Tag Archives: Behavior

Closing Notes and Final Comments – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Total Transformation #17

I don’t want to go on forever about my kid, so I’m going to close this thread after this post.  So, why did I do this?  Why did I open up my private struggles for all the world to cringe over?

The truth is when some family members started avoiding us, and friends said “don’t come back.”  I started to feel very alone. (Thanks to everyone who DID stand beside us through all of this)

But I knew that I WASN’T alone.  I knew there had to be others out there struggling and having no idea where to turn.

I’m here telling you that you CAN take your life back.  You just need to take that first step, and then dedicate yourself to it.  Yes, I used one particular program.  I’m not telling anyone to go out and buy the Total Transformation.  There are other products out there.  Do your research.  Pick the one that’s right for you.

The big thing is DO SOMETHING NOW.

I can’t believe how quickly things changed.  It was only a few months ago that I was collapsed of the living room carpet sobbing. It seems like a bad dream now.

I’d like to share a picture with you.  This was taken when Littlest Dude was 3.  He doesn’t even look like this anymore.  It’s precious, isn’t it?

Disney Image058

This picture always made my cry, because I remember this day.  I had taken him so my husband and Dude #1 and Dude #2 could enjoy themselves at Disney World.  I sacrificed myself, and I was miserable.

I bribed him to stop and take this picture with me, hoping it would be a wonderful memory.  Instead when I looked at it on my wall, I knew it was a lie.

I don’t look at it as a lie anymore.  I look at this picture with a gleam of hope in my heart.  I actually have REAL moments like this with my child now.  I feel love from him, and that love is returned.

I know we will have ups and downs, but doesn’t every family?

Normal, for the first time is six years, is in reach.

If you have a child with behavioral problems, get help.  It will be the greatest gift you’ll ever give your family.

JenniFer_EatonF

No No NO! I Will NOT let this happen! – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Total Transformation #15

Big scare this week at bedtime as Middle Dude came and told me he was afraid again.  Apparently Littlest Dude threatened him (And I don’t even want to repeat what he said)

And it was over something really dumb.  An accident, and really really minor.

The training whirled around in my head until confusion took over.  I did manage to sit down and talk to Littlest Dude, but I really should have scrambled for my “8 Step” card, because I’m sure I screwed it up.

Ugh.

And the weird thing is, the next day everything was sugar and spice again.  I don’t expect perfection, but after living for a few months without fear, I didn’t like having that in my house again.

A few days later, there have been no more incidents, but Littlest and Middle Dude are fighting a lot.  Littlest is not flying off the handle like he used to, and I am sure to praise him all the time when he’s good, but when he forgets to step back and think over his new bag of tricks… oh, it is just not pleasant.

I have to remember that he is not “fixed”.  The ADHD is still there, and always will be.  I just have to keep coaching him until proper behavior is a “habit”.

We’re almost there, and I will fight tooth and nail to keep going down the right path.

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F

A mixed week – Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Total Transformation #14

I took a scary step this week, but one that I wasn’t afraid of doing at all.  I cancelled my Parental Help Line.  This was my life-line to a specialist for one-on-one help when I didn’t know what to do.  I really didn’t need them anymore.

I told them “I have a new kid”, and I do.

I hope that I am not jinxing myself, but I can’t really justify the expense anymore.  I honestly only needed it for the first few weeks.  Once the program started kicking in, things started to change so fast that I rarely needed help.

Yesterday my husband called me at work frustrated because Littlest Dude would not listen to direction with his homework.  He said he finally just told him what to do and walked away.  When I got home, Littlest Dude had at least finished his homework, but he forgot a few periods at the ends of his sentences. Not too shabby.  We then sat together while he read a book to me, and we started studying for his Friday tests (Starting to study of Monday worked last week, so that’s our new norm).

Overall, he seemed fine for me.  (We’ll have to work on him being good for Daddy too)

Then Littlest Dude helped me make dinner.  I coated the chicken with egg, and he held the bag and then shook the breadcrumbs on the chicken.  Once it was in the oven, he asked if I wanted to work out… so he, 12-year-old Dude and I had a workout before dinner.  It was a really nice night. I will admit that he did push for an extra story at bedtime, and I caved.  I love that he’s being good, but I need to realize that he’s now using “good” to manipulate me into a later bedtime again.  I need to stick to the schedule so I have time for myself after I tuck him in.

Now that my nights are better, I need to try to help the days with my husband to be better.  Hubbs acknowledges that work is extremely stressful, and he’s not always in the greatest frame of mind to deal with Littlest Dude.  I can understand that – but part of the training is controlling YOURSELF in a bad situation, because kids with behavioral challenges take their triggers from you.

I have to admit that this is REALLY HARD – especially when you are faced with “outside” challenges that are out of your control.

Just something more to work on.

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F

Go Littlest Dude! Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: the Total Transformation #8

First of all, I posted something last Wednesday.  If you missed the miracle, please go back and read it.

Before starting lesson five, I need to tell you something. Last week’s miracle was just the beginning. On Friday, my youngest came home with his test scores… 87%, 100%, and 105% (nailed that extra credit question)   Way to go littlest Dude!

There was also a note from the teacher about how horrendous the class was all week.  I flipped over the “Weekly behavior score” sheet, and saw that for the last few weeks he’d received a “1” meaning perfect (where he’d scored in the “bad” 2’s and 3’s normally.)  I asked him if there was trouble in class, and he said, “Yes, everyone was bad but me. I’m a good boy now.”

Hmmm…

I contacted the teacher, who confirmed that he was quiet and polite the entire week while the rest of the class acted inappropriately.  Go Littlest Dude again!

Every day this week, I came home to a quiet house.  My children all came and hugged me at the door, and my husband was smiling.  No chaos. No screaming. (For the most part) Is this what a normal house is like?  I’m not sure, but I like it.

My son’s most common sayings this week:  “Excuse me Mommy”; “Please, Mommy”; and “Yes, Mommy.”  (Wow)

I think now is the most critical time.  It feels like we have our life back, but once in a while I feel a slight push from my littlest (I’m sure he doesn’t even realize that he is doing it) but he is trying to re-gain control. (Like trying to negotiate that bed time again.) I need to be resolved.  So does my husband.  We need to be careful not to slip back into our old back habits just because things are getting better.

I’m also finding it a little hard to get my husband to sit down and listen to the CDs for an hour a week.  I use the “10 tips” on him:  “I’m sorry you’re tired, but this is the time we agreed to listen to the Total Transformation.”  His eyes narrow.  He knows I’m right.  I’m inclined to stop as well, but we need to finish the program.  It’s working, and I want to know everything I need to know to keep it going in the right direction.

Lesson Five: Understanding Faulty Thinking

This lesson is all about how pre-conceived notions and reactions by both the parent and child can undermine everything that you do.  Faulty thinking is when we “decide” our kids have done something wrong before we have all the facts.  This is one of those annoying lessons that let you know you are doing something wrong, but don’t really tell you what to do about it.  The “Homework” is to make notes of times when we see faulty thinking.  I guess the idea is that recognizing it will keep you from doing it.

Onward and Upward.

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  Post #6 and Post #7

Week Six (this week) Post #8

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #5

Lesson Three:  Breakthrough

Finally!  A list of things we can try!

It you like to see how we got here, or exactly what we are dealing with, please see the links to previous posts below.

My Child’s most common saying this week.  “I’m Sooorrreeeeeeey” (I’m sorry said sarcastically so you know without a doubt that he doesn’t mean it)

I’m not going to say that any bells went off listening to this tape.  I’m feeling a little friction from the husband who doesn’t think it is fair that he has to change the way he wants to parent.  But I reminded him that before we started we promised each other that we’d do everything they say.

This is hard stuff, I admit it.  It goes against so much that we “believe in” as parents.  We need to find a balance between what has worked with the two older kids, and what we need to do now to SAVE our youngest child, and our family.  Again, this is not easy, and my husband and I have to keep reminding ourselves when we slip up.

*******News Flash*******

I just deleted everything I originally wrote, because I need to tell you something.

I received an email from my son’s teacher this week… “We are so pleased with [your son’s] progress.  He has been listening attentively in class, his work is improving, and we have seen him even helping out other students when they had a problem.”

Huh?  Do you have the right kid?  I was floored.

The next day, he came home with this big poster of something they had worked on in class together.  He told me that his teacher gave it to him as a prize for giving so many great answers for the project.  He proudly hung it in his room, and I “caught” him staring at it tonight with a big smile on his face.

He feels accomplished.  He has been recognized… and I think he likes it.

****So, what did we do?****

My husband and I discussed it, and we’re not even sure.  Maybe it’s a little of everything.  Maybe it’s our attitudes, or the couple of times we have challenged him with the ideas from the “ten things” CD that we started out with.

We still have HUGE problems at home, but knowing school is improving is such a huge “light at the end of the tunnel” – you can’t even imagine how excited we are!

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 (This Post) Post #5

JenniFer_EatonF

Related articles

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.

swish swivel squiggle

Our Journey with the Total Transformation:

Week One post #1

Week Two Post #2 and Post #3

Week Three (This Post) Post #4

JenniFer_EatonF

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #3

If you’d like to be filled in on our journey thus far, please see post #1 and Post #2.  I’m not going to go over this stuff again here. and here is Post #3

Continued from Monday …

Dang guys, once again I am overwhelmed by the support, and all the personal emails–many of which made me cry.  Part of writing these posts is self-motivation to FORCE me to keep going, because I have committed myself.  I really appreciate all the good wishes.

This is what I have learned thus far from disk #1.  My son doesn’t think the way normal people do.  I can’t expect him to be logical.  I can’t expect him to react rationally.  I cannot expect him to act “normal” when he is upset.  He does not have the ability.  In other words… I CANNOT PARENT HIM THE WAY I PARENTED HIS OLDER SIBLINGS.

Is there something wrong with him?  Well, only in that he doesn’t THINK the way most people do.

*** He doesn’t think the way most people do ***

Sounds scary, doesn’t it?  My job is to help him work around this.  I can teach him to be a normal, thinking adult, but if I don’t act now, the chances of it becoming worse are far too high.

Now, I don’t know how to do this yet.  Herein lies our frustration.  Following the course by the letter, we need to do our workbook and let this all sink in before going to lesson two.  BUT WE WANT HELP NOW.

I’m turning again to the CD of “10 things to help you right now” and I am listening to it again.

***Putting the Plan into action***

Last night, my 6 year old punched my 9 year old in the face because it was bedtime.  I called the “help line” and they walked me through what to do.  What I needed to do sounded incredibly stupid.  What I wanted to do was what my parents did – beat me senseless—but I have to realize that my 6 year old is not me.  Returning the anger and spanking will not work with this child. So I sat down and told him everything they said… and he went to bed.

***Problems with the older kids***

Now here is a new problem.  “Mom, you’re just letting him get away with that?”

The older kids felt like I’d done nothing.  I called them aside, and explained “The Total Transformation” to them.  They complained that this isn’t going to be fair to them… that they would be punished for things and their lives would have to change because of the youngest.

I said, “Yes, things will change, but this is what we need to do to get our lives back.”

They were not happy.  They groan when they start acting up and I hit them with one of the “ten things to help you right now” tips… of course, they then immediately cave and do what I want. Crap – if anything I have to say this stuff works with the older kids without a hitch.  The youngest?  He can still tirade through it.

But it’s a new day in the Eaton household.  I’m not really sure what that means.  But I’m convicted to making that true.  Now that I am a little more “educated” and understand more about my son’s challenges, and our challenges as parents to a behaviorally challenged child, at least I am ready to move forward.

At the moment, though… after week one… chaos still ensues.  And something upstairs just broke… and yep, there’s the screaming.  Bedtime is always such a joy… until next time!

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.

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our family’s journey with The Total Transformation program

Hello.  My Name in Jennifer Eaton.  And I have a child with behavioral problems.

Whew!  Getting that off my chest is HUGE.  If you have a child with a behavior disorder, be it ADD, ADHD, or any of the myriad of other things out there, just admitting that there is a problem is a pretty big step in the right direction.

Since my youngest was two, he’s always been “a handful”.  We kept waiting for him to get out of the terrible two’s.  I used to joke about him still being in his terrible two’s at five.

At six, when his “bad” behavior started becoming violent… when his siblings began to get hurt, when he would scream at us and break things if he didn’t get his way…  When I was afraid to sit beside him… when I cringed in fear when my son came near … we realized we had a problem.

We tried everything we could think of.  But it just got worse.

I work full time at an office, and my husband works full time from home.  He gets the worst of it.  Near the “end” I would drive up and sit in the garage for a little while, preparing myself for what I would walk into.  Sometimes I cried before even opening the door.

Our lives had become as close to Hell as I EVER wanted to come.  Our family was being torn apart.  We yelled at all of our children, not just the troubled one.  My husband and I started to fight– and quite honestly only our values kept our marriage together.

One day, my husband left (again) just because he had to get away from the house.  I understood.  I don’t know how he keeps sane… but within half an hour my middle son was bleeding from an altercation with my youngest, and I was sprawled on the livingroom floor uncontrollably sobbing, with my oldest son holding me, himself in tears.

This had become my life.  Lost, alone, and hurting with nowhere to turn.

That night, we contacted a child psychiatrist.  I was horrified, because being medicine-phobic, I didn’t want to pump my son full of drugs, but I had to protect my family, both physically and mentally at that point, because my other children were being harmed emotionally now.

The psychiatrist told us he could have us come in for six sessions at $200 a session, and by the end of the sixth session … are you ready for this … “I will be able to tell you if I can help you or not.”

What????? $1200 just to evaluate him?  Six more weeks of sinking further into Dante’s Inferno, and not even knowing if this is the right course of action?

My husband and I stewed over this for a few more horrible weeks.  When one of my husband’s relatives neglected to invite us to a family party, and we found out it was because of our son, my husband lost it.  Our lives were falling apart, and our family was hanging by a thread.

After much prayer and contemplation, and hearing the radio commercial for the Umteenth time (If that was you, God, sorry I didn’t call the number sooner) I contacted “The Total Transformation”.

I’d hesitated before, because my son was only 3, then 4, then 5, now six.  I still was afraid that he was too young, but someone on the website said it worked for their six year old.

The package has arrived, and it is a workbook and a series of DVDs for a seven week program.  For the price of two visits to the shrink, I have a whole program, and for an additional $50 a month, I have live professional help from 9 AM to 10 PM on weekdays (Which I plan on using a lot)

I listened to the first “Quick help” DVD, and tried out one of the solutions on one of my older kids.  It sounded dumb, even coming out of my mouth, but my son blinked, looked at me for a minute, and then did exactly what I asked him to do.

It was a heck of a surprise!

Now, will it work on the problem child?  Only time will tell.  I’m not expecting a miracle, but I need to do something.  I need to get my family back, and I need to save my son.

If you have a problem child, you are not alone.  You may feel that way, but you are not.

We know this is going to be work.  I’m not expecting a miracle overnight change.  The next seven weeks are probably going to be the hardest weeks of our lives, but if we can get our family back… If we can stop walking on eggshells… if we can stop worrying about our children hurting each other, or breaking things, or even hurting US… wow… taking any one of those things out of our lives would be a step in the right direction.

I’m going to let you know how this works for me, because I KNOW there are others out there in situations like this.  And if a stupid set of DVDs can give you your life back, then DERNIT I want to let you know about it.

I will fill you in as we go along.

Take a deep breath, and pray for us.  We’re gonna need it.

Note:  Other than buying this product, I am in no way connected to the Total Transformation, so if it stinks, I will be a fair judge.  My husband and I have agreed to follow it exactly, and not take any shortcuts.  Trust me… we can’t afford to.  We need this to work.

Jennifer___Eaton