The inevitable downturn (Ugh) – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #9

Oh, this has not all been a pleasant journey this week.  I sat with my husband for over an hour and a half last night as he vented his frustrations.  This was one of those times where you sit like a good little wife and listen.  Speaking was just not a good idea. He needed to vent.

Where Hubbs agrees that Littlest Dude is leaps and bounds better, things are not perfect yet.  He is still struggling with homework.  Unfortunately, that part is done before I get home, and I don’t want to teach my kids to play first and do homework when Mommy gets home.  We both just believe that doing homework as soon as you get home is a good idea.  But my husband is struggling (rightfully so) with a full time job, and helping the kids with homework, too… so when the kids get home… well, it would be easier if littlest dude would just sit down and do his homework.

The good news is that the fights between the kids have gotten better (at least at night when I am home – Hubbs still moderates a few during the day)  and Littlest Dude always seems excited and energetic about the homework that he sets aside to do with me.

Last night I tried something new that was suggested.  I called the help-line and we modified it together to fit our situation (Problems going to bed)  My youngest said “sure” and he was excited, even drew a picture… but as soon as the picture was done and it was time for bed, the screaming started.  One thing they always stress is that you will experience resistance, and not to give up.

***Small steps.***

I’m honestly just happy that I’m not afraid for myself or my other kids getting physically hurt anymore.

My youngest’s most common saying this week:  “Can I give you a hug/kiss?” (Although I must admit, it is frequently used to get an extra few seconds out of us before going to bed)

Lesson Six: What to do after your child lashes out (Ha!  I wish I had this last night! Boy do we need this one)

At the end of this lesson are cards to cut out to have on hand to help you through the eight step process to follow after a “breakdown”.  I usually skip things like this, but my husband, to my surprise, wanted them.  It ended up being a pretty good idea, because when tempers and emotions are flaring, it’s hard to keep focus.  These cards list the eight steps to get through the problem, and my husband even used it once, and was really glad to have them.  We’ll see how it goes.

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27 responses to “The inevitable downturn (Ugh) – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #9

  1. Change always has its ups and downs. With your love and perseverance, I’m sure the ups will outweigh the downs, eventually. Stay strong. You have many caring people praying for you and your family. 🙂

  2. You and your husband seem like incredibly dedicated parents. I’ve seen kids who don’t necessarily have that supporting family background and whose parents have failed to acknowledge that all is not well. That you’ve recognized and are trying to deal with this is a great thing and I basically want to say that you’re doing a wonderful job.

  3. Julie Catherine

    Hang in there Jennifer – you are doing all that you can, and in spite of hiccups, are still headed in the right direction. I second everyone else – we’re more than happy to read your vents … even if you “curse brightly” (lol) … you need an outlet too, and have more than earned it! (((hugs))) ~ Love, Julie xoxox

  4. It sounds you’re more ahead of the game than before this program. Doesn’t change have a pattern? Down, up, plateau, up, down, down, plateau etc. Life at the best of times can be overwhelming, let alone when a family member is having a rough ride. Stick it out. I hand you a GOLD star for your wonderful job thus far.

  5. I’m thinking of you as you go through this process. You and your husband are wise to recognize that your son isn’t just going through a phase, and take action on his behalf. The longer you stick with your chosen strategy, and easier it becomes because everyone has the same expectations and they get used to those expectations. Hang in there!

  6. Wow, it’s so fascinating to follow this process with you. I feel for all of you (for so many different reasons). Stay strong!

  7. Keep it up!! You guys got this:-) Care to share the 8 steps?

    • I don’t want to share them on-line, because I don’t think it would be beneficial. If you read them, it sounds totally stupid. You really need the several weeks of training — which frankly felt like a load of hooey until you get to the end, and need to start applying it.

      I can send them to you off-line if you like though.

  8. Very few things in life go without some kind of hitch or setback at some point. But it sounds like overall you’re still going forward. And if you don’t think you should vent at home, I hope you realize we’ll all listen (and read) if you want to do it here!

  9. So glad to hear you are still on track, resistance and frustration notwithstanding. Has the littlest dude been tested for learning disabilities?

    • No. I’ve narroed it down to 98% probability of extreme ADHD, but I want to try to kick it with training, rather than medication. As much as the medication might help him, I can’t guarantee it won’t screw him up later on. I’ll go that route as a last resort.

      • You’re right to hold off on medication, especially while you learn how your son’s particular set of synapses work and how to work with him. I was thinking about how a diagnosis might direct more help from school and other sources.

        My Mom was a learning disabilities specialist and 3 of my brothers were “other” learners. My parents managed to hold off on medication for all but one brother, and he only took it intermittently. All are productive and happy adults. I remember though, when my parents got desperate enough to try Ritalin on the one brother. The first day he took it he came home with a note pinned to his jacket from his teacher: “Phil did very well at school today.” It was a hard day. My parents felt the way you did about giving drugs to little kids. Ritalin caused gut problems and my brother didn’t like taking it. My parents eased him on and off it until high school, when they got him into a highly structured school.

        Different strategies and combinations of strategies are going to be a big part of your future. You are way ahead of the game because you are honest about the depth of his challenges, and give all of yourselves to help him. You’re doing the right things, and more. Bravo.

  10. writerwendyreid

    Glad you are sticking with it, despite the setback, 🙂

  11. This sounds like you are on the right track; never mid the occasional hiccups. 🙂 I am glad to read this a, Jenny. Still in my prayers 🙂

  12. It might be back and forth for awhile. I think you and your husband deserve medals for hanging in there together!

  13. Hang in there! As much as you (and your readers) all want this to go more smoothly, it sounds like you are still on the right track. And it sounds like it’s working, so don’t get discouraged! Good job letting your husband vent, Just remember that you need to do a little of that, too. Maybe this post is your way of venting. Just remember to take care of yourself, too.

  14. Two steps forward, one sideways, a diagonal slide, one backwards … then rinse and repeat.

    Yep, sometimes all the vent-er needs is the vent-ees pair of ears and the courage to stay present … nicely done.