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-   -   Threats with knives - WWYD? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/36-gentle-discipline/1357321-threats-knives-wwyd.html)

Storm Bride 07-05-2012 09:13 AM

I was woken up this morning by an intercom call from dd1 (9). She was locked in the downstairs bathroom with her little sister, and the downstairs phone handset. DS2 (almost 7) was chasing the two of them with sharp knives from the kitchen. I came downstairs immediately, and he jumped out from behind a curtain, holding the two knives like swords, and said "hiya!" and told me to stay back. In my not finest parenting moment, I told him to give me the knives now, or he was getting his butt paddled. *sigh*

 

He gave me the knives and I sent him upstairs for a time-out. I honestly have NO idea how to deal with something like this. His behaviour is frequently awful in the mornings, but not this awful.


zebra15 07-05-2012 09:32 AM

By age 7 my DS knew not to play with knives under any circumstances.  Can you start some kitchen training, safety lessons etc.  

For example - this is the bread knife, look at the deep grooves, its ONLY for cutting bread.   These are steak knives, still have grooves but much pointier at the end. and smaller.   This is a fruit knife.... 


Adaline'sMama 07-05-2012 09:35 AM

That's scary. Can he be on vegetable chopping duty for the next couple of weeks? Instead of doing other stuff like playing with friends, reading, watching tv, ect before dinner he has to help you make dinner. I'm sure he knows how sharp knives are, but maybe after a couple of weeks of having to use one (or watch you use one) he will understand exactly how sharp they are and how they are intended to be used.

Also, for the time being I'd move them out of his reach (if there is a such thing for a 7 yo boy). My brother stabbed me in the forearm with a steak knife when he was that age and I was 10. It wasn't too bad, but it sure did hurt.

Storm Bride 07-05-2012 09:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

By age 7 my DS knew not to play with knives under any circumstances.  Can you start some kitchen training, safety lessons etc.  

For example - this is the bread knife, look at the deep grooves, its ONLY for cutting bread.   These are steak knives, still have grooves but much pointier at the end. and smaller.   This is a fruit knife.... 

 

We've been doing that since he was a toddler.


Storm Bride 07-05-2012 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

That's scary. Can he be on vegetable chopping duty for the next couple of weeks? Instead of doing other stuff like playing with friends, reading, watching tv, ect before dinner he has to help you make dinner. I'm sure he knows how sharp knives are, but maybe after a couple of weeks of having to use one (or watch you use one) he will understand exactly how sharp they are and how they are intended to be used.
He's used the knives before (under supervision), but this might be a good idea. It's hard to say what really sinks in with this one.

Also, for the time being I'd move them out of his reach (if there is a such thing for a 7 yo boy). My brother stabbed me in the forearm with a steak knife when he was that age and I was 10. It wasn't too bad, but it sure did hurt.

 

I was thinking about moving them out of his reach, but I honestly can't think of anywhere that he can't get to, if he tries. It would be difficult for him to reach the very top shelf in the kitchen, but if he stood on something on the counter, he could do it...and there's the chance that he'd end up taking a tumble (possibly with the knives in his hands...that wasn't a good mental picture at all).

 

He apparently started sawing on one of my cookbooks, too.


Adaline'sMama 07-05-2012 10:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I was thinking about moving them out of his reach, but I honestly can't think of anywhere that he can't get to, if he tries. It would be difficult for him to reach the very top shelf in the kitchen, but if he stood on something on the counter, he could do it...and there's the chance that he'd end up taking a tumble (possibly with the knives in his hands...that wasn't a good mental picture at all).

He apparently started sawing on one of my cookbooks, too.

I had a feeling that would be the case. My little brother was just like this...he'd climb up the Empire State Building if he thought there was something my mother didnt want him to have at the top of it. Sounds like a lock box is the only solution to actually keeping them away from him.

As far as mornings go, what if he has to stay in his room (or in a certain room..one that wasnt the kitchen) until you got up?

MrsGregory 07-05-2012 10:17 AM

Peace.gif

 

Hi gang!

 

I'm stepping out of my depth a little here, but I wanted to lend my support and an idea.

I've been around little boys my whole life.  My family makes lots of (big) men.  We say, manly, manly men.

I don't know about your men - but I know our men, they're very "typical" men.  It's in quotes because let's face it, not all men are one way or another, but for better or worse, our men are what passes for "an average manly man" or passed for such in the less enlightened era - in other words, these men of ours, they smash things, they take something apart and poke at it's innards (A car!  A toaster!  We keep them away from living creatures until they're taught empathy and boundaries!), they harass the rest of the clan until we trick them into going outside and lock the door.  They are fairly violent little hooligans until we can teach them to get a handle on themselves.

What you described your son doing, while completely not OK, sounds pretty typical for the men I know at about that age.  <sigh>

 

Have you given him something he can menace, terrorize and destroy?  At 7, my brothers had things they could tear to ribbons, and they did so, on a daily basis.  We still have things they can punch if they need to punch something.  There has always been something available for the boys to disassemble, or just break.  I don't want to tell you how often the menfolk will group up and safely make something explode.  Grown men here.  Potato guns are built and fired.  Go-carts turn into bumper cars.  Mayhem.

 

Try giving the boy something to shred, and explaining that he needs to keep his need to shred contained.  See if that helps.

Good luck!  (Me, I'm doing every trick I know to be sure I have nothing but girls!)
 


Storm Bride 07-05-2012 11:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

As far as mornings go, what if he has to stay in his room (or in a certain room..one that wasnt the kitchen) until you got up?

 

I have no way to enforce it, so he won't do it. To give you an idea what ds2 is like, a pediatrician I saw last year gave him a tentative diagnosis of ADHD and ODD. I happen to disagree with her diagnosis (she was ignoring quite a few aspects of what I was telling her), but I can see why she reached that conclusion. He doesn't understand boundaries very well.


ameliabedelia 07-05-2012 06:09 PM

I know a lot of people with boys that age, say that their boys are better behaved when they have a productive outlet for their energy/agression,   In times past, boys would be spending time chopping wood or working int he fields and they would learn to use knives to carve wood or whittle things or make things.   That energy would be channeled in a productive direction. What about giving him a pocketknife (that an adult keeps for him but that he can use under supervision for carving wood or whittling).  Or maybe give him some physical work he can do outside.. cleaning up a yard, or mowing grass (with a manual mower...I wouldn't give a 7 yo a gas or electric mower), or raking leaves (in the fall).


One_Girl 07-05-2012 07:30 PM

I would have flipped out. If I thought my child didn't know the seriousness of threatening another person with a weapon I would find a way to make that clear. If she did know how serious it is I would seek counseling fast unless I was absolutely certain it was an attention seeking thing gone to far, in which case I would only seek counseling if I wasn't able to effectively help her find other ways to get attention. With siblings being involved this could be a cry for attention gone too far thing.

Storm Bride 07-05-2012 07:48 PM

DS2 doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of much of anything. It's extremely difficult to get through to him. DH and I have resorted to absolutely outrageous threats, which we both know is stupid, because we just can't seem to make him get it. His behaviour is very attention seeking - but he gets more of my attention than his three siblings combined.

 

He's very difficult to deal with. I think we're going to have to start the process of having him evaluated again.


Storm Bride 07-05-2012 07:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

Or maybe give him some physical work he can do outside.. cleaning up a yard, or mowing grass (with a manual mower...I wouldn't give a 7 yo a gas or electric mower), or raking leaves (in the fall).

 

I would love to do this, but we don't have a yard. :(


chaimom 07-06-2012 09:24 AM

If he's so defiant and has no boundaries, I would find a good family counselor.  I had a friend whose son was like this and their pediatrician also said he probably had ODD.   He's 10 now and somewhat better, but the things he would do had my jaw on the floor.  I have twin boys the same age and they would never have considered doing the things this kid did.  

 

Some of the doozies I heard about:

-- stomping on neighbor's flowers, refusing to stop and when finally threatened with a spanking he said, "come and get me."

-- Screaming in a rage for 2 hours when the wrong pizza was delivered

-- Hitting younger sister daily

-- Refusing to go to school and having to be carried into the school office (literally kicking and screaming)

-- staying up until midnight or later because he would throw tantrums (keeping the rest of the family awake) if his parents tried to force him to go to bed

 

No form of discipline-- and they tried many I didn't agree with-- worked.  Finally they saw a family counselor when he was about 7 and stronger than his petite mom, who couldn't control him at all.  The counselor told them their kid was wired differently than most and he needed to make more of his own decisions than most kids his age.   Letting go of some of the control helped with some of the behavior problems. But the counselor also gave the family strategies for dealing with the hitting and tantruming.  I don't know all the details of it, but a year later, she told me things had improved. He's still over the top but they can take him out in public now without being afraid he'll run away or freak out.  I think there are still issues with his sister, but they're not afraid for her safety anymore. 


Storm Bride 07-06-2012 10:42 AM

I can't honestly describe ds2's issues very well - it's hard even in person, and almost impossible online. He's not really particularly defiant, although I can see why he comes across that way. He thinks most of the things he does are funny, If people aren't amused when he's being "funny", he feels rejected and becomes amazingly upset. While he does occasionally act out with his sisters (such as the knife incident that prompted this post), he's more likely to be found hitting himself in the head and calling himself a jerk, an idiot, stupid, etc. He's quite destructive at times, but it's almost always tied to rejection (or sometimes, when someone takes something of his) - his older sister doesn't want to play with him, so he throws one of her favourite toys across the room, or tears up one of her drawings/paintings, or he wants to hug his little sister, and she doesn't want a hug, so he pushes her or grabs something from her hands.

 

When I talk about boundaries, I mean all kinds of boundaries. He doesn't get the idea that other people have personal space. When he's in classes, he frequently speaks up at totally inappropriate times (mostly, it makes instructors and/or spectators laugh...but he honestly has no idea why they're laughing, because he has no idea that he really shouldn't have piped up right then, or said what he said). If someone is playing a videogame that he likes to watch, he'll hang on them (right in their face, sometimes holding an arm) and offer a constant stream of unwanted commentary or game advice (drives his big brother crazy). Attempts to address these things tend to trigger a "tantrum", but it's of the "you all hate me - I'm worthless" type. He honestly can't understand why people might not like that...despite the fact that he frequently doesn't like it when people do it to him, either. With that behaviour, or any other, people can say, "please don't do that"...."please don't do that"...."please don't do that"...."stop that"..."stop that"..."STOP that!"...and when they eventually lose their temper, he ends up crying in a corner, saying "why doesn't anybody like me?". He almost never bears a grudge about anything - will be mad enough to hit someone, and wanting to play with them again in 10 minutes - and has no understanding that other people aren't necessarily over an incident that quickly. So-and-so doesn't want to play with him, because they don't like him - not because he pegged them in a head with a pinecone 10 minutes ago...things like that.

 

*sigh*
I just ended up yelling at him again. We're trying to clean up. I asked him to put some clothes by the washing machine. He came back, with his foot wrapped up in dd1's favourite dress, dragging it along the floor, and can't understand why I'm upset. I asked how he'd like it if I damaged his sweater, and he started crying, saying "I love that sweater". I screamed (in sheer frustration - and I'm not proud of myself, because I know he just does not process this stuff the way most people do) that dd1 loves that dress, too - it's her favourite. And, he just said, "well, I didn't know". I actually think he wouldn't have dragged it if he'd known it was her favourite (unless he was mad at her), but he just doesn't get that it's not okay to do that to other people's stuff...period. Prior to that, he was helping me while I was putting a string around our floor lamp (hoping dd2 will stop knocking it over - she smashed the glass shade to bits yesterday, and knocked it over again about 20-30 minutes ago). He was very willing, but he also tends to try to do what he thinks I need, instead of what I actually ask for...because I was precariously perched, I wasn't as patient as I could have been, so he's probably feeling bad, because I was terse. He's amazingly sensitive...and people don't see it, as a rule. He's also very friendly and outgoing - adults mostly really like him, but he has HUGE social issues with other kids.

 

 

And, on the flipside of all this, he's the first one to share the last berry on his plate, or piece of chocolate. He spent most of last year reguarly assuming the super-hero identity of "Toddler Saver" and looking out for dd2, a little boy in our townhouse complex, and the younger brother of one of his homeschooling friends. He slipped into my bedroom this morning, saw I was sleeping, kissed me on the cheek and left (I was just starting to wake up - didn't even know who it was, until he mentioned it later). If anyone in the family is upset, he's the first one to run over and give them a hug (causes him problems with dd1, because she mostly prefers to be left alone, and then he feels rejected - again).

 

 

We've had a few real doozies over the years (one, in particular, really blew me away - a major meltdown, including kicking me in the stomach and trying to choke me, because he wasn't allowed to stay at a playdate that dd1 was having). But, they're generally triggered by rejection, not defiance...and they're really not the norm, although they're so amazingly draining that they feel as if they happen more often than they do.


Luckiestgirl 07-06-2012 11:33 AM

If your gut feeling is that he's not in danger of hurting anyone, I would suggest you try to involve your son in martial arts, woodworking, scouting, a fishing club, archery, a traditional sleepover camp--anything that will give him a chance to develop real, hands-on skills.  My son doesn't run around with knives but does engage in some attention-seeking behavior that seems tied to his need to be doing meaningful work.  Scouting has been good for him in this area, as has a week-long day camp he attended.  Kids who know how, and are allowed to use, sharp objects responsibly typically don't feel the need to play around with them.


stik 07-06-2012 06:50 PM

It doesn't matter what the intentions of a 7-year-old who is chasing his sisters with a knife are - he can easily hurt someone very seriously in that situation regardless of his intentions. 

 

Stormbride, if your house has doors that lock, you have a way to put the knives out of reach, and you should use it.  Your ds has now clearly informed you that he cannot be unsupervised with knives, and he cannot be unsupervised in the morning, so you also need to get up when he does so you can be alert to these situations as they develop. 

 

There's no need to have a fine parenting moment when a kid brandishes a knife at you. 


Storm Bride 07-06-2012 07:15 PM

I'm afraid I lack the telepathic abilities necessary to wake up when he does.  I'm also unlikely to be "alert" to these situations, as I'm beyond exhausted myself. I'm barely able to keep my eyes open all day as it is.

 

Quite frankly, dealing with ds2 is more than I've got in me. I'm actually sitting here crying just at the thought of dealing with having to lock my knives in the bedroom every night. It may well need to be done, but I'm not looking forward to locking up my broom, my meat tenderizing hammer, canned goods, etc. The real problem here isn't the knives. It's ds2. He just doesn't get it., and I'm clearly not the right parent to be dealing with it.


Adaline'sMama 07-06-2012 07:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I'm afraid I lack the telepathic abilities necessary to wake up when he does.  I'm also unlikely to be "alert" to these situations, as I'm beyond exhausted myself. I'm barely able to keep my eyes open all day as it is.

Quite frankly, dealing with ds2 is more than I've got in me. I'm actually sitting here crying just at the thought of dealing with having to lock my knives in the bedroom every night. It may well need to be done, but I'm not looking forward to locking up my broom, my meat tenderizing hammer, canned goods, etc. The real problem here isn't the knives. It's ds2. He just doesn't get it., and I'm clearly not the right parent to be dealing with it.

C'mon, stop crying. hug.gif He's a 7 year old boy with some behavior problems. You've dealt with way worse than this. You are the right parent to deal with it- you are his parent. The issue here isnt the knives, it's the behavior overall. It sounds like you are overwhelmed and you need help to deal with him. What about some extra activities like pp mentioned. What about camp? Does he get along with others well enough to do something like that? Where is your teenager? Can (s)he help?

Storm Bride 07-06-2012 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


C'mon, stop crying. hug.gif He's a 7 year old boy with some behavior problems. You've dealt with way worse than this. You are the right parent to deal with it- you are his parent. The issue here isnt the knives, it's the behavior overall. It sounds like you are overwhelmed and you need help to deal with him. What about some extra activities like pp mentioned. What about camp? Does he get along with others well enough to do something like that? Where is your teenager? Can (s)he help?

 

My teenager isn't home very much. He helps with the kids when he is, but he's moving on with own life. He has work. He just came back from a four day visit with his father. He has a girlfriend.

 

I haven't really noticed any overnight camps that he could attend (age limits and such), but he does do some other activities. Most of them have wound up for the summer, except for Tae Kwon Do. (He's taking it one night a week for July, but not for August, as we're going to be away for 10-11 days.) Due to some major issues with the other kids, he's indoors, unless I can go out to supervise him, for....well, I don't know how long, exactly. I don't get him out as much as I should, because it effing drains me. I took them to the pool in our complex today (something I'd be doing every day that we were home, in a perfect world - it's the second time since the pool opened at the end of May). We were there for about an hour, and I came back so utterly exhausted that I could barely face unloading the dishwasher. Up until a couple weeks ago, he was in swimming two days a week, circus arts one day a week, and Tae Kwon Do one day a week.

 

I'm sure I do need some help, but I can't figure out where to get it. I've woken up some mornings in tears, just from knowing I have to deal wtih ds2 all day. And, at the same time, he's one of the sweetest kids I've ever known. I just can't maintain the level of emotional, mental and physical energy that he requires.

 


I need to get him evaluated. But, after my initial attempt (last July!), I folded. If I don't have the energy to deal with him, I certainly don't have the energy to deal with the medical crap.


stik 07-06-2012 08:05 PM

You can buy a motion sensor alarm for his bedroom door.  Or some jingle bells, if he sleeps with the door closed. 

 

Stormbride, I sympathize with your frustration at the difficulties inherent in creating a safe environment for a kid who is having serious boundary issues.  It is WORK.  It's time-consuming, and frustrating, and has to be combined with more time-consuming, exhausting supervision.  While he may not realize it, and while you wish he wasn't, your ds is asking you in the clearest possible way for a lot of direct supervision.  You can sign him up for whatever energy-burning thing you want - it will probably be good for him, he'll love it, and he'll continue to seek attention from you in any way he can.  The best, safest, soundest choice in front of you is to give him that attention.  You know he can force you to pay attention - he just has to do something wildly unsafe.  You are all better off if he gets your attention without having to resort to reckless extremities first.  I hear that you're exhausted, and I know what I'm suggesting is difficult, and I really do sympathize. 

 

I also sympathize with the feelings of your other children, who were so scared they had to lock themselves in a room and call you.  They shouldn't have to live like that.  You can't give in to exhaustion. 
 

Who can help you?  Dad, grandparents, local agencies? 


Storm Bride 07-06-2012 08:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

You can buy a motion sensor alarm for his bedroom door.  Or some jingle bells, if he sleeps with the door closed. 


He shares a room with both his sisters. I can't see any way having two exhausted kids added to the equation is going to help.

 

Stormbride, I sympathize with your frustration at the difficulties inherent in creating a safe environment for a kid who is having serious boundary issues.  It is WORK.  It's time-consuming, and frustrating, and has to be combined with more time-consuming, exhausting supervision.  While he may not realize it, and while you wish he wasn't, your ds is asking you in the clearest possible way for a lot of direct supervision.  You can sign him up for whatever energy-burning thing you want - it will probably be good for him, he'll love it, and he'll continue to seek attention from you in any way he can.  The best, safest, soundest choice in front of you is to give him that attention. 

 

Okay - so I send my daughters away for the day? I cannot even describe to you the level of attention he requires. It is NOT POSSIBLE for me to give it to him, and still look after my other children, do even basic housework (and believe me - it's basic), etc. In any case, I'm not physically capable of that level of supervision. I can't go running up and down stairs, chasing him around, etc. all day. My knees hurt. My back gives out (sacroiliac joint). And, I simply don't have the energy. I can't walk fast enough. I can't keep going long enough. I'm crashed by noon some days.

 

You know he can force you to pay attention - he just has to do something wildly unsafe.  You are all better off if he gets your attention without having to resort to reckless extremities first.  I hear that you're exhausted, and I know what I'm suggesting is difficult, and I really do sympathize. 

 

He doesn't get attention. He gets yelled at and sent to his room, in isolation. If I keep him around when he does these things, it gets ugly.

 

I also sympathize with the feelings of your other children, who were so scared they had to lock themselves in a room and call you.  They shouldn't have to live like that.  You can't give in to exhaustion. 
 

I can't give in to exhaustion. Well, isn't that nice. So, I'm not allowed to be human, and will drop dead by the time he's a teenager, because I "can't give in to exhaustion"? That's pretty much what I'm looking at. I haven't gone more than two weeks without getting sick in years - my body is done. I feel like I'm 80. Are you going to tell an old woman that she "can't give in to old age", too? I can remember functioning on 20 hours of sleep a week - for at least a year - and not being this exhausted.
 

Who can help you?  Dad, grandparents, local agencies? 

 

My dad is an alcoholic, who I haven't talked to, except on Father's Day (because I had to drop off his taxes, as I'd had them on my desk for months, and he's facing jail time) in over a year.  My mom and stepdad are working themselves to death to maintain the small company that's paying her mortgage...and helping out with my sister's kids, as needed, which is way more necessary than my situation. (Yes - I'm serious. They've had CPS involved twice, and my nephew is profoundly gifted and is on the autism spectrum. His behavioural issues are a lot like ds2's, only more extreme, and more frequent.)

 

I have no friends who live nearby. I don't trust my neighbours, with good reason. Only one of them is home during the day, anyway, and she has a six month old. Local agencies? What kind of agencies?


Storm Bride 07-06-2012 08:27 PM

Basically, stik: Your posts have left me feeling as though my only possible option is to give ds2 up for adoption. I'm serious. You're telling me that I'm not a good enough parent, and can't be a good enough parent, for ds2. I don't think that's what you meant to say, but it's still what you said.

 

I think this is just a kick in the teeth for the number of times people said stupid things like, "is he a good baby?" and I said even stupider things, like "this is cheating - he's so easy that I don't even feel as if I'm parenting". HAHAHAHAHA I know better than to tempt fate like that. Easiest baby in the world. *sigh*


stik 07-06-2012 09:01 PM

You need to keep your kids safe. If one of them is chasing the other two with knives, they are not safe. I don't know your situation, so I don't know your options. Right now, you aren't talking about parenting strategies. Your kids were in a life-threatening situation this morning, and you seem to be saying there's no way you can prevent it from happening again tomorrow morning. You need to break out of that rut.

People have suggested camp for your son, but it's probably easier to find a camp for a 9yo than a 7yo. You could get her out of the house for a week or two. Daycare for your 3yo might give you some time to focus. Where is your dh? Have you described this incident to your son's doctor? What about your doctor? Who is treating your exhaustion?

I regret that my tone has seemed insensitive. You clearly need some help. Who can you call?

I've seen you around MDC for years, and I know you are a loving, caring parent. I absolutely do not think you should give up any of your kids.

Bokonon 07-06-2012 09:09 PM

Storm, I'm so sorry you're going through this.  I'm having some issues with my DS - not like yours, and not violent, but issues that effect our home life significantly.  And I completely understand being overwhelmed by the medical hoops to jump through to even find out how to get help.  It's overwhelming and exhausting, and when you are already at your wits' end, it's too much.  But I would definitely encourage you to keep trying, because you need help, but you need answers to get that help.

 

I don't know how the system works in Canada.  I've had to make countless phone calls to figure out how to get DS evaluated in the US.  It's horrible that it takes so much persistence and work to get help for a child who needs it.  But in the meantime, please get to a counselor for you and/or DS if possible.  Have the counselor guide you through the process, or at least be a sympathetic ear while you are going through it.  There will only be improvement if you get this figured out, as daunting as that seems.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I have to believe, and that's why I keep pushing for answers with my kid.  There is help out there, and I'll get there after all these evaluations and hoops I have to jump through to get a diagnosis for my son.

 

goodvibes.gif


DragonflyBlue 07-06-2012 10:12 PM

Set your alarm and get up before the kids. Go to bed at an earlier time. Put the kids to bed at a reasonable time. Every night. Wake them up in the am after you have had coffee and a bit of time to clean up the house or shower.

After the kids are in bed, have your you time to decompress.

Get him re-evaluated.

My son had similar issues. I got him evaluated, into therapy and on medication. Guess what happened? His reading went up TWO grade levels. His math scores went up. He made friends. He isn't drugged into a stupor of compliance. He is medicated so that his brain responds appropriately to stimuli, thought process, frustrations and disappointments. His medication allows him to lead a normal, healthy life and the ability to function and have his talents blossom.

I had six kids in eleven years. I know tired. I know exhaustion. I had twins after the six kids, right on the heals of my daughters death. I still managed to get things done.

I live on a farm now. I am up at 6 am every day and don't go to bed till midnight. I milk my cow, feed all my animals and am back up to the house before kids wake up. The only time I sit down during the day is to pee. I have numerous health issues. I've buried two children and dealt with issues that make others wonder how I have managed. It's simple. I chose to have these children. They didn't ask to come into this world. I have to parent them even when I don't want to. I have to give them my all, tired, depressed, sick and hurting. They can't be patented only when I feel up to it. I have no choice but to take care of business. Well not true, I do have a choice. I could choose to wallow in misery and give up. I chose to live life fully and to allow my kids to grow up in a functional home.

Feel free to search my history and see what I've dealt with. Feel free to pm me and ask. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed and exhausted. I know what it's like to grieve a lost child. I also know that I make the choice each day to be functional and present for my children and the grandbaby I am raising. It's not easy. But I do it. I do it for my kids. Because they deserve it.

Storm Bride 07-06-2012 10:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyBlue View Post

Set your alarm and get up before the kids. Go to bed at an earlier time. Put the kids to bed at a reasonable time. Every night. Wake them up in the am after you have had coffee and a bit of time to clean up the house or shower.
After the kids are in bed, have your you time to decompress.
Get him re-evaluated.
My son had similar issues. I got him evaluated, into therapy and on medication. Guess what happened? His reading went up TWO grade levels. His math scores went up. He made friends. He isn't drugged into a stupor of compliance. He is medicated so that his brain responds appropriately to stimuli, thought process, frustrations and disappointments. His medication allows him to lead a normal, healthy life and the ability to function and have his talents blossom.
I had six kids in eleven years. I know tired. I know exhaustion. I had twins after the six kids, right on the heals of my daughters death. I still managed to get things done.
I live on a farm now. I am up at 6 am every day and don't go to bed till midnight. I milk my cow, feed all my animals and am back up to the house before kids wake up. The only time I sit down during the day is to pee. I have numerous health issues. I've buried two children and dealt with issues that make others wonder how I have managed. It's simple. I chose to have these children. They didn't ask to come into this world. I have to parent them even when I don't want to. I have to give them my all, tired, depressed, sick and hurting. They can't be patented only when I feel up to it. I have no choice but to take care of business. Well not true, I do have a choice. I could choose to wallow in misery and give up. I chose to live life fully and to allow my kids to grow up in a functional home.
Feel free to search my history and see what I've dealt with. Feel free to pm me and ask. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed and exhausted. I know what it's like to grieve a lost child. I also know that I make the choice each day to be functional and present for my children and the grandbaby I am raising. It's not easy. But I do it. I do it for my kids. Because they deserve it.

 

That was harsh.

I know your history - I remember you. But, I'm not you. And, I don't have it. On a "go to bed at midnight, and get up at six" schedule, I'd probably be in the hospital in less than a month. (My sister and one of my good friends can manage on six hours sleep. I can't.) The last time I tried to push myself through severe sleep deprivation, I ended up with bronchitis, followed less than a month later by pneumonia - and no matter how awesome you are, I actually can't parent when I'm delirious with fever. I can't "put the kids to bed at a reasonable hour", because they don't stay there. (Well, dd2 doesn't, and dd1 doesn't these days, either.)

 

I'm still getting up every goddamned morning, which is already a WHOLE lot more than I feel up to.


Storm Bride 07-06-2012 10:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

You need to keep your kids safe. If one of them is chasing the other two with knives, they are not safe. I don't know your situation, so I don't know your options. Right now, you aren't talking about parenting strategies. Your kids were in a life-threatening situation this morning, and you seem to be saying there's no way you can prevent it from happening again tomorrow morning. You need to break out of that rut.
People have suggested camp for your son, but it's probably easier to find a camp for a 9yo than a 7yo. You could get her out of the house for a week or two. Daycare for your 3yo might give you some time to focus. Where is your dh? Have you described this incident to your son's doctor? What about your doctor? Who is treating your exhaustion?
I regret that my tone has seemed insensitive. You clearly need some help. Who can you call?
I've seen you around MDC for years, and I know you are a loving, caring parent. I absolutely do not think you should give up any of your kids.

 

I have no idea where there are any camps, of the overnight type. The only ones I've ever heard of are Scout camps, and my kids aren't in Scouts. In any case, right at the moment, if sent my daughter out of the house for a week or two, she'd fall apart. Her issues don't impinge on family life like ds2's do, but she's having a bloody awful time right now (onset of puberty, on top of an already highly volatile and sensitive temperament - the pediatrician thinks ds2 has ADHD, but I'm pretty sure dd1 actually does). She's very nervous about people she doesn't know, and would feel that she was being punished if I sent her off to camp.

 

My son's doctor is my doctor. We generally only see pediatricians by referral .The last referral he gave me was completely useless, and is part of the reason that I've been psyching myself up again for almost two weeks to call for a new one, to someone who might actually listen to a goddamned word I say (not likely, but possible - the other one sure as s**t didn't). I don't trust doctors as far as I can throw them. The fact that I need to involve them in my life makes me despair of anything ever working for us again - ever. If it were only me, I'd never see a doctor again. As for my exhaustion - nobody's treating it. They don't know what's causing it. As per my last blood tests, my thyroid was okay, and I wasn't anemic, and "you have four kids, you know". I'm pretty sure the fact that dd2 runs on about seven hours sleep a night isn't helping. (She's awake right now, nursing to sleep, which is why I'm not in bed yet.)

 

DH is at work. Where else would he be? He helps a ton, but he's burning out, too.

 

I'm not going to give ds2 up. It would probably be in his best interests, but I couldn't live with it. .


DragonflyBlue 07-06-2012 11:07 PM

No, you aren't me. You are you, with your own issues, beliefs, goals, etc.

I wasn't trying to put you down. I told you, I get it. I understand. I've been there. I offered ideas on how to maybe make things a bit easier.

It's exhausting having a child with special needs. I have eight kids, six living. Three of my living children have special needs. That's part of the reason we have our grandchild.

I know how frustrating it is to try and get help for your kids. I know how frustrating it can be to get help for a child. I know how frustrating it is to get help for your own issues. I know what it's like to want to run away and start a new life and not deal with things. I get it.

You are at your limit. I'm guessing your son is too. I know that before I got my DS the help he needed he was a hot mess. He was barely functioning in school and at home. He told me he wanted to die. He told me he was rotten and awful. He didn't understand why he acted the way he did.

But I fought for him. I got him help. He's not the same kid he was a year ago. My sweet boy likes himself. He can sit down and play with his toys. He can deal with things appropriately. Is he perfect? Nope. He's a normal 8 yo kid. This afternoon, we spent two hours while the baby napped, cuddled up in my bed, playing games on my phone. A year ago? He couldn't have done that. A year ago he would have come unhinged and thrown things across the room at being asked to sit still for two hours. Today? He asked if we could snuggle and play games. He asked!

A year ago I couldn't let him out of my sight for two minutes. Today? He can run around the farm, interact with our animals without me standing over him. He is gentle, thoughtful, kind and so tenderhearted. He is blossoming.

You can do this. You can bring about the changes you want for your family.

It won't be easy. It will be hard work, tears, frustration and more. But the payoffs? Priceless!

Storm Bride 07-06-2012 11:21 PM

You know what? This whole thread was a huge mistake. I'm not going to delete it, but I'm more depressed right now than I've been in years. You guys are really just reinforcing what I've felt for a long time - I'm not the right parent for ds2. I'm the one he's stuck with, but I'm not the right one. I'm a fantastically crappy advocate for him (just as I've always been for myself). He needs medical help, and I need to have the entire medical profession as far away from me as it's possible to get them. I have to suck that up, but I still can't communicate with medpros. I'll call Monday...I'm 99% sure it will be another farce, but a 1% chance of actual help is better than 0%.


Purple*Lotus 07-06-2012 11:52 PM

I think stik and dfb have good advice.  You have to protect your kids.  You are not even considering any of their suggestions.  If you can not arrange to be awake before your son, then you need to ask your DH to help you.  Someone has to make sure that your other children are not in danger.  I hope you can figure something out.



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