Friday, August 07, 2015

Time for honesty

  Okay, let's be honest here. One of our munchkins is struggling. For the past 7 months he has been a hot mess. Here is a bit of a rundown on his behaviors that we are seeing and trying to deal with.

1) He came within a fraction of not passing third grade. In fact, he wouldn't have passed except his teacher didn't enter a bunch of zeros into the computer and therefore his grades barely passed. Why was he flunking? He didn't do his work in class or he did the work but put in non-sense answers. He actually ATE his spelling test one time. He is a smart kid, very smart, and it took a determined effort to rise to this level of failure.

2) He threatened to kill a classmate. He hurt classmates physically. He said and did mean things to his friends and brothers, but always away from adult eyes and ears. He stole things. He denied each and every instance even in the face of multiple witnesses.

3) He has clogged the toilet multiple times with so much toilet paper that it is sticking out of the seat. Then he flushes and flushes until it all flows all over the bathroom. Then he shuts the door, walks away and denies it was him.

4) Be breaks everything he touches. At current count there are 5 broken sets of headphones, at least 7 sets of broken goggles, two broken RC cars and one RC helicopter, pool floats, his computer, his iPad, two chargers, the painting in my entryway, his watch, a curtain rod, and much more I can't even remember. Just yesterday he tore a pool noodle into three pieces. We keep taking things away and not replacing them, so he breaks other people's stuff. He came home from camp one day with a pair of sunglasses (not his) that he had twisted into a pretzel.

5) He has zero impulse control. I subbed at school one day and took him with me (no way I could leave him home) and he was out of control. He hit a 4 year old in the head with a tennis racket, got in trouble for wrestling multiple times, knocked over and then walked on a space divider in the library, knocked books off the shelves, repeatedly threw the playground balls at peoples heads, and used the large balls to ram and knock over people. I made him sit out over and over again and he then sat there and gave me the death glare. Really, if looks could kill I would be dead a million times over.

6) Everything is 'Sorry, it was an accident.' He wanted me to smell his soup today and managed to pour it down my shirt. He went to give me a hug and bent my arm backwards hurting me.  He is walking through the dining room and knocks over a chair. He smacks his friend in the head with pool noodle. He breaks something. 'Sorry. It was an accident.' Okay, he's a kid, accidents happen. But after the 50th or 60th 'accident' of the week you have to wonder what his real agenda is. If it is to drive me insane, then he is succeeding.

We have greatly reduced the amount of stimulation he gets. Very few playmates and only at our house under my watchful eyes. No birthday parties, no trips to the zoo or movies or anything fun. We have made sure he is getting enough sleep (he is a monster if he is tired). He goes to therapy. The only thing we haven't done is put him back on medication. It has been almost 2 years since we got him off of everything. Well, it is time to revisit the idea of meds. He has an appt next week. That will give us enough time to get him used to them before school starts. No idea what meds we will use, that will be determined after we see the doctor and have a long talk. The child is not going to be happy. He hates meds. They are the source of a massive power struggle between us. I wish we didn't have to go there again, but this cannot continue. He has a very tough, no-nonsense teacher this year. His life is going to be absolutely miserable if this behavior continues. My biggest fear is that they will kick him out and send him to the alternative school. Honestly, after he threatened to kill a classmate they had every right to do exactly that. He is on borrowed time already and their tolerance for his actions is gone.

So there it is. The ugly truth. We are struggling but not giving up and not quitting!!!

Oh, I forgot to add, when our traumatized kiddos behave the most unlovable, that is when they need the most love.


Dawn said...

Dang. :(

Anonymous said...

Your young man gets lots of love and it sounds like he is playing the manlipating game in order to show that he is in control and he can do want he wants. In many cases as the old saying goes " Cutting of his Nose to spite his face" He wants to get noticed and he doesnt care what type of attention he gets so long as he is the one getting the attention. He is trying to make himself unlovable because he doesnt think he is lovable. In his mind maybe he thinks that people don't love people that behave badly. Rightly so he is still told how much he is loved so maybe he thinks he needs to up the anty and act out more because maybe he really him doesnt want to be loved. If you dont love anyone maybe he thinks you can't be hurt or somewhere in his past the person or people that he did love hurt him the most so now he has built a big wall around himself and is defending his wall the only way he can with his behaviour.Sometimes children want all of the attention all of the time and although good behaviour is also rewarded, bad behaviour gets noticed a lot more and then you get rewarded for doing something trival that most children wouldnt even get rewarded for. Soon a pre teen the hormons will also be kicking in and then it is a whole new ball game again. Maybe the altertive school is what he want/needs and maybe they will beable to cater to his needs better. Every child learns differently as you know and some just dont do well in the normal class room setting. They learn through a more physical hands on approach where they can get more one to one. Meds defiantaly do have a place in some children in order to settle there mind so that they feel calm enough to sort through things. With so many things rushing through their heads it can be hard to know what they want to do or how they feel or are suppose to feel. Some just dont want to feel anything. Consquences for doing the wrong thing is important as as they need to take responsiblity for their own behaviour. There may be many many reasons for bad behaviour but there is never any excuse for it no matter how tough things are.I feel for you as the decisions that get made now are shaping him into the adult he will become and I know how much you love him and how much your mothers heart aches. Maybe there is a genetic mental health issues that are playing a part in what is going on inside his head along with the many dark days that he had before becoming a part of a loving family. He may have pain that is buried so deep that it will never service however with the love and support from his parents that love him unconditonally and will always walk beside him he will learn the coping skills he needs in order to get through life. His mumma has a big hammer and although it might take a jack hammer and lots of pounding you will break through any wall he builds and his heart will warm tohis mothers love. I am hoping that things have a big turn around for himand that a light will switch on for him that will light up the roads that he will travel and he will see that he will never walk alone. Cheers love Grandma Jo from South Australia

Deb said...

I am sorry you are walking this road. I read another blog "big momma hollers" and she has adopted 38 kids and has gone down this path with many of her boys and girls. it is not easy, but you are doing everything possible for him. You may have to consider the alternative school just to show him the consequences of his actions, but he might never get it.
I will be praying for you and John and for you to know the right path to take. It is so hard on the kids, being unlovable is sometimes easier then accepting love.

let me know if you need anything.

Love and hugs,

Wendy said...

Thanks everyone. Grandma Jo, what you say is so true. He tends to cycle thru the bad behavior and every time he ups the ante with worse things. He is testing how much we love him. My fear is that this continues as he does hit puberty and hormones. By then the consequences out in the real world become severe. He just doesn't get that. It will indeed take a jackhammer!

Deb, just pray for my baby. He is at a crucial turning point. If he takes the wrong path then I foresee a very hard life for him. BTW, Bug is so gorgeous! What a handsome man he will be!!!

Sammie Fick said...

I have 2 internationally adopted son's who have had very challenging behavior so I have been where you are. I could not agree more with your last statement. That kids who have experienced trauma need love more. If you have not hear or used Heather Forbes approach to working with traumatized kids I strongly recommend that you take a look. Her approach, while initially hard to totally wrap my head around, is the one thing that has worked with by son's. They are now 16 and 19 and we still have some struggles, but we would not have survived without Heather's approach and good local counselor.
Medications helped, especially with my older son who also has ADHD, and its a lot of trial and error sometimes with medication. I would also recommend joining the Yahoo group called Daily Parenting Reflections, Its made up of other parents using Heathers approach and you will find a lot of support and good tips and suggestions.

The teacher you describe sounds like she will be exactly what your son does not need. He needs someone who can catch him when he is being good, not a teacher her brings down the hammer on him, as that will only escalate things. I would start now to look into options for other school setting for him. Some behavioral classrooms are awful, some are good. Getting him the supports he needs in his current setting is what should be tried first (and if there is more then one classroom for his grade then get him transferred to a different more flexible teacher) Heather had a book called Help for Billy that describes what your son needs in a classroom setting. Research shows that holding kids back does not help them, so I am surprised that your school goes by numbers and scores as how they decide to hold back a student. Usually it takes more then that and in most cases they won't do it.

You have your hands full, be very kind to yourself and put your own self care first (I know hard to do). Also you and your family are still grieving the loss of your niece and nephew that is huge and must be so hard on all of you. Sending you a hug and support and please know that I understand and that most days its hard to just get through the day, let alone look into the future. It can get better though.....