We've fallen into a trap... need help & resources

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie is doing well at school and I have no reason to believe that she's having trouble grasping the material. There have been no notes or calls from the teacher and she's been on green every day.

    The problem (as usual) is at home. She will not do anything that's required unless I am standing over her and nagging her. Zero time management, weak organization and ODD make for a mother who feels like she's going to stroke out most nights by bedtime.

    The blame can (mostly) be laid at my feet as I've been helping her since school started because she was sick and having extremely long days due to her participation in a local play. So I wasn't letting her fail when she wasn't doing what she needed to be doing. But she's feeling better and the play has been over for weeks... and she's showing no sense of responsibility and getting downright belligerent when I need to remind or correct her.

    The tension from dealing with her last night gave me a headache so bad that I went to bed right after she did. And I needed a nap this afternoon. :(

    I told her last night that I needed for her to take responsibility. I told her that I wouldn't be nagging or reminding anymore. I told her we would have a family meeting tonight to discuss strategies for her to succeed without making me sick. husband is on board, even suggested a check list.

    Does anyone have additional suggestions or resources?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    TM - can you give specific examples? Are we talking brushing teeth, cleaning room, doing homework...???
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Lists are good... If she looks at them.

    For instance - chores - Jett and Onyxx alternate weeks on stuff. I finally gave up. If they don't do them without being reminded, they don't get "allowance". If I do them, they owe me.

    Jett no longer has a problem taking showers without being told - because I finally looked at him after 3 days and said, "FINE. If you want people to stop telling you that you smell bad, you'll have to take showers. If you don't care, it's not my problem. YOU remember."

    That was a week ago... So far, so good.
  4. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Oh hun I'm sorry. I feel your pain. I feel like I am going to stroke out before bedtime most nights too. I was starting to think today, maybe I just need to medicate myself so I can function and keep being the "cheerleader" my family needs! Everything has turned so negative because of difficult child's behavior that I don't seem to be able to pull myself out of the funk! I wish you luck. I think you have the right idea and I am sure others will have some good ideas (which I will be watching for - because I need them too).
  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I think a checklist is a good idea. difficult child feels like he is accomplishing something if I give him a list. He loves to cross off things he has completed. My biggest issue with difficult child is in the evening when it is time for him to take a shower. He lollygags around the house and wastes so much time .... Good Luck with whatever you decide.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Sue- all of the above. Plus it takes her about 45 minutes to eat dinner, she leaves her stuff everywhere (including her homework). She drags her feet. Whines and fusses. My headache is coming back just thinking about it.

    St2- that's what I'm concerned about. A piece of paper can be pretty easy to ignore.

    Jules- I refuse to cheer lead a losing team. She'll get the mother she deserves. ;)

    Shelly- Duckie is usually in the bathroom for at least 20 minutes before the water goes on. I don't want to know what she's doing in there!
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm getting to be a big fan of natural consequences. Particularly when they involve dawdling, I let the clock be the bad guy. When we get ready to go somewhere, I give both kids a 5 minute and 2 minute warning. If they aren't out the door on time, there's likely something goinig to be missed. A snack on the way to lessons. Breakfast on Thursday mornings's (that's donut day, we get donuts on the way to school - this morning, cgfg came out of her room 8 minutes before she had to be at school...she got stuck with a stale muffin from the microwarve that she didn't like. - sorry)

    I guess I'd ask her what help she thinks she needs and help her devise something useful. A checklist, maybe a whiteboard that hangs on the wall, or a bulletin board. And give a reminder or two. She's young, so I guess I'd be a little more inclined to offer some reminders, but they'd trail off in the near future. (hard for me to think about kids that age...Wee is 8, and every bit of 5 or 6, at the very best).
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    TM, this is a one step at a time process. I set up a basket each for kt & wm at the front door for their school stuff. One at the bottom of the stairs for their games/toys. It took time but neither of them were allowed more than two toys or games out at a time; before something new came out something had to be put away.

    There are times/things you will always have to nag about. Take on the nuisances that you know duckie can handle successfully. Hanging up coat ~ homework in the basket by the front door. Put her dishes in the dishwasher.

    You can stop nagging anytime you want ~ you don't need to be standing over duckie. Watch her for a day or two & see what she will/can do on her own. Keep your voice calm & quiet when reminding her to hang up her coat or brush her teeth. The checklist on the fridge door worked her for kt, not so much for wm.

    I reminded kt at the age of 12 that by 13 they would have the knowledge to take on their daily responsibilities that I assigned. I spent a great deal of time during that year setting up schedules, teaching her the daily chores & when those chores were to be completed, etc. It was the culmination of the previous 6 years plus more young adult stuff.

    Since that time kt has taken on more & has been reward with more freedoms, more choices in her life. Like I said it's a step by step thing. You'll need to find duckie's currency ~ her passion that will motivate her to do as she is asked knowing that this is a skill she will need as an adult.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    TM, I went to an all-day workshop today with Dr. Ross Greene. As much as you don't want to be involved, he would say that you need to be involved by using his Collaborative Problem Solving methods with Duckie (Plan B in The Explosive Child). What Duckie is showing you is that she has a delay in the development of crucial cognitive skills -- often including flexiblity/adaptability. frustration tolerance and problem solving -- or has significant difficulty applying these skills when they are most needed.

    Greene believes:
    "Kids do well if they can."
    "Behind every challenging behavior is a lagging skill and a demand for that skill (ie, an unsolved problem)."
    "Unsolved problems are the specific conditions in which the demands being placed upon a person exceed the person's capacity to respond adaptively."

    by the way, Greene believes that ODD is a meaningless diagnosis.
    He also believes that the following sayings that parents and clinicians often throw around are completely unhelpful and don't give us information to solve the problems:
    "She just wants attention."
    "He just wants his own way."
    "She just wants control."
    "He's manipulating us."
    "She has a bad attitude."
    "He's making bad choices."
    "She's not motivated."

    I recommend checking out Greene's new website: www.livesinthebalance.org.
    It contains a lot of video on how to put Plan B into practice.

    Hang in there. I know this stuff is not easy.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Checklists are handy for a lot of people. So are alarm clocks and timers. Sometimes it helps to always do things in the same order, other times mixing it up a bit is helpful. Some chores might tie themselves to other things she does in a natural way. For example if she is supposed to let the dog out to go potty in the morning before school, she has to wait until she lets the dog out to go potty herself. Or link feeding the cat with herdinner or after school snack.

    You can also set up various memory tools to help her remember. Sooner or later everyone needs help remembering. So if she is fond of dominoes link a different color double domino to each chore. If she has a favorite song use the melody and write your own words with the steps to her chores set to that song. (When Wiz was little you should have heard the ways husband twisted the Barney song, LOL!). Or use mnemonics to teach her to remember.

    Maybe take the letters of her name:

    D is for dusting
    U is for unloading the dishwasher
    C is for Cleaning the Cat Chunks (litter box)
    K is for Klearing the dishes after dinner
    I is for Icing the Cookies (just tossing one in for fun)
    E is for Emptying the laundry baskets into the dresser

    A few years ago husband got stuck with an entire box of unusable business cards because they listed us as living in OR and not OK. We used the back of the cards and wrote one chore or chunk of chore on each card. The cards got an estimate of the amt of time it would take to complete the chore and a symbol that shower that showed which child or children were properly taught how to do the work and could be expected to do the work. I think they were separated into daily weekly weekend and monthly chores. One day a week husband would shuffle the chore deck and either let the kids draw or he would deal the cards. It kept things changing, ended arguments about "fairness" and the kids seemed tof ind it fun.

    I know a woman who tried "Chore Twister" a few years ago. I don't recommend it. At least not by taping the names of the chores onto the Twister Board. The first chance they got that she was working on the weekend, the kids convinced her husband that she intended for him to not only do part of the chores but also to actually PLAY the game. A banged up knee, wrenched back and neck and the mirth of the ER staff were all that Chore Twister accomplished. You HAVE to chuckle at the idea.

    Another take is to figure out something she REALLY REALLY REALLY wants and get it. THen let her know it is there and that she can ONLY earn it with chores.

    If you are looking to get her to remember a set list of anything, there are some key ways to help memory. Tie as many senses into the information as possible. The more of your senses you use as you learn something the better your recall is. Scent is especially powerful and often overlooked. So have her use a cleaner that smells good as she elarns how to do the chore and as she learns that she has to remember to do it. Pleasant senses are a better option if you want her to do the chores willingly.

    Also, once you establish the routine with a written schedule, post it in places she is likely to stop and sit for a moment. Also her mirror and reminders can be put on the computer screen, tv, microwave oven and any otherscreens/windows she is likely to see often or will prevent her from starting a usual routine. Do NOT forget to post it on the walls around the toilet at a level that she is likely to see every time she uses the facilities. She is likely to see a list/reminder/etc... most often and absprb its' meaning if it is posted there. It is how my mom got through calculus in college. ANd how I learned matrices at the same time she did - the idea and instructions were plastered all over the walls around the toilet - I couldn't AVOID them, lol!
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks Shari, Linda & SW. I don't intend to hang her out to dry, but we won't care more about her homework, etc. than she does. Example: I already asked her to make sure that her hw binder goes back in her book bag and she said she'll do it later. It's still sitting on the coffee table. I'll remind her again after dinner and point out that she won't be getting a second reminder starting next week. Her consequence? She doesn't bring her agenda, hw and reading logs to school. I did my part with the first reminder when she said "later". It's her consequence, not mine.

    I'll check out that site.
  12. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Susie- Thanks for the ideas... I'll bring them up at our meeting.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    TM, with Collaborative Problem Solving, the solution to the problem has to be truly realistic and mutually satisfactory. So when you have your meeting tonight, you have to make sure that Duckie's ideas are listened to and taken into consideration. This is something you're doing with her, not to her (important distinction).
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    After a long day at school and then some after school activities, the evenings and nights fly by really fast leaving everyone with the feeling there isn't time for anything especially home work. Maybe to help Duckie see that there is time, set a time line within her check list.

    One thing to figure out is what is the best time for her to do home work? Right after school? Right before supper? Right after Supper? Right after shower/bed time preparation? When is the easiest/most productive for her?

    Then set up a checklist similar to the below (this would work for my difficult child's homework but each kid is different):

    Right after School - 4:30 Homework time (sit at a desingated area until homework is done)
    4:30 - 5:00 Free time (I think it is important for playtime after a day of school so even if she sits and whines and fusses during previous homework time, let her go stretch her legs)
    5:00 - 6:00 Dinner (including clean up from dinner)
    6:00 - 7:00 Homework time if still not done and also prep time for the morning - all homework gets put in school backpack and clothes are chosen for the next day.
    7:00 - 7:30 Freetime (this free time gets taken away if homework is not done)
    7:30 Get ready for bed (pick up toys/brush teeth/bath or shower, ect.)

    Let her know that homework is HER job and that you will do anything necessary to help make sure she has the time and tools to do it.
  15. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Guest

  16. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Cheryl, thanks! I didn't know that. Ross Greene is awesome in person.:D
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    SW- I tried to get Duckie to participate and help us all brainstorm... but she was very negative. :( We did come up with a checklist and a homework helper chart (so she can "see" how much needs to be done each day). We'll start it on Sunday.

    Andy- Thanks the schedule looks great... it's what I'd love to see happening here.

    Cheryl- You rock!

    I emailed Duckie's teacher so that she would be aware if/when Duckie starts to struggle with these changes next week. She's already become aware of Duckie's time management & organization struggles and noted that it often results in her not always putting forth her best effort. So she's on board to be consistent with what we're doing at home.
  18. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i'm soo late to this and you got some great ideas!! I myself go thru the same thing at bedtime with-difficult child. it's supposed to be a 15 min. procedure yet it turns into an hr. she stares at herself in the mirror ea. night lol. same thing in there forever with-no water running. so now i made bedtime earlier so she has "stare" time. :)

    good luck!! it soo isn't easy.
  19. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    You know, for years I gave up on difficult child and his homework. I would ask him if he had any, and I put it back on the school. I would email the sped coordinator and ask her to help him with his missing assignments. He was a bear to get to take a shower, and he told me he wanted to shower in the morning. I let him shower in the morning and he has been better. Anymore the only thing I insist on is his bathing and doing some chores as he is so messy. I insist on the bathing as he gets so nasty, never washes his hands, and sometimes I can even smell his hands. Oh, and medications. medications are always a must do and he usually does not give me much grief about it.

    I would take away priveleges, whatever it is that she likes to do that is not necessary, computer, gaming system, whatever. If you do not do y, then you cannot play with z.
  20. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster has struggled with this as well and this is the first year I have completely detached from his "folder" He's doing alright but he wouldn't have been ready till this year (6th). For him, I do believe the stims have helped a bit in this area. He said something the other day that made me realize he's enaging. He said "we need to clean out my hw folder because it's really disorganized". So we went through it and made piles of "keep", "toss" and "reorganize" and he said it helped. I feel your pain on this.