Vent, vent, vent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by navineja, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Did I mention that this is just a vent?
    We are only halfway thru the 2nd day of summer vacation and N has been a complete disaster. I kinda expected it, but that does not make it easier. I just feel sad for my baby, that her behavior leads her to lose out on fun she could be having.
    Yesterday my sisters and their kids came over for a "first day of summer" party- nothing elaborate- just swimming, snacks, etc. But must have been just too much for N- fighting with J, with me, with the littlest cousins (ages 3 and 4), lying to me, mouthy to me and the older cousin (age 15), and finally kicking J, at which point I told N that she had to go lay down. ( I had given her fair warning that "if she didn't/couldn't be nice, her brain must need rest"). Poor thing missed out on a good portion of the afternoon. Granted, life was calmer for us and she felt much better after, but still...
    Then this morning, it starts again. ODD in action from word one, works her way up to multiple sentences as consequences, angry at me for her consequences despite my reminding numerous times where she was heading, missing out on fun at the park with J and one cousin since she had to write sentences---AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!
    I want this to be a fun, relaxing and renewing break for us, but right now, I just want to send her back to... I don't know, ANYWHERE. And to make it worse, I really want to homeschool, but I just don't know if that is even an option for us with the ODD that is so strong toward me. I see progress from her and we do have some really good days, but when she gets like this, it just gets me down so much. Oh and right now, husband is working out of town during the week, so he is only home on the weekends. I don't have his help (and he does help a lot and is really good with the girls) and this also throws N off. I know that her behavior is due to all the changes right now-at least I hope that is it- but it doesn't change that it is so stressful and disruptive to us.
    I think too that it is harder when she does well for a while (as in a few days) because then I get my hopes up that something we are doing is working and then BAM! She's baaaaaack!
    Anyhow thanks for listening and letting me vent. I hope that this afternoon will be better and we can have some fun.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I knew homeschooling was not an option for us because of Miss KT's attitude with me. The explosions were bad enough over other things, so I didn't want to add schooling into the mix. See how everything goes over the summer before you add that additional stress. Sending many hugs. Summertime can be very difficult.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi there,

    What is your summer plan? What do you have scheduled daily? our difficult child's seem to do so much better when they have a set schedule that they can actually see, and follow.

    If your schedule says 12-1:30 go to the park - and she's behaved? Go to the park. If she has not? You get to spend that time relaxing with a book while SHE is in her room sitting on her bed thinking about what she has done.

    Structure is a great thing to have if you can keep up the pace with multiple kids. Then again if you have multiple kids you have to have structure so you have 1/2 the battle won.

    What does the rest of this week look like? - on your schedule?

    And as far as home schooling? If you WANT to loose the rest of your sanity - go ahead. lol.

    I'm highly organized and couldn't provide the structure and discipline it took to do home schooling and difficult child's "vents" were towards me more than anyone too. So I hired a teacher to come to our home 3 hours a day for 4-5 days a week and it was GREAT. He got caught up, and I went to work without worrying about a call. DF suffered because he is home all the time as he's disabled but we got through it and it helped having the one on one - and the best part - the School district paid for it because.....ready for this??? THey would rather pay someone to come to my home than have him in THEIR school.

    Sometimes it pays to be the worst of the worst. lol

  4. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Ktmom- thanks for the advice and hugs. Much appreciated.

    Star- I do try to stick to a schedule as much as possible. I know that often that makes a world of difference. But since N has a twin sister, I can't just eliminate the activities, since of course that would be unfair to J.
    Today for example, I still took the girls to the park and to the pool, but N was told that she needed to finish her sentences and then she was welcome to join the fun. Instead she chose to people watch for most of the time. Then on the way home (after reminders that she needed to finish to be able to go to her class tonight), she said that she wasn't going to do them. Currently she is sitting at the table refusing to do anything. She knows exactly what is going to happen and that she will miss out tonight and keep on missing out until she finishes and just doesn't seem to care. Until she actually misses out and then it is a disaster. I am just so frustrated. I want her to have fun and try to help her, but she insists that she will do it her way, making us all miserable in the process, herself included.
    Can I just run away screaming now?? PLEASE???
    But seriously, I do like the idea of a schedule in writing that she can see. I think that I will do that right now. Thanks.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree at sticking to a schedule. I am not good at that!

    I would not attempt to homeschool. Not when the ODD is like that. I'm in for a rough summer, too, at least, in June, so I can sympathize.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You. Have. My. Sympathies.

    (see my post) We are in the same boat. Let's jump off.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think we could make it through the summer if it weren't for summer camps. difficult child has to be constantly on the go! It drives me crazy! I agree about the schedule thing. It helps if things are consistent.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you ever read the Positive Discipline books by Jane Nelsen? Her theory about logical consequences is this:

    Opportunity = Responsibility = Consequence

    Nelsen writes: "For every opportunity children have, there is a related responsibility. The obvious consequence for not accepting the responsbility is to lose the opportunity."

    In this vein, I'm wondering how writing sentences is a logical consequence for N's defiance. What will it teach her about cooperating except to get in a power struggle with you?

    If N kicks her sister, I would recommend a short cooling-off period and then give her a chance to join the group and try again. If it happens again, have her sit out for double the time and then try again. She will become very discouraged if you don't communicate to her that you have faith in her by giving her repeated chances to behave appropriately.

    In terms of lying, my kids and I don't have a problem with that because I don't ask set-up questions -- ones I already know the answer to. Instead of saying, "Did you clean your room?" I say, "I notice your room isn't clean. What's your plan for cleaning it?"

    Some other options:

    "That sounds like a good story. You have such a good imagination. Tell me more about it."

    "That doesn't sound like the truth to me. Most of us don't tell the truth when we are feeling trapped, scared or threatened in some way. I'll be available if you want to share what's going on with you."

    "What should we do about getting the chores done?" instead of "Did you do your chores?"

    Just my two cents . . .
  9. navineja

    navineja New Member

    OK sounds great to me!!! (But N is a really good swimmer and would probably jump in and follow us!)

    I do agree with --ummm-smallworld?--sorry, brain fried after today- that it is not truly a logical consequence to write sentences for a tantrum (which is what it was for, not for kicking J), but I am just so out of ideas. I know that N really dislikes that and it has been a fairly decent deterrent until today. I choose positive statements for her to write that are related to whatever problem it was. (lying- I will tell the truth, tantrum- I will control myself or I can make good choices- you get the idea).
    She finally did decide to cooperate and made what remained of the evening pleasant (she can be a fun kid). Unfortunately for her though, she only had about 15 min left before bed.

    I am just so tired of all of this. I don't know if I did the right thing, but I took all of her stuff off her bed and the walls on her side of their room and put it up this evening while she was being obstinate. She at first didn't say anything, but then asked me why I thought that I could do whatever I wanted! (I guess she has heard that enough from us that she thought she could use it.) I told her that was not what this was about. I only have to provide her with food, clothing and shelter and all else is a privilege. If she wants the other things back, she can earn them. I explained that I will break the day into 3 parts-awakening to lunch, lunch to dinner, and dinner to bed. Nice, calm, respectful behavior in each period will be rewarded with returning one item. A full day of proper behavior will result in a bonus item. A full day of ugly behavior will result in one item being given to Goodwill. I figure that this way she has a chance at quick success (being that she is easily discouraged or overwhelmed by a lengthy task) and will feel encouraged to continue- at least I hope it works that way. husband and I kinda think that a good portion of the ugliness to Mommy is more of a habit by now than a true emotional issue, since when I tell her to try it again (when she is being rude or nasty) often times she will repeat or rephrase to speak in a nice way. So she knows what is acceptable and can do it, but the ugly is automatic. In husband's words, we have to find out how to "reprogram" her.
    Ok I have babbled enough for now. Thanks to all of you for being on this board and being someone that I can talk to who doesn't think that I am the world's worst mom to be so strict on "two little angels". You all have been there done that and I treasure your advice and experience.