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3 1/2 yo Tribe~ July 2006 - Page 2

post #21 of 137
I'm so glad that I found all of you. I can SOOOOOO relate.

I just purchased a book someone recommended, "3 YO Friend or Enemy'. I thought it would be a great book but when I started to read it it didn't apply to me at all.

My son was diagnosed with PDD and is slow in speech so doesn't express the same things as the book talks about. Then yesterday at our block party I felt so alone, frustrated and sorry for myself that my son was so different and couldn't play nicely with the other children.

To see him there doesn't appear to be anything wrong, but when anyone speaks to him he doesn't respond and sometimes does this weird hand-spinning thing. He's such a sweet boy but arrrgh, I'm not cut out for this.

I always thought I'd be a wonderful patient mother, but now I feel like I'm not a good mother at all. I don't even want to tell you my thoughts.

There are good days and bad days, but whenever I'm around 'normal' children I seem to get angry, critical and depressed.

post #22 of 137
Thread Starter 
teatotaler~ feel free to elaborate on your son. Everyone has a different perspective, and perhaps we can be of some help.
post #23 of 137
Oh, Liz! and to you! It sounds like you are having a tough time of it lately. Sometimes it feels like there is a black cloud surrounding you and everything's just :. , my friend. (I'm not saying that's how you feel, I'm not even saying that I know how you feel, but it just seems to me from you're posts that you've been on edge lately and I'm sorry for that.) I really wish we all lived closer together so we could offer the help in person that we offer on mdc. You definitely belong here because this tribe is for children born in November or December-ish of 2002, not for children who meet specific goals by a specific time. (Julianna was born in Feb. '03 and she's in this group by default ). BeanBean is almost a genius compared to my kids, but I don't get jealous of eilonwy for telling us what he's been up to. I LOVE bragging about my kids, and I am truly sorry if it hurts anyone's feeling! Kids are individuals and even though the "experts" have these nice little timelines to be "helpful", they usually end up making us feel like we're doing something wrong because our kids don't conform to these specific guidelines. We know you are a geat mother, Liz, and you are a great person and we enjoy having you here. We would never intentionally say anything to hurt your feelings, and if we do we apologize in advance. Your little guy has his own hurdles to overcome and I'm sure it is difficult for you both to go through this. Come here and vent away, ok?

In other news: Zachary said something very horrible yesterday. I can't even remember what I did to make him mad, but he looked right at me and said "I... I... hate you." : I just stared at him and he immediately said "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!". I just calmly told him to go to his room. I felt like someone had just drained all the blood right out of my body and I couldn't move, I was so hurt and surprised. He started crying and went to his room. A minute later he came out and gave me a hug and sat in my lap. I told him "It's ok to tell me you don't like me, but you must never say you hate anyone EVER. It's a very mean thing to say." I know you're not supposed to let them know that they have power over your emotions or whatever the experts say, but that's what I thought sounded good at the time. He tells me he doesn't like me sometimes when he's mad at me, which is fine with me. "Don't like" is better than "hate". I felt so crushed and hurt, I couldn't believe he told me he hated me. It felt more like he was testing me to see what would happen if he said something that hurtful. He has never said that he has hated *anything*, so for the first time to be me was pretty shocking.

Luckily for me he says he loves me about 100 times a day so it cancels out the word HATE from yesterday.
post #24 of 137
Right here with you mamas. 3 1/2 year old DS.

Hope to be back in a little while. Got a tantrum to tend to. Ugh.
post #25 of 137
(This is not directed to one certain person, I am just typing here what I learned at a seminar...)

I wanted to add that I learned in a class called "See me, Hear me, Notice me" (I take lots of classes for foster care) that tantruming is a way of the child unconsciously asking "Am I safe?" Children are trying to get you to feel what they are feeling in order to get you to meet their needs. See misbehavior as a call for help instead of disrespect. See conflict as an opportunity to teach! According to this theory, we must respond to the child with empathy. Mirror what the child is doing: "I can see that you are very upset that you have to take turns. You are sad because you still wanted to play with the ball." The brain goes into the "fight or flight" mode when there is perceived fear, threat or stress- so losing your cool while they are tantruming will only make your child turn off his brain, or go "offline", and the lesson you're trying to teach about waiting for your turn and sharing to be nice just goes in one ear and out the other. (We create danger any time we blame, judge, or attempt to make others responsible for our own upset.) What we say to our children in their emotional state becomes their inner dialogue!!! When children become upset- mirror, don't judge. Make eye contact to wire their brains for self-control. Empathy is another means for getting the child to become self aware. Put yourself in their shoes and mirror back what you think your child is really saying, acknowledge and affirm their feelings. The brain functions best when it feels safe. So when your child feels safe he will eventually learn self control by the trust he feels, and by the coping skills he learns from you. We must model self control so that our children can learn self control. The key here is to try to keep your calm when your child's emotions are out of control. Own your own upset- embrace that no one can MAKE you mad without your permission. Whoever you believe is in charge of your feelings, you have placed in charge of you. Breathe deeply and say to yourself "I am safe. I feel calm. I can help this child with her problem." It's not as easy as it sounds (as we all know!), but it sounds good in theory, . I know it sounds stupid, but I actually pretend that someone's here with me, or that there's a hidden camera on me, watching and listening to me all the time. I try to be the parent I want my husband and children to see me as... Sometimes it doesn't work and I can't regain my composure and I end up yelling at the kids :. But it helps for me to try harder to be the parent I WANT TO BE, and not the parent I can be when I let my emotions get the better of me...

A couple neat sayings:

It's Time For Change! (Author Unknown)
We can no longer teach
our children the way
that we wer taught,
for they were born in a
different time!

A new twist on The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe:
Wonderful woman
who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
she knew exactly what to do
She held them, she rocked them
and tucked them in bed
"I love you, I love you!"
is what she said.

And of course my favorite, from Vimala McClure in Tao of Motherhood
"Pay attention and stay centered. You carry the mantle of 'Mother', the external principle of balance and stability. When your children's energy is scattered, be grounded. When your children throw tantrums, be still. Know what you stand for. Be firm and consistent to teach your children about boundaries. Thus you will root them in health and release their souls to limitless."

And the best of all advice: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! : We have all at one time or another wanted to run from the house screaming! But at least we are here instead, getting support and encouragement when we need it...

Peace, Mamas...
post #26 of 137
Wow Leah, what a timely post... I'm up here hiding from two tantruming children right now. :
post #27 of 137
When Dd turned 3 all He** broke loose but at 3 1/2 we are slowly sending the body snatchers back!! Dd is so much easier to deal with at 3 1/2. At 3 my Dd was terrified of everything. I mean screaming and yelling afraid to ride in the car, terrified of people; certain books it was an eggg shell walk everyday but now the fears are almost alll gone with just one left...leaving mommy. It's more of an abandonement issue that I think stems from 2 scary experiences she is having trouble getting over.
One time I was giving her baby brother a bath in the sink and she told me she was going out to see Daddy. I thought daddy was in the kitchen but apparently he had gone outside. DD went to find him and when the door closed behind her she couldn't get back in and was locked out and I had no idea b/c I was in the bathroom. than I finally heard her screaming "Help me somebody ANYBODY" I ran and there she was a sobbing mess. she has yet to get over this and the sound of door clicking shut totally freaks her out. It's very sad
The other experience is along the same lines. DH stupidly left her in the car alone one time to run into a store. (yes he will NEVER do it again) she was very afraid.
So she has those issues still on her plate but we have been patient as possible with fears.
Anyway... I much prefer 3 1/2 to 3 and hope 4 alleviates all phobias.

BTW...Daffodil my DD does that secret thing too. It makes me crazy.
post #28 of 137
Leah, what an awesome post

Just wanted to let you all know WE ARE OUTTA HERE!!!!! As of Monday night we are officially going to be "on the road" Keep me in your thoughts, mamas, I'd appreciate it

Much Love,
post #29 of 137
Thread Starter 
punk~ wow, you've been planning this for a long time. I hope you have a blast. I was just wondering some things.... I hope I'm not being an idiot by asking, but... Are you driving a van? Have you sold off all your posessions? Where are you heading? What are you hoping for? Wish I could do that. I was kinda thinking I would do that this winter, as I have a van, and I'd just go from festival to festival.

In other news, I got a dog on thursday, then she ran away during a thunderstorm, the same day.: So now today, someone downtown (in a this really small town), phoned me and I went and picked her up, brought her home, and she proptly shat and pissed in the laundrey room. yuck! I hope this works out, and that she "likes" us, as I get the feeling that she doesn't really want to be here with us. I don't even want to let her outside, cause I think she'll run away.

anyways, that's whats going on in my life ATM.
post #30 of 137
Bon Voyage, punk!!! Hope you and the fam have a safe and exciting trip!
post #31 of 137
OOOhh! Can I join. My DS is 3.5 and OMG has this year been a doozy. We moved into a new house and had a baby within 1 month of each other and DS is hard to transition. He is also "spirited". My once sweet easy going child is very head strong and difficult these days. I think he is chronically oveer-tired and I know I am. I'm losing my mind and my temper almost everyday. I totally rant and then cry because I know I can't control him but I seem to have troubles controlling myself and that is more frustrating. I hired a mother's helper so I'm hoping that will help. I should also go to bed earlier. Wow, this age is tough!!
post #32 of 137
Leah, thanks so much for such a wonderful post. I need to write those things where I'll see them everyday!

Punk, I'm so excited for you! Lots of happy traveling vibes coming your way mama :
post #33 of 137
Good to see you around, Sarita!!! :

Can I just say this without jinxing anything??? I have been feeling some waves of nausea today and yesterday, so I am : for a !

(Also feeling some cramping, so not sure what is up with that...)

As for my 3 yr old, he said something funny today. He got in bed with me and said "Mom, when your boob is flat I have to pull it up before I put it in my mouth." :
post #34 of 137
Great post, Leah! We struggle with tantrums here too.

Anyone else having food issues? DS lately just won't eat at all unless he is served what HE wants at that moment, even if it is something he normally likes. Another control isse (besides the potty).:
post #35 of 137
My ds is all about control these days. Whether it be eating, going to the bathroom, going out, staying in, playing, etc etc.
I'm going nuts.
post #36 of 137
I am so happen to see this thread. My dd1 is so challenging these days. When she is happy and things are going well there is no one sweeter, but when things are bad, they are very, very bad. There have been some major changes in the last year. We moved in Oct, my father passed away and dd2 was born in Feb. So besides being 3 which I know can be tough on its own we have other stresses.

How do you all get your 3 1/3 yo to sleep. Dd1 nursed to sleep until just after dd2 was born. For the first time my dh could get dd1 to sleep which is great. however he has very little patience for her when she gets over tired and starts crying and crying. He believes that she should be able to get herself to sleep and she is just being a brat and playing us. So last night he waked out of the room and I stayed with her, nursed the baby to sleep and then read to her until she fell asleep.

post #37 of 137
My ds will not go to sleep on his own (unless he's super tired and happens to fall asleep in a chair or something).

I want to start trying to get him to sleep in his own bed but I need a fan (or a/c) for his room.
post #38 of 137
BeanBean is still in bed with us. He goes to sleep best if we keep to a routine, but I haven't been doing well with it lately. :
post #39 of 137
Originally Posted by lizc
Good grief...I don't call my son a monster to his face or even when he's around.
I don't think that I belong on this thread as my special needs child does not compare to the 3 1/2 yr old on here.
I can't relate to those of you who have a 'normal' child and I'm sure most of you can't relate to what I'm going through.

Bright Blessings,
Liz, I have been wanting to respond to this, and to your other thread in TAO for a few days now and haven't gotten the chance. I can relate. This is how I feel most of the time, although we are not dealing with autism but other issues.

I can't tell you how many times I have cried, and just wanted a 'normal' child who enjoys doing normal kid things. There are so many instances where it has been so bad, I am scarred for life remembering how awfully ds has behaved and how sick at heart I have felt with how I've fallen apart and handled the situation so poorly.

What has helped me most is venting, like you're doing, to a group of understanding moms, and also finding other parents with similar kids so I don't feel so alone. It is hard to find other people who have similar difficulties but over time (and with MDC) I have found them. I always feel like I am the only one with a child who freaks out all the time when other kids are just happily playing.

Things have been going very well lately, although the past week or so has been pretty rough. I'm hoping it will be a short phase and we can move on to enjoying ourselves again- he did great at a birthday party today.

And whoever mentioned several posts back about finding the cause of the monster-like behavior, I totally agree- that is what a lot of my time is devoted to, trying to figure out what is going on and how we can help him. Chiropractic and diet changes so far have made a difference but I am still looking into other things, but time and money are short so I can only do so much.
post #40 of 137
Yeah, for me, money is non existant so if it's not a regular doc, I can't take ds.
You know what's absurd? I found a support group for parents of children with autism. They meet during the day...but children are not allowed. DUH.
So, I can't go. How stupid.
(I don't leave my son with anyone so a babysitter is out of the question...even if I could afford one).

I think I need to get a pin or some sign or something that says something about autism because I am so sick of the dirty looks I get when we are out.
Happened yet again today. There comes a point when you can't ignore it anymore...Not when you get those looks just about every single day.

I see other children ds's age and see how well they play today and how...Present.....they are. It makes me so sad for ds. (and for me).

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