Stability? Is it real?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. I actually hate to ask these questions that have been running through my mind in the last several months; but what is stability and is difficult child truly stable?

    It's one of the reasons I don't participate more; I'm not sure if it's real or it's Memorex; we didn't do much in the end as parents.

    Especially in light of others' problems with their children-my questions seem so minor vs. where we've been, yet I don't know what will set him back.

    When do we know when things will be "ok" in the end? Although we have certainly seen everything everyone else has seen with our difficult child (worst case outside of major legal issues, he's still young). I guess my question is, is he stable because of medications and climate-controlled environment, or is it real - and he is learning? (I suspect some of both and I DO know there are no real answers.)

    difficult child does well at school (4 kids in class, private school) and he "tolerates" easy child. We have an appointment with psychiatrist tomorrow and I have no complaints (again, for the 3rd time).

    But in the end, he starts immediately resisting and fighting in the "real-world". This is a kid that absolutely destroyed a solid relationship with a mentor I had for 10+ years less than 6 months ago. (My fault, I did not tell him about difficult child - changed my tune on that subject.)

    We do very little outside of the home (I even work at home); we were thrilled on Sunday when he went to Church with no complaints and lunch somewhere that was not only unplanned, but he was able to enjoy.

    The other concern is easy child. easy child told me again this morning how much he loved his brother and how he wished he would treat him the same way (exact words). Still trying to figure out easy child and how to help him. He is best friends with a little boy similar to easy child and he mentioned recently another boy at school as his best friend that was throwing desks around to psychiatrist (I guess he has learned to get along with others.). easy child also left his important X-mas gifts at the cabin to keep them out of the hands of his best friend (smart kid - he did say it nicely.).

    difficult child had an absolutely fabulous X-mas - we never had one this good - ever.

    But we went to our tiny, little cabin in the woods and had limited time with Grandma and Grandpa for 2 weeks (who live with us - mother in law tends to push difficult child's buttons a lot, and no pressure anywhere else). Family members that came in from out-of-town were well-received; but they consisted of girls who took easy child off his hands and one older cousin who is is very quiet and reserved-very mellow (gets along great with difficult child). husband and I both try to use the right language to describe difficult child to easy child. PCs's defintiion is "the angries."

    difficult child's biggest "melt-down", and no more than you would expect of any kid, was over doing dishes tonight (but it was paper plates and forks from pizza). The only other item was last night when I asked him to clean his desk (dead ants - don't ask - obviously, we ignore the bedroom).

    difficult child has one friend that he hangs out with when we are not at the cabin. He does not hang out with too many other kids because they all "bug him". He is in the Sr. High class at school; a decision they made to try to help difficult child. It works, he's the class pet and he does well academically.

    The cabin was purchased in large part for difficult child to get away from mother in law; and he didn't resist much after the typical adjustment period that we all see (brutal 3 months, of course; we're still working on even visiting on a church on these weekends as of yet). We also do little things like take easy child to the cabin for the weekend if we are slow getting his ADHD medications (immediate conflict with difficult child).

    difficult child sometimes tells me it was his hospitalization last year that made the change; I'm not so sure? I do know he was impacted by the number of kids that had no parents or those that did not really care.

    Again, strange question in some respects because of how well he is doing (and we really are proud of him). I just worry that we are missing something. This kid is happy sitting on a train for 3 hours playing his PSP and picking apples for 6 hours; but I still can't hug him. And don't ask him to go to an event that he doesn't know the people or what to expect.

    Missed doses of medications are almost immediately evident; so I don't think it's autism?

    We are doing what we do because it has helped so much; and he is bit-by-bit becoming more flexible. We did much of this before the he was hospitalized about 9 months ago (cabin was not purchased at that time); but it didn't mean much until until the curent medications.. Therapy is currently in place to try to help along with psychiatrist. And what is working is his desire to do well; and seeing it happen; although he doesn't understand it (per the therapist).

    Therapy is based around autism-like traits/sensory issues (never diagnosis'd on this; tested multiple times).

    I guess my question is, are we doing the right stuff? What can we do to help easy child further? The issue is we all have to operate in the real world. When things were really bad last year; I was "teaching" at his school every week and doing anything else that I could think of; but still held some level of accountability to him.

    Lasted edited by : Jan 7, 2009
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Stability by whatever means is still stability.
    The thought is that if the perform the correct behaviors enough that they will be ingrained.
    The question would be "will this last?" This is of course, a huge question mark. If nothing else on this site, you see people who reach stability and fall off. They get back up because of their parents and become stable again. It's a constant roller coaster.

    He sounds like he has sensory issues even if he has never been diagnosed. Therapy could really help him in combination with medications.

    easy child and difficult child will function in a world they can live with. Not all difficult child's live in the real world. They function the best they can given some of their anxieties, disabilities and other issues. Some need a supported environment(my difficult child) in more or lesser degree.
    Our jobs as parents is to encourage, guide, teach and fight hurdles with difficult child to use their strengths to support their weaknesses. We all want to raise law abiding, tax paying, independent adults. We push for that goal and hope that our difficult child's make it there.

    Accountability! absolutely within their ability to comprehend and process. It's not a level playing field.

    easy child- it's amazing how affected easy child's tend to be. We had to work hard to make sure he got freedoms and opportunities because he did exactly what he was supposed to do. We tried to make sure easy child didn't suffer because difficult child was miserable. easy child knew he was loved but husband and I had to make sure we made a visible effort. We took him places without difficult child. husband and I alternated alone time with easy child. It was important to easy child that he had his parents undivided attention to do fun stuff or have serious talks.

    It feels like total stability for our difficult child's is elusive. Enjoy it while you have it. Help him learn to modify his behavior and hope that difficult child learns what he needs to have as full a life as he wants.
    Being different, quirky or creative isn't a bad thing but we have to get our difficult child's to the point of functioning in their quirkiness.
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Wonderful Family: Kudos to you and your family for the strides you have made. I understand the concept of the ever-challenging quest to achieve balance. It sounds like you are going to great lengths to address both of your children's needs and feelings, and good for you! Hopefully, you take some time for yourself to regroup, etc.

    I have no suggestions in addition to what you are doing already; am still learning myself with my difficult child and easy child (and they are not young kids!). At times in the past, it seemed my daughter received attention less than my son (lots of challenges for my difficult child son). I recognized my shortcomings and have worked towards being there more for my daughter and she appreciates it.

    Fran's post is excellent.
    Good point!
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Being 12, I would assume that any pattern he establishes will be at least partially ingrained. This is a good age.
    My son just turned 12. We had the best Christmas ever, too!

    I know what you mean about waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    My only suggestion would be to not worry so much about whether you're doing everything right, and being aggressive enough in treatment. If you're stable now, believe me, you'll know when he's backsliding!

    As he goest through hs hormonal changes, you will notice other things. Just take your time, observe, and keep breathing.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009