Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #6

Deep breath.  It’s going to be a bumpy week.  This week is an overview of concepts of behavior management.

My Son’s most common saying:  “It’s too hard”

OMIGOSH.  I just found out something that I think I already knew.  My kid is super-smart.  It makes sense.  His brothers are super smart.  So what’s the problem?  His brain works faster than he can “compute”  Ugh…. I wish I could explain it, but it took me an hour to understand myself.

So… something gets him angry.  His brain gets that anger trigger so quickly that it can’t hop the hurdle to “I should calm down before I do something dumb and get in trouble”  Instead, he just lashes out.  He doesn’t have the “problem solving skills” to get past the anger.  No, that still doesn’t explain it…

Let’s try another way.  He sits down to do his homework.  He argues with us for 30 minutes because he doesn’t want to do it.  When we actually do it, it only takes ten minutes.  He doesn’t understand what a normal person understands… that you do the homework – just get through it– and then you can do the fun stuff.  His mind just hits a road block.  He doesn’t have the problem solving skills to get from point A to point B.

This is also the reason he’s had trouble learning to read.  Learning to read is a problem.  You get past the problem with practice.  He couldn’t process the idea of “practice.”  He couldn’t get past the point of “I can’t read”

So what do you do about it?  We need to stop coddling him.  “I’m sorry that you don’t like homework, but that is what we need to do now.”  Period.  End of conversation.  No arguments.

This is a biggie that my husband and I need to deal with.  Don’t invite an argument.  It’s hard.  Really hard.  As a parent, I want to explain myself.  I can’t with him.

It feels mean when I do this, and it has to be done properly (they explain how in the program and workbook)

I feel a little like a loaded weapon.  The program says to expect resistance, and after the first night I dang well got resisted.  They said to stick with it.  Change will happen fast.  I can only hope.  There was a whole lot of screaming when they went to bed tonight (At the correct time, without negotiating.)

I feel like a totalitarian dictator, really I do.  But this is the hard part I expected — the time when the parents take back the household.  It’s kind of like war, isn’t it?

This is not easy.  But each step to “understanding” I believe is helping me to cope with how to solve issues as they arise.

swish swivel squiggle

Our Journey with the Total Transformation:

Week One post #1

Week Two Post #2 and Post #3

Week Three Post #4

Week Four Post #5

Week Five (This week) Post #6

27 responses to “Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #6

  1. Julie Catherine

    Jennifer, I don’t have children … but as I read about your situation and progress and the ups and downs, I can’t help but think that your blogging about this is probably doing a great service to parents everywhere. I so admire you. Keep the faith, you sound like you’re heading in the right direction. ~ Julie xox

  2. I know it’s tough. The whole ‘do your homework now before play’ is an age-old problem with many parents and their kids. Let him know if he has a problem he can turn to you for help, but if he knows how to do it, he must finish it. It may seem like totalitarianism, but kids need clear boundaries. Stick to your guns, so to speak, and you’ll win the war! 🙂

  3. My rule with homework is that when I start to become irritated, I’ve helped enough. Unwillingness to do homework is a complicated issue . . . so you’ve hit the nail right on the head. I tell my parents of my students who are having issues to first determine if there’s an underlying problem. It could be laziness, a learning disability, ADD, ADHD, a neurological disorder, an attitude problem. I applaud you for seeking professional help. I know it’s a much bigger issue than just your example of homework, but just thought I’d throw that one out there b/c I know that problem is very common among my parents. As for the bedtime, allowing my kids some down time in their room or somewhere else to read, paint nails, watch TV, ect . . . seemed to really help. You’re on the right path, girl! ❤

  4. Sounds like you’re on the right track! Hang in there!

  5. Sounds like you are in a foreign country and must learn each others language and customs. I suppose anything new takes time and patience. Your son is still little and possibly overwhelmed but already you’re both farther ahead than you were before this program, right? All the best..

  6. wow.. good for you. I think the hard part will be sticking with it and being consistent even after they start doing this automatically. Might want to relax, but it sends confusing messages no? Good post/info!

    • Yes. That’s a fear … Getting results and then losing them.

      • I didn’t meant something that negative, sorry! I was thinking like about patients who stop coming the day they feel better, instead of finishing treatment. And I know, for me, Ill develop a new good habit but about a week after my life seems truly improved I get complacent and stop practicing it, even find it hard to continue to ‘punish’ myself with the good habit after short term gains. It’s a weakness. Just encouraging, STAY strong.

  7. Hang in there Jenn. It WILL get easier. Once they (or he) know that when you say something, you mean it and there is NO chance of you changing your mind, no matter HOW much resistance/begging/pleading they do, it won’t change, then you can start to relax a little and start enjoying interacting with ALL of your kids. I hope you get there soon. 🙂 xo

  8. So how do you:
    “So what do you do about it? We need to stop coddling him. “I’m sorry that you don’t like homework, but that is what we need to do now.” Period. End of conversation. No arguments”
    Just sit them down, tell them to do it and ignore the wails and cries? Really curious. I probably adapt to the totalitarian dictator position too easily and too often myself.

    • It’s kind of hard to explain any other way. It’s hard to relay a concept that was taught in an hour lint lesson in a few sentences. And honesty, if feels wrong. But what we were doing obviously didn’t work. So we’ll try anything.

      • That’s fine, I’m just curious about the practical application. Just sit them down, tell them to do it and ignore the whines and cries without bargaining or arguing?

  9. You described it very well.

    It’s as though you’re having to learn how to relate to a completely new species of human. All your assumptions, and accepted modes/pattern of behaviour just don’t work.

    Keep going.

  10. This sounds very familiar to my own experience….. With myself. You, or your son, can contact me if he/ you want to talk. It’s complicated. Email me, okay?

  11. Jen, I gotta hand it to you. Hang in there.

  12. You sound a little more confident and less afraid with every post. You must be on the right track. Hurrah.