who's really punished?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jannie, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    So difficult child 2 is now punished in his room for three hours and is not allowed electronics/tv the entire day ! :grrr: He refused to go to services...he knew he was supposed to go. I can't drag him. I did all the appropriate prompting/reminding.

    So now my day is ruined !! I hate the fact that at times he refuses to do what is expected. I hate the fact that it is impossible to force him to do things. I hate the fact that once he's reached his "point" there is nothing to do except..give him time. He is not raging...he is just refusing. We were at the doctor this week.

    I'm not questioning his diagnosis or think we need to see more experts...I'm just saying....I can't believe my Saturday is ruined...

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I hope you are able to find a way to enjoy your day. Is there any way a friend could come over and visit? Thinking good thoughts for today .. ML
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you saying you're not questioning his diagnosis. because, secretly, you do? LOL. Just wondering. diagnosis. are often wrong--sad but true.
  4. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I'm so sorry for your frustration - been there done that!! Try to slowly bring yourself out of it today. It is what it is and you will not be able to change what happened this morning. Try to do something for yourself today - read a good book, watch some mindless show on TV, indulge in a hobby. It won't fix what happened today, but hopefully you'll find a way to take your mind off things for a bit. We have started to institute a "behavioral contract" here at home. This way we have a list of what behavior is expected and what consequences/rewards will follow the behavior. This way your difficult child will know exactly what reward/punishment will be instituted if a certain behavior occurs and you will have a solid consistent follow through instead of having to make a discipline decision off the cuff.Good luck!!
  5. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    There is nothing to question....we all know there is no exact science to any of these disorders; whether it's adhd, autism spectrum disorders, mental illness etc...

    My child is in his room. It doesn't matter if he is on the spectrum or has a mood disorder. He knew he was expected to attend services this morning. He knew that if he did not attend services he would be in his room and lose privledges. The rules are clear...I am just whining because when he has a hard time doing what is exepcted it impacts everyone.

    I know service are not fun...These specific services are for grades 3-5. Generally speaking, parents can drop the children off and pick them up at the end of the serice. I stay with my child as I feel strongly that I should not force him to do something that I am not doing.

    This is an on-going issue for two years now and I am not ready to give up on it. He is extremetly bright and walks around singing the prayers in the house. He does attend Hebrew School 2x per week and goes...I have not pushed the Saturday services because I am THANKFUL he attends two times per week with minimal complaint, however he is expected to attend 10 Saturday services per year. He will not meet this expectation and I had told him that he does not need to attend 10 services. Last year he went to two services. I would like for him to attend at least five this year. This would have been #3. We've planned it and had it on the calendar for two weeks. I just wish he would have gone !!

    After a major problem with the first service of the year, we made a plan..to be there early and sit in the front..away from the view of everyone. If he got there early, we would leave early. At times, he becomes overwhelmed in a large room filled with many unknown people. He is overwhelmed because he feels that he doesn't know the entire service. IT IS A LEARNING SERVICE...they go to learn the service...he doesn't need to know it all. He doesn't like when his class is called up to lead a particular section. I understand this...However, you can't just run away from it all and hide.

    So for service # 2...he went. He sat right in front of the room. He did AMAZING !! He knew almost all of the prayers in English and Hebrew. He had many memorized...and the ones that weren't he was easily able to follow along and read the Hebrew. He also volunteered for two solo readings and asked the Rabbi if he could join her in leading one of the songs...He went up each time his class was called upon. He read, he sang...it was WONDERFUL!! He told me he enjoyed it..he couldn't believe how much he'd been resisting...

    So...I didn't expect this for # 3....and this is why I'm annoyed. One huge step forward...and then one huge step back. He can do this.....
  6. Nightaura

    Nightaura New Member

    A few things I have done with various difficult children... When they are refusing to go somewhere, I make arrangements with my mom or someone to come and sit with them. Once I know I have someone to come over, I tell difficult child he has a choice of coming to whatever we are doing, but if he doesn't want to, that's ok. So and so will come over and watch him so I can do whatever we were going to do and not to worry about paying so and so right away, as I would pay and just take it out of his allowance or he could do extra chores to work it off. I give about 10 minutes for him to decide and then confirm with whoever to come over. I actually have not had to use the sitter, as he decides to go.

    Another thing I will do if I expect difficulty, is making something fun happening after the activity they don't want to do. So, in your case, maybe stop for lunch or ice cream after services.

    Or just say "Okay, I didn't want to drive anyway today. Now I can just watch TV and relax. Feel free to ____ (whatever he is allowed to do)."

    Good luck.
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    K has been refusing her Horse therapy lately... I know this is different. But it is so good for her. It teaches her so much, patience, communication, how to handle a 1200 lb animal, how to handle stress... how to be sure of herself!

    The thing is once she is there she loves it... she also reads about horses, loves horses. It is just the getting out of the house, getting dressed, the change, the disruption.... so she will ruin the day, with her refusal at times.
    But for us by the time she at that point she usually elevated... it is just so hard, because if we get into the car, kicking and screaming... sometimes, the horses calm her down??? But it takes a bit. But I am frazzled by the time I get home. But I am frazzled anyway...
    Sometimes I just want to scream, "but you love the darn horses"
    It isn't about the diagnosis it is about them tiring us out at times... and making our lives SO hard at times...
    Especially when these things are good for them and they do like them... or we are going to MAKE them like them!!! LOL

    I hope you are having a decent day....
    K is still sleeping... 10:00 am here... WHY??? Because she was up manic all night?!?!?!
  8. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I do want to discuss this more...It is a fact that you can go to three different doctors and get three different opinions, diagnoses, and treatment options because there is not a way to truly pinpoint any of these complex and often co-morbid disorders. Many of the symptoms and wax and wane over time....meaning that the way the symptoms present over time are often changing....at times one sees more aggression or anxiety...at times one may see withdrawl or high activity level...All of these symptoms I just mentioned can fall into many different categories. When we see these symptoms present, doctors, parents, and teachers look at the symptoms, histories, etc and make decisions and recommendations based on these observations over time. It is not right or wrong.

    Each child reacts and responds differently to medications...so this is not an exact science. Medications may work wonderfully and then stop working...or may start to produce negative side effects...which in turn and over time, may cause one to longer see benefit in medications.

    As children grow, their brains and chemistry change as well. The body responds differently to these on going changes.

    I've read now that some people believe that adhd is part of a spectrum disorder....and so is tourette syndrome...and the bipolar is also part of the spectrum...and you know what just like temperature changes throughout the day and the seasons change kids can move up and down the spectrum from mild to more moderate throughout the year...

    And even if your child is on the autism spectrum....he still may receive benefits from being on medication...and you know what...even if your child has adhd or bipolar he may benefit from autism interventions...because many of these interventions could also be considered "good practice". Many "autism interventions" are also beneficial for a child with adhd and also beneficial for a child who is scared or anxious. All kids can and do benefit from individualized Occupational Therapist (OT) and pt.

    Social stories can be helpful to be used with three and four year olds...and quite beneficial because they can actually teach the reason behind the need for some rules...I understand that for typically developing kids...they may need to hear these things once or twice and for kids on the spectrum...they may need to hear these things over and over again...because they can't learn them as easily and as quickly as we'd like. But we can practice and teach, and model, and reteach over and over...and for some it doesn't matter they may not be able to ever fully learn and apply these skills. It's just like the example in the Explosive Child...you could offer a person a million dollars to get a basket from the foul line...the motivation is there....it just can't happen.

    And as parents we need to understand that our kids are not doing this to make us angry and resentful...they are hurting too. Is my child happy now that he once again he messed up...NO !! But, in reality he is also happy that he did not have to attend these services...and even if I punish more it won't help. So even if it's part of whatever symptoms or issues they have manipulation is still of part of it.

    Children can have cognitive limitations, be on the spectrum and have major issues with attention, but also MANIPULATE to avoid working hard and doing what is expected...and this is why it is so hard...there are no real answers !!!! And we as parents just need to keep on doing what we can...to help our kids...and also not make ourselves crazy at the same time...

    So...am I secretly questioning his diagnosis....not really...I just don't understand why he does what he does. And if I went to a doctor and he said my child has Asperger's....nothing would change....because I'm already providing strategies and interventions....he's already trialing medications....What do you think I would need to do differently if a doctor now said he had Aspergers? ...this is somewhat rhetorical because there is no chance difficult child 2 is on the spectrum disorder...if anything I question my parenting strategies...and wonder why he can hold it together at school so much better at home. And I am frustrated that I spend so much time trying to be a better parent and no matter how hard I try....there are still issues...and yes I am jealous of many of my friends who kids are less challenging....and so much more compliant. And I don't like them telling me what I am doing wrong..

    I think I'll stop rambling now....I hope I'm not offending anyone...I hope that I actually said things that are helpful to others...if not...thank you for letting me babble...
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Actually, thank you for writing that. I agree with you.

    I do not begrudge anyone wanting, or needing, to have a diagnoses, or name for their child's "disorders". I certainly have a long laundry list of those from various psychiatrists and Tdocs.

    However, none of them stuck very long. At this point in time, neither one of my kids have any official diagnoses. I am positive that the both of them are far from neuro-typical in how them process, react, and respond, to information and situations. When one medication became less effective, another was trialed. Yet, no physical evidence has ever been found to support a concrete diagnoses inspite of numerous tests done on the both of them.

    When one parenting method was no long effective, another one was tried. What works for an 11 year old boy, isn't necessarily appropriate for a 16 year old girl. So, I have to make adjustments. But, I do need to expect appropriate behavior to the best of their abilities. Just like typical kids, there needs to be expectations, otherwise they are going to struggle to function in society.

    I'm open to whatever approach is going to help my difficult children and give them a better quality of life. I'm much less concerned if it's suppose to meant for AS, BiPolar (BP), or ADHD. Same goes for medication.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Gosh ya hit a nerve here. I so understand.

    I had to have about 6 months of bi-weekly therapy to get over how much I've given up in my life for Dude. When I sat down and started thinking about camping trips that were planned to the icecube and then pulled out of the driveway only for difficult child to test the limits of "We will go right back home if you a,b,c" by pulling (b & a) out of his hat before we pulled out - argh. ANd yes, we unloaded it all, and all sat around peeved at Dude. He really never seemed to care one way or the other - but I did.

    Don't put the fun in your life on hold because of your difficult child. Live instead - and HAVE FUN. You have a child in a room for 3 hours - I had 12 years of sitting in my house day after day doing NOTHING. In 12 years because of listening to therapists who preached BE CONSISTENT IN YOUR PARENTING - life went right by us. I can count on 2 hands how many fun things we did because of difficult child behavior - and while I cherish those moments - I despised him for not EVER giving us a break to allow us to have fun. When all along - we COULD have had fun with or without him.

    That would be my advice for a do-over - get a sitter and go have fun. No sitter? Find some fun at the house. But DO SOMETHING Fun while he's in punishment - let him hear the laughter and the good times. Blow bubbles, make cookies, anything - Just don't include him until his behavior says he can join.

    Don't cut out the fun all together - you don't need to punish yourself.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I so understand...........
    I go through this constantly. Even if you get a sitter, or do something with your day, your spirit has still been jolted and shoved out of alignment by a difficult child antic.
  12. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Unfortunately, we don't have family in the area...and when my kids are off...I'm not comfortable leaving them with a babysitter. We've had bad experiences when things got out of hand and we had to come home...to utter chaos....and the a HUGE level of humiliation....and of course...and now a few years later...we still worry about leaving the kids home with babysitters.

    One on one, my kids do pretty well...but the two of them can be like oil and water.... :clubbing: :smile: enough said on that point....however, they do love each other, but just irritate and feed off each other...

    I agree with Willow--even when you go out -- you're damaged.

    On a positive note, however, difficult child 1 is doing so much better than I even imagined. I was SO VERY VERY worried for him regarding school when he was beginning kindergarten...and now he's in second grade...and things are going well !! So there is hope...
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    jannie, I really am glad to hear your thoughts. We are so immersed in trying to have a life with a difficult child that we can think consequence so much that we can forget that these are our children and our sacred duty. There is love at the foundation of the bond.
    Their distorted thinking, their disorders and their odd personalities doesn't mean that they don't have "brat" characteristics. How to raise them through the normal bratty behavior when their filter is affected by their disorders and their natural need to protect themselves from a world they perceive as being the enemy.
    Your frustration at being punished with difficult child is normal. How many tears we cry because our plans get dashed by their behavior and their choices? In between we are trying to teach them and raise them with some sense of appropriateness.
    Your love is obvious. It's still ok to be irate at their choice.
  14. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Jannie, first let me say "Hugs" to you and sorry that your day went badly. Secondly, though, I must say that I actually appreciated your post and it made my day better. I say that because our family day today was disrupted by antics from J and husband was very down about it. But when I read him your post, it made him feel better that we are not alone. Even though we don't know each other on this board face to face, it is still a great comfort to know that there are real people that deal daily with the same issues and can empathize.
    I do agree with the others- find SOME fun even if you are stuck at home. Don't let difficult child control your fun, b'c then it is a tool for them. And it can help to change the behavior if difficult child realizes that he/she is the only one missing out on the fun-stuck in the room while the rest of the family plays games, bakes, whatever as long as there is lots of fun noise and laughter. We used to pull out the treats and board games during the screaming fits, and we were sure to let difficult child know what fun we were having. It was one of the few things that actually had an impact on that behavior.
    Hang in there- it will pay off in the long run (even though it seems sooooooooo loooooooonnnnnggggg).
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate when I end up feeling like the punished one-I'm sorry he made a bad choice and I hope your day had some bright spots. :not_fair:
  16. ML

    ML Guest

    Wow this has been so enlightening. I feel exactly the same way about the diagnosis journey. It's fluid. I thought I was going crazy for so long because I kept thinking my son was x or y or z. Even the official diagnosis are now changing. I couldn't believe that the psychiatrist said he didn't have adhd last week! WHAT? That doesn't mean that a stimulant might not still help him stay in this galaxy long enough to successfully complete school assignments. It can get so confusing. It was nice to read this thread and realize others are out in the same boat.
  17. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Well on a positive...it's 11:30 pm...I just got home from a surprise 40th birthday party...and it was pretty awesome..husband stayed for a bit and then I stayed with a friend. It was a real live party with plenty of food, drinks, and music. I only knew a few people, and most of the people live a totally different life than me, but it was FUN. No one even bothered to mention the kids. So the day ended well !! :smile: Now I'm hoping both kids go to Hebrew School in the morning without fuss,

    Thank you all for your kind words and always there to listen. I feel so much better just being able to to vent !! :princess:
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I agree with Star - do not put your entire life on hold. This takes planning but it's well worth it. Find an "alternate" to stay with difficult child & enjoy the day you planned with-o him.

    We missed out on so many family outings, camping trips, celebrations because we didn't plan ahead; didn't work out different consequences to deal with outrageous/obnoxious/defiant behaviors.

    Many times, I should have blown off things that seemed so important at the time. I'm not saying that services are not important, please know that. However, fun family time is so very important. Time together to just enjoy each other - not feeling held hostage by whatever disorder you may be dealing with is so much more healthy than a loss of privileges.

    If I had it to do over, wm would have "owed" me 30 minutes timeout on Monday & known it. Or kt would have known that at the end of our outing she had such & such to finish or the consequence would be such & such.

    Sad to say, we hardly do anything as a family anymore. We don't know how to do it. It would have been so much easier at the age of 6 almost 7 when they were placed with us to work a different plan.

    But, like Star, we were told to be consistent - to take away privileges - to enforce time out no matter what.

    Guess what - made no impact on either kt or wm. Neither will do time outs - or can out wait the entire family. Stubborn little turds.

    I'm sorry your day was ruined. I hope you can find a different way for difficult child to make services or if not, not ruin the entire family's day.
  19. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    Hey Jannie,

    I totally hear you. First off I am glad you had a good time last night---YOU DESERVE IT!
    Second, I wish I had any sort of helpful response. It is like we pretend we are in control because we set down the rewards and consequences but EVERYTHING I do has to do with--how is he doing today? what will his reaction be if I..?? when should I..??

    I find a lot of the cliches true but yet impossible. Make time for yourself. HOW???? Be strong. Again HOW??? Make a life without difficult child. HOW?? he is always with me.

    Anyway, Hang in there. One child is doing really well and that is due to your determined hard work, understanding, and your experience as a special needs teacher. You will find what works for this child too.

    Wishing you (and quite frankly us) peace,
    Bugsy's mom