Sunday, July 06, 2008

Parenting Dilemas

I am usually pretty good at managing my kids behaviors. If what I try doesn't work, I get creative and keep working at it until I see the desired change. 

But.....there are a few times where I end up wanting to tear my hair out, punch a clown or run away. There is a couple of issues with Ashley, my creative strong-headed child. One is a minor issue. She is loud. Not just loud, but very, very LOUD. When she was little she had a lot of ear infections and lost some hearing. For a while they discussed hearing aids but after more sets of tubes, sucking the goo out of her inner ears and some other treatments, her hearing now registers in the mostly-normal range. This is why I think she is so loud when she talks. Then again, maybe it is the drama queen part of her personality that drives her to be the center of attention. Being loud guarantees everyone hears her. The problem is she will do this in the car, seated next to me and it is painful! She will also say inappropriate things (she definitely knows better) really loud so that other people hear her and look. I call this issue minor because it is annoying but mostly benign. 

The other issue is she absolutely does not respect anyone else's privacy, space or belongings. I understood when she was much smaller when she would get into my things, play in my shoes, mess with my make-up, etc. Now she is 13 years old and she still constantly disrespects others. her main target is her older sister Katie. Today she had some friends over. I reminded her to stay out of Katie's room. The girls were upstairs getting ready for a party at the church tonight and when I checked on them, they were all in Katie's room and Ashley had locked the door. Tomorrow, when all her friends go on a horse-back riding outing, Ashley will be sitting at home thinking about respecting other people's space. I don't expect that to have one tiny bit of impact on her, though, because I have meeted out enough consequences to bend Napoleon to my will by this point. I guess I will start locking Katie's room just to protect her stuff, but that isn't a solution, just a roadblock. I am at my wits end on this one.

Then there is Levi. He is still as sweet as ever, but suddenly about 2 months ago he began wetting the bed. About once every 10 days he has an accident, usually just before the time he usually wakes up. He is embarrassed and sensitive about it. I suggested pullups and he was mortified. I hate to smash his self-esteem by forcing him into what he feels are baby pants, but it would be nice to not have to strip his bed and wash all his sheets, etc. So why does a child who has been completely potty trained for 2.5 years and who has never had night time accidents before, suddenly have an issue with it? Is it because he is drinking more because it has been really hot the last couple of months? or is it because he is sleeping 11-12 hours night and that is just too long for his little bladder to handle? Or is this some sort of developmental phase he will pass through and I should just ignore?

I feel like I am pretty competent at this parenting thing most of the time. And yet, the little buggers sure keep me on my toes. Each day brings something new. I love it, I dread it, I live it. It will be a miracle if none of my kids ends up in a rubber room. For me, that might be a welcome break......


Anonymous said...

Just a thought-

My brother was wetting the bed like that, and our pediatrician recommended that my mom have him change the sheets and wash them every day. After a few days of having to do this, he stopped wetting the bed.

Hopefully you'll be past this stage soon!!

Micah Castleberry said...

Is Levi extremely thirsty, irritable, or any weight change. Sometimes bed wetting can be a first sign of diabetes. Just something to think about. I always read your blog and love it!! I have a girl that is 3 adopted from GT through Dillon International.

Anonymous said...

Check things out with your pediatrician-make sure there isn't a physical cause. There are all sorts of reasons a child may suddenly begin to wet the bed that has absolutely nothing to do with behavior.

Mar said...

We had a bed wetting problem too... Seemed she was just sleeping so much "harder" than usual that she wasn't waking up when she had to go. Once we adjusted her schedule a bit (not lettting her go all day long without stopping) where she wasn't quite so tired, she stopped again. Just a thought.

BT said...

Our son went through a time when he wet his bed in what sounds like an identical pattern to Levi's. Similar age, similar length of sleeping, similar early-morning wetting. We started getting him up and putting him on the toilet right before we went to bed, by which time he'd been sleeping for several hours. He mostly slept through these toiletings, or else went immediately back to sleep when we put him back in his bed. He pee'd like crazy on these sleepy outings! And immediately stopped wetting the bed. We kept this up for probably about 5-6 months, with occasional nights where we didn't do the wake-up (and he didn't wet the bed). We no longer do the wake-ups -- haven't for about 6 months -- and he's fine. Still sleeping 11-12 hours at night, but for whatever reason makes it through without bedwetting. If I think he had a lot to drink too close to bed time, or if I think he's going to need to sleep super-long, I will still get him up to pee when I go to bed. Good luck!

dana said...

Ashley sounds so much like Alexa... When you find the answer, please share!

As for Levi, I vote for the exhaustion of summer fun keeping him deeply asleep. I have been through that with mine before. If you can get him sleepily to the bathroom in the later evening or early morning, that should help... Of course, that means that you have to be up at those hours... Are we not too sleep deprived already?
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm not trying to be rude but I sure hope Ashley doesn't read your blog. If I were her my feelings would be deeply hurt. I am not her and my feelings are hurt for her. I was much like Ashley when growing up and if my mom had written about me like that on her blog I would have been mortified. You write so many positive things about your children and I was so suprised to see this written on your blog.

Please don't flame me, I am not being rude in anyway. Just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your son will "grow out" of these occasional wet beds...but until he does, I suggest one of those pads that you put on top of the bottom sheet. They tuck across where his body lies only, looks like a cut-down version of a waterproof underlay, but you put it on top of the sheet. We use one for our son and it sure makes life easier all round, if it gets wet, you/son just pull it off, no need to change the sheet or underlay - specially good in the middle of the night.

Hang in there, parenting sure isn't for the faint hearted!
Jenn in Australia