Hello to all of you,
How did I not see this coming? My 4 year-old son has always been fiesty, extremely active, passionate, exuberant, and willful, but his behaviors have been getting more out of control in the last couple of years. I have been reading "The Spirited Child" for those 2 years! My first child, now 15, was very different - calm, introverted, more flexible. I nurse all my kids for an extended period of time - my 4 year old until he was 3 1/2. I have an 18-month old daughter, too, still nursing, and very happy and easygoing. I've been worried about my little guy for awhile, his impulsiveness and aggression that has rarely responded to my bag of mothering tricks - choices, redirection, etc...and I have been feeling like such a failure as a parent. I bet many of you have felt this, too. It's the worst feeling. On Mother's Day, I really lost it and sobbed hysterically - I think I remember saying something to my husband like, "I CREATED him! What have I done wrong?" I just shut down after that. (The issue was something like we couldn't even play kitchen without my son pushing into his sister and me, yelling and hitting). I actually just shut down.
We had an appointment scheduled yesterday with our family nurse practitioner for both of the younger kids' well-child checks. She is wonderful, very holistic in her approach. (For my own premenstrual irritability symptoms, she recommended organic soy instead of meds - she and I are on the same page). She started off with my son by asking HIM, "So, how do you feel like your body is working for you?" I thought that was great. He visited with her a bit, she checked him out, then we started talking. As we talked, he went into his bored mode of climbing the walls, dismantling the exam table, etc...in a very loud voice. The NP very calmly asked me if I had any concerns about him. I told her that he's doing well, except has gotten so impulsive and aggressive, and we've had problems with his interactions with other children as he's gotten older in daycare/preschool settings. She told me about her own children and that her daughter in her 20s is still taking ADHD meds. I started to have this realization that she was saying that my son has ADHD. and realizing as she gently guided me there that....she is right! I never even thought about it. I am a special ed teacher, too! I started to feel relief and understanding seeping in, and this sense that it's not all my fault and there is something I can do to help my son.
She suggested trying some medication. I can't believe how quickly I wrapped my mind around it. I feel a bit guilty about that! However, I really want to find something that supports him to be his best self without hurting other people or himself NOW, so that when he goes to school (preschool next year), he won't be the problem kid and get his academic career underway with this cloud hanging over his head.
It's so huge. I feel so many things. I HOPE it works to get him to a calmer place. I HOPE it doesn't take too long to figure out a good dose, and I HOPE I can pull from my peaceful parenting skills and be effective. I feel SO ineffective!
I just needed to say all this to some moms who could relate, and ask for others' experiences with such a young child. Oh, and of course, he's very articulate and intelligent, too, and loves to work hard on projects!
He is started with Strattera, 10 mg at first to see if such a low dose is right for him. Anyone else with recent experience along the same lines as us? Thanks in advance,
Laurie, mom to Linnea (1.5), Hayes (4) and Eli (15)