Tag Archives: Anger

The upturn – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #12

The funniest thing happened this week.  Littlest Dude was preparing to spend the day at a friend’s house.  We sat together and reviewed the lesson on how to not get angry, and what to do if he feels something’s unfair.  We practiced the anger relief method the “help line” coach suggested.  I kissed him on the head, and sent him on his way.

After Daddy picked him up quite a few hours later, they both walked in the door laughing.  Apparently, Littlest Dude’s friend got mad at his sister, and started beating her up and pulling her hair.

Littlest Dude intervened and made him stop.

Did you get that?  Littlest Dude did not jump on the bandwagon with his BEST FRIEND.  He made the right choice, and helped someone, even though it might not make him popular with his friend.

The little boy had to go to his room for a time out, and Littlest Dude played with the sister for a while.

Oh!  I love hearing wonderful things (Less than a month ago he was thrown out of a friend’s house by the father for acting out) What a wonderful change!

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Last night while I was reading a funny book before bedtime, Littlest Dude got a little excited and kicked me in the kidney.  OUCH.  It knocked the wind right out of me.

“I am such an idiot,” he said, but not at the loud decibel that he normally would have… almost like it was a pre-programmed saying that popped out on his mouth.  He then jumped up and ran out of the room, and came back with an ice pack.

Pretty good problem solving, huh?  Instead of yelling about what he’d done, he found a way to “fix it.”

I used the ice, and continued the story.  Everyone won.

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The last lesson:  The Workshop DVD.

I must say that I realize we are at a critical juncture right now.  I’m not getting friction from my kid, I’m getting resistance to continue from my husband.  My fear is that if we stop focusing on the program, that everything will slip back to the way it was.  I cannot cave in and allow us to slip up now.

Despite pre-arranging time to do the DVD, and my husband agreeing to do it at an exact time… He forgot and started planning all these other things he wanted to do.  Now watching the DVD was “in the way” of getting things done, and we had a fight about it.  He got really angry when I used the lessons against him “I’m sorry that you made other plans, but this is what we agreed on.”

I must admit, that I fell into my “negotiator” role and agreed to only do part of it, since it was 1.5 hours long.  We watched only the first two lessons.

(And if you read this dear, I love you and I understand that you have so many other responsibilities and you are totally right that there is not enough time in the day to do everything that we need to do… but this is working, right?  Aren’t you glad we kept going?) 

To be honest, the DVD isn’t all that great.  It would not make me want to go to one of the live seminars.  What we both agreed was good about it though, is that it reviewed the lessons in a very high-level way.  What we got the most out of was when we stopped the DVD and said “I tried that and this happened” or “That really worked for me” or “That didn’t work for me”.

I found out that he had been using the program a lot more than I had realized, and where I had trouble with some things, he had success– so we discussed that.  I highly doubt we will finish the DVD this week, but even if we keep our once a week slot and discuss things, I think it will keep us on track.

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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.

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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

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #4

If you’re interested in what I’m dealing with, and what we’ve experienced thus far, check the posts listed below this article.

We are now officially in week two. We’ve seen excellent results using the “ten tips to help you right now” ideas with the older kids… but my two “A+ over-achievers” aren’t really the problem. (Unless you consider crying over getting a “B” on a test a problem – Ugh they are carbon copies of me, I swear) The older kids blink in surprise, and then react to my new-fangled requests like normal thinking human beings.  The six-year-old, though, rants around my requests, giving just as much a problem as I’ve become accustomed to.

Our son’s most common phrase this week:  “It’s not my fault, it’s yours (or his)”

On the bright side, he did actually finish his homework yesterday without a shouting match.  I’m not sure if that is coincidental or not.

The lesson for this week is called “Why won’t my child listen to me.”

While the first disk explained that my child with behavioral issues does not use the same thought processes that the rest of us do, and assured us that his behavior IS NOT our fault… Disk two left us feeling like it WAS all our fault.  They listed a number of common parenting mistakes … almost all of which either my husband, I, or both of us were guilty of.

Here the anger sets in.  I tried to listen with an open mind, because everything they said made perfect sense.  My husband felt attacked and needed a little convincing.  Hubby admitted to being the textbook speech giver.  The CD said this almost never works.  And for, us, it never ever works… but hubby insists on giving a speech about right and wrong and why doesn’t anyone listen to him, and why is he giving this speech again if no one listens…  In effect, he was making himself feel better, but the kids (and even me, I must admit) were not listening at all.  After much soul-searching, he stamped a “guilty” button on his head, and admitted giving self-righteous speeches doesn’t work, so he shouldn’t even try.

I had to admit that I was the textbook negotiator.  “Can we have five more minutes, Mom, please?  I’ve been good.”  I always cave.  Then it’s five more, and five more.  GUILTY.  I have to set rules and stick to them.

These are just two of the things that we had to curb in our own parenting style.  Believe me, there were many more things, and their reasons why they didn’t work made perfect sense.

So, then, what the heck do we do?  We are still a little frustrated, because our “homework” last week was to consider why our child lashes out, and have a better understanding.  This week is to try not to use these useless parenting ruts that we’ve gotten ourselves into.  But how?  I expect to be using that help line a while lot this week.

We are resisting the urge to skip the “waiting” and move on to the next disk, which looks like it has actual things we can put into practice.  We promised each other that we would do this by the book, and this is what it says to do… wait a week in between … but it’s really hard when you are still living inside a nightmare with no immediate hope of waking up.

The big problem I see is that my little guy firmly believes it is someone else’s fault that he gets angry.  In a way, he’s right.  But the problem is that he does not know how to deal with his anger, so he punches something (or someone) or breaks something that is important to the other person… or even breaking something he treasures himself.  He says he doesn’t know why he does it.  How the heck do you deal with that?  Yeah… I’m calling that help line.

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Our Journey with the Total Transformation:

Week One post #1

Week Two Post #2 and Post #3

Week Three (This Post) Post #4

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