Riding the storm

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    J had a very full day today. My two brothers have been here (unusually) and we said goodbye to one and then the other came to the village with his family before driving out to the airport. Long story short - it has been two years since he saw them, he doesn't really know who they are, I think he perhaps felt anxious and was on his "worst behaviour": wouldn't stay with us as we walked around the village, kept going ahead on his bike, ignoring my shouts to return (on the road), was generally rather loud, annoying and obnoxious. Then they went and he went to play with his friend who spends weekends in the village and is 9 years old; they go off on their bikes and the older boy takes the walkie talkie, communicating with me regularly. They ended up spending the afternoon together - the boy stays with his divorced dad and is not under much supervision; they ate sweets, cakes and watched television freely (called on them a couple of times in the house). Once in a while is okay, I guess though I wouldn't particularly want this to become a habit. They both arrived back at the time I had set for J, after talking to the other boy's dad who obviously helped enforce it. J immediately wanted to leave again to show the other boy his den... I refused and ended up holding him on his bike while I told the other boy to leave and go home. J then went into an explosion of anger and tears. However... it was so obvious it was the tiredness/over-stimulation/sugar that I just let him rant and rage, picking him up firmly and putting him inside, without feeling any anger or irritation or desire to get cross with him. A first for me! He tried to scratch me a couple of times on my hands... I just restrained him. I remained perfectly calm and even sympathetic and after about 5/10 minutes he began to calm down. I let him watch tv - might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb - while I prepared supper; when his programme finished, he accepted meekly that I turn it off, ate his supper, had his bath, brushed teeth, story and is now fast asleep with the dog curled around his head...
    All of which to say that... I must be getting a little better at reading the signs when J is just reacting to sensory conditions rather than "being naughty". It certainly felt peaceful to be totally unmoved and unhooked by his intense emotions... here's hoping I'll manage it next time too:hi5:
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Good job mom! Hopefully as J matures he will be able to learn some strategies for self-calming and this will get easier and easier. Proud of you!:yess:
  3. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    A very good start. Keep it up. Each time you will learn it will get a tiny bit easier until the time comes when you will be able to do it without even thinking about it anymore! :)
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh dear, I fear I have no such total optimism, Tiapet! I am sure I will "screw up" again - I am sure I will be human again :) But I hope this is perhaps the start of a trend...
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    AHHH, the good old days when I could just pick him up and bring him in....LOL....

    just kidding of course. Really, it sounds like you handled it all well. Not only that one thing, but there were stress moments all thru the day it sounds like. Still, you were able to take a step back emotionally and think it through. Awesome for both of you in the end.

    I sure hope you had a good time with your family. That is a long time between visits (just can't imagine it), did your brother enjoy the cycling??

    HUGS to you and J!
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Good job! :warrior:
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh, I know... This occurred to me as I was actually hauling him in - that I won't be able to do it much longer. He is very skinny and light for his age but he is SO strong. I guess the hope is that by the time he is too big for me to pick up and restrain, he will have gained in enough sense to reason with him.
    Hope is good :)
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Good job! I'm glad you remained calm and could find an explanation to the behavior. It is easier to stay cool when we understand what triggers the behavior, it does not appear random anymore.
    Don't worry about the "what if" when J is older. Stay focus (as I know you are) on today. It is hard enough to solve the current issues, let's not try to solve hypothetical future problems! (I know you two said it as a joke, but my mother is always raising potential but not yet real problems. And she was with us for the past 3 weeks, so it just sounded familiar lol)
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    You did a great job!! It's great that you were able to read the signs and act in a cool and calm manner.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Way To Go! Take one day at a time and just have confidence that you will find answers in the future. DDD
  11. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Proud of you!
  12. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Wow, congrats on your zen like attitude. I Hope I get there one day!
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika - Way To Go! 2 + 2 = 4, over-stimulated and over-tired = melt-down. You did well.

    Family mum? the more you figure out about your difficult child, the more you can start putting things in place that reduce the number of problems, and the more you will find that you react differently. It IS a process, and definitely not a "switch"... {{hugs}}
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

  15. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Awesome! 'Removing' yourself emotionally from the tantrums (but still with kindness) is beneficial to you and J! Great job!
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes. It's going to be harder, though, when he is oppositional because that is much more of an emotional "hook" for me. I think his rages are more about his being tired, hungry or overstimulated, or whatever. He doesn't so much rage when he is thwarted in what he wants as become angry and insulting. Funny thing about his insults though (for example "You're stupid!") is that if I instantly come down on him angrily, he will say, very humbly and apologetically "Sorry!" So I don't know that he either intends or understands what he is saying??
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Wow... that's pretty insightful. Splitting "rage" from "oppositional". I can see where that is helpful.

    I'd vote that he "understands" but doesn't "intend"... if he intended it, he wouldn't be sorry. He knows he shouldn't but gets carried away by the strong emotions of the moment. If he didn't understand, he wouldn't be able to apologize, because he wouldn't know why that would be necessary.
    Just my take on it...
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I have two brothers. One lives in the States with his American wife and children. I like and appreciate him and he is patient and tolerant with J. We see him a couple of times a year or so. The other brother is more problematic... Last time we saw him was when we spent Christmas with them two years ago; J was manic, highly excited, racing round and shouting, trying to tear paper off presents and committing the cardinal sin of spitting in front of my wife's very upper middle class father... My brother said to me that J was "anti-social" and that I was not disciplining him enough (sound familiar?) Since then I have avoided contact with them, though my brother has made a few overtures to meet up. This visit was because my other brother is here cycling in the south of France with his wife and it was felt to be an opportunity for us all to meet...
    J doesn't know who this brother or his family are... I recognised afterwards that I was hoping he would be his nice self - sociable, interested, interacting in civil fashion. But, interestingly, it was as if he picked up on their past rejection of him... he was really aloof, didn't want to speak to them or interact (not typical for him) other than to be quite oppositional and unpleasant to be around when he accepted to be with us. So again they carry away an impression of J as an out of control, obnoxious child with a strange illness, when in fact he is... a lot more than that.