Things are just not good around here

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by shellyd67, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Everything is just a mess here at the Shellyd house. :hamwheelsmilf:I feel constantly on edge and worried about difficult child and I am in a very negative state of mind right now. It is so hard for me to articulate all my feelings right now.

    difficult child is doing well so far with his weekly tutoring with a Reading Specialist and begins Title 1 Reading services this week. YAY !! We are on the upswing sorting out all his extra help but his behavior at school has been poor and at home WHOA !

    husband and I are at odds right now. He is soooooooooooo soft on difficult child and I feel like the bad guy all the time. husband had a very hard upbringing and had to take care of himself at a very young age and therefore he makes it so easy for my kids. He says I am hard and negative and that I need to give them a break.

    Well, I am sorry but every weekend is not a party ! difficult child wants a sleepover every weekend and he wants to run here and there and everywhere. He is late for dinner, husband and I have had to ride around looking for him 2 times this past week and he wants constant entertaining. NO, I am sorry but NO !

    I allow sleepovers now and then and I am trying to give him some rope with bike riding with his friends but I recently also caught him without a helmet on and he was made to get off his bike and put it in the back of my car. He was so PO'd and freaked out like I had no right !

    He has asked for a cell phone many times but I will not cave in , even though he has been late (that is what a watch is for) I should always know where he is and everyone of his friends have a phone in their house. He is not responsible and I KNOW a cell phone will get him into BIG trouble.

    husband just thinks I am being mean but I don't want my kids to be entitled. I just plain refuse. difficult child does nothing around the house, he does not listen, his grades are poor and his behavior at school is poor and now he asks to play Ice Hockey which costs over $1000. Really kid?

    I HATE feeling this way, I hate it !! I just wish I could be more laid back and deal with things better. I wake up every morning with good intentions, I really do but is is blown within 10 minutes.

    I am crying while I am typing. I am sorry for being such a complainer but I just feel like no matter what I do or how hard I try ....
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    AW, Shellyd, sounds like things I can really relate to. That constant stress and having to be the bad guy for everything (and I dont even have a partner to conflict with over it, but still....always being the one to say no wears on us). I know this is just one issue, but are the sleep overs an unknown for him...maybe this week, maybe not? Are you willing to agree to one per month? Then he does not have to argue or beg or drive you is one per month and so no need to worry but also no need to fuss for more. (and he will at first I imagine)

    I would have put the bike away too...and have. No helmet no bike we have enough of a brain injury so no way we will tolerate that either. I also am saying no way to a phone though at some point before he lives independently I will let him have one so he can learn with me supervising but for now, it will just add to the issues and consequences and power struggles. I too am sure my son would use it in a way that will cause problems. That is why I went with the galaxy player and blocked facebook on it. He does have email which I have the pass word to. I also have walkie talkies that range two miles, though he is never that far without most around the corner for a second before we are in a line of sight place again. But that is one way we had planned to work on independence (then found we are not ready for that yet).

    Wish I could take the stress away for you. I felt choked up reading your post, I can certainly feel how that constant dealing with the next issue can be a huge weight.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Got your own therapist? I wish I had, back when my stress was that bad. You are going crazy, and you need some help. NOT on how to be "softer", but on holding it all together.

    husband isn't helping (I didn't have that complication, our situation was complicated enough). Wish I had advice on that front.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS))))) I don't know what's worse a pushover Dad or a jealous Dad. My FDH was actually jealous of our kids and tended to be more unreasonably harsh with them. Correction he expected me to be unreasonably harsh with them.

    Any chance you can get husband to see what he's doing by giving him all the chores difficult child won't do? Making him the point man on all major issues?

    Sounds like you need a vacation - alone. :)
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Boy, can I relate. Reading the responses to my thread made me cry and now reading yours is doing the same thing. It can be soooooo hard sometimes. I have thought about seeking a therapist of my own but there is no time in my day where I can fit an appointment in. It's so hard being the ony one that gives 1000% effort to make our kids' lives "better" and not have anyone else give any, including DHs and difficult child's. There are many times where I find myself wondering why I bother....but, yes, I know why....but it doesn't make anything much better.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you. Try to do something nice for yourself today.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hugs shellyd~

    Two things need to happen, well, three.

    1. You and husband need to get in the same book, hopefully within the same chapter if not on the same page. You MUST sit down and find a way to compromise about what is allowed, what is not, what privileges difficult child will enjoy, which he will not, etc. Set curfews, weekly/daily chores that are within reason. If you agree to get him a cell, don't get a smart phone - get a very utilitarian phone *pay as you go* so he can't go on line and he doesn't burn through the minutes. He is old enough to be responsible for some things around the house besides his own room, such as pet care, garbages, bathroom, loading/unloading dishes, laundry, etc. Honestly, if he wants to play a $1000 sport, I would make him work to pay for half. He can mow the lawn, do yard clean up, weed the gardens, clean out the garage, whatever.

    2. You need to find a healthy outlet for your stress. Perhaps a walk after dinner every night, a yoga class, coffee with a friend, tennis, something to exert yourself that is only for YOU.

    3. If the above doesn't help or provides little help, see your DR about something to help with anxiety and stress - but I would first try the natural methods of relieving stress as well as find a compromise with H that you all can live with.

    Hugs and best of luck~
  7. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks girls. It does help having my friends here on the board. Funny thing is, my husband is one of the kindest and most logical people I know but when it comes to difficult child he is neither.

    He is tougher on easy child who at this point is so easy and sweet. He says he feels like someone has to defend difficult child, that I constantly am on difficult child's case.

    I try and pick my battles with difficult child and I won't cave on hygiene,homework, and safety. It is very little that I ask of difficult child because I get nothing back. It is a daily struggle for showers, teeth brushing and difficult child thinking he is invicible to getting hit by a car or kidnapped, etc...

    I won't tolerate him screaming at me and being disrepectful and neither will husband but it causes so much tension. During spring break difficult child has an appointment with his psychiatrist but my negative nellie attitude just keeps saying this is what I am in for until difficult child is 18.

    Sigh ...
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's "only" 11.
    So, I'm going to play dumb, and ask... even if I've asked before, because I don't remember.... but I'm asking because we went through extremes with difficult child until we got to the bottom of things... and it "only" took us 10 years (until difficult child was into high school).

    Has he ever had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for motor skills and sensory issues? If not, push for it. Half the kids with ADHD, have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (a formal set of motor skills problems).
    Has he ever had a FULL evaluation by Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)? Not just for "hearing" and language, but for the more hidden types of APDs like auditory figure ground? 70% of kids with ADHD and a Learning Disability (LD), also have APDs, for starters. And... symptoms for APDs look very, very similar to symptoms for ADHD. Maybe he isn't even ADHD at all... maybe it's "just" something like Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)? (this was the make-or-break diagnosis for our difficult child... the one single item that was pushing him totally off the deep end... for YEARS)

    We had to pay out of pocket for both. And it still took two sets of evaluations, 3 years apart, to find what we needed. I'd do it again in a flash, though.
  9. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    He has had many, many evaluations thru the years Insane. He has had 2 neuropsychologist evaluations and I am considering shooting for a 3rd. We had him evaluated privately by a child psychiatric in 2009 for big $$$ and then at our local Childrens Hospital by a neuropsychologist. The private evaluation psychiatric told me he has 2 symptoms of alot of things but not enough to fully diagnose and that he was very affectionate which leaves out Aspie all together.

    I told her I disagreed with affection and Aspergers (because of threads I have read on this site and others) I go back and forth with him being Aspie ??

    He met all his fine and large motor skills on time or before, he is an exceptional athlete, has tons of friends and can relate to them fine. He may be alittle repetitive if they aren't listening, and personal space is an issue on occasion but other than that he is no different socially than his peers. When he was younger it was much, much more difficult for him socially.

    At school academically he does poorly. 2 A's, 3 D's , 2 satisfactory and 2 outstanding(gym, music) His life skills section has many check marks because he tries to be the class clown and has poor self control and can be impulsive at times.

    Both concurred ADHD/ODD. We all know ODD means nothing and that it masks something else all together. Heck, I think some of you guys know more than the Doctors !!

    Sometimes I feel as if I don't even know my own son and the guilt is tremendous.

    It has just been a very bad month and it is catching up to me. Thank you for listening ...
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Shelly - MOST comprehensive evaluators do NOT do an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation as part of this.

    Rather than shooting for another neuropsychologist, try for an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation... or at least do that before another comprehensive evaluation. Because - there are strong ties between ADHD and APDs. But make sure the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) knows that you're specifically looking for the less-common hidden APDs, like auditory figure ground. Not all SLPs test for all of these... and in many areas, access to the tests has only happened in the last few years.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have administered autism tests and asperger's protocols and there is not any rule out item, including in the diagnostic criteria in the DSM that says if a child is affectionate then they are not on the autism spectrum. Some kids are not...some are some are at times, some are on THEIR terms etc. I feel so awful when people say one symptom rules in or out Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), so many kids get missed that way.

    oh and a little funny since we talk about this all the time. Q has never had an ODD diagnosis (and if any kid should have he probably should have, LOL) including when he was in the hospital for three weeks. They said he has too many times when he sounds oppositional but is doing what is asked, and he just doesn't do what other kids who are really like that do... but...

    Last sun when he was in the behavioral er for all of 2 hours and seen by a doctor (who was really nice and understanding and stated all the right things when we talked)...upon discharge, I got the paper and it said autism, brain injury and ODD..... I thought you all would LOVE that!
  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You just described my difficult child 2. His diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. Still on the spectrum but not as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as Asperger's. He's obsessive and repetitive and thinks literally a lot of the time but not always. He is VERY sociable and affectionate but he sometimes doesn't respect others' boundaries and he sometimes obsesses about people, if you Know what I mean?. Your difficult child might meet the criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). If you think he's on the spectrum, then even if he doesn't have the diagnosis, you can still deal with it as if it is. A lot of the interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) also work with our other kids too.

    You're doing the best you can with what you've got. That is all you can do. Give yourself a break.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dealing with difficult children is an extremely challenging experience, and when you add a husband who seems to not be on your side, I think any of us would feel like crying. You are in a hard place shellyd, and yet you are committed to your own truth and determined to give your child the very best you've got even when you don't feel supported yourself. I admire your tenacity and your heart.

    For me, as I've maneuvered through difficult child-land as long as I have, what has helped me the most is getting myself support, focusing on ME as much as I can and having compassion for my own self. I go to a weekly codependency group lead by a therapist, I attend CoDa meetings, I have really good women friends whom I can talk to, I write on this site, I read books on how to best support my daughter and myself, I meditate, and do things I really enjoy, including exercise which lowers stress considerably. I also watch my diet, because as much as I love chocolate, sugar is not my friend. Wheat and gluten can also cause emotional issues. I've learned to take extremely good care of myself so that I can cope with the issues my difficult child brings to me.

    I think you're doing a really good job of staying true to yourself, which I imagine is tough when you don't get the support you would like. Therapy might be helpful to give you and your husband a forum to talk things through with a trained professional to keep you both on the same page as you parent your kids. Big HUGS to you shellyd., be kind to yourself.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Shelly, SHelly, Shelly - You know what? It gets lonely on Parent Survivor Island when one of you is handing out the challenges and the other is constantly passing out the tiki of "you get a pass for this challenge" isn't it? I think you need to get in the hamster cage of life and replace the the meek mouse with a pit bull. I"m not saying be the totalitarian style parent - but I can see where you THINK that's what you are in comparison to husband who has a Disneyland approach to parenting. The first problem I think anyone could see under your roof is you two couldn't be farther apart on your parenting styles. husband brought his own issues into the world of child rearing and while it's admirable that he doesn't want to be anything like his parents? He has got to understand that a hands off style of parenting isn't going to get him the results with his kids in the long run either.

    Actually at this point? You may as well just stop parenting, save yourself the stress and allow him to take over and see if HIS way gets any better results - when it all falls apart? THEN maybe with a tough love approach to your husband via your children? Maybe he'll begin to understand that discipline is needed and that's all you're trying to do - You're not being a tyrant - you're being a parent. He can't be their best friend until their much older. There's a time for that, but it is NOT now. Now is the time to teach, discipline, explain, show - and lead by example and reward. So my first thought is like many others have suggested? STOP stressing yourself out - and get you and husband to a family therapist. NOTHING in your home is going to be resolved until the TWO of you are on the same page, rewarding, parenting, and disciplining at least with a common goal and some idea of unity for discipline. Otherwise it's constant chaos - and your difficult child will CONSTANTLY and METHODICALLY divide and conquer - BOTH OF YOU - and it could end a marriage. Or at the least leave you both with a really, REALLY bad dislike for each other in the long run - long after difficult child is gone.

    As far as getting him to a meeting? If he won't go willing? Fine. Then you go yourself and FIGURE OUT - what it is that YOU .....CAN DO. You have got to have a professional on the outside - a mediator giving you sound advice, professional advice on how to go back into this situation and literally attack it with what to say, how to say it - and if your husband isn't going to get on board with you? Then you're going to need help - again professional help with how to deal with him constantly undermining what you're doing and know WHY he's doing it and how to approach HIM with the LOGIC of a professional so that eventually your spoken words will sink into his brain when you go to him and say something like "You know honey, I understand that you want difficult child to have a wonderful sleepover tonight, like he did last week, and while that would be fun - I was thinking maybe this weekend it could be just you and me at XYZ restaurant or park or X, and difficult child next week, you really are such a GREAT Father to think of your kids first all the time, I know they appreciate it - I know I do." Instead of something like "GAWWD you aren't going to let him have another sleep over AGAIN are you =???HE just had one last weeked! I swear you are such a pushover UGH - I'm goign shopping." - Not that you do that - but A professional therapist can give you a way to say things TO him in such a manner that when A SITUATION presents itself YOU ARE ARMED with a better way to say what you mean that instead of your hubby being on the defensive because you are so stressed out of his way - HE hears - WOW I'm a good Dad, and my wife wants to spend time with me." and not - OH I'm a pushover huh? Well we'll see about that!

    Make sense? I know because this is how DF and the therapist got to me. lol......All I ever needed was someone to talk to me right and NOT make me feel like I had to DEFEND what I was doing with MY SON. I was a good Mom, but I was doing things for the wrong reasons. I was trying to make up for his Dad, and thus - not making the right choices. AND ALSO NOT taking time for myself. I felt enormous guilt....after therapy? I didn't, and I don't anymore. But it didn't happen over night. And Dude was still Dude the entire time - but he got a lot of what we laid the law down to - later - and THAT is what is important. It happened -maybe not at 11, or 12 - but he's 21 now and while he's not the image of a poster child for walking on water? I think he's at least out in the boat with a pair of skiis practicing......

    Just a thought anyway.

  15. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I can relate well. We go through a lot of the same things here. Somedays, she'll shower with no problem and the others are like pulling teeth. Homework is an issue. Cleaning the room.....let see. I think I might be able to see about 12 inches of carpeting today. She will pick up and the following day it's a mess again. husband is on her and then he's a softie. So, I have no more advice than anyone else. So, I'll just send you a hug.
  16. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

    I cross my fingers for you.

    Others told you that you and husband need to be on the same page.
    I feel the same with my father about drunk driving, and everyone wanting to give up. I can relate what you say about this, and feeling like swimming against the current.

    Do you think that it can be a realistic goal to sit down and talk with your husband about your difficult child, in order to be on the same page (at least the same chapter) ?
    If you think it's a realistic step, don't be afraid of doing it.

    In the case having a discussion with husband is unlikely to be realistic or the discussion fails, remember that you can control only your actions. So control only what you can control : your actions.

    First and foremost, set your priorities-adjust your expectations (I put these two actions on the same line because they go hand in hand). Set a list of non negotiable rules and its non negotiable outcomes, and stick to them even if husband and/or difficult child blow up on you. Believe me, it will save you a lot of energy and sanity. If you fight for a ton of expectations at the same time, I can assure you that you'll drive yourself insane and the situation will be the same, even worse. Be stoic when they blow up for the non negotiable. Keep it short, simple and specific. And stick to it, no matter the hurricane.
    Then, you can have a list of preferred actions, but you won't put yourself in danger to obtain them.
    And at the end, the actions you wish in an ideal world, but it's unlikely to do so : great if you obtain them, but it's doesn't worth a fight for.

    The second point to do what you can control, and you don't need to beg/pledge anyone to do it, is not giving any emotional response to his bad choices. I know that it's much easier said than done, but it pays a lot on the long run.
    If you have to do something, do it without giving any emotional answer.
    Let say he steals something. As soon as you confront him, do it with a non emotional and matter of fact saying, like : "Stealing is unacceptable in this house". Be a broken record if you think you need so.
    Your difficult child lies ? When you understand that he lies, you can state : "I don't want to hear lies. If you tell me the truth, I won't be angry", then, walk away. If he comes to see you and continues with his lying, do the same as before. When your difficult child tells you the truth, then, you keep your promise of not being angry.
    Your difficult child has annoying but objectively harmless behavior (like peculiar noise he finds funny but you find silly) ? Ignore it. It's the most powerful punishment you can give him, and it's harmless to the whole house.
    "The comedy stops when the audience left" would summarize this 2nd point.

    The third point, and if there were only one point to remember, it would be this one.
    When your difficult child does something good, like he goes and finally tells you the whole truth, thank him/congratulate him for having told you the truth.
    He tries hard in therapy (even if it doesn't give much results) ? Praise like if he were the World's Cup champion.
    He goes and wash the dishes, even when protesting ? Thank him to have done it, and ignore his protestations (harmless annoying behavior, so ignore it).

    It works also with adults. It doesn't change everything in one day, but it pays on the long run.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    The thing is - difficult children require a whole new level of "guerilla parenting" that is absolutely EXHAUSTING to maintain for any length of time.

    You CAN be more laid back and deal with things better with your easy child because your easy child is a regular kid. Regular kids do not require 24/7 attention. If you let your easy child go watch cartoons - odds are, he'll go watch cartoons. If you let your difficult child go watch cartoons? Odds are - he'll spend trying to get around the parental controls to watch something completely inappropriate....and when that doesn't work he'll go find some other way to entertain himself - probably by doing something he has no business doing (but, having left the television on so you *think* he is watching cartoons.)

    I know how you feel about the $1000 for hockey - I don't think I'd spend that either....

    but maybe there is a less expensive activity you could sign him up for? At least get him out of your hair for a while?