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Dealing with a child with Behavioral Issues. Update. One Year Later

Parenting is an ongoing struggle, isn’t it? I have to say though, that things are much better than they used to be. I think the issues that we deal with now are “normal”.

But something happened over the weekend that I just have to share.

Easter eggs

Easter eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday there was an Easter egg hunt at our church. Littlest Dude was in the oldest age bracket, and this is probably the first, and last year he would be able to participate. His gaze traveled across the gardens, and a smile touched his lips, seeing the multitude of eggs scattered in the grass (4,000 eggs, I was later informed)

They made an announcement for the older kids not to get the eggs in the middle of the field (Since participants ranged from 2 years to 8 years.) I reiterated the request to Littlest Dude. And then they were off!

There is nothing cuter than several hundred kids running through a field trying to find eggs.

I lost sight of Littlest Dude for a few minutes until his red shirt gave him away back in the trees.

Whew!

At least it seemed that he’s left the easy ones for the other kids. The eggs disappeared quickly, and late-comers ran toward the field, hoping to get there share.

Littlest Dude ran by a few times, bag overflowing but determined to find all the well-hidden eggs. Yep. He’s tenacious. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree on that one.

I grimaced as first-time parents strolled lazily toward the event area, obviously clueless that there may not be anything left for their children. Boy, were they about to be in for a bad morning!

People started to leave, and Littlest Dude is still out there running around, having a grand old time.

Then it happened.

He comes strolling back to us, a huge smile coating his adorable little face, WITH ONLY A FEW EGGS IN THE BOTTOM OF HIS BAG.

“Littlest Dude,” I say. “What happened to all your eggs?”

He shrugs. “A lot of kids didn’t find any, and they were sad, so I gave them my eggs.”

Need a tissue? I did.

I hope this warmed you heart as much as it warmed mine.

JenniFer_Eaton__F

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The Little Blue Lady Makes Chocolate Mousse

Ding Dong

Alien Huh OpenHello?

Who Are you?

Hi!

I’m Darlene Fredette.

I’m here to cook.

.

Alien Huh OpenCook? I don’t cook.

I’m an alien. Oh, and I interview people.

Yeah, but interviews are so Fourth of July.  Christmas is coming.

Nobody wants to read an interview while you’re rushing about with Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, and baking those delicious treats.

Instead of boring people with all that, I’m here to share a recipe that my heroine, Candy Cane, makes in my book “One Sweet Christmas”.

.

Alien EweI’m not sure if I can do that.

I might get in trouble.

You see Jennifer…

Awe, don’t be such a blue Scrooge.

Let’s get cooking.

We’re going to make

Chocolate Mousse

Alien nervousOh, that sounds yummy.

But last time I cooked I made a bit of a mess.

.

No worries!

It’s easy.

Here’s what we will need:

Ingredients:

4 ounces (120 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso (optional)

2 large eggs, separated

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 tablespoons (60 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (35-40% butterfat content)

.

Got all that?

.

.

Alien nervous.

Umm, I think so.

.

Great!  This is all we have to do…

Directions:

In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter, and coffee. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the two egg yolks. Cover and refrigerate while you whip the egg whites and whipping cream.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, yet the whites are still glossy and not dry. Set aside.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream, remaining two tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

Alien SmileI love this part. It reminds me of the fluffy mountains on Mars. 

Hey, do you want to talk about your book while you are here? 

What’s is about?

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this
Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…

Candice Cane is not proud of the way she acted
after her last encounter with Jackson Frost. Sure revenge was fun, but it’s
left Jackson standing, angry and looking for answers, on the welcome mat in her
chocolate shop. Now he’s after some revenge of his own.

Jackson returned to his small hometown for one
reason and one reason only…so he’s not sure how he’s ended up in a Santa suit in the middle of a chocolate shop, at the behest of its beautiful owner,
instead of high-tailing it back to the city as fast as he can.

Alien SmileSounds like fun.

So, she’s made this recipe?

She sure has.  Hey, can you get that chocolate mixture out of the refrigerator for me?  Thanks.  Now gently stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture, gently but thoroughly. Fold in the whipped cream.

Spoon the chocolate mousse into six individual serving dishes or glasses. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Serve with additional whipped cream, fresh raspberries and/or shaved chocolate. Makes 6 servings.

Alien SmileOh!

This is delicious!

.

.

See, I told you.

And very little mess.

Alien nervousIt was pretty easy.

But do you think we should be worried about the chocolate that sprayed on the ceiling?

Nah.

She’ll never notice.

Have a blue Christmas!

.

Alien PKO_0003410

You too!

About Darlene Fredette : An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. Her writing is a combination of contemporary romance with chick lit flare, and a main focus as a plot-driven page-turner. When Darlene isn’t writing, editing, or reading she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab.

Where to buy One Sweet Christmas: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991058#

Stalk Darlene here:

Web Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneLF

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Author Katie Salidas teaches the Little Blue Lady from Mars to Cook, and #free ebooks for everybody!

Free_Fridays!

Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all, Congrats to last week’s winner: Mary Preston

You’ve received a free copy of “Crisis of Identity” by Denise Moncrief.

If you’d like to find out more about Denise Moncrief and her books, click on over to  http://www.denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/

.

Alien Zig Zag

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Jennifer’s not here this week, so I don’t have to worry about her being all squishy with these authors.  Finally I get to do an interview without her complaining!  Let’s see who’s here [opens the door]

Hi!

I’m Katie Salidas.

I’m here for the cooking show.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Cooking show?

.

Yep.

Where’s your kitchen?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Umm, It’s Jennifer Eaton’s kitchen actually,

and it’s over there.

Okay.

I’ll just make myself at home.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387What’s with the bowls and pans?

Why’d you just turn on the oven?

Well, we’re going to cook,

aren’t we?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Cook? What’s going on? 

Who are you anyway?

Who am I? Oh no one really, just a small wallflower of a writer who pens the most realistic and gritty urban fantasy vampires. I don’t do sparkles, and I don’t do vegetarian vampires. What I do “do” is emotion, struggle, pain, and ultimately overcoming the obstacles. I also do cookies.

Alien Huh CloseCookies?

Wait a minute.

Actually, we need to wait about five more minutes for the oven to preheat, but there’s lots to do while we’re waiting.  But you know that, right? You’re a cooking show host.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387The last thing I actually cooked was a novel that I didn’t like. 

I blew it up.

Oh!  I love symbolic imagery.

I blew up an idea yesterday.  Storyboarded it and everything.

Alien Huh CloseUmm

What?

Okay, First we have to combine the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.  Can you start whisking that for me?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Ahhh, I guess.

This thing looks just like a miniature ray gun.

Be careful there.  You don’t want to spill it.

Funny, you act like you’ve never whisked baking ingredients before.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Call it my tragic flaw

.

That’s okay.  In my book Immortalis Carpe Noctem, my My Main character is flawed, that’s for sure, but who among us isn’t? She’s real, she young, and has a lot to learn. And as the series progresses you’ll learn right along with her.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Can she show me how to bake?

.

No silly. That’s what I’m here for.

Now let’s get those sugars mixed up.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387With the whisky thingy?

.

Nope.  Use your hands.

Get out all the lumps.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wait!

What’s that?

Err, a hand mixer.

We need to start beating the ingredients.

Alien Huh CloseWhat did the ingredients do?

What would you beat them?

I like you you’re funny.

Let’s get the rest of these ingredients in here

Alien Huh CloseAre you sure you know what you’re doing?

This looks like a lump of Martian calowog dung.

I sure do know what I’m doing!  I also know how to write books.  Immortalis Carpe Noctem has sold over 10,000 copies.

It’s almost as good as making cookies!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I’m not so sure you are good at making cookies. 

How can I be sure your book is any good?

I’ve got positive reviews on every site from Goodreads to Nook! I know this book is good and I want more readers to find it as well!

Alien Huh CloseReally?  But isn’t this book about vampires?

It’s so overdone.  It seems like everyone is becoming a vampire these days.

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition…that’s the hard part.

Now we need to form this into a roll.  Can you do that?

Alien SmileLike this?

.

Perfect!

Now we need to refrigerate it for forty-five minutes.

Alien SmileWhile we wait,

tell me more about your book.

Newbie vampire Alyssa never asked for this life, but now it’s all she has. Rescued from death by Lysander, the aloof and sexy leader of the Peregrinus vampire clan, she’s barely cut her teeth before she becomes a target.

Kallisto, an ancient and vindictive vampire queen – and Lysander’s old mate – wants nothing less than final death for her former lover and his new toy. She’s not above letting the Acta Sanctorum, and its greatest vampire hunter, Santino, know exactly where the clan can be found.

With no time to mourn her old life, Alyssa’s survival depends on her new family. She will have to stand alongside Lysander and fight against two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Alien SmileWow! 

That actually sounds pretty cool!

It is very cool.  And so is our dough.

Now we need to cut this into cookies four inches thick

Alien SmileLike this?

And spread them on the pan, right?

Yes. Hey, you don’t run a cooking show for nothing, you are a natural at this.

Now we bake 12 to 14 minutes.

Alien SmileSo tell me. 

When you’re not baking, do you ever explode things?

In real life, sadly, no. But I have a friend who does that kind of thing for a living. He is an inspiration behind one of the characters in my Immortalis series and he’s also my weapons consultant (so my writing is always accurate where that is concerned.)

Alien SmileOh! 

Has he ever taken over the world?

You know, taking over the world sounds all well and good, but then there is the responsibility of actually “ruling” the world. That sounds too much like work to me. LoL.

Alien SmileNo.  No work. 

I’d just let Jennifer M. Eaton take care of all the hard stuff.

Speaking of hard stuff, we’ve made quite a mess.

Do you have a clean-up crew?

Alien SmileYep. The annoying whiney chick with the curly hair who owns this place. 

She’ll clean it up.

Great!

Let’s get these off the pan and onto a cooling rack.

Alien SmileOops.  I squished one.

Sorry

That’s okay.  There’s plenty more.

Now what we’re going to do is goob a little frosting between these cookies.

Alien SmileOh!

They look like spaceships!

They do, don’t they?

You can even put a little blue food coloring in the frosting so it will match your hair.

Alien SmileMmmmmm!

These are delicious!

If you like these, you should try my book.

It’s even better!

Alien SmileYes!  We must all read Katie Salidas’s book!

Free Books for everybody!

Click here to pick up your copy for free!

Yay!

I hope everyone enjoys Immortalis Carpe Noctem… and here’s a link to the recipe for the best chocolate sandwich cookies ever. Lemme tell ya… Amazing!  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cinnamon-spiced-hot-chocolate-cookies-recipe/index.html

If you want to find out more about Katie and her books, click on over to her site. http://www.katiesalidas.com/

Alien Zig Zag

Ummmm…

What the heck happened to my kitchen?

JenniFer_EatonF

The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

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.

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