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I give up.

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I've just had it.

Anyone who has read my posts or my blog knows how strongly I believe and advocate for homeschooling, following a child's lead. Attachment and security. All that good stuff.

You also might know some of the struggles I've gone through with my son. Possibly ADHD. Surely SPD. Now I'm even wondering if it might be Asperger's. I keep thinking I'm seeing progress, then I'm not, it's just as bad as ever.

I'm fed up. Fed up with the defiance, the laziness. He is utterly lacking in self-motivation. Even the things he enjoys, like guitar, he doesn't really "try", he just goofs around. He doesn't care about anything. His empathy is virtually non-existent.

We've tried complete unschooling, total freedom. We've tried complete structure and strict discipline. And everything in between. I've bent over backwards and worked myself ragged trying to find approaches and programs and styles that suit his way of learning, suit his interests.

Recently, we started a Charlotte Mason approach and it seemed to be working really well. Astonishingly well, in fact. Then it stopped working, and it's back to the constant arguing, defying, whining, lying, stalling.

Today, he was supposed to write 4 definitions for his science. That was all -- he'd already done the written narrations on previous days, he just had to finish a few definitions. All he had to do was look up the words in the glossary and either copy it word for word or restate it more briefly in his own words. It took him 45 minutes.

Then in this writing thing we're doing, he had to write "interesting sentences" using certain words -- stupendous, horrendous, tremendous, hazardous. He wrote "This is stupendous." "That's horrendous."

And it's not that he was being sarcastic or deliberately sloppy -- he insists that those ARE interesting sentences. This from the same kid who wrote a song with lyrics "I live in a mushroom that's in an old shoe". So maybe he IS being sarcastic... he just is so defiant about everything.

He just Does. Not. Care. About anything. No desire to do anything except sit around all day and play video games and be lazy. And before anyone says "just let him do that" -- I have TRIED that. He is STILL defiant and rude and uncooperative. His sense of entitlement is unparalleled.

Today, I just gave up. I can't do this anymore. I've been threatening for awhile now that if he doesn't shape up, he's just going to have to go to school and see what life is really like for other kids (he insists that no other kid has such a hard life as he does...). He would be overwhelmed by the amount of work, by the amount of wasted time, and by the almost certain taunting of his peers over his oddities. And probably spend a lot of time in trouble for acting up.

Would that finally teach him a lesson, or would it just scar him even worse. I'm at a point where frankly, I barely even care. I just can't deal with him anymore.

He cries that he doesn't want to go to school, and that I "can't make" him go, that I "promised" he'd NEVER have to go to school (when he doesn't want to do something, it always turns out that I promised him he'd not do it. Right.) He threatens to call the police on me, I say "go right ahead, they'll ask why we're not registered as homeschoolers and realize that legally you're truant and THEY would make you go to school."

I wonder how much of it is me, and how much is him. Then I look at my daughter, just 2 and a half, and she is SO DIFFERENT. She wants to do things, learn things. She responds to things we do that are "educational", she's interested and cooperative. She whines like a toddler whines, but she doesn't throw tantrums that are so explosive that things get broken or people injured. When I was so upset this morning that I was crying, she just looked at my face, gave me lots of hugs and kisses and tried to make me happy. And I realize... this is what kids are supposed to be like. My son was never like this.

I've read "The Explosive Child". I've read books on gifted children and ADHD/OCD. I've read books on dealing with sensory disorders. I've read "Hold on to Your Kids". It's all helped a little... But not enough.

I tried getting therapy for his SPD and was told that it wasn't considered a real illness in Canada. We've done things at home and it's helped a bit, but not enough.

We've tried homeopathic remedies, vitamins, fish oil, diet changes (eliminating chemicals etc). We've tried charts and bribes and positive reinforcement and tried natural consequences and tried doing nothing. We've tried working on attachment.

I can't make him care. I can't make him try. I can't make him want to be good.

Even right now, he's just asked me if he's on his own for today (because I've given up and stopped trying to get him to do his routines). Translation: goody, I've finally broken mom's spirit and I can just do what I want. He says 'no, that's not what I mean.' But I can tell that's what he's thinking.

I'm just exhausted. I'm tired of being angry with him all the time. I know it doesn't help. But I've been patient. I've done all the right things. And I can't tolerate this anymore.

I don't know what I'm looking for in typing all this up here. Advice? Compassion? Reassurances and encouragement to keep trying? Admonishment over what I've done wrong? I guess I just figure there are others here who have been in this dark place and would understand, even if they can't help.
post #2 of 43
mama. Be easy with yourself- maybe a period of schooling will be the answer you need.
post #3 of 43
It sounds like you need a break more than anything. If you need to try school, that is OK. How a about having him in a summer camp so you can have some time to yourself with your other LO? It's OK to make changes when things aren't working- you matter, too. Homeschooling has to work for everyone.
post #4 of 43
i have not read your blog or your other poists but i see and feel the apin in this post

a couple of thoughts

1. how a bout a very srtuctured summper school / camp for him. very structured?

2. I am not trying to insult you -- but have you had him evualted for menth heath concerns. If no one profissionally will recongize SPD (my son too) in Canda, maybe ther eis another DX that someone will give that can allow you to get some help for him?

Maybe school would be good for him -- remove the conflict from YOU.

Aimee
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMonica View Post
It sounds like you need a break more than anything. If you need to try school, that is OK. How a about having him in a summer camp so you can have some time to yourself with your other LO? It's OK to make changes when things aren't working- you matter, too. Homeschooling has to work for everyone.
I was thinking a summer camp or classes too. I am so sorry you are having such a rough time . I wish I had more advice for you, but wanted to offer my empathy.
post #6 of 43
I agree with Aimee. While Adhd might not be the biggest issue, at least a dx might help you get the treatment for the SPD. I know with my ds, he had many issues, facial tics being one, but not the biggest, of them. But it wasnt until a Tourettes dx that he was able to get help for his ocd, odd, etc b/c those disorders fell under the Tourettes umbrella (and I'm pretty sure SPD did as well)

I'm sorry I'm no other help. We havent started our HS journey yet, so I hope its okay that I responded.

Good luck!
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
I agree with Aimee. While Adhd might not be the biggest issue, at least a dx might help you get the treatment for the SPD. I know with my ds, he had many issues, facial tics being one, but not the biggest, of them. But it wasnt until a Tourettes dx that he was able to get help for his ocd, odd, etc b/c those disorders fell under the Tourettes umbrella (and I'm pretty sure SPD did as well)

I'm sorry I'm no other help. We havent started our HS journey yet, so I hope its okay that I responded.

Good luck!
you put it much better -- that is what i was trying to say -- who cares what the offical DX is if it will get you heever works lp / care / resources.

Whatever works to add help to your family -- andyour SON for the rest of his life.

for our son they have talked abut SPD and anxiety as tied together too -- and i think everyone accepts anixiety as a DX (?)

Aimee
post #8 of 43
Part of being an attached parent is recognizing when a need is not being met. Just because you enroll him school does not mean that homeschooling doesn't work. It just means there is a need it is not meeting. School may be what he needs. You won't know until you try. Don't be so hard on yourself. You have obviously been giving this a lot of thought so go with what your gut is telling you to do.
post #9 of 43
I agree that a dx may assist your family in finding a way to deal with his learning differences.

Be easy on yourself. The thing that I LOVE about hsing is that there is no real timeline. You can skip school for a couple of weeks. You can do school in the summer.

Relax and try to enjoy your son. I know that ca nbe hard when they are being difficult.

I too would look at expectations and discipline. A lot of children/adults with ADHD work better with VERY well written out expectations and strictly adhering to them. And that is coming from a mama who is in the 98% with SEVERE ADHD.

You can do this!
post #10 of 43
I could of written your post almost word for word. I truly know the dark place you are in, I cried going to sleep last night because I am just DONE as well. DD1 has SPD, anxiety, and is dyslexic. It's one thing after another with her, I feel like I battle her so much on her issues that I just don't have any left in me to do with it with schooling as well.



It sounds like you are very close to where I'm at. DD1 will be going to school next year if this private school accepts her. I need a break from her so I can be a better mom to her. I don't like the person that I've become. I want to enjoy her again instead of waking up every day filled with dread that it's another very long day with her. I feel like I've tried everything else but school, we've done OT, therapies, she is doing language therapy 5 days a week right now for her dyslexia, on and on. In the beginning, when I made the school decision, I couldn't believe that I was doing this, but as time has gone on, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It doesn't sound very AP or homeschooling but I need this 7 hour break from her. I need to reconnect with my other children, and find the parent that I once was before DD1 just utterly drained me. I hope that someday DD1 will be at home with me again, but for the next year, this needs to work for us.



My DD2 sounds just like your DD, she is the same age as well. She is entirely different, and dare I say normal. I feel that she is getting crushed and lost while DD1 gets 99% of my attention because that is the way it has to be or else the world will stop turning. DD1 also doesn't want to go to school, it was a painful decision to make to send her anyway (especially with her anxiety), but at the end of the day, she needs a happy/pleasant mother and happy is something that I am not right now.


No real words of wisdom because I don't have any for myself, but just that I know where you are at. If you want to continue homeschooling then great, if you don't then don't beat yourself up. It also doesn't have to be all or nothing, take it month by month or year by year, whatever works for you. Take care of yourself.
post #11 of 43
Sounds like he might have ODD (oppositional defiance disorder).

As other posters have mentioned perhaps enroll him in a camp and assess his needs after a set timeframe.
post #12 of 43
I don't know anything about SPD, and I'm sorry you are in the spot you are in. I am sure it is very frustrating for you.

Have you asked him what he wants to do with his days and what he thinks he should get out of them? I know some children are defiant just because THE adult comes up with it. Maybe if you make what you are doing into all of his ideas it will work...maybe...for a short time.

Just a suggestion.

Hang in there.
post #13 of 43
or making him THINK they are all his ideas...
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Been there, done that.

I have to say, I'm honestly very surprised at the overwhelming chorus of "so send him to school already." Whatever I was expecting, I wasn't expecting that.

See, I haven't really "thought it through" already. I'm fed up and wish someone else could take the responsibility. But I really don't see how school would make our days any easier.

Sure, I'd have a few hours to myself, just me and DD -- but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.

Then if he does get in there, I've just got a new set of problems to deal with. Teachers reports and calls about his behaviour, asking why he hasn't been evaluated (ie, medicated) already, the implication (stated or unstated) that every little problem he has is because he was homeschooled. Dealing with report cards and parent teacher conferences and battles over homework and being blamed if he doesn't do well...

And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.
post #15 of 43
What are the specific things that are difficult right now? Your examples were both about writing - would not doing any writing for a while help, do you think? If he has ADHD-type symptoms, maybe doing more things like field trips, or you reading to him (and he does something with his hands while you do, like legos), or watching videos and talking about them, or games like Monopoly or Midnight Party, or Yahtzee (I'd even offer to be the scorekeeper, if he doesn't want to write stuff down).

Instead of thinking in terms of laziness, maybe it would help to think that he's preparing to bloom... my kid has always had long periods when it looked like she wasn't doing much growing, and then sudden bursts of new knowledge. She was growing inside, but I couldn't see it yet.

You said you'd tried unschooling - what happened? Why didn't it work?
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.


And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.
Wow, that's really where I am right now, too. I printed out the public school application yesterday, but I really think it would be just as awful, in a whole new way.

So no advice, but I feel you...sorry.
post #17 of 43
I think that when it gets to the point that mama is that burned out, school is a great option. It doesn't have to be forever. Take it a year at a time. Do what feels right for your son and you.

Plus, he might shock you and love school.

I would start changing the talk about school now to pointing out the positive, great things about school, and getting him ready to go emotionally in the fall.

Good luck. I hope it goes well.

I have been fantasizing about school myself lately.
post #18 of 43
I haven't posted in a very long time but after reading your thread I had to.
I'll save you the long story which is very much like yours and say this.
I don't believe for a minute that public school will be better for him or you.
If you thought that you would already be heading in that direction.
I recently spoke with the school counselor about my 10 yr. old son maybe attending our small town public school and I hung up wondering what the he** I was thinking to even begin to believe they would understand or even attempt to understand anything other than forced learning,medications,psychiatrists,psychologists,t esting,etc.,et.,etc.,blah,blah,blah.: She had no understanding of homeschooling nor did she care to.
I'm positive she was rolling her eyes through the whole conversation.
As hard as some days are.As tired as this 48 year old mama is. I've got to figure out another way. And in the meantime this child of mine will play playstation,watch dvd's and play outside when his school friends come home for the day. Those are his interests. That's it. I just remind myself he is only 10. We have time,lot's of time.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
Been there, done that.

I have to say, I'm honestly very surprised at the overwhelming chorus of "so send him to school already." Whatever I was expecting, I wasn't expecting that.

See, I haven't really "thought it through" already. I'm fed up and wish someone else could take the responsibility. But I really don't see how school would make our days any easier.

Sure, I'd have a few hours to myself, just me and DD -- but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.

Then if he does get in there, I've just got a new set of problems to deal with. Teachers reports and calls about his behaviour, asking why he hasn't been evaluated (ie, medicated) already, the implication (stated or unstated) that every little problem he has is because he was homeschooled. Dealing with report cards and parent teacher conferences and battles over homework and being blamed if he doesn't do well...

And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.
I see a lot of truth in your post. Sending your special/high needs ds to school,*could* just be giving up one huge set of problems/issues...for another. The further downside to this, is that you've brought in adults who don't love him-ever. He will be expected to comply,your family will be expected to comply, everyone will have to adjust to an entirely different lifestyle-and that is not always good.

I really don't see how sending him to a camp is going to help. If he is as special as you say he is, he will be an outcast in the hands of adults who are just trying to make some extra cash for the summer.

ITA with Dar, and AngleBee(?). If it were me, I would totally decide which battles are worth fighting. Writing? Sticking to a schedule? No video games? YKWIM?

I'm too tired to see if you already mentioned this-you've done waaay more than 90% of parents do for their dc,so I'm sorry if I am suggesting something already tried. Have you tried to ditch the video games, and replace them with an endurance-type sport, or ANY type of physical activity? martial arts? dance? biking? running? swimming? This could be an outlet for him, build confidence and discipline,and is overall healthy. He may sleep well, and his overall wellbeing may improve? Could it be something that the two of you do together-or maybe something that is just HIS thing? ( I mentioned endurance, as endurance exercise is known to help both dc and adults with anxiety or behavior issues.)

Instead of sending him to school, is it possible to enroll him in ANYTHING-either academic,social,recreational,athletic,artsy,crafty ,etc...something that would give you a break on a regular basis?

Just some more advice.

I have been in similar situation, and for me, it was all about survival and damage control. I found out the hard way, that I really needed to address the other family member, but myself also. Is there something you can do, that would refresh your soul? Yoga? Any exercise? Mom night out? Escape reading that you can look forward to all day? Most of all-BE GENTLE ON YOURSELF.

Big hugs to you!!!
post #20 of 43
I would put him in a summer camp program, maybe even sleep away if you feel you and he could both use a break from each other. He will miss you, and you will miss him, and perhaps you can start fresh in the fall.

I don't know if you're doing this or not, but my mom was absolutely inconsistent with discipline, and it was very confusing as a child. I know you're certainly NOT doing it like she was, but is it possible that the switching methods for homeschooling and discipline approaches that have failed have, well, set you both up to repeat those patterns?

If you think that's happening, I would treat it like a diet or eating disorder and set up something really really simple, no book or set method. Work it out together. And then stick to it despite the fact that you will both expect it to fail miserably around the same point prior methods have failed. Add 1 new item in at a time after the first routine has stabilized. Maybe make it something you can't really give up on and he can't really refuse to do at this point: "Get out of bed; get dressed; eat food; spend some time with a book in your hands; speak respectfully to other family members."
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