Help! Severe Aggressive/Defiant Behavior! - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 494 Old 03-13-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I meant to add, does his therapist have any ideas for you? Does she know of any playgroups, anything to help you get by without your parents?

Mom to two lovely girls, 4 and 3. SAHW/M in need of sleep.
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#242 of 494 Old 03-13-2010, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Miss No for your reply.

It's pretty hard to leave my son with people he doesn't know because of the issues he has. He is very insecure and scared of people, which is understandable considering he's been abused in two different daycare settings. He has an extremely hard time being left with people he knows and likes, and he would be absolutely TERRIFIED to be left with someone he doesn't know. When I've put him in situations like that before, when I return he just absolutely rages for hours. He's a very scared little boy. I think this is where a lot of his rage comes from, actually. He is scared and sad and frustrated and it comes out as rage. Unfortunately, I am forced to put him in situations where he will be scared, sad, or frustrated because I have to work. It's even extremely difficult for him to attend the daycare he currently attends, which I am confident is a safe place where his caregiver is extremely kind and patient, and when I come to pick him up, he is often extremely emotionally disregulated for several hours afterward. It's almost like he's angry at me for leaving him there.

Anyway, I am just absolutely DREADING seeing my parents. When they are in this sort of mood, they are just absolutely awful. My dad won't talk to me or look at me, and my mom may make some more awful comments. UGH. If only I could replace them with some different people. They have almost always been there for me PHYSICALLY (they show up to things, help me move, help with my son), but emotionally? Never. They've never complimented me or have been proud of my accomplishments, but instead only criticize me for my failures and inadequacies.

In fact, just this week I qualified for a home loan for the first time and at a MUCH higher amount than I ever would've dreamed possible. I found out I have a high credit score, and I got a great fixed 30-year mortgage, all by myself, as a single mom who doesn't even receive a penny of child support. This was a HUGE accomplishment, and I was so proud of myself. Of course my parents were totally negative about that and not at all excited for me. My mom, the queen of negativity, is always saying that I need to be more positive and optimistic, yet when something good and exciting happens, they are not happy or excited for me at all. Their emotional scale runs from extremely negative at worst to neutral at best.

Honestly, I wish I felt like I could handle my son all on my own, but it would mean I'd never have a night alone, never be able to sleep in on the weekends, and I'd have an EXTREMELY hard time getting my work done. I work almost two full-time teaching jobs to make enough money to support us, so honestly, I am trying to fit at least an 80 hour work week into 30 hours of daycare. This is why I am so desperate for help on the weekends, not only for my personal sanity in having some alone time, but to get my work done.

Somehow something needs to change. If only I could win the lottery and be able to stay with my son more and not work so much! Sigh.



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Bisou, I am sending you many good thoughts and strength to get through this time. I am so upset with your parents, but this may be a blessing in disguise. Can you try a site like sittercity.com, to find someone to help you for a few hours? Is there anyone nearby in a parenting group perhaps who can help you for just a few hours, or even a university student?

I can't imagine how frustrating it is and how stressful, to have those that are supposed to love and assist you being so hurtful. Please hang in there, and have faith in your choices. You are a wonderful mother.
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#243 of 494 Old 03-14-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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I've followed your story but I can't seem to remember--has he been diagnosed with anything? A diagnosis could help you access some respite programs.
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#244 of 494 Old 03-14-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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hugs mama, that's rough. I would guess that your son is a really sensitive kid, and his grandparents attitude is hard on him. I would strongly suggest working less, if you can. you mention that you're at the top of your pay scale, can you get by on just one of your jobs so you don't need weekend care for your son? It sounds like being with your parents too much is hard on him, and the financial sacrifice you might make in working less would be worth it to distance yourselves from them a little. I'd also still push for family counseling with them, or at the very least, voice to them the feelings you're sharing here with us. It sounds like they are trying, at least, and that's a good sign that they are probably open to fixing things between you. People of their generation are notoriously emotionally retarded, and they might welcome a chance to warm things up with you. I can't remember, are you an only child?

so how did it go with them when they brought him home?


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#245 of 494 Old 03-15-2010, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I've followed your story but I can't seem to remember--has he been diagnosed with anything? A diagnosis could help you access some respite programs.
No, he hasn't been diagnosed with anything yet. I keep asking his psychologist, but she doesn't feel there's a clear diagnosis. We are seeking testing and treatment through occupational therapy, but we just started that, so no results yet.

I just realized I am paying (WITH insurance!!!) $200 a month just for his therapy. Yikes. This is on top of paying for insurance for him and doesn't even include my therapy co-payments. His are $20 for one therapist and $30 for the other, every week! YIKES.
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#246 of 494 Old 03-15-2010, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hugs mama, that's rough. I would guess that your son is a really sensitive kid, and his grandparents attitude is hard on him. I would strongly suggest working less, if you can. you mention that you're at the top of your pay scale, can you get by on just one of your jobs so you don't need weekend care for your son? It sounds like being with your parents too much is hard on him, and the financial sacrifice you might make in working less would be worth it to distance yourselves from them a little. I'd also still push for family counseling with them, or at the very least, voice to them the feelings you're sharing here with us. It sounds like they are trying, at least, and that's a good sign that they are probably open to fixing things between you. People of their generation are notoriously emotionally retarded, and they might welcome a chance to warm things up with you. I can't remember, are you an only child?

so how did it go with them when they brought him home?

Yes, I am at the top of my pay scale, but as an adjunct (aka part time) college teacher, that isn't saying much! We often make as little as 50% that a full-time teacher makes, and with no benefits or much fewer benefits. For example, if I wanted both my son and I on medical insurance through one of my employers, I'd have to pay $700 a month for it! Basically I work twice the amount of a full-time instructor to make the same amount of income, or less. Quitting one job would mean halving my income, and I just can't see that happening. I am also in the process of buying a reasonably priced home, which is exciting and will give us stability in terms of not having to move all the time.

I've thought about reducing my workload before, but doing so at one place would mean losing our insurance and any access to retirement, and doing so at the other (since the second job pays twice as much as the first one) would mean losing the majority of my income. It's complicated. I don't recommend working as an adjunct period, but it's a terrible job for a single parent! When I began this ten years ago, I was married and thought it would be a great job for a married mother due to the flexibility. That marriage only lasted a year, and I continued in this field. I definitely never expected to be a single parent doing what I do!

As far as my parents go, no, I am not an only child. I have a younger brother who was really the trouble child in the family. My brother was arrested several times as a teen, had a few DUIs, and he even made a bomb and blew it up at our high school, but this was pre-Columbine and Kip Kinkle days, so it wasn't taken that seriously. But despite the fact that I had no record or arrests, didn't use any drugs, was a straight A student, received four full-ride scholarships to different universities for my singing talent, started working at age 14 while attending school and taking college classes on the side, etc etc etc, I was always the bad kid. It never made sense. My parents are the types of people who point out what I do wrong, but NEVER acknowledge what I have accomplished. I know I am an adult and I should be over it, but there's something about not having your parents' approval that can take you right back to being five years old.

My son is definitely riled up right now though. I spent the day with him today (I usually have two full days a week with him when we are both home together), and he is just screaming all the time, wild, and really irritated. Honestly, I think what's triggering a lot of this is the fact that we have to move again, not even one year after the attempted break in/rape/assault. We are both really getting triggered by this with thoughts like "Where will we live? Will it be safe? What if something bad happens there?" Where we are living now seems extremely safe, is in a super fancy area, and the 11th floor of a very secure high rise building. Our apartment is small (only one bedroom) and expensive, but I chose this place because of the security and low crime rate. Unfortunately, as I think I mentioned above, the person who owns this (we are currently renting) is getting foreclosed, so we have to move. I decided that since we HAVE to move, no matter what, I should see if maybe I can buy, so we're in the midst of that process, but it's very emotional: scary, exciting, and everything in between. Since I am not rich, we can't have everything, so it's either choosing a place in need of much remodeling in a really nice area, or a new, beautifully finished place in a less nice area. I am still sticking with a secure apartment-style locked building. I just can't stomach being on the ground floor where someone could decide to break in. Just can't do it. I hope someday I will get over that, but at this point, if I even see a sliding glass door (where my attacker tried to get in), I am completely ill.

Anyway, rambling on as I am likely to do.

I was able to keep it together with my son today though, which was an accomplishment! He was really just explosive today over who knows what. I guess I just need to remind myself that our life is just really stressful right now. It seems like we haven't had a break. It's always been one thing after another. I am hoping that after we move we will enter a time of more stability and peace for the two of us.

Of course he's entering kindergarten next year which will be a challenge, most likely. I am trying to remain optimistic about it, but I know that even if things go better than expected, it will be stressful for him.

Goodnight lovely MDC mamas.
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#247 of 494 Old 04-06-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATED:

I had posted that someone sent me an extremely cruel PM, laced with profanity and calling me a "breeder," among other much more cruel terms.

I did contact the administration and that person was immediately banned for this behavior.

One thing I LOVE about MDC is the support and love and caring that most members show towards other members, so I think this is what made the PM so hurtful. I opened it thinking it was another kind mother emailing me to give me some advice or support, and instead I got the complete opposite!

I need to remember though that this was only one (obviously messed up!) person out of bunches of you who've helped and supported me, so thanks for that.
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#248 of 494 Old 04-06-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, posting an update!

Things have been MUCH better in our household lately. I have been almost afraid to post for fear that I would jinx us, but the last week or two has just been great! I am not sure exactly what is happening or why it's happening, but I am just trying to go with the flow, and I am happy to do so!

We've gone days without a significant tantrum or a time out. He's being kind to the cat. He's cooperative, even listening!

We have only been to one session of occupational therapy, but we will be beginning those on a regular schedule in the next month or so.

I have been definitely trying hard to be very calm with him because I know we both escalate each other's behavior. He screams and hits, I scream back. It's not a good thing, and I know this, but I was soooo worn down with everything.

It's so amazing to actually ENJOY my child, to pick him up from daycare early because I want to spend time with him! Wow. What a concept!!! It's been just great.

I hope that we can keep this going forward. I do know that I have REALLY worked on keeping my emotions under control, and have also worked on giving him more compliments and praise. Every time he does something the way I want him to, I am trying to make a really big deal about it. As many of the books I've been reading explain, we tend to make a big deal out of the things we don't want them to do, then practially ignore the wonderful things they do. I've been trying to really turn that around!

It also seems like having him have a time out in his room on his bed is working much better.

Right now, for a change, LIFE IS GOOD!
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#249 of 494 Old 04-06-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bisou View Post
Also, posting an update!

Things have been MUCH better in our household lately. I have been almost afraid to post for fear that I would jinx us, but the last week or two has just been great! I am not sure exactly what is happening or why it's happening, but I am just trying to go with the flow, and I am happy to do so!

We've gone days without a significant tantrum or a time out. He's being kind to the cat. He's cooperative, even listening!

We have only been to one session of occupational therapy, but we will be beginning those on a regular schedule in the next month or so.

I have been definitely trying hard to be very calm with him because I know we both escalate each other's behavior. He screams and hits, I scream back. It's not a good thing, and I know this, but I was soooo worn down with everything.

It's so amazing to actually ENJOY my child, to pick him up from daycare early because I want to spend time with him! Wow. What a concept!!! It's been just great.

I hope that we can keep this going forward. I do know that I have REALLY worked on keeping my emotions under control, and have also worked on giving him more compliments and praise. Every time he does something the way I want him to, I am trying to make a really big deal about it. As many of the books I've been reading explain, we tend to make a big deal out of the things we don't want them to do, then practially ignore the wonderful things they do. I've been trying to really turn that around!

It also seems like having him have a time out in his room on his bed is working much better.

Right now, for a change, LIFE IS GOOD!
Glad things have been going well, your seeing the mood shift due to the season changes, google "march madness bipolar" things improve around end of Feb, March then start sliding again around Sept.

ETA: Interesting observation, this thread started back in Sept...

Seriously?
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#250 of 494 Old 04-06-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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Bisou, there are a couple forums "out there" that make fun of the posters on this one. It's sad and disgusting because they are obviously members here for the sole purpose of trolling for people to make fun of. It's truly pathetic, but there you have it. Report them to the mods and then put them out of your mind. They aren't worth it.
AND.....I'm so glad that things are going well for you two.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#251 of 494 Old 04-06-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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wow, I have never heard of nasty pm's like that, I'm so sorry that happened to you!!

glad to hear things are going well with your little guy, hope it is a lasting change!


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#252 of 494 Old 04-08-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I am trully appalled that someone would do such a thing to a clearly emtionally fragile mother. I bet that person got a nasty yeast infection right after posting that message to you, OP, because I firmyl believe what goes around comes around.

SO glad to hear things are going better lately.
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#253 of 494 Old 04-11-2010, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
Glad things have been going well, your seeing the mood shift due to the season changes, google "march madness bipolar" things improve around end of Feb, March then start sliding again around Sept.

ETA: Interesting observation, this thread started back in Sept...
Hi Satori:

I hope that this is a long-lasting change and not just a seasonal change for my son. I've continued to ask my son's therapist (a child psychologist) if she thinks he has bipolar disorder, and she continues to say no. Right now they are focused on sensory processing disorder, and after becoming aware of this disorder, I find that this REALLY fits his behavior. Kids with sensory processing disorder often have serious behavioral problems and difficulties interacting with others.

I don't know what the future holds for my son. It could be that he is diagnosed with a mental health issue of some sort at some point, but right now I am just going with what I have and hoping that he doesn't have a condition that will continue to be problematic for him for the rest of his life. I am hoping that we've turned a corner.

I asked him why things are going so well and why we are "getting along so well," and he said he is "trying harder" and that I am "not talking on the phone so much." So I think he feels like I am paying attention to him more. I've been REALLY trying to praise him as much as possible and to keep my own emotions (anger, frustration) in check.

I am hoping that over the next few months, maybe I can put this thread to rest and be writing about other things or giving support to other moms instead of having so many difficulties of my own to write about.

I hope you and your families are all healthy and happy!!!!!!
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#254 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a quick update and thanks to everyone who wrote and was supportive of me over the past months.

My son is still doing REALLY well. Though I've made a few changes, I am shocked that his behavior is THIS different. I know that there is still a chance things could change, but this is the biggest change in his behavior I've ever seen since he was about 18 months old, and without medication! Woo hoo! (Not to disparage people whose children are on medication. I think if you need it, you need it, but I also think there are many kids on medication in the US who shouldn't be or don't need to be.)

*My son has gone weeks without tantrums, and the one or two he's had have been totally minor!

*When I ask him to do things, he will now often say, "Ok, mom. I am listening to you because you're my mom and I am supposed to listen!" This has happened many times. I just about fell over, like "Who kidnapped my child? Has he been abducted by aliens and replaced with this new child?" And he is totally proud of himself when he says this and is doing exactly what I am asking him to do. WHAT????

*He is being really sweet, loving, concerned about my feelings, and just really wanting to make me happy. Honestly, I just can't believe this! He is always hugging and kissing me and telling me how much he loves me. It's what I always imagined parenthood would be like! Yes, he still fusses and whines and has occasional tantrums, and I always expected that a child would be this way, but I thought there would be a lot more good times. I feel like, at least for now, we are hitting those good times!

While it seems out of nowhere, there are a few things that I have changed.

*I am continuing to follow the point system explained in Transforming the Difficult Child, but not as strict as it's explained in the book. Every night we review his behavior and he gets points for everything he's done well. As the book says, I try to really play up the things he has done well, and only minimally mention the things he didn't do so well. I think it's really positive for both of us to focus on what he is doing well. It's hard to say how much that's affecting his behavior, but I think it is definitely helping. It seems like his self-esteem is better.

*I am buying my first house, something I didn't think I'd ever be able to do as a single mom, so that's really exciting. I think this has helped my overall mood and optimism, and I think it's rubbed off on my son. He knows I am excited and happy about this, and he is too! I am finding myself being really upbeat, happy, singing, dancing around, and I know this is good for my son too!

*I have stopped almost all working when he is around. I used to take him to a weekly evening meeting I had for a magazine I was working with. There were other kids there and they all played together, but apparently he hated it. He just wants to be home and hanging out with me at night, and that one night a week was just not working for him. He's mentioned several times that he is acting nicer because we aren't going to the meeting and he gets to spend that time with me instead. I am also rarely talking on the phone, texting, or doing anything else. It's a sacrifice, but when I compare that to my life of HELL with him before, it's totally worth it. Both of us are much happier!

*He has started occupational therapy for sensory processing disorder, and though we've only gone twice, he really loves it.

*I have changed our time out method to having him do time outs in the bedroom instead of in a chair where I had to restrain him and physically fight him. It escalated things for both of us to the point where I'd be unable to control myself (after HOURS of tantrums) and I would blow my fuse too. It was just a mess. Now he goes in the room, I close the door, walk away, and take a breather. He seems to calm down in his room, and I don't have to deal with him for a few minutes. He doesn't find that scary and has learned to regulate his behavior in the bedroom. He will often grab books and lie on the bed and read. (He's only in there 3-4 minutes or so, a little more if he's still really upset, which hasn't happened much lately!) I think not having to physically battle with him has made a huge difference for both of us. The only thing that happens occasionally is he doesn't want to stay in the room, and I will have to keep putting him back in there, but that has only happened a few times, and I've been able to stay calm. Things are literally a million times better!

We have some big transitions coming up. We will be moving to our new place, which is always stressful, and he will be starting kindergarten in the fall. But I am hoping that this good streak we are on will continue. I feel like we are really building our relationship and I feel a bond with him like I've never felt before. I used to (I hate to admit this) dread picking him up from daycare most days because it was frequently just awful to be around him, even though I loved him. Now I am excited to see him and will even pick him up early from school sometimes because we are enjoying our time together. It's just soooo amazing!

Again, thanks all of you for reading my story and giving me all the ideas I've tried. So many of them have been helpful.
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#255 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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What a wonderful update! Praying that this continues for you and better days ahead.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#256 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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So so so to read this update. Please continue to update for us through your move. I pray that this light will continue to shine down on both of you. You both deserve this happiness sooooo much.
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#257 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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I'm so glad for both of you. That's awesome

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#258 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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THIS IS AMAZING!! I am BEYOND thrilled for you! Although I do want to quickly comment on this quote below. While I think it's fantastic that his behavior has changed, it bothers me slightly that he's acting nicely "for you". It's not just because you're his mom and because he has to. It's because you love him very much and you want to make sure that he's safe. You also feel sad when he feels sad or angry and you want to help him, but when he fights with you the way that he used to, it's hard to show him how much you love him because he used to fight so hard that he was unable to listen to you. You can't help him when either one of you is out of control.

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*When I ask him to do things, he will now often say, "Ok, mom. I am listening to you because you're my mom and I am supposed to listen!"
I think this is a FANTASTIC opportunity for communication, and maybe you could even talk about ways that you can help him manage his emotions if he feels himself starting to get angry in the way that he used to.

As for the time out, that's not always a bad thing. If what the child needs is a few minutes by themselves, that's great! I love that he'll retreat to his room until he's calm. That is NOT the same "time out" as being forced to sit in a corner until the child submits to the parent and comes back with a (not so sincere) apology (as an example). Everyone needs to just back away once and a while to regain their emotions.

I'm glad you posted. I've been thinking about you lately! Just wondering how things have been.

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#259 of 494 Old 04-30-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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I too agree that you shouldn't unnecessarily medicate your child however as parents we need to set our children up for success and do everything we can to help them...Now i don't have children with behavioral problems BUT I have worked with many children and adults with sever aggressional behaviors in a group home setting...Medicating them was the very last option and only after we tried everything in our bag of tricks to de-escalate...I can't imagine how it must feel for your little guy to be so angry that he's hurting his mommy...and in my opinion if he unable to calm down on his own (or with your help) and there's a risk of him hurting himself and others then i think he needs some extra help and if that means being put on medication then that's what i think he needs (and you too) however i personally would want to start with a prescription for a PRN first (as required) then a med he has to take everyday, and just see how that goes....I am not a Doctor so this is only my opinion
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#260 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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WOW I am so amazed and delighted for you, that is so unbelievable after all you've been through. What a miracle and you certainly deserve one too!! Congratulations!!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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#261 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I too agree that you shouldn't unnecessarily medicate your child however as parents we need to set our children up for success and do everything we can to help them...Now i don't have children with behavioral problems BUT I have worked with many children and adults with sever aggressional behaviors in a group home setting...Medicating them was the very last option and only after we tried everything in our bag of tricks to de-escalate...I can't imagine how it must feel for your little guy to be so angry that he's hurting his mommy...and in my opinion if he unable to calm down on his own (or with your help) and there's a risk of him hurting himself and others then i think he needs some extra help and if that means being put on medication then that's what i think he needs (and you too) however i personally would want to start with a prescription for a PRN first (as required) then a med he has to take everyday, and just see how that goes....I am not a Doctor so this is only my opinion
I would possibly agree with you if his behavior was continuing, but thankfully things have changed dramatically over the last month or so! He is no longer hitting me, hurting me, or doing anything destructive. It's been so great that I really can't believe things are the way they are. Should his behavior return and should I be unable to help him control himself, I might have to consider medication, but for now, I am so glad I don't have to!
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#262 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THIS IS AMAZING!! I am BEYOND thrilled for you! Although I do want to quickly comment on this quote below. While I think it's fantastic that his behavior has changed, it bothers me slightly that he's acting nicely "for you". It's not just because you're his mom and because he has to. It's because you love him very much and you want to make sure that he's safe. You also feel sad when he feels sad or angry and you want to help him, but when he fights with you the way that he used to, it's hard to show him how much you love him because he used to fight so hard that he was unable to listen to you. You can't help him when either one of you is out of control.



I think this is a FANTASTIC opportunity for communication, and maybe you could even talk about ways that you can help him manage his emotions if he feels himself starting to get angry in the way that he used to.

As for the time out, that's not always a bad thing. If what the child needs is a few minutes by themselves, that's great! I love that he'll retreat to his room until he's calm. That is NOT the same "time out" as being forced to sit in a corner until the child submits to the parent and comes back with a (not so sincere) apology (as an example). Everyone needs to just back away once and a while to regain their emotions.

I'm glad you posted. I've been thinking about you lately! Just wondering how things have been.


Hi Sgmom:

I am not sure I completely understand your observation about him being in control "for me." That's not exactly what I meant. When he's said those things to me (like "I am listening to you because you are my mom and I should listen!") he is saying this because he has been really proud of himself for listening to mommy, and he wants to point out how well he is doing and how proud he is of being in control. I always reinforce that with a "Yes! You're doing such a good job of listening!" and a specific comment like "When you hold my hand in the parking lot like mommy asks, that helps you stay safe!"

Of course I want him to do that because I love him and want to have good times with him and not be fighting all of the time, and also because I want him to be happy and successful in life. It's definitely not about control or having him jump through hoops like a little trained monkey. I hope it didn't come across that way! The main thing I want is for my son to be happy and for me to be happy and for us to be happy TOGETHER. We have been sharing so many nice times cuddling on the couch. This is something I always wanted to do with him and loved doing, but he was blowing up all the time and we got locked into big battles, which was how we'd spend our time. Somehow, THANK GOD, we've gotten out of this. He seems to be getting that when we aren't fighting, we are spending time together doing fun, happy things.

We have definitely talked about how he can manage his behavior when he gets angry, and he's working on that. Sometimes when he gets mad at me or a little out of control, he will go into the bedroom and slam the door and say something like, "I am angry at you right now!" I just let him have his space, and when he calms down, I come in and check on him and we talk. I am also noticing that if I upset him, instead of flying into a rage like he used to do, he is more likely to cry and say, "You hurt my feelings!" and I try to always respond to that with talking and hugs. It's so much easier to respond to a child who is crying and upset than one who is hitting, biting, screaming, and being destructive. (Obviously!)

I know there are a lot of things I am doing better, but at the same time, this honestly seems like some sort of magic! I have been joking that he is "angel possessed." As opposed to being demon possessed (not that I believe in that concept!), it seems like some angelic spirit has just taken over his body. It's just awesome.

I know that the move will probably be challenging. It will be our third move in about 3 years, but thankfully we will be at this new place to stay for a while, since I bought it. He is very excited about having his own room again. Right now we're in a one bedroom.

He will also be starting kindergarten in the fall, so we have lots of changes coming, but I think he will also enjoy being at school with more kids his age. He has been really wanting to work on reading and writing, and it's just like something has shifted. I am seeing a new confidence and pride in him, and I keep piling on the praise and compliments.

Honestly, I really didn't ever think it would be like this. We've just been having great times together.

I thought after all the horrible times I've posted about, I needed to post an update about something good, and this is GOOD! We had good days here and there over the past year or so, but it was one, maybe two ok days, and this has been weeks of GREAT days. The days have ranged from one small tantrum that resolves to simply perfect days where everything goes exactly as it should with both of us happy and content!

Happy happy happy times!
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#263 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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so happy for both of you!

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#264 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your yays, yipees, and well-wishes! It really is just amazing, and the happier I am with him and his great behavior, the better he does. It seems to just keep building! I think maybe he's realizing he can get lots of good, positive, fun attention if he is kind and acts appropriately. Whenever he starts to get a little cranky, I will remind him that "Come on, honey, I want to have a good day with you! If we are fighting with each, we can't have a good day together. I want to have fun with you and spend special mommy/son time today!" and then I will try to redirect him by asking him to do something with me.

I wish I had a perfectly clear idea of what happened, but I suppose each of the things I've done have contributed to his overall improved mood and behavior. I am sooooooo happy about how he's doing right now!
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#265 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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I would possibly agree with you if his behavior was continuing, but thankfully things have changed dramatically over the last month or so! He is no longer hitting me, hurting me, or doing anything destructive. It's been so great that I really can't believe things are the way they are. Should his behavior return and should I be unable to help him control himself, I might have to consider medication, but for now, I am so glad I don't have to!
That is awesome! I am very very happy for the both of you; ever since i read your original post you guys have been in my thoughts and that's great to hear the improvement!
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#266 of 494 Old 05-01-2010, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Danielle T! It seemed like we were definitely heading towards medication at one point, but for now that's completely and totally off the table. He is doing great!
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#267 of 494 Old 05-19-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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I hope your absence has meant very good things. How was your Mothers day? Did the move go well? Hope spring is treating you and your boy fantastically!
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#268 of 494 Old 05-19-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I am so glad again that the news has been good! Wonderful!

Mom to two lovely girls, 4 and 3. SAHW/M in need of sleep.
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#269 of 494 Old 05-20-2010, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone! Hello Barbie64 and MissNo!

I have spent the last month trying to get our house sale to close, and it finally did last week. We are moving in a few days, so everything is hectic. We are very excited about our new home! We will be moving from our current one-bedroom rental to a two-bedroom home that's all OURS! It's very exciting!

But along with that is also some sadness for both of us. I think change is hard for most people, and there's also that fear of the unknown. I think we will absolutely love our new place, but it will take some getting used to.

After doing wonderfully for 6-8 weeks or so, my son is having a little bit of regression, but I think that's compeltely expected given the stress we are both under. Moving as a single mom with a young child isn't exactly an easy process! We've both been less patient and irritable lately. But, even saying that, his outbursts at their worst are still only about half as bad as they were before! He had his worst tantrum in about two months last night, and it only took 30-45 minutes. His tantrums used to last as long as 6-8 hours on a bad day, and at least 1-2 hours when it wasn't so bad, so I still think this is a huge improvement! Overall, I am very pleased with the progress he is making. He has really changed so much.

We are also going to occupational therapy once per week, and he absolutely loves it. We still continue to see his regular therapist as well. Overall, things are really really good! I am actually enjoying being a parent most of the time! I am enjoying being with my son! I hate to say it, but this wasn't really something I could say before. In the past, spending time with him was often so painful (literally and figuratively), and then I would be wrapped up in these feelings of guilt as well because I really didn't want to be around him half the time because all he did was hit me, scream at me, break things, etc. No matter how hard I tried or how kind or patient I was, it didn't matter, and that made me feel so helpless. It was just an awful mess. However, I am hopeful that we've made significant LONG TERM changes. I am determined to believe this and make it true! So far it's been pretty freaking amazing!

In taking him to occupational therapy, though, I am learning a lot more about him and why he reacts the way he does in some situations. For example, he is extremely physically talented in many ways. He could ride his bike without training wheels before he turned four. He can shoot a zillion hoops without missing a single one. He can easily hit a baseball. He has really great coordination. However, in OT, she has pointed out that his fast-twitch muscle fibers are highly developed (way beyond his age, equivalent to a 8-year-old on some tests and even close to a teenager on others!), but his slow-twitch muscle fibers are really underdeveloped. What this means is that he's much more comfortable with fast movement (and good at it!), and very uncomfortable with slower movement or where he has to hold his body still or steady. The way this translates into behavior is that it makes him act "hyper" much of the time. He always wants to run, jump, wrestle, and his energy is endless. On the other side of things, since he is so talented in so many physical things, when he couldn't do things like holding on to me during a piggy back ride or other things that required endurance and holding still, I would think he was messing around and not concentrating. Both have created situations where he has gotten in trouble, either from being too hyper and active, or from not paying attention, and now I can clearly see that this really isn't something he can control.

Having the occupational therapy and learning about Sensory Processing Disorder has really been very eye-opening. I feel like I am having these constant epiphanies, like "OHHHHH! Wow! So that's why he does that! It makes so much sense!" It's very cool. And he loves it!!! What more can you ask for?

Anyway, off to pack, then bed. Thanks so much for checking in!
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#270 of 494 Old 05-20-2010, 03:51 AM
 
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