisle, having a tantrum, haven't you?)

I am also going to order a sweatshirt from Signals that says,
just one more service I offer

We have to learn to think outside the box. :)


Here we go again!
As usual, wonderful words of wisdom from all of you :D Thank you.

His comment DID catch me off guard and I did find myself questioning everything we've been through, if only for a few minutes. Am I doing the right thing? Is this too much? Are there too many medications? Am I over reacting? Etc., etc.

He got a little argumentative in the parking lot as we left the store yesterday about medications affecting who he is and that he should be free to be all that, and I pointed out that his behavior was unacceptable, and NOT normal for ANYONE, even someone who is different -- disresepect, rude behavior and tantrums over toothbrushes is just not o.k. After stepping off my mother's soapbox, he agreed and apologized.

He's a smart kid and once his emotions settle down, he usually "gets it". Carbon copy of his dad. The trick is helping him deal with his emotions in the moment and that's been the focus of everything we've been doing for him. From biofeedback in the past to the social skills group he's in now to special one-on-one teaching time with me. The medications just help him be able to utilize what he learns, I know that.

We watched the movie "Martian Child" this past weekend (John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Amanda Peet) and it reminded me of difficult child 2 -- any difficult child for that matter. It was literally about having to think outside the box (the kid actually preferred to live in a box) and accept and love a child with differences even in the face of a community that didn't understand.

So yes, our job really does command creative thinking sometimes. And a mountain of patience. I don't need my son to fit into some perfect mold so that he can become X, Y or Z, but I do need him to function appropriately in this world so that he can be a happy and healthy human being. That's what I'm trying to accomplish here. That's my eternal hope.


Well-Known Member
Well, I have high blood pressure, and that's how I normally am. It's not ok to have high blood pressure, though, because one day I will have a stroke and be drooling in a chair wearing diapers for the rest of my life, and who will take on that burden? There will be physical and financial ramifications to that which will affect everyone around me as well as society at large.

"Normal" for someone who is ill is not "acceptable." Somehow he needs to understand that if he wants to benefit from everything that you as his mom and society in general can offer him, he has to strive to have behavior that is more "acceptable". There's no normal about it.


Roll With It
Well, if not being normal is his excuse, why can't you use it?

Mom, my laundry isn't done. I'm not a normal mom, I don't do laundry.

Mom, can you take me to x's house? No. Other moms would. Well, I'm not normal, just like you. I don't do that cause I'm different.

and while I have no video, I HAVE pulled the screaming tantrum on the floor. Once in a department store. difficult child (at 3) told me I was "'barrassing him"). I have NOT had public tantrums from him since!!!

Anyway, once you think outside the 'MOM' box, your options are innumerable. and they can be FUN!

I would turn the tables on this difficult child. Just be sure your "differences" are timed to catch him when he can think. When my difficult child is heading into a rage, he just can't think or process. So I did my different stuff at other times.




Active Member
I often will bring up, "What kind of person do you want to be when you grow up?" or "Is that the kind of person you want to be?" There is nothing "normal" about anyone, but everyone can make a decision of what type of person they want to be. I also remind my Sunday School kids over and over that they need to start now to be the person they want to be - make those good choices a habit now before they become middle teenagers and life turns around making those decisions harder. I don't think many kids have role models to look up to. That is what the good role models provided, a "that is how I want to be when I grow up" goal. Kids need to realize that they need to work on being the person they want to be, they will not automatically grow up with all those good characteristics.

During our difficult child "fight" the other day, I asked difficult child to calm down and write down what type of person he wants to grow up to be. He told me he already knows and that he couldn't be that person that day because everyone (mainly me) was mean and rude to him that day. So, we need to work on not letting other people allow you to make bad decisions that takes you away from how you want to be.

My 11 yr old is starting to go off Clonazepam. He was on .75 mg 3 times per day. This week he is getting .5 mg 3 times per day, next week he gets .25 mg 3 times per day and then will be off. Is .125mg really the right amount? It seems so little - maybe doctor wants to be very careful about it and will increase it until the right amount is found?


Here we go again!
Adrianne, it's to control a tremor, so that's why we're starting so low. He's supposed to do 0.125mg for a week, and then only go to 0.25mg after that.

You make a good point about turning the issue around and posing a question about how they view themselves as an adult. I think my difficult child would relate well to this kind of thinking. We talk a lot about what we see in other people and whether it's behavior we'd want for ourselves, but I haven't ever asked him directly what kind of person he wants to be...