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Old 08-15-2005, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

I've written many times here at MDC about my incredibly challenging 3.6 yo. He's extremely bright, inquisitive, loving, and defiant. I use the word "defiant" primarily b/c I am currently reading a book titled The Challenging Child, by Stanly Greenspan, MD. Although I am not in love with the book, I am finding parts of it helpful. Greenspan talks about the types of challenging children he's come across in his experience. And my boy falls under what he calls the "Defiant" child. And his description of this personality "type" fits my boy to a T. The part that saddens me the most is that Greenspan describes the defiant personality as one that is generally so in need of support and empathy that they sort of push the other way b/c they fear not getting what they need. He says that these children as they grow may feel that they are loved, but that their parents hate everything they do. Sadly, I have to say that much of the time, especially lately, this is true.

My son has been very angry lately. And anytime we even remotely raise our voices he's been screaming and sort of lashing out back at us. We've had almost a full year of challenges since our 2nd child was born, and well, we've fallen short of our ideals as parents. I've yelled innumerable times, usually daily. Sometimes at the top of my lungs. I've felt, almost daily, that I can't stand to be around him ONE MORE MINUTE. The guilt and shame I feel about how I've parented runs very, very, deep. We don't hit or do anything physical, of course. We don't name-call or other blatantly abusive things, but I feel that I've scarred him with so much over this year anyway. My DH and I have parenting pow-wows everynight about how we can parent better, deal with our anger better, etc., etc. But every day there is something that happens that is infuriating, so mind-blowingly anger-producing that it would make Mother Theresa blow a gasket.

I don't know what I'm getting at here other than that I need some support, I guess. I try to let as much go as possible. I try to play, connect, laugh, hug, kiss as much as possible. When I absolutely don't want to be near him at a particular moment, I make a point of touching him anyway, just so he knows he's loved. I try to apologize for every outburst (there are a lot of I'm sorrys around here). I feel almost like we've lost this year. This very tender year is gone. And I still made (and make) the same mistakes every day sometimes.

My questions really are: Can you tell me about your defiant child? How did you reach out to them when they were lashing out? How do you deal with your child's anger? How have you parented your challenging child? Have you ever had a WHOLE flippin' year of mistakes? Ones that you can't take back?

Thanks for your support, Mamas. I need it. I want to keep my boy centered and feeling loved without losing my cool. But how am I supposed to do that when I don't feel centered when he's outta control?
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:24 AM
 
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Hey dear, I have been thinking about you and wondering how you and the tyrant are doing lately. Sorry to hear it isn't going great. I will come on here anytime you need to, just to tell you that angry, defiant children can grow up to be the most wonderful adults in the world. (Mine did.)

If you look at this as your behavior problem... the yelling, since you know that isn't helpful or necessary, then how would you only work on your behavior problem, not his? See what I mean? If the most important thing in the day is going without yelling, how would you do that? Maybe you could use sticker charts and candy bribes for you and your dh. Yelling isn't that different from smacking... not to blame you just that you don't yell because it is your plan or you think it is effective, you yell out of frustration and out of desperation. That isn't your best stuff. The Challenging Child really focuses on chosing your battles, doesn't it? I think I read it a long time ago... like forever ago when Nate's behavior was still making me crazy.

Lately when I feel really frustrated... like the urge to spank comes up, and it does, then I threaten to kiss his belly or tickle his toes or something that seems ridiculous. Because I am trying to remind myself that hitting or yelling at my 3 year is ridiculous. The other really stupid thing we are using is a lot of rasberries.... no really. They speak volumes. I'll tell you a story that I am not particularly proud of, but think you will appreciate. When Nate was an absolutely horrible teenager, we started using what we called "the family salute". We just flipped each other off, when ever we felt like it, when ever we wanted. It took all the power and anger out of the act. It made it really kind of silly. That's how raspberries work now... it isn't disrespectful, it just represents frustration, mine or Joey's.

PM me if you need to talk. And just remember to love him up... as much as you can, every day. And be gentle with yourself, as much as you can, every day.

Maureen
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Maureen, how'd I know my old friend would be the first to respond?? Gosh, all of your words ALWAYS hit home for me.

It's so funny that you mention the "family salute" and the raspberries. Today, DS was doing something crazy and it was while DH was trying to actually get something done in the house. I could almost see the smoke start rising out of DH's ears. So I said, "DS, if you keep doing that, daddy's gonna kiss an elephant". It sounds ridiculous right now, but it really helped to diffuse the situation at the time.

My "baby" turned 1 this weekend and instead of having him on my mind today, I'm thinking very much of the tremendous challenges with my older son. And how it's been a WHOLE YEAR of loads of yelling and less-than-stellar parenting moments. Sometimes I feel really sad when I see other kids DS's age that aren't as challenging and I think maybe that kid has never been yelled at or had to be apologized to. Maybe mommy to them is still this wonderful safe spot. Now, I really do think I'm my son's safe spot, but I think he's learned so much about the complexities of life from ME and my transgressions this year.

I like your idea of the sticker chart for me and DH. We've gotten into some really bad habits with DS. For instance, there's a certain tone in both of our voices that we use when we start "disciplining" him. I want to change that. I want to change so much. And all I can say is that I'm still trying. Every day. I'll never give up on him or myself.

BTW, Maureen, if you don't mind me asking- - If you got yourself into a bad parenting dynamic with your older son, was there a way that you radically changed the atmosphere in your house? Don't get me wrong, we don't have a toxic house, really. We laugh a lot, we love a lot. We also have been yelling a lot. Perhaps for a whole year. Sometimes not every day. But sometimes multiple times a day. :

Thanks for your advice and wise words as always, Maureen.
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmama
Sometimes I feel really sad when I see other kids DS's age that aren't as challenging and I think maybe that kid has never been yelled at or had to be apologized to. Maybe mommy to them is still this wonderful safe spot. Now, I really do think I'm my son's safe spot, but I think he's learned so much about the complexities of life from ME and my transgressions this year.
I get to be inside lots of families and all mommas lose it sometimes. It is so that our children are prepared for the reality of life- people are complicated and have feelings and make mistakes. No perfect kids, no perfect parents.

Quote:
I like your idea of the sticker chart for me and DH. We've gotten into some really bad habits with DS. For instance, there's a certain tone in both of our voices that we use when we start "disciplining" him.
Maybe squirt guns like you can use to train cats... you could squirt each other when you catch each other "disciplining". I suggest you try really focusing on acceptance. Give up trying to change your child... he just is who he is and needs to know that who he is is loveable and acceptable and then he might be willing to accept some guidance. You need to reinforce the love and acceptance side for a few weeks and get in a good place together before trying to be influencial.

Quote:
BTW, Maureen, if you don't mind me asking- - If you got yourself into a bad parenting dynamic with your older son, was there a way that you radically changed the atmosphere in your house?
The truth is I went through hundreds of horrible patterns and hundreds of restarts. All this "wisdom" I am sharing really came after it was all over. I just get to share the best stuff and save you some of my worst mistakes. Nate taught me the miracle of Gentle Parenting. Someday I hope we can write his book on parenting because he does understand better than any of us can ever hope to. He tells me that he needed to get out of his anger himself. That he needed to figure some things out. And the best thing that I ever did was not give up on him. And love him, and love him and love him. But everytime that someone made me feel like a bad parent I went back to trying to change him to prove something about me. Then things always got worse. Maybe people around me thought I was doing something, but I knew and Nate knew that it was all a show, and a really destructive one at that.

Keep hanging in there. I wish I was even asking the right questions when Nate was 3. You are really ahead of the game, although I am sure it doesn't always feel that way.

Maureen
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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The book that I found most helpful with my 'challenging' child is The Highly Sensitive Child. Then I read The Highly Sensitive Adult and realized the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The insight in these books is, imo, tremendous. You have to want your senstivie child --for all that he/she will teach about life and emotion etc. It changed my way of thinking.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, UUMom. I'll look for the book at the library.

And Maureen, as always, I have more to say. But I just wanted to thank you again for your honestly and wisdom. I'm going to have DH read your words. I'll write more when I can.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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And all I can say is that I'm still trying. Every day. I'll never give up on him or myself.
You're such an incredibly good mom. Just wanted to say that!
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:36 PM
 
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Bearsmama,

Just wanted to say . I struggle with yelling myself. I try to focus on doing better today and not feeling guilty about yesterday(or last year!). Also, I make a point to enjoy and focus on dc #2 even though she takes much less energy than dc #1!


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Old 08-15-2005, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Trace-Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm trying over here.

And Salvia-MDC has made me realize that I am not alone in my parenting struggles. Thanks for your reply. And you are right-it's so easy to focus on the challenging child and give the less-intense one less attention. I find myself doing that sometimes.

I think I have to post in the Discipline forum to try some new tactics. We had a banner day (or I should say that I had a good day). No yelling. At all. I find, though, that DS is yelling at me and getting really angry with me for no apparent reason. I let him go off and yell and stomp his feet and then I ask him why he's angry. Usually there is no response. This is something new for him, and it's probably due to the excessive yelling around here for a while. I think it's all coming out in him now. Anyway, we have some behaviors over here that I'm just not sure how to deal with. More later.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:48 PM
 
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Bearsmama--one thing that I did find when my CC was little was to let dc go ahead and 'rant'. Meaning, I did not respond to each word. I let dc do what dc needed to do. Occasionaly I would say "I am here when you need me".

But to try and reason when dc was upset was a lesson in *total* futility.

My particular CC had to vent for a bit, but when it was all over, it was *all* over.

I learned that it was best to be in 'reassuring mode' and not talk much. In fact, i leanred to not talk at all. I'd simply say 'I am right here, babe".
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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I know that this is not meant to be a funny thread, but the expressions "parenting pow-wow" (we have them, too!) and "family salute" have me giggling.

I consider this past year a total write-off. I can't believe how violent and ugly the atmosphere was in our home. I had no idea that I had such a bad temper. I guess that I was basically an easy-going, happy person until I had a three-year-old.

But I am confident that we are coming out of it. Instead of yelling daily, I now yell about once every two weeks. Instead of yelling nasty insults, which I know was never your problem and for which you should be proud, I most often yell one word: "Stop!" (with the embarrassing exception of last Friday, where I lost my temper at a friend's house, and told dd, in front of our hosts, that I had had enough of eff-ing playdates, not a word combination that I expect to hear again).

My daughter and I are now experts and giving and receiving apologies. We can call one another out on behaviour that is out of line. We know that "Yelling doesn't get us what we want." We are learning appropriate ways to express feelings of anger and frustration, something that I'm almost three decades behind on.

There was a Brain, Child article that appeared sometime in the last year, where the author argued that families with three children are families whose first two children are most likely not spirited. This weekend, I watched a friend interact with her third and youngest child. When he didn't do what she wanted, her strategy was to say, "Please? Please, sit down, okay?" I was thinking, "Please? Three kids and your best parenting strategy is to say "Please, question mark"! All this to say I've acquired a wealth of parenting strategies over the past, difficult year. In fact, I have such a hard time being a good parent that I am now considering volunteering to discuss discipline with young parents because I know so much more about parenting now that I've had such a hard time with it. Does that make sense? I wasn't a natural, but I'm learning. And so are you! You survived your first year with two! Congratulations are in order.
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Dodo, my August friend. I soooooo appreciate your honesty. I can't tell you how much. Isn't it surprising? I mean, really. I had no idea that parenting, especially parenting one extremely high-spirited son, and a pre-walking 1 year would be so mind-numbingly tough for me. I see other people with their kids and I can just TELL whether or not they have a spirited kid. It's a sort of glazed look in their eye. I completely understand the feelings behind your playdate outburst. I've had similar things happen with us. For instance, G-D is one of my favorite curse words. I tend to yell it when I'm angry or frustrated. Well, DS has taken to repeating it. I told him that it's not a good word and that adults make mistakes and use it sometimes, like me. Well, a few minutes after this explanation I heard DS say "G-D". And I reminded him again that it's not a good word. He then said, "Kid-Dammit". Like he made it his own. Smart and sassy, just like his mama! (okay, I only *hope* to be smart and sassy).

UUmom-I agree with you on this one. When DS is having a meltdown or a tantrum, or just venting, I have found that I just need to let him vent. And occasionally chime in with "I'm here for you, baby", or something like that. He will actually get angrier and angrier if I insist on talking.

Acceptance. Easier said than done. I'm working on it. Thanks, ladies, for your continual love and support.
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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Wow- bearsmama and dodo- I am really inspired by you both! Dodo- the ef-ing playdate comment nearly made me choke on my Pinot gris! :

UUMom- I am going to try just being there next time my dd needs to vent. I agree with you...we are getting really good at apologizing to each other. Good practice, I guess....


: :


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Old 08-16-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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I remember that Brain, Child article. And I agree 100%. My dd is spirited and very challenging for me. I have uttered a very similar playdate philosophy myself. I thought I would want more kids. I am really struggling to decide now because I fear being in the same spot as you, Bearsmama. And I am not sure I could do it. I already lose it more than I think is acceptable. Thank you all for your honesty.
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Old 08-16-2005, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmama
Have you ever had a WHOLE flippin' year of mistakes? Ones that you can't take back?
Yep. One straight year, maybe a year and a half. It's hard to think about. Then it got better, then I made mistakes for awhile again, then it got better and stayed better for a little longer, then more mistakes but they weren't as bad, and so on. And she's a happy kid. We haven't ruined her. We've learned a lot, and we're still learning. We won't be pros at this parenting thing until we're grandparents.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,
I didn't get any updates that there were more posts here. I'm sorry I didn't check back earlier.

salvia-Thank you for your kind words. I'm really hoping that Maureen and all the other wise mamas here are right-that they'll be okay, and so will we.

yoopervegan-It's so great to have these women to be honest with, isn't it? Amazing, really. And on the more children subject, I feel really sad about things right now. B/c if it wasn't for my older son and our challenge in raising him, I think I would DEFINITELY want more kids. In fact, it makes me sad to think that I feel that I can't "handle" another.

And sledg, , I love seeing your posts. You've been so honest and encouraing to me in the past. Do you mind me asking if the decision to have a third was more difficult for you b/c you have a challenging child??? Or is the third the challenging one?

I am reading, reading, reading lately. And nipping the yelling in the bud. It's made a difference already, I can tell. But it still sneaks out. And not like any behavior really justifies the yelling, but it only really comes out in me at infuriating behavior. Like, when all the "fixes" haven't solved things and he's still doing the same thing over and over.

Currently, I'm reading Unconditional Parenting, and The Dance of Anger. I'm struggling with the Unconditional Parenting book a bit b/c althought it absolutely resonates with me, aren't there *some* limits we need to place on outrageous behavior (and I haven't gotten to the end of the book yet, so maybe it's there). I realize now, after 3.6 years that firm limits just don't ever work for my DS. The firmer you are about something, the worse things get. He needs support, encouragment, etc., at ALL TIMES or he starts falling apart.

We rarely go out to dinner, but tonight we went to the only local joint where kids are very welcome. It was a nightmare. DS didn't want to wait for his meal, didn't want to sit, they had linguine instead of penne for the kids' pasta and he proceeded to do everything with it besides actually eat it. We were getting some snickers from a nearby couple. Kind of like the Why-can't-you-make-him-sit-and-EAT? kinda look. We are not sticklers for being seated through a meal-I personally think that's a lot to ask of a young kid. But short of straight-jacketing him to the seat, what were we to do? I just feel that I am playing everything by ear all the time b/c I never know what his mood is going to be. NEVER. It's like living with a small, cute ticking timebomb.

Don't know why I needed to share that, but there ya have it. I just wish that there was some general parenting philosophy that I could grab hold of that would make all this better somehow. It really seems that my approach changes daily. The only big change I see working is nixing the yelling as much as humanly possible.
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,
Just checking in here. And, of course, looking for some support. We had a tought weekend, and like I've posted above, a tough time in general lately. DH reminds me that this behavior goes in waves, that sometimes we're at the crest and sometimes at the trough, but that it will wane.

But can someone please tell me how we're supposed to have the energy to deal with the "minor", more "normal" 3-4 year old behavior when we've spent ALL FRIGGIN' DAY dealing with really challenging, HARD stuff?

We had a very difficult end to our day b/c DS has decided that bedtime should now be a challenge, too (bedtimes have usually been our saving grace b/c he's always loved going to bed). DS was exhausted, as usual, and we were on our way to getting him to sleep around 7:30. Needless to say, he decided that he wanted to get out of bed, come downstairs, etc. I know this seems very normal, but when literally since the crack of dawn EVERYTHING has been challenging, these little things throw us over the edge. How are we supposed to have the energy, the resources, the patience, to deal with this all day, with no reprieve? I'm starting to feel like we have a special needs child. I feel that I have the same complaints and struggles as many special needs moms I know. Don't get me wrong, DS is healthy and I am not in any way to trying to equate my challenges with those of special needs moms. BUT MAN OH MAN. I seriously think that someone else should be raising him, not me.

I have such shame and guilt, that I almost can't think about it. It's almost too overwhelming. The only good thing about the weekends is that there is someone else here to hopefully balance out the craziness. It's not all me, which it is during the week.

I am at a loss, ladies. I have hurt him so much with the screaming and yelling. And tonight, like other nights, I have told him that he needs to get into bed or I won't help him (I lay down with him every night). It is wrong, it is horrible. But I just don't know what else to do anymore. DH is so spent, so wasted by the demands of DS that he just can't even talk about it anymore.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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I am so sorry! I wish I had some better advice. I just finished Unconditional Parenting and dh is reading it now. When he is done I am going to read it again. And again if I need to. I can see that already I have gotten off path with dd and much of her "issues" are due to my anger and lack of patience. I totally understand how hard it is to handle a "little" thing after a whole day of "biggies" or even a day of constant "littles". I really fear year 3 and 4 and the teen years...... I really thought parenting would be much easier. The only advice I can give is that many times if I just let the anger go, the day goes better. It is hard to not be disappointed or worried about dd's bahavior. But if I try to live in the moment and isolate the behavior of that moment, it seems to help. I pretend I have no long term memory. I admit that I hold a grudge and often cannot do this but I hope to be able to do it more. Do you have anyone that can give you a short break? A mother's helper or a sitter? When I am at my rope's end (which usually happens on a weekday), I hand dd to dh when he comes in the door and go out for a beer or coffee with friends. If we are both approaching meltdown, we hire a sitter. Somehow dd is always an angel for sitters..... I really think that she plays off of my frustration. It seems that the day is always harder when my emotions play into it.
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Old 08-22-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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Hey dear, its me again. Just ask for support and you got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearsmama

I am at a loss, ladies. I have hurt him so much with the screaming and yelling. And tonight, like other nights, I have told him that he needs to get into bed or I won't help him (I lay down with him every night). It is wrong, it is horrible. But I just don't know what else to do anymore. DH is so spent, so wasted by the demands of DS that he just can't even talk about it anymore.

Thanks for letting me vent.
This kind of thinking isn't helpful. A big part of feeling impatient and overwhelmed is your guilt and expectations. I don't think it is the worst thing in the world (BY A LONG SHOT) to make idle threats you don't mean in an attempt to get his attention. It is pointless and not very helpful but it isn't as destructive and horrible as you are sounding. Yelling is your reacting to feeling threatened. You are responding as though he is some way dangerous to you. Think about it. He is just a little boy- what can he do to you? Make you feel powerless, make you feel dumb, make you feel... you fill in the blank. I honestly think that you are over parenting. I wish I could pop in for a visit to get a real feel but I think you have shared pretty honestly and from what you are telling me, and only your side of things, right? You keep telling us that you are trying too hard, doing too much, reacting too strongly. It seems like you are afraid to be called a bad momma because of his behavior so you over compensate by proving you are doing something even when maybe what you most need to do is nothing. Does that make sense?

I don't want you second guessing yourself. I certainly don't think you need to read any more parenting books. You have all the answers in your heart and in your head. You just don't always have the internal resources to respond who you want to respond. I don't know, there is a big difference from... "man is it hard being Bear's momma" and feeling like you aren't really doing a good job and maybe someone else could do better. That I know isn't true. What makes your job so hard and what makes it impossible for anyone else to do is your enormous love and attachment to that beautiful child.

I send you lots of love acceptance and patience for yourself first.

Maureen
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Old 08-23-2005, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yoopervegan-Thank you. I actually have a mom's helper that I foudn shortly after my second son was born last year. She comes 1 day/week for 2.5 hours. It is a big help. But when DS is going thru something hard, when WE are going thru something hard-like we are now-he really wants to be with me. Go figure And I 99% of the time I don't even leave the house when she's here (I just do house stuff and make dinner). I absolutely agree with you that when the emotions are involved things get stickier quicker. But how can they not? I can't remove myself entirely from the situation-EVER. And I know this is part of my problem. And you bring up something that I struggle with, too-holding grudges. I don't know if for me I would call it a grudge, but I tend to not be able to "get over" something very quickly. And my DS needs me to get over it and be done with and get back to the good stuff. Hmmmm???

Maureen-Thank you, thank you. Everything you're saying about the feelings that are associated with mothering this child is right on for me. I absolutely realize that much of this has to do with me. In fact, I think that's my problem. I always think it's me. Can you say neurotic? Yes, I know I'm joking around here a bit, but I have big self-esteem issues and other childhood issues that greatly impact my parenting on a day-to-day basis. Maureen-Just your words alone about feeling threatened by DS are helping me think of things differently. Do you know of any good things/improved self-talk that I can think of when I'm feeling this way? Like something to replace that threatened feeling?

Your words about not having the internal resources to always respond the way I want to really hits home for me, too. Oddly, DS had some challenges right at birth (very long labor, breathing difficulties, etc). And I remember the doctor saying that he wasn't born with a lot of "resources", some babies are, some aren't.

"You keep telling us that you are trying too hard, doing too much, reacting too strongly. It seems like you are afraid to be called a bad momma because of his behavior so you over compensate by proving you are doing something even when maybe what you most need to do is nothing. Does that make sense?" (sorry, I couldn't quote it the correct way). Maureen-could you elaborate? I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're trying to get across here. And b/c your words have been so impactful to me, I'd love to really get it completely. And what exactly do you mean by over-parenting? I would say that I agree with you, but I'm sure some would say that I don't "parent" enough.

This is sooo much more helpful-this sort of real (well, virtual!) interaction with other mamas (and a therapist to boot) then reading a gazillion books ever could be.

Much love, Maureen. Thank you.


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Old 08-23-2005, 02:18 AM
 
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Boy- I was a little bit worried about that last post, I felt like I was speaking pretty strongly but you have been so wonderfully open and receptive that I feel like you do want to hear what piece I can offer. So- about over parenting... Think of it this way- some where in the universe when you and Bear make the spiritiual decision to join your souls, you knew that you each had exactly what the other needed to learn. You made a pact to do this together, to learn from each other, lessons that there were no other ways to learn. So you came to this place, wher you would be his momma and he would be your challenge but you kind of forgot that you both picked each other and that you were here to work through some tough stuff.

So- stop worrying about "making" him be anything. He is perfect and you are perfect. There is only walking through the rest of the story. There is this wonderful journey and you both have a lot to learn but not in the way you think of learning, not in books or in lessons but fully with your heart. Just be brave. Just love and honestly it really will be just fine. You just have to get to the end of the story.

One thing when you are feeling threatened might be to sit on the floor, all the way on your butt and just put yourself at his level... I don't know. I know that Bear is here to heal you and you must be making it really a tough job...get out of his way and let him do his magic. You both deserve that.

Maureen
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maureen-I am crying. That's all I have to say right now. Thank you.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:41 AM
 
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This MDC world is so weird. I clicked off the computer last night knowing that you were going to get the message and praying that you "got it". I feel how powerfully you love your child. I think so many of the mommas here can feel that in your words. How can so much love ever be a bad thing? The thing I think that is missing in so many parenting books and philosphies is that parenting is such a intense spiritual relationship. I have enormous faith that you are on the right path... across the web and across the country, that keeps coming through.

Maureen
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:48 AM
 
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One of my children also hated to leave the house. Just not a transition person. It was awful as I recall. 3 other children ready to rock and this one wee one sitting on the floor just being miserable. Because of the needs of the other, I often did have to scoop dc up in my arms and just bring them along, saying as many soothing words as i could. I also did try to make other arragements for this one-- ad friend over to watch, or have someone else take the others to their appotintments etc. It lasted a good 2 years and was hard on all of us. This is the same little child who would cry and meltdown because they could not decide whether they wanted a popscicle or an italian ice from the ice cream truck at the beach. It was very sad and very diffocult.

It's not like that anymore, thank god. But it was terrible while it lasted.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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Bearsmama,

I've been following your threads for sometime now and I finally just had to post to offer some support. I'm a yeller. A frequent yeller. I actually found MDC by accident one day last year when I was at the end of my rope (again) with my spirited son.- I should add here that my spirited son is a twin to my highly sensitive son. (complicated parenting, anyone? ). So anyway, my boys are now 5 1/2. When Cole (challenging son) was 3, I thought for sure neither he nor I would ever see age 5.

I think I was taking in all this energy from people that had placed unspoken expectations on us and it was making me crazy. In the end, I've really had to just relax and let him be himself. I cannot make him conform to any particular standard. If nothing else, he's teaching me patience one baby step at a time. The days of me wanting to throw myself in traffic come fewer and fewer now. :LOL
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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Oh Bears, I've been without a computer for months now and I have missed you so much. This thread is so important. I am right there with you on so many things. You know that you are an amazing mama and have survived an incredible amount with Bear.

I swear he and TEAK have so much in common. She woke up screaming in the middle of the night insisting that we were not in a house and that she is not a girl and that the sky is never blue. This happens sometimes just in the middle of everything; she'll proclaim that there is no couch and get hysterical about it. It can be so hard. I finally have a strategy that sort of helps. If she is NOT a girl today, I ask her if she is something powerful like the king of the goblins from one of her books. Or, if she has no eyes, then we become cave fish (this one happens when she has had too much stimulus). But, I dream of not having to worry about random hysteria all the time.

Anyway, baby is starting to cling to my leg, but I wanted you to know that all of this really resonates with me and I'm thinking about you.

HUGS!
k
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
I feel how powerfully you love your child. I think so many of the mommas here can feel that in your words. How can so much love ever be a bad thing?


I could never have said it better. As I've said before, Bears is one lucky boy to have you as a mama. I think you put more thought and effort into one day with him than a lot of children get their entire childhoods.

It has often seemed to me that you hold yourself up to this gold standard of parenting that doesn't even really exist. No one is perfect and I would venture to say that you and Bears have a deeper and closer relationship in most ways than parents of 'easy' children have with their children. Sometimes I think the struggles and hardships we face with high-needs children bond us closer to them.

Anyway, just my ramblings on a Wed afternoon.

(((hugs))) to you...

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, ladies, Hi and thank you.

egrl-Thanks for your reply. I am finally realizing that DS is teaching me things that I just have to open myself up to. And patience is #1. And I have a feeling that it will be a lifelong process. Patience and acceptance. And those two things I really need for ME before I can ever truly give it to DS.

UU-Yes, DS has big trouble leaving the house. But we all go stir crazy if we're inside for too long without going somewhere. Maybe a day is fine, but by the end of day 2, we're ready to go somewhere. DS starts acting like a caged animal. And I get very cagey very quickly. I'm sorry it lasted so long for you. And I'm encouraged to know that it's over know and is hopefully a distant memory.

TEAK's & TLO-My old friends! Thank you both, as always for your support. TEAK'S-I'm amazed that TEAK and Bear are so similar. And even more amazed that there are OTHERS here with more children like ours-and struggling mamas. I really like what maureen has said. That we haven't gotten "to the end of the story yet". It's so hard b/c we don't have a crystal ball. And since birth I've said to DH that I would LOVE to have one so I could see DS at 18, 25, 30-whatever age-and make sure that he will be okay. And it's just not that simple ever, obviously. We're very familiar with random hysteria over here. I find that if I ever even remotely change my tone or start raising my voice when he is flippin over something just makes things 100x worse. It's such a delicate balance and dance.

TLO-Thank you. I really appreciate your words. I do feel that I think about the impact of my parenting a lot. Probably too much. In fact, don't they say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? I'm hoping my *thinking* is not just intentions all the time, and I try to put a lot into practice, but sometimes, I'm off the mark. Okay, a lot of the time.
On the better days I can absolutely relate to feeling closer or potentially having a stronger relationship with Bear B/C of these struggles. On the bad days, however, I long for other people's relationships with their easy kids.

I am rambling a bit tonight as it's getting late. Today and yesterday have been much better days. It's almost like something has "lifted" from DS. Weird. More when I can.
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Old 08-30-2005, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Knock, Knock, Guess who???

Oh, Maureen, are you in the house tonight?

Bears has major issues with allowing us to take care of his basic hygiene. Tooth brushing, hair washing, bathing, hand washing before dinner, YOU NAME IT. I know with some other issues, his behavior has improved when we've stopped making it an issue. But how can we stop making his hygiene an issue? We've given up so much in terms of trying to parent him. We don't micromanage, really, we don't. But are we supposed to give up this basic stuff, too? Won't his teeth fall out? (BTW, these things have been issues of his for most of his life, and none of it has actually gotten better).

DH bathes the kids most nights, and tonight DH was with him for about 30 minutes. And when I went upstairs, he whispered to me, "I can't parent him". Which is something I've said to DH many, many times.

I just don't know what I'm supposed to let go of when we've already let go of so much. I am trying to be patient and as loving as humanly possible. But it still sucks most days. I just want to know that we're all going to get through this.
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Old 08-30-2005, 01:17 AM
 
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Yep- I am here... we are on the same wave length.

I will admit the horrible truth... Joey hasn't had a bath in weeks, nor a shampoo. When he got his hair cut this past week, the stylist said she really suggests shampooing every day. I smiled and nodded. No way was I going to tell her that I never wash his hair.

I use violence to get hands and face and butt clean. Well, not violence but sometimes I just grab him and do it fast.

The tooth thing we have been more successful with. He went to the dentist who told him how beautiful his teeth were and got him to promise to brush daily. He won't do much for me, but for her... anything. So now I brush while he sits on the potty (we are way behind on potty training too!) and I sing the abc's (which is too short but about all we can handle.) When he bites down or I can't brush, I stop singing so it takes as long as it takes.

So- maybe the reason I am a low stress momma is I really do chose no battles. I figure he will grow out of all of these weird things... but I do want him to still have teeth when he outgrows them. Picking my battles means mostly I have to feel it is something that has a lifelong impact. Shampoo not, toothpaste, yes.

Keep on hanging in there, he is growing daily... and so are you.

Maureen
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