parenting explosive child w/o having heart attack? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-09-2009, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wondering if any of you with explosive children have any suggestions regarding stress management.

I'm starting a parenting course in April for managing explosive children. But my almost 6 y/o is really doing a number of me. I have had him in child mental health programs for several years and we have a weekly counsellor . ... but still ... when I get excited during his 'explosions', I explode. I mean - even if I don't respond and remain calm and deep breathe - my heart -oh vey - feels like I'm going to have a heart attack.

I'm still reeling from an emotional breakdown my son just had and my breathing is so shallow and my heart just doesn't feel good.

I wonder if anyone else feels stress and how to deal with it.

(FYI - I do yoga and try to exercise every day.)
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#2 of 5 Old 03-09-2009, 05:23 PM
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Meditation..for all of us.. Deep, relaxation breathing..

Also, the book The Explosive Child by R Greene was also helpful. We took a course based on his book.. when our son was 5. It really helped us and him.
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#3 of 5 Old 03-09-2009, 07:20 PM
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The Nurtured Heart approach by Glasser has really helped here. It helps from the parent emotion end as well as the child. It's really different than anything else I've found (and better).

Usually you can get this book of his about the approach through a library. His new one, All Children Flourishing I think spells it all out better but is harder to get without buying it. Another option for learning it would be this:
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#4 of 5 Old 03-10-2009, 12:05 AM
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EFT has helped me. and i take GABA too to help with my anxiety.

deborah is wonderful with other parents, IMO.

there is a GD-ing the explosive child thread on the GD forum too, BTW.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#5 of 5 Old 03-10-2009, 10:35 AM
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I find that it helps to make sure I have time to do things, not directly related to kids, that I enjoy--even if I can only do that for a few minutes here and there. Whether that's reading a book, listening to music that I find relaxing, listening to a podcast I like while I wash dishes (or anytime I have housework to do and the kids aren't needing me-I use only one ear bud so I can still hear everyone), or actually going out. Right now I'm taking a bellydancing class one night a week for one hour, and it's very good for my mental health. Getting outside in the sunshine helps too. Taking a minute to look out the window at something beautiful and just enjoy it, focusing on it and letting the stress go, can help too. Those little moments throughout the day don't sound like much but can add up to something really helpful.

Respite care. My parents are my respite caregivers. A couple of days a month they take all my kids, and I have an entire afternoon to myself to relax.

Also, taking the time to actually do deep breathing and to meditate (even a few minutes) every day can help. Any sort of relaxation exercise, daily, helps reduce the tension I carry almost all the time.

Do you have someone you can talk to, who will just listen supportively? I think that's really important too. Also, I think it's good to be in contact with other parents who go through similar things-it helps you feel less alone. Support groups, online but especially irl, can be helpful.

Also, making sure that every day, even for a few minutes, I am taking the time to enjoy my child really helps. It can be hard to feel positive toward a child who is so difficult to parent, and for me that really adds to my stress and guilt. Our relationship needs positivity and joy, and it's very helpful to both of us when I make that happen. Sometimes I need to set aside special time during the day, other times I can make that happen in small doses throughout the day.

It is very hard. There is a short, good book that I found helpful when it comes to taking care of me. It's called Raising Troubled Kids, by Margaret Puckette. She writes from the perspective of the parent of a teenager with a severe mental illness, but I found it to be a helpful book to read even though I thought that some things didn't really apply to my life. It is not a how-to-discipline book, but a "how to cope and take care of yourself and the rest of your family while taking care of your troubled child" book.
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