Tag Archives: Problem solving

Dealing with a child with behavioral issues: Our Journey with the Total Transformation #7

I just experienced a miracle – right in my own home.

I know it’s not Tuesday, and I usually don’t post at all on Wednesdays, but I needed to share this.

We just went through a very common occurrence in our household. Yes, it involved screaming, but what was different, is how it played out.  It was nothing less than a miracle.

My Nine-year-old came home from school today with a toy he received for something outstanding he’d done in class.  He was quite tickled with the prize, and loved the new toy.

My youngest loved the new toy too, and they both were playing nicely with it.  (Yes, a recipe for disaster, but I can’t not let them play together, can I?)

Anyway, long story short, my nine-year-old suddenly shrieks “He broke it!” and the tears started to flow.  I run to the scene of the crime, to see my youngest staring at the mess he’d made.  I could tell by the look on his face that he was stunned.  He had no intention of breaking the toy.

I immediately tried to defuse the impending breakdown by saying “I don’t think he did that on purpose.”

As I tried to calm the older child down, my youngest grabbed his head and started screaming and running up and down the hallway upstairs howling at the top of his lungs.

I had no idea what to do about that, so I consoled the older boy, saying that I didn’t think his brother meant to break it, and told him that his brother would buy him a new one.  He was sad, but okay with that.  I asked him for the wrapper so I could figure out where it came from, and while he was doing that, I reached for the phone to call the “help line” to find out what to do about the meltdown upstairs.

That’s when the miracle happened.  I suddenly realized it was quiet, and then I heard murmurings from the front hallway.  I peeked around the corner to see my sons hugging, and the older boy saying.  “I understand, and thanks.”

I watched as my youngest walked away.  My nine-year-old approached me, wiping a tear from his eye, and said, “He gave me his harmonica.”

My jaw hit the floor as he held up the little purple instrument.  You need to understand that the harmonica is so important to my youngest that it might as well be plated in gold.  That was HIS recent present from school for being good.  He SLEPT WITH THE DERN THING!

I said, “[Dude] do you realize how huge that was? He loves that thing.”

He nodded.  “Yeah, Mom. He also said he was really sorry.”

Do you wanna read that again?  I do.

“He also said he was really sorry.”

My youngest slunk in the other door, and I showered him with hugs, and made sure he knew what a great job he’d done.

If you have a “normal” child you might not understand this… but this little boy with extreme problem-solving abilities just stopped freaking out on his own, and problem-solved that his brother was very sad, and found a way to cheer his brother up… as well as agreeing to replace the broken toy.

Unbelievable. I feel like God has reached out and touched my house.

Did you hear that sniff?  Yeah, I’m crying right now.

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

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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.

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