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#1 of 33 Old 08-31-2006, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really at a loss of how to handle my 6.5 yr old ds. He has always been one to challenge me and he really makes me feel like a failure of a mother every day. We have tried all different things to try and curb his behavior (which I believe is very inappropriate for his age) but nothing has seemed to work. We went to a child psychologist at the end of last school year because of an incendent that happened at school and after we worked through that we started to work on his behavior at home. we tried having the jar of marbles that you get/take away marbles based on behavior. I really dont like this concept but she told us that it would help him understand that there are consequences for our actions. I thought might as well give it a try. It would work on days that he had "good days" but when he would start to lose the marbles he would continue to make bad choices until they were all gone, and then continue to make bad choices because I couldnt take anymore marbles away. Anyway, before this we tried using natural consequences with him, but he really didnt seem to understand that. We would take certain toys away for the day if he was making bad choices. His response was "thats fine I'll go play with something else then." He has told me that he really doesnt care when he gets in trouble. Its like he has no impule control. He gets a thought in his head. Instead of thinking it through he just does it. Anyway here is a list of some of his bahaviors that I consider inappropriate:

*He whines and cries over EVERYTHING. I honestly dont think he has a normal voice anymore. All I hear out of his mouth is whining. He has to cry and question everything that happens in our house. I usually have him keep repeating what he is telling me until he can say it without whining. Sometimes it can take up to 10 times. He has this new "fake" cry that he uses whenever he doesnt get his way.

*I do daycare in my home to make money. He has always hated this (but no other option other than me getting a job outside the home) so he is mean to my daycare kids. Between the time that he was 1-3 I lost 3 kids because of his biting (which I know can be normal behavior for some kids) He is still mean to them though. Today he stood in front of one little boy who is 2 and kicked him repeatedly in the leg. The little boy wasnt near him or bothering him before it started. I also watch a 1 yr old. When this little boy cries, my ds goes over and yells in his face which makes him scream louder

*last night my dh was standing at the bathroom door when ds went in to use the bathroom. DH stated to him to make sure he got it in the toilet (sometimes the aim is still bad) in which my ds decided it was a good idea to purposefully turn and pee on the floor.

*One day while dd2 was sleeping he went in and squirted the liquid hand sanitizer all over her foot making her wake up. My mom was here at the time and told me that he probably did it because "he does things like that because he is unsure what the consequence is, so I need to make it clearer to him." gee I didnt ever think to sit him down and give him a list of anything he could do and what the consequence would be. It wouldnt have even occured to me to add squirting things on my sisters foot on the list anyway???

*We currently cosleep with all our kids. DH sleeps in ds's room with ds, and I sleep in a room with the 2 girls. Every once in a while ds wants to lay down with the girls and me until he falls asleep. He knows that he has 5 warnings and then he has to leave the room. I give him warnings for things such as kicking his legs into the bed and other things that are disturbing the rest of us from falling asleep. Every time he lays with us he uses all 5 warnings and then has to leave the room. Then he cries about it. He knows what the rules are and he continues to push the limit. One day he told me he wanted 10 warnings before going back to his room. I told him that if I gave him 100 warnings he would probably use all of them too.

* one day he wanted me to take him to the dollar store. I told him no because I didnt have any money. He screamed and cried about it for 30 minutes.

* he likes to get upset with me for things that I have no control over. One day he wanted the doors of the local firestation to be open so he could see the firetrucks. When we drove by they were closed. He screamed and threw a fit for 30 minutes because I couldnt change that. He also threw a fit one day because the movie theater in town wasnt open. He didnt grasp the concept either time that I couldnt change what was going on.

Anyway this is just a small list of how he acts. It is not that I love him any less than his sisters, but their personalities are so much more easy going and they dont fight me on EVERYTHING. Every day I love my ds, but he makes it very hard to. Some days I love him, but dont like him very much based on his actions. According to his teachers he has wonderful days at school and listens well and behaves like a normal 6 yr old. He stayed with my parents for a week this summer. No crying, no whining, no complaining, no fits all week. What am I doing wrong at home? Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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#2 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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anyone???
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#3 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 10:30 AM
 
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Have you read the book The Explosive Child? That's where I'd start.
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#4 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:27 AM
 
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There are several things that you wrote that all about control. I think the first thing I would work on is making sure that he is being given a "say" in things. For example, maybe you could sit down with him to plan the meals for the week and really let him have a say in what is going to be served. I also find that if I give my DD jobs - wiping the counters, feeding the dog, she usually relishes having the responsibility.

Is there any way that you can make special time just with him? I know that it is difficult when you have lots of children - could DH give you two some time together on the weekends to do something special like go to the zoo or the library? Or maybe you could give that time to him and DH?

I really don't know what to tell you about the daycare thing except it is obvious that he is angry and resentful that the kids are there. I am concerned that he is hurting your daycare kids and I am concerned about the sanitizer being squirted on your daughter. If he had squirted the sanitizer in her eyes, it would have been a disaster. I'm not saying he is capable of that but he is putting the signals out that he can be physical so it needs to be taken seriously.

Have you ever sat him down to have a serious chat? I went through a rough patch with my daughter a few weeks ago (she is the same age as your son) and I found that we were able to reach a solution together. I listened to her suggestions and she listened to mine. We decided, in the end, that we needed to spend some quality time together once a week and do some baking (her idea). She also wanted me to help her stay organized because she found that being disorganized was a huge trigger for her frustrations and her need for control. Every week we review her closet and desk (her main areas of disorganization) and I help her to clean up and keep it neat. Sounds crazy but sleeping in a cluttered room was putting her in a bad mood.

I'll see if I can come up with some other things.
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#5 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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If I were in your situation I would try looking at your son's behavior from a different perspective. He's acting out to meet a need--what is that need, and what would be a more appropriate way to meet it? It seems like a lot of attention is focused on his negative behavior. Try ignoring the bad behavior, and focus all your attention on the positive things about your son. Find time to laugh and play together. Engage him in his favorite activities.

You mention that you think your son has very little impulse control and I think that's not unusual for children this age. That means he gets a thought in his head and acts on it before really thinking things through. No amount of punishment is going to change the way he thinks right now. He will gain impulse control as he grows and matures. When you say to a child with very little impulse control "don't pee on the floor" as they are peeing you are asking for the child to pee on the floor. When you tell him he has 10 chances to misbehave, he will do that. He's acting exactly as you expect him to. Don't tell him he has 10 chances. Instead, try to find a way to meet his needs and everyone elses--it doesn't have to be either-or. If he kicks a lot in his sleep (it's hard to sleep with a full bed and a kicker!) , maybe he would be ok with sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. Instead of seeing his behavior as something bad that needs to be corrected, look at it as a child trying to fill a need in an inappropriate way--he just needs to be shown or taught how to better meet those needs.
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#6 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have sat down and talked with him about how serious his behaviors are. When we talk he seems like he understands, but when it comes to following through he just doesnt get it. I am going to work on the more one on one time with him as much as I can.

I checked at the library and they have that book but it is checked out right now. guess I'll put a hold on it.
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#7 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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I second the choice for The Explosive Child. The fact that he can hold it together while in school or in another environment and then comes home and "lets loose" is characteristic of these kinds of kids. It doesn't mean necessarily that you are doing anything wrong in your parenting. It just means he feels safest and loved at home.

You said you tried some negative consequences (removing the marbles) and natural consequences, and he doesn't really care. My guess is that he DOES care, but can't control himself, so he has no choice but to try to convince himself he doesn't care. Using any kind of negative consequences at this point will just reinforce his self-image of being a "bad" kid or a constant failure.

I believe he needs many, many, many more experiences in which he is successful to build confidence, and try to eliminate the experiences where he WILL fail. Sleeping with you and the girls, for example. He WILL fail. So don't let him do it. But don't say, "You won't be able follow the rules so no, you can't come in" instead phrase it as, "you sleep with Daddy in your room. That is where you sleep."

He can't be safe with your daycare kids, then YOU CAN'T HAVE THE KIDS IN YOUR HOME WHEN HE IS THERE. I'm sorry that sounds harsh. But he needs to not be able to hurt them. Its important for him that he is not allowed to hurt others, because he sees himself as a person who hurts others. It just can't happen. Yes, it would be better for you to work outside the home than for him to have opportunity to hurt other kids, even if it means less time with you.

What things CAN he do successfully? Can he set the table, or do some chores? I would suggest building strongly on things he CAN do and as much as possible eliminating the things he will fail at. When he does do something "wrong," calmly and compassionately remove him immediately from the situation, and direct him into some other activity, not saying anything punitive but instead focusing on the next activity that he CAN do.
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#8 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
What things CAN he do successfully? Can he set the table, or do some chores? I would suggest building strongly on things he CAN do and as much as possible eliminating the things he will fail at. When he does do something "wrong," calmly and compassionately remove him immediately from the situation, and direct him into some other activity, not saying anything punitive but instead focusing on the next activity that he CAN do.
good ideas!
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#9 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand what you mean by setting him up to fail. I think unintentially this is what we keep doing. The boy has no self confidence. I am going to make a much bigger effort to work on the postives with him. Right now he doesnt have any chores or anything that he does, so maybe I should give him some that I know he can do.

I know he is a good kid and I have to keep reminding myself of this

thanks for the advice.

Also, does anyone have any knowledge of aspergers? My friends son has it and she said my ds sounds just like hers in the ways he acts
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#10 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by memory maker
Also, does anyone have any knowledge of aspergers? My friends son has it and she said my ds sounds just like hers in the ways he acts
Honestly, I wondered if there might be more going on with your son than just "normal" difficulty with flexibility and intolerance of delay of gratification.

Three possible diagnoses come to mind: Aspergers, ADHD, or bipolar. Or maybe he's just a high needs child. To me, from what you have described with his behavior, any one of these diagnoses is possible, with no particular diagnosis standing out more to me than the others. You might consider pursuing an evaluation. However, the one thing that argues against a diagnosis is that he is able to function in other environments. Usually with one of these diagnoses the difficulties he is having become apparent in other environments (such as school) as well.
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#11 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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some kids are just "HARDER" than others for sure.

there does (to me) seem to be something bothering him, that he would do a lot of things "on purpose" ....it would be helpful to know what he hopes to gain by misbehaving? attention? energy? _____? i have trouble figuring out their motives myself.

we try to just have a very FEW rules, so that it is easier to "behave".

perhaps concentrating on "cause and effect" would help?....walk him through processes... "if you dump out the sanitizer what will happen next?".... then kind of make up a few stories of what might happen...working with him.

good luck.

PS. I might have said this before, but I don't let my son watch "Calliou" or several other cartoons, due to their WHINEY voices. My son usually doesn't whine, but if he watches Calliou or some other stuff, he will. So, limiting TV or eliminating it is good. And definately screening the cartoons, no whiney voices allowed on tv for sure here
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#12 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
However, the one thing that argues against a diagnosis is that he is able to function in other environments. Usually with one of these diagnoses the difficulties he is having become apparent in other environments (such as school) as well.
This is what I was thinking.
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#13 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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My only ideas are to help him by giving him another outlet. Something that would be physical, successful and give him a sense of accomplishment.

My nephew had some issues with self esteem. He had the normal "anger issues" but nothing unusual for a six year old.... Just healthy naughtiness.

ANyway, he started taking (I am going to spell this wrong) Tai Kwon Do. (but, you know what I mean, right) He really enjoyed this, and it did a lot to raise his self esteem and self discipline.

My daughter loved dance. (I am not suggesting dance) and she played soccer for one season, before I realized she sucks at sports. She actually made boys on her own team cry. So, we stuck with dance.

One of my daycare boys loves acting. He takes an acting class and looks so forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays when it's class time again. He acts in little plays every few months.

Anyway...since I don't have much else for advice, I hope that gives you some ideas. I wish you the best of luck.

I could tolerate a lot of his behavior, but not the hurting the daycare kids. That would be a non negotiable issue. I don't know how I would handle it, but I would try nearly everything and anything.
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#14 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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Well, I confess that, in your shoes, I'm not sure I know what I would do in terms of long-term solutions. But I absolutely agree that the very first thing you need to do is make you daycare kids safe or end your business. Seriously, if I were the parents of a child who was kicked by your son, I would have already removed him from your care and made a complaint to the licensing board (if you are licensed) and/or considered legal action. This is dangerous for everyone -- your son, your daycare kids, and your finances.

Despite the fact that I know this will be a very difficult thing to implement, I would say that he should not be allowed in the same area as your daycare kids. Is there an afterschool program he can stay at? Can you hire an assistant just to supervise him? Or someone to work with your daycare kids? Probably not something that you need forever, but until you can get a handle on it, I think you need to do something before a tragedy occurs -- just a little too hard a kick or push and you could have a kid with a head injury on your hands!
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#15 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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It sounds like he is desperate to have more attention from you, which I know is hard. Try to focus on doing things with him that increase a sense of connection. This translates to having cuddle time or reading a story together when he is acting out, rather than increasing his sense of being disconnected by isolating him or punishing him. I strongly recommend Unconditional Parenting by Alphie Kohn. He emphasises doing things WITH a child rather than doing things TO a child. He also talks about why punishments backfire and give you worse results than doing nothing.

BTW, I would have wanted to "miss" the toilet, too, if someone was standing nearby telling me not to.

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#16 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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The other thing I'd like to suggest is trying to find another therapist. It is unfortunate what the first one suggested didn't work but there are other therapists out there with different approaches and it may take more than one to find someone who is a good fit.
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#17 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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A different diagnosis came to my mind, Oppositional defiant disorder

http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz...t_disorder.jsp

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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#18 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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I'm currently reading Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey, and it might have some ideas that would help both you and dh. I really like her points about focusing on the positive, and what you WANT TO happen, instead of what you don't want to happen.

I agree with BellinghamCrunchie that you might be setting him up to fail. I think you were on to something when you told him that he could have 100 warnings and he'd use them all. Don't have warnings. Don't go into the situation by stating, "You can only screw up five times, and then I'm going to remove you." Instead, focus on what he should do.

Anyway, sounds like you're getting some good advice here. I'd give some different discipline techniques a good college try, and I mean like six months, before I went looking for a "diagnosis", if I were you. Especially one like ODD, I think it's really hard on a six year old kid to saddle them with that.

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#19 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I agree, read The Explosive Child. The book does two things very well. First, it really breaks down all the skills a child needs in order to be flexible and handle conflict without exploding. This was enormously helpful in helping me understand my child's behavior, and in helping me understand what I need to help her learn. Second, it gives some very good advice regarding how to work with your child to reduce explosive episodes, help your child learn to problem solve and communicate, and to help your child become more flexible. I think the very newest edition of the book is the most clear, but really even the older edition is good.

There's a lot of good information at this website that summarizes the book (The Explosive Child): Foundation for Children With Behavioral Challenges On the homepage there is a link to a PDF file called "Caregiver Handout"-click on this and you'll get a very informative summary of the book that may give you some ideas to work with until you can read it. (eta here is the link for the Caregiver Handout from the Foundation for Children With Behavioral Challenges.)

I agree that motivation to do better is very likely not the problem. It's something else. Skills he's lacking, unmet needs. Often with kids who are having difficulties, reward systems and punishments (like taking away marbles, for example) only result in the child becoming more frustrated-which leads to more difficulty. This is something discussed at length in The Explosive Child as well. It's something to think about.

Find ways to connect and enjoy each other's company. Focus on the positive. Do not take his behavior as an attack or as a reflection of your worth and skills as a parent. Don't blame yourself for his behavior. Don't blame him, either, he doesn't want to be miserable and would probably love to be doing better. Just try to understand him. And take care of yourself. You can't parent him well if you are depleted yourself.
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#20 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all those wonderful ideas. I will definately let my dh know about them and start using them right away to see if we notice any difference.

sledg-thanks for the links I will print those out to read before I can get the book
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#21 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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Several other reading choices:

Playful Parenting -- it's got great suggestions for how to connect with a child, and a good discussion of why it's so important to connect with a child when they are having a hard time.

The Out of Sync Child -- kind of goes along with your 'fears' about Asperberger's or ADHD, but it's a different cause. Sensory Processing Disorder (aka Sensory Integration Dysfunction) CAN look like this (but not always, so it really is just a suggestion). some links:
http://www.sinetwork.org/aboutspd/index.html
http://www.kid-power.org/sid.html
http://www.sifocus.com/sensoryawareness/faqs.html

Any chance of food sensitivities? One place to start is to keep a 'log' of his misbehavior - when it occurs, what precipitated it (if you can tell), what his reaction was, what you did. That sometimes helps you find trends in the behavior that you might otherwise miss. (So, does he regularly meltdown 30 minutes after school? 30 minutes after eating a certain food?)

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#22 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 09:12 PM
 
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i read and had to respond, i hope you find a way to help
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#23 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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Wow... I thought my ds was just spirited... he sounds a lot like yours.

I haven't read The Explosive Child (I will asap), but I have read Raising your Spirited Child and I did find that helpful.

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#24 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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A lot of those behaviors sound a lot like my son- and I'm often at a loss with him too. He went to visit his grandparents for several days and I felt awful because I didn't miss him. I love him desperately, but being around him is sooo hard!

Two things that are often helpful for us but don't solve everything:

Lots of one-on-one time where he's allowed to decide exactly what we're going to do. Things go better if his father and I EACH spend 30 minutes a day with just him, doing exactly what he wants. It's really hard to fit in, but it usually ends up being worth it in the end.

Problem-solving sessions that follow a pretty standard non-violent communication pattern: we present the problem ("Mommy needs sleep, and if you're not holding still in the bed Mommy can't sleep"); everyone brainstorms solutions and we write them all down, without comment or judgment ("You never go in Mommy's bed" "Mommy sleeps on the floor with me"); and when everyone has put in their ideas, try to figure out a solution acceptable to everyone based on the list. Using this method, my son has come up with "solutions" that we NEVER thought would actually work, but because he was invested in them, they DID. Even crazy-wacky ideas are worth a shot....
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#25 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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These sound like great book recs, I will be taking them out of the library too, but I thought I would share what has helped tremendously with my 6.5 year old neice who I have been looking after (with my two and her sister) since april - she starts grade 1 on Tuesday, HOLY!

anyhow, she is a lovely child but her rage when she got here astonished me (loving but exhausted mother who had run a daycare in her home, recent divorce) and it was coupled with a weepy, whiney, defeatest attitude to just about everything. I felt completely overwhelmed with the bulk of it so I focused on what I felt *I* could help her with, and it's really transformed her attitude to everything.

specifically her and her sister seemed very physically weak and uncoordinated - often not able to do things my 2 year old could do - and had no sense that they could overcome a fear or learn new skills on their own. Tears and asking for help at the slightest inconvenience were the norm, and I couldn't believe how many times these little folk said "I can't". So I really set myself to breaking it down for them so they could figure out how to say "i can!" instead. Our back yard has a great climbing tree with swings and ladders and a playhouse whose roof can be (safely) reached via the branches so we had easy motivation for them, but the nearby park was great too.

my mantra this time round was that if you couldn't get there/do it yourself then you weren't allowed, but I will always spot you if you'd like to try. The static frustration she had to overcome was HUGE and full of angry tears and "I can't"s, and I always had to really talk her through the next baby steps, but oh mama! once she tried it the sunshine would break through!! so then I would go into how strong she was, and how all it takes is practice, and how proud I was of her for trying. As her ability grew her whole attitude changed, like she had a new vocabulary for living. She is SO much more optimistic and feels like she can do anything if she practices, and I think her energy just flows better through her strong and able body. There are moments, but not the overwhelming barrage it was - and can that girl ever climb trees and do the monkey bars!

I also now feel like I have a tool and a positive role in our relationship, as well as practice in setting clear boundaries, so now when we talk about anger and emotions we have a framework of success to solve them in. Not that your boy needs to learn the monkey bars... but if you can find something physically challenging and easy to fit into your life it might really help. It has also really helped my sister-in-law to have some time away from children where *she* is successful, so be gentle with yourself too. He doesn't sound abnormal, just stuck in his anger.

as for me, I have been listening to some of marshal rosenberg's "Non-Violent Communication" cd's from the library, as well as the That nich than (shoot! what is the monk's name?!) book "Anger", and the "Hold onto your kids" book and another book called "more than manners!" by letitia baldridge and they all really help and inspire me b/c heck I can have a temper too...

love to you.
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#26 of 33 Old 09-01-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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I know I've recommended this book several times recently, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself..but Sleepless in America by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka was such an eye-opener for me. She discusses how prevalent sleep deficits are in children---and it's especially problematic for children such as our 6.5 year olds

Does he have any allergies that you know of? Family history of allergies? Does he crave certain foods? Does he have access to foods with dyes?

Sorry for the 20 questions...much to you!!!

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#27 of 33 Old 09-02-2006, 09:21 AM
 
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I agree with Georgia that Sleepless In America: Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleepis a wonderful book! Definitely worth reading. Not only does she discuss how prevalent sleep deficits in children are, but she gives tools to help you evaluate your child's sleep and has a lot of very good, gentle ideas for helping children get the sleep they need. Plus there was one wonderful section about helping children recognize their feelings and ask for help relaxing. I read this several months ago, and while we're working with the method I've learned from the Explosive Child I have to say that simply by figuring out that my oldest (7 next month) needed more (and better) sleep and finding ways to help her get that we have seen some dramatic and positive changes in her behavior. It's easy for a child to not be getting enough sleep without anyone realizing it. And not getting enough good sleep can really have a negative impact on a child's behavior.
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#28 of 33 Old 09-02-2006, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia
Does he have any allergies that you know of? Family history of allergies? Does he crave certain foods? Does he have access to foods with dyes?

Sorry for the 20 questions...much to you!!!
we dont know of any food allergies for him but his sister has some. He does crave foods...mainly carbs. he does eat some foods with dyes: so maybe I will try watching those to see if they would help getting rid of. I know some have luck with the fengold diet, which I have often wondered if it would help him too. Maybe I will check into that along with all the books recommended.

thanks
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#29 of 33 Old 09-02-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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ITA about sleep. My 5 yo gets completely crazy, aggressive and unreasonable if he doesn't get enough sleep. He still needs 2 hour naps most days. Day sleep and night sleep are different and not interchangable. My ds has never been able to sleep for longer than 9 hours at night, but he needs 11 hours in a 24 hour period. It would be easy to think he was sleeping as long as he could at night (waking on his own), therefore getting as much sleep as he needed, but that is not the case. And if the environment isn't conducive to his having a nap, he won't sleep. He just gets crazy. I have to lie down with him and there has to be no one else around for him to nap.

Another clue that naps are still needed are if the child falls asleep in the car, if one drives someplace in the afternoon. If a person is underrested, it is actually harder to fall asleep, which can also confuse the issue of whether one's dc is getting enough sleep. People think the child went to bed but didn't fall asleep so he must not really be tired, but that is not the case if he hasn't been getting the ideal amount of sleep.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#30 of 33 Old 09-02-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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Could be Isaac.
What's working for us is cutting him a huge amount of slack. We had a great day today, in a very low-pressure family fun day in the town we just moved to, until we all went to the toilet and he vanished. I found him in the middle of a group of children, dancing to a skiffle band, totally oblivious to the fact that someone might have missed him/ he wasn't terribly safe. It was still the best day we've had since we moved.
We pared the house rules down to three:
1) Don't run away
2) Tell someone where you're going
3) Don't be a plonker.
Obviously, plonkerism is subjective, but it covers all of those things that you would never consider discussing in advance because no sane adult would ever do them. We went with natural consequences today and got the bus straight home: no other problems.
I realise, having TWO boys, that I have a warped sense of perspective, but I reckon a little bit of wee on the floor is normal. I tell my guys how jealous I am that they can wee standing up and get it in the bowl: and that does the trick.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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