Things that get better....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I remember when my kids were young and I was lost, confused and desperate. Then I found this board. The combined wisdom and support found here saved my sanity and made me a better mom to my kids.

    I want you (parents of the 5 and under crowd) to know that things do get better. Maybe it will never be perfect, but it does get better.

    At age 5, Eeyore was destructive, had trouble in school, my dad was scared he was going to kill us in our sleep, and the psychiatrist was recommending we disrupt the adoption because he saw no hope.

    Today, at 15, Eeyore is a well-behaved young man. He still has his struggles with social cues and pragmatics of language and, well, he is a teenage boy. Now, he competes on several school teams. He is in a combination of Special Education and regular ed classes but works mostly at grade level. He is gentle and kind. He even keeps his room clean :)

    We got there through a combination of medication, therapy, school social work, school Special Education, Special Olympics and some intense parenting. It also helped a lot that as he got older, his maturity level got higher.

    Keep holding onto will lead the way.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It can get better... it did with us. Duckie is now a minor difficult child: she still has difficult days but they are much fewer and farther between. She was the "mean girl" in pre-k and "manipulative" in kindergarten. She slept little and was always angry. Our family life was difficult at best. But she received an award for being"Most Dependable" at the end of third grade. I credit her improvement to more effectively treating her allergies and asthma and behavior modification. We lucked out in that she doesn't seem (at this point) to need psychiatric drugs to function.

    Will she always have a difficult personality? Probably. Do I ever think she'll truly be a typical person? No. But I think she has a good chance of having a good life.... and that's all any parent can ask for.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My first difficult child was nothing compared to my second, but he was still very much a difficult child.

    He was angry. He threatened students in kindergarten. He didn't "get" most things that make sense to the rest of the world. He constantly drew picture of people being shot, or Santa Claus with army gear.

    At 13 he wrote song lyrics about raping girls.

    At 15 he heard voices, was suicidal, lit furniture on fire, and we kept 24 hour vigil on him for months on end.

    And at 21? He's married with a little boy, and was awarded a very prestigious honor in the military that recognized his dedication and hard work.

    It was certainly not an easy road, but one well worth traveling.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Success! Of course! Once you modify your expectations and redefine 'success'. Will my difficult child be a doctor? Nope! Will she ever get a college education? I have no idea - but as long as she is a law-abiding, tax paying citizen I am happy.

    We struggled for many years with the ODD aspect of my difficult child. In fact, it is just this year that I TRULY see a HUGE change in her. She has grown up. My mom always said she marches to the beat of a different drummer. And she is right. And it is OK. So, I had to give up dreams of the way I would parent, the report cards my child would bring home, the awards she would receive. Or even the simple 'student of the week' certificate in the younger years. Nope - never got that one either.

    What did I get? I young woman that has changed my life forever. I am a more patient (even though I thought I had none) person today. I am more forgiving and NOT judgemental at all. I am more compassionate than the average person. Not only have I bettered myself through this journey, but my daughter made it. She graduated, works part time and is moving out this week with 2 room mates. She will continue to learn through life happening around her. That is how she learns best. Not from a parent. From life. It is OK if she makes mistakes, she learns from them.

    My best advice is to be sure to keep your own identity through this journey and get time away from the chaos.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Things can seem pretty terrible and hopeless. The things your child is doing and feeling are totally confusing to both of you, and communication is not anywhere near ideal, or even clear sometimes.

    Wiz was a challenge at 5. He was in Montessori day care before Kdg. They told me he was incredibly advanced - he was my first kid and it seemed normal for a 5yo to be reading Animorphs chapter books and teaching himself division from a workbook in the middle of the night. We knew he was not going to fit into school easily. Too strong willed, too unwilling to behave well if bored. We could not afford private school in any way, shape or form. Some were more expensive than my college tuition for a year!

    He went to kdg in the morning and then did specials with the first graders all afternoon. Because he had amazing teachers it worked pretty well. He was still very difficult at home and was getting more and more violent with his little sister. Then in first grade he did 4 days of regular class and a full day of gifted education. The only good day he had was the day at gifted (another building, the youngest child ever put into gifted in that district) and more and more problems were showing up.

    The journey from there was not easy.

    Fast forward to today:

    Wiz has turned everything around and even has rebuilt his relationship with his siblings - esp with Jessie, the one he brutalized and traumatized the most. Wiz has his high school diploma, did an extra year to finish his vocational program and has a degree in C & C Machining (using big computers to make things out of big pieces of metal, as far as I can tell, lol). Just last week he started his freshman year in college. Wiz lives with my parents about 10 minutes from us, and things are just amazing!! He still takes medications, and still likes the way he functions on them. He uses the tools he has learned and there is NO reason he won't have a productive, happy, successful life.

    Things CAN turn around. It isn't easy and it takes a LOT of time and commitment. Stick with this site no matter what comes up. in my opinion this board is a MAJOR reason my son is now the amazing young man I knew he could be.
  6. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I really needed to read something positive today. It has been a rotten day for me (and difficult child for that matter) I love to hear success stories. Hopefully someday I can post one of my own!
  7. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    I needed this, too. Thank you for sharing it. :D
  8. joneshockey

    joneshockey Guest

    Thanks for sharing your stories - You all have brought tears to my eyes, on this VERY challenging Tuesday evening for me! Thanks for giving me some hope:D.

  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator