So I read The Explosive Child...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Last ♡ Hope, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    I actually went out and purchased a Kindle so I can queue up all these books everyone here has suggested and read them without having to plan and execute a trip to Barnes & Noble or await shipping each and every time I was ready for a new one, but I digress...

    Has anyone found the Plan B to be a tremendous salvation to their relationship with their difficult child? I feel very overwhelmed by all the information in the book right now, but I read it at fever pitch as the hospital is talking about discharging difficult child on Wed. after our family meeting.

    I went to visit him tonite but he became upset with, and smoked, a nurse within five minutes of my arrival and then while back in 'open safety' he punched another nurse and had to go back to seclusion. :sigh: Once he was calm enough to process out he wanted to watch a movie with me, I hesitated because I really wanted to talk to him since I hadn't been up there in days, but he really wanted me to see this movie so I caved. Well he ended up so absorbed in Scooby Doo that when it was time for me to leave, he didn't even look up when he said goodbye. I had anticipated my leaving to cause a meltdown as it has the past few times, so I was planning on working on Plan B with him prior to leaving, but not only did I not get the chance to do that, it wasn't even a trigger this time.

    I guess I will go back and re-read the book again. I feel like I need to have this one really concrete in my head before I move on to the others (like Lost At School). I just can't imagine getting the school on-board with this methodology at all... :sigh:

    Bleh. I'll shut up now. I'm just feeling very downtrodden right now.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I truthfully cannot remember all of the "plans" (it has been so long) but I remember this book to be a TOTAL God send. I took everything it said to heart, and is changed our world. Good luck.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It will come with practice. I have used the plan so far mainly to figure out what/how my difficult child is thinking. We have used the problem-solving on some of the more minor things. As he and I get better at it, I plan to use it more. Just an FYI, sometimes timing is the key. Good luck.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Most stuff you'll either basket A or basket C to start with, then use little things as practice and work your way up.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    plan B needs to be done BEFORE the triggering event. And you leaving isn't really a plan b issue as he doesn't have the option to force you to stay
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds like you put the chance of a talk, in Basket C. End result - no meltdown. BUT - you didn't have the talk. Question - would he have been receptive? If you had tried to talk and he clearly became unresponsive, then the talk goes back in Basket C - you stop. But you revisit it when he can handle it, when he is calm, at a later time.

    You should not feel downtrodden, but in some ways others may perceive you to become a doormat. You are not a doormat if you have found a way to get your point across at some level, to a greater extent than you were able to before. Baby steps.

    The fact tat you skipped the talk and just sat with him clearly calmed him down. He will remember this at some level and next time there will be a (maybe barely perceptible) drop in anxiety/arousal level when you are there (depending, of course, on other factors). Your first job is to learn to read him, to understand what calms him and what upsets him, and try to balance it out. Your next step is to use this information to work him towards what you want form him, at a level he can handle. You leave the stuff tat is beyond him and choose two or three things to try, but back off from him melting down preferably before it happens. And as you both get better at it, you can begin to put in place some simple plans and agreements. But again - if they look like failing, then let them go. While it is good to not fail, it is best to not engage in a possible failure in the first place.

    Next time you meet, ask him about Scooby Doo, ask him what he thought about some aspect of the film. Use it as a conversation point. Get his opinion. Value his opinion. It will help him realise that the time you sat together was important to you too.

    Be gentle on yourself. This is not your fault. But you have the capacity to begin the process of change. it is exponential - starts slowly. Give it time.

  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I think I'll just get this out of the way up front. Everything I say is in my humble opinion. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Saves me saying it several times in this post. :bigsmile:

    Mm. If he is still so out of control that he is punching psychiatric nurses I think Plan A is all you can focus on with everything else in the C baskets.

    Go easy on yourself. You cannot learn everything overnight. You need to take this time of respite to take care of yourself and your other kids and husband. It's good to gather info but if you're feeling like you're drowning then it's probably time to take a break and just sleep or take a bath or a walk.

    Focus on safety issues because everything else is just gravy when you are still talking safety.

    I would refuse to bring him home because he is still a danger to others if he's continuing to have that behavior the morning of the day before you are to bring him home. You have a toddler in the house and it is your duty to protect that child too. If your 6 yo has been aggressive towards him at all I would absolutely tell them it is not safe for your difficult child to come home if he is still acting out violently.

    And I think you should make sure the case manager or social worker knows it. You might ask them what his behavior has to be for him to come home and make them get concrete about it. If they don't get concrete then you may have to by saying something like "If he's been in seclusion due to aggression how long after that before you would let him come home?" "If he's assaulted staff or other kids within the previous 24 hours will you still release him?"

    Hopefully the answers to those question will be a definite NO he won't be coming home that day. And I think you should be expecting them to transfer him to a partial day treatment program - not just discharge him home - if there is one for children his age. If there is one but it's full, then he needs to stay inpatient until there is space for him in the partial program.

    If they have done medication changes while he's in psychiatric hospital the new dosage/medication should have been on board for at least 2 days before you agree to bring him home - provided his unsafe behaviors have resolved.

    Now they will probably tell you that you "have" to bring him home. And a bunch of us here will tell you that you can refuse and they cannot force you. They may threaten you with all kinds of scary sounding things but I don't think anyone I have ever heard of has actually had those things happen to them when they were attempting to protect their other children from a difficult child and were making obvious efforts to provide appropriate care and supervision to their difficult child.

    About the movie, etc. I would go to your visits prepared with a card or board game or something else simple and mindless to do with him. You can just bring or ask for some drawing paper and crayons or ask if you are allowed to bring those in. Then doodle together (if he will). I used to do this thing with my kiddo where we would take turns drawing on a sheet of paper until we ended up with a weird monster with 4 horns and 3 feet or whatever. I'd draw a line then he'd draw a line attached to mine and so on.

    The point is to have something structured but simple to do. You don't have to insist or even talk about it. Just set it up and invite him to do it with you. Ask him to cut the deck. Whatever. If his behavior is so disorganized that he cannot do those kinds of tasks for a short time there at the psychiatric hospital there is no way he is ready to come home.

    Sending happy dreams your way.