This could go in so many different forums- gentle discipline, special needs, single parenting, homeschooling..... so I thought I'd try here. For this is a parenting concern. I'm sorry if this is long, I just have to get this out.
I feel so lost tonight. Some background- ds was recently evaluated for adhd, though the dev. pedi and psychologist don't believe he meets the criteria. They do believe anxiety is causing adhd-like symptoms as well as insomnia and other issues. I question this, I do believe anxiety is an issue, but I think ADHD is still a possibility. I guess that's another thread for another time though.....
Ds (6 in 2 weeks) came home from Dad's and melted down. Part of it was hunger, for he hadn't had dinner and it was nearly bedtime, and part of it was it had been a long weekend away from home. I was so happy to see him, and he was initially happy to see me, but when I had to tell him no (he wanted to stay up past bedtime to play basketball, then it was he wanted to watch a movie) he raged.
I was brief and nonreactive in my explanations for telling him no, and did try to phrase things positively, but this was no help. I tried disengaging, something I have not been very good at in the past, and he whirled around the room kicking things, screaming "You are the worst Mommy ever! I want Daddy! You hate me! You think I'm stupid!" He crashed into me, he crashed into walls, he tried running outside screaming at the top of his lungs. He repeated that I hated him over and over. He thrashed on the floor shrieking. This lasted for 30 minutes or so.
I tried to calmly mention that I was here for him and that I'd read to him or run bath water for him when he was ready, but even looking at him
set him off into further hysterics. Any sort of discussion with him at this point was out of the question. He was face to face with me, screaming with veins popping out of his neck. I removed myself, but he followed.
It's at that point that I usually react, and in a not so gentle manner. (yelling) I'm working on this, and it's hard when he gets physical. I was able to stay 100 percent calm this time though, and eventually called my Mom and had a conversation with her for him to purposefully observe. I talked to my Mom about popsicles, her new candy that she has at her house, basically anything that might catch his interset. It worked- he slowly came out of his trance like fit. I read him a few books, and he went to sleep.
I am not so fine though. I feel emotionally bankrupt. This was so intense and I have to question my ability to parent. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with him, how to help him. We tried counseling, but the counselor just made him feel worse about himself, so we stopped going. (Really, really bad match) The developmental pedi suggested cognitive behavioral therapy for the anxiety/ OCD-ish issues, so we are going to try this through our Children's Hospital. I also plan on checking out parenting books concentrating on anxiety that have been recommended to me.
I have to wonder if it's me sometimes though. He doesn't treat *anyone* else like this. I do have more limits at my house than Dad does (tv, junk food, etc), but even if Dad does limit something, he never has these tantrums there. I don't think the motivation of the tantrums is manipulation- I don't give in. What is it then?
I'm homeschooling next year- school has been hard on him. There have been some physical boundary issues crossed at school that none of the teachers were aware of ("friends" continually hitting him in the penis), plus a lot of other violence in his classroom (one child stabbing another with a pencil) Meltdowns on a lesser scale are common afterschool daily and I just don't think that this school is good for him. Private isn't an option right now, plus I want to homeschool, but at times like this I think- am I crazy? If he acts this way with me now am I just going to make things worse?
Someone please tell me I'm making the right choice... or if I'm not, what am I doing wrong? My heart feels like it's breaking right now.
My boy can be so happy and full of life, but a good chunk of the time he's miserable and out of control.