Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #2

Last week I opened up with some really personal information, and I was encouraged by the outpouring of well-wishes, and emboldened by the number of you who contacted me both publicly and privately about your own personal battles.

Click here to see last week’s post. This is where we are.

My son’s most common phrase:  “I hate you.”

It doesn’t even hurt anymore.  I’ve managed to turn off my emotions.  I wish the rest of the family could.  It’s so hard, and my handling things without emotion just leads to fights between me and my husband, which escalate and draw in the rest of the family in one way or another.  Like I said last week, this is as close to Hell as I ever want to come.

We need to *****

Sorry, I had to mediate the screaming session going on upstairs. (again) and I completely lost my thoughts.

Anyway… We’ve now listened to lesson one “Why is my kid like this?”

Our frustration level with the program is pretty high right now.  We want help, but the first disk is really informational.  I’m trying to be as positive as I can.  I’m trying to keep my husband from throwing it against the wall.

Thinking it over, and remembering a comment from someone last week, the first disk seems a lot like a first professional session with parents.  It is all about assuring the parents that this is not our fault, which was a big concern.  Did we slip on the last one? Was he exposed to too much from his older siblings? Are we too easy on him? Too hard on him?  Why is our parenting working on the older kids and not him?

This is my situation.  I have a 9 year old and a 12 year old who are both off the charts smart.  They come home, throttle through their homework, and anything less than an “A” on a report card is a surprise (That we discuss in a manner of “how can we help with this” rather than being judgmental… we want school to be fun.)

Then we have our youngest, who acts out in school, has seen a counselor for anger, and his recent report card rated him at mid-kindergarten level across the board, and he is in the middle of first grade. I quietly contacted the teacher and asked if he was going to be left back.  This is when our lines of communication opened with her and his reading teacher.  I told them what we were doing, and they were excited and asked how they could help. Hey, I’ll take all the help I can get.

I’m going to cut this post here and continue it on Wednesday, because on finishing it I realized it was way too long.  I’ll start up right where I left off on Wednesday.

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15 responses to “Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #2

  1. Still praying for you! Your honesty is helping others already too! I’m sure the same lady who got that frog out of that snake’s mouth can handle anything~HUGS!

  2. I’m thinking of you and hoping you find the approach that works. (I haven’t, yet.)

  3. Jen, my daughter has gone through this with her oldest, Jimmy and a wee bit with the youngest. She had to get the school to work with her. She had a meeting with all the teachers, and the guidance counselor to set up a reward system where Jimmy had to follow the rules in school and home for a whole month to get a game that he wanted or see a movies, etc. Every month they started a new schedule. The one thing that worked was his taking up martial arts. He got all his aggressioin out there and seemed to be calmer at home and school. We’ll talk the next time we see each other.

  4. Being a parent is the hardest job ever. Mothers and fathers don’t get enough credit for how hard they work to raise their children well and mold them into the people they want them to be. Hang in there! We’ve ALL been there.

  5. Hi, Jenn . . . I just realized that I typed up some notes on a book I read about Parenting with Love and Logic. I don’t know if it’ll help, but I’m happy to email it to you if you’d like:-) ~Hugs!!!

  6. I’m really glad to see that there’s been such outreach to you from parents who have faced similar problems. Knowing that others understand what you’re facing must be helpful in itself. As Vanessa just said, there are a lot of us out here offering our support, too!

  7. You son has two loving parents who want to help him. I am sure that is an important and position starting position. I wish you all well.

  8. I am no stranger to this scenario. I have four kids and my 3rd is my problem child. I was told when he was born he was going to have problems when he grew up. Why? Supposedly, he was born too fast and didn’t get all the ick pushed from his lungs through the contractions, thus he had glucose issues because he wouldn’t eat right away, blah, blah. I felt like I was cursed at that moment. My 21-year old has been a handful. Raised like all the other kids, same morals, same expectations. He’s different. He’s the one that stands out. he’s the one that bumps the ‘system’. The one that doesn’t fit the mold. Some kids aren’t meant for mainstream. They toot their own horns. unfortunately, for many of us, we don’t know how to direct them to stay on a positive path. They aren’t bad kids any more than we are bad parents. They just don’t fit the common mold. Through it all, we have to reassure them we love them despite their difficulties. You know your youngest doesn’t hate you. It’s his way of lashing out because he doesn’t know how to verbalize his pain. He’s too young. I hope this program helps. Your youngest is different than your other two. He needs to be handled differently. I’m confident you and your hubby will find what works with him. I am with you on this journey.

  9. It sounds like the program is off to a good start, assuring the parents that this is not their fault and not to take anything the child says personally. One of the lessons I learned while taking a course in Non-violent Crisis Intervention was not to take anything the student/client says personally because that just increases the stress levels all across the board causing an escalation of undesirable behaviors and it shows the child he can get a reaction if he says certain things. So, Jennifer, you were right to ignore him when he says, ‘I hate you’. Best of luck with the rest of the program. 🙂

  10. writerwendyreid

    I wish you much peace and patience Jenn. You are on a hard road but at least it’s going somewhere now. You are incredibly strong and I truly believe that you and your husband can do this. Today he may tell you that he hates you, but one day he is going to be SO grateful that you didn’t give up on him. xo

  11. I am interested also in reading your posts. You are not alone in dealing with a challenge of a child. My son is 2-and-a-half. He is the only person who bumped writing out of the way as the complete center of my life, but he is going through a terrible twos stage. The director of his morning school reassured me he is pleasure to have at the school and that he is a sweet boy.

    He has not received stickers since June 10 in his red folder. In addition to taking other children’s snack off of their plates, he jumped on them. My husband and I work very hard to raise him right. We raise him old-fashioned. Very little T.V., a lot of outside time with animals and home cooked meals. For the most part it works. We have changed a few things around, for example how much we interact with him while one of us is cooking.

    Thank you for being so open and know you are not the only one.

  12. I know three families who each have a child with behavioural issues whereas the other siblings are fine, so I really feel for you and hope a solution is found soon.

  13. I’ll bet your third son is off-the-charts-smart, but in a different way than the other two. Just a hunch. I hope you start getting some concrete advice from the program soon. I’d be tempted to “skip ahead” because I’m the impatient type. Looking forward to hearing what lesson 2 is like. Hang in there!

  14. I’m really interested to read about this process, hopefully it will help you to know about all of us out here following your journey and holding your hand along the way. Like you said in a comment last week, just talking about it is like therapy for you, so that’s got to be good.