Sometimes I feel like such a monster

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    My 10 y/o (11 in a week! Where did the time go??) is typical ADHD. He's a really sweet, smart, well rounded kid but he can be soooo difficult sometimes. He's extremely unorganized, forgets homework and books almost everyday, can't concentrate in class, sometimes can't sit still, and basically has a very hard time following through on simple tasks. He talks almost NONSTOP and is very forgetful about things that don't interest him.

    Lately he's been getting in trouble for forgetting homework and books. When that happens the policy is that I bring him back to school to get the things he needs but he loses TV privileges for that night. It's happened twice so far this week but the punishment doesn't seem to phase him. He's not mean or rude about it but it's just like "oh well". That makes me lose it and I find myself yelling more and more every day. I hate yelling but he drives me to the point of insanity sometimes. Yesterday he got yelled at for forgetting his math homework. Today he had newspaper club and when I picked him up he informed me that on top of his regular homework, he had a book project due for reading tomorrow. He's had SIX WEEKS to do this project and he decided to wait until the last minute! I lost it! I'm sure I was purple from yelling so much! It took him 5 hours to do his regular homework plus his project. I refused to let him eat dinner until he was done. Mean? Probably. But if he stops doing what he's doing for even a second he loses his train of thought and it's torture to get him back into the groove.

    I know he can't help some of it but some of it he CAN help! He's just so lazy about certain things. He knows what he's supposed to do yet chooses to take the easy way. Or the "I have time, I'll do it later" attitude.

    Anyway, I feel like a monster for yelling and screaming at him. I find myself doing it more and more lately because the calm approach isn't working anymore. When I'm calm he thinks he's gotten away with something and then does it again. It seems to sink in with him more when I yell but I feel so terrible afterwards. Like now, he's upstairs fast asleep and I feel so evil for being such a raging b**ch before! I need help controlling my temper a little before I damage the both of us! Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is one of the rare times when I think a 504 plan can help. He needs probably 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in afternoon to have ONE person who is assigned to know his assignments, help him organize, pull out what needs to be turned in and then gather what needs to be brought home. He can have a point sheet for doing this with him/her and then when enough points are earned, he can obtain whatever reward you think is his currency. Many kids like this have learned to turn off the disappointment feelings because it happens so often so consequences just have to be brushed off. They already know they are goof-ups so I dont care is the mode they operate from... all this MHO by the way...and certainly it still means that you have someone who really will follow the 504. Sometimes, depending on the school, you can find a counselor or social worker who is willing to do this kind of thing without a 504 plan, just because they should for ANY kid who needs extra support.

    Just an idea, I have seen it work for lots of kids. IF it seems silly for yours feel free to ignore.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...since he is adhd and they can be pretty much airheads most of the time, I would go for a second set of books at home. I would also see if you can get his homework either emailed to you or make sure someone checks his backpack at the end of the day everyday to make sure he has his papers to bring home. He should have a bring home folder with a place for assignments to be written and a teacher should verify they are written there.

    He isnt a big behavior problem so the school should be glad to help out. If they arent, tell them you will be happy to allow him to become a behavior problem.
  4. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Re: needing pointers on controlling your temper before you damage both of you - I need the same help. I don't have any answers but was hoping to find some in this thread so I will keep watching. All I know is find the help - because sometimes it's hard to un-do the damage once it's been done.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Jules, i think that is what a plan with the school will do. Since he has adhd, he will qualify for a 504 plan and the kinds of things Janet recommended are exactly the appropriate things to put in it. He is only ...near 11, and it is just the time to really start learning to be organized etc. He clearly needs more support and it can really hurt a parenting relationship to have to deal with the problem after the fact. If they dont have the skills and they are used to failure, then even when they can do some of it they may just not try. Time to start over, clean slate, give them the benefit of the doubt by setting up a plan. IF with that support and reinforcing the right things, then you can think about an occasional consequence... (as you have seen, continual consequences like that lose their effectiveness) but I think personally it is important to try to see if there are ways to approach this from skill building/positive behavior plan mode. Even if he is doing some of it thru pure laziness, it is likely to be from long time not doing well anyway. Taking some of it off of you....should help, and you can then just do more of what typical parents do, monitor the homework lists, help with some of it, etc. Not having to arrange all of it and turn it in, etc.... (again, just ideas, may not apply, you know your kids)
  6. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I completely agree with getting help from the school for the things discussed above (I am in the same boat with my difficult child - ADHD and needing all the support with organization and homework). Luckily we have someone who checks his planner/homework folder everyday which helps a lot. Still if something is questionable and I have to rely on getting information from difficult child - it's almost impossible. I would ask for a daily communication log - which is something we don't have that would probably work.

    The part I took away from the original post was the part about controlling her temper so as not to yell and scream. I may be wrong and just projecting my situation into it but - even with all of the things in place at school, having a difficult child is hard work and if you find yourself losing your temper about other stuff as well - what are some pointers for learning how not to do that? Maybe if JFK got help for the school stuff there would be no more reasons to lose her temper - and that's great. In my case, there is so much more. Every minute is a challenge.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I understand Jules, I didn't meant to dismiss the temper part, I live with that too.... I just have so much of that stuff all the time that the only thing that can help me, since I am human and I do lose my temper and feel ugly about it, is to think way ahead and try to avoid as much of it as I can. I was not implying there are no other personal things to work on, but that the school really could be more supportive so that we dont have to be in these battles so much of the time.

    I never get things home from school, I used to fight about homework and that is what helped me. My sister is going thru it now and she had to do what you are saying .... she has someone organize him too.... Janet's ideas fit perfectly with that. If we can reduce the number of days this happens it can help us to be in a better place when it does happen. Didn't mean to dismiss anyone"s feelings.....just trying to help.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I used to be that way. Now... maybe .01 of 1%? I can still lose it, but...

    Every time my blood pressure starts to rise... I ask myself: is getting mad going to add anything constructive to the situation?
    Of course... 99.99999% of the time, the answer is no.

    What is it going to be - Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C? If Plan A = me getting mad, then stuff THAT.
    If you don't know about plans A, B and C, then read The Explosive Child (Green)... A really interesting perspective on these kids of ours... and some helpful ideas.
  9. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    JKF...I've asked Santa for a cattle prod and idiot stings* for Christmas every year, and he has yet to come through. I think those would both help Slugger. He has gotten a lot better since his anemia is under control. But sometimes...

    What has been helpful for him personally is his friends. They will ask him if he remembered X or call and remind him to do assignments. They will also rib him horribly when he does something really absent minded. For instance, last year he carried his backpack and instrument to the bus stop and put them down to goof. When he got on the bus, he forgot to pick them up. He wouldn't have known if a kid hadn't told him. The bus driver had to stop the bus and reverse it back to the stop. He is horribly ribbed for that one. :) Post-it notes and good old notes on the back his hand help, too. I'm still hoping for idiot strings.

    *Idiot stings are the stings mittens are attached to and are fed through the arms of kids' coats.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    The only thing that stopped the yelling around here was me forcibly sitting myself down and saying over and over and over...It's Not My Problem, It's Not My Problem, It's Not My Problem...and dropping it all back on Miss KT. If you want help, ask like a civilized person. If you just don't wanna, take it up with your teacher. I did my time in (insert grade level), this is your work.

    Since the consequences at home aren't affecting him, maybe ones at school will. When it comes down to it, you can't make him care about getting his work done.
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    When I find myself yelling I have to take a physical break. The kids go in their rooms or I put a movie in. Then I read or do something mind numbing on the computer. Sometimes singing helps. I can sing songs and get them to stop screaming at each other. difficult child 2 hates singing so this doesn't always work.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I never said I didnt yell! LOL I have been known to yell, tickle, show up at school in all sorts of odd outfits including a bathrobe and curlers to take a forgotten assignment to one certain ADHD child. I even pulled a knife on one of mine when he wouldnt give me back my cellphone. Not my proudest mommy moment to be sure. Hey...its not a popularity contest. actually if it is, I think I may have one because I can hardly blast my kids away from home!
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    lol singing makes my son go nuts. he hates it....begs me to stop. I have used it to switch his train track if you know what I mean! But it would definitely not make him stop yelling. lots more yelling to be sure.
  14. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Haha Janet that got me giggling this morning! Thanks for that. I wasn't wanting to sabotage JKF's post - but there is some great ideas in here for everyone.

    When I feel like I am hitting my limit I explode so fast I can't have that rational conversation with myself about this not being productive. I also can't put difficult child somewhere while I go chill out - because when he is like this, he usually comes after me and is in my face and will just not let up.

    Buddy - I know exactly what you mean about limiting the stuff that causes these problems. If it is fewer and farther between each incident it gives us time to chill out in between so we are not so reactive. The problem that is happening for me right now is that I feel like I am constantly under attack - one bomb after another after another after another and not much time in between to heal myself. Yesterday my little one fell and hit his forehead on the cement and I seriously fell over the edge for awhile (because he cracked his skull a year ago this past summer). (He is ok thankfully) I am walking right on the line of breakdown everyday it seems. Not a good place to be.


    If they arent, tell them you will be happy to allow him to become a behavior problem.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    oh Jules, dont think you are ever alone in that. since Q will do that to me in public, I really think it forces me to learn to cope, I mean who is really gonna cut loose on a kiddo when mandated reporters are looking (LOL---I have not really cut loose on him folks, just saying I know the feeling!) The other day as his face was coming toward my arm I grabbed his short little curls and pulled his head away and let go right away, it was all I could do from the angle he was at... he never did bite me and rarely goes that way...will put his mouth on me...usually grabs something to bite though. OF course, after that he was all over me about how if I am gonna pull his hair he is gonna get me etc. NO clue what started it. Even though I get it, it is so hard sometimes. I just let him rant until it went away. I used to be so scared someone would come over or call the police when he got loud. Now I know I can just explain it and whatever happens happens, I can't control everything.
  17. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone for your responses and advice! Sorry I can't address each individually but right now my brain is fried! It's been a LONG couple of days!! We are having a much better day today but I'm totally drained.

    As for difficult child and school, he has an aide who is with him all day! She's amazing and I love her! She tries her very best to help difficult child stay organized and remember assignments, etc. but there's only so much she can do. He has newspaper club on Tuesday afternoons and that's when I'm seeing a pattern of him not bringing home his homework. What's been happening is that he stops at his locker before newspaper and puts things in there. When he goes to get them after he forgets what he needs. By then the aide is long gone. What I've started doing is checking his bag before we leave the school but I still get so frustrated sometimes.

    That's my biggest issue lately. The anger. And it's not just because difficult child is leaving things at school. It's everything. It's just so hard sometimes and I'm finding myself losing it a lot lately. I hate yelling. It accomplishes nothing yet I can't help it. I have some coping techniques such as walking away and counting and breathing deeply. They work sometimes but not all the time. I guess I just need to take it day by day and situation by situation. Like I said, today was a good day. No yelling even though there were times I wanted to. I guess it's a start.....
  18. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    JFK, I not only yell...I a rap star...only not in creative rhymes. :-/ I don't like myself for it, but, honestly, in the moment, it is such a nice release...until the guilt hits. :-(