Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Entropymama

  1. Yes. We homeschooled for nine years and then put them all in school (I have 5 school age). It was very, very difficult and I felt strongly that I had failed by having to send them. The local homeschooling community did not help with that. I spent most of the first month in bed during school hours watching movies and drinking lots of coffee. 


    Then I cleaned out all my kitchen cabinets and started volunteering at the school and took up writing again and you know what? They did great. It turned into a really good thing. 


    And then it all went south and we're homeschooling again now and while there are really good things about that, too, we all kind of miss school. 


    So you never know. 


    Just remember that for all the benefits of homeschooling, there are benefits to a good public school, too. My kids found their voices when they got to be away from me for most of the day. And I found mine. 

    • Like 7
  2. That is more or less our plan once our older son is done with high school, assuming we can realistically extricate ourselves from various factors that have made us more or less place bound. Family responsibilities extend past the nuclear family for us and honestly, I don’t think that is a bad thing.



    We've tried to move BACK to Seattle to be near family for years, so I absolutely get that. It's tough to be away. 


    OTOH, we got a job offer in San Fran for $200,000/year (more than 100% more than what we make now) and it still didn't make sense to move because we'd end up in some crappy condo and with 6 kids that's not happening. 

  3. What I wouldn't give for a 5 bedroom split level in Skyway right now.  There's one I would love to rent available.  The rent is 2x what we can realistically afford and we aren't especially poor.  My husband has a income level that would have been "good money" adjusted for inflation.  This is not a fancy or large house (yes, it's 5 bedrooms but it's less than 1800sf and we are looking for 7 people, not 4) and it's not like Skyway is a posh area, even now.  


    And yes, Seattle is hardly alone in this phenomena.  Many other metro areas are in more or less the same boat, maybe not quite a stark as it is here (I think Seattle has had year over year the fastest increase of housing costs for several years) but in general, yes things have changed.  


    Well, if you ever feel like moving out East, we bought a 6 bedroom split level for 280,000. Good schools, too! The flyover states are the best. 


    For myself (and actually my DD too) by the time I reached the end of my Junior year of high school, I had all the credits required to graduate that they would allow me to take in those three years, plus more.  I was not allowed to take Government or Econ before my senior year at all, and not allowed to take more than 2 English credits per year (my school calculated credits based on semesters, not years)  Had I been allowed to take those earlier in high school, I could have been finished in 3 yrs instead of 4.  I don't understand the philosophy that sets those sorts of requirements.  If a student can get all the requirements to graduate finished in 3 yrs, why not let them?



    So back to the original conversation ... I don't understand this idea of holding kids back and keeping them children, either. We attended a meeting about PSEO (our state's program for high school students to take college credits during high school and get dual credit - and it's paid for.) The administration of the high school was basically like, "Yeah, it saves money and all that, but why make kids grow up faster than they need to? Let them be kids and enjoy high school! Why would you want them to be around adults all day, anyway?" I don't understand that attitude. Like prom and spirit week are more important than getting a jump on a successful life. IDK. 

    • Like 1
  4. Lucy - I think I remember you're in Seattle? I grew up there, was born in Skyway, actually. Yes, things have changed drastically there. My dad worked for Boeing in the 80's and my mom stayed at home. We lived in Kent and Covington in good neighborhoods and reasonably nice homes on his one income (he was in management but didn't have a degree). Five years ago, my cousin and his wife bought a small but nice home in Bothell and paid almost half a million dollars for it. It's gone up quite a bit since then. He's a PR consultant and she's a PA and there's no way they could live there if one of them quit their job to stay home with the kids. So your experience may be a bit colored because Seattle is somewhat on the extreme end of inflation. 


    But it's true everywhere. When DH and I got married in 2000, I worked as a receptionist and he worked as a pastoral assistant and we were able to rent a one bedroom apartment for $600/month which included all utilities - even cable! We bought new furniture, took on a car payment, went on a Disneyland vacation for our first anniversary. Not really great financial choices, but all doable even though together we made less than $20/hour. Now I have a 16 yo DD and I have no idea how she'll make it on her own. A one bedroom apartment here starts around $1200, no utilities included, and everything from groceries to gas has gone up, not to mention insurance. Without a degree I can't fathom where she'd get a job paying more than $15/hour, and to live on her own she'll need a roommate. And I now live in Minnesota, so not exactly HCOL. 


    Things really have changed a great deal. 

    • Like 1
  5. I think my original example was poorly executed based on the responses. A lot of you have picked up on my saying 'smart', among other things, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do given the information I gave! I don't normally use that adjective, I was trying to briefly sketch out my responses, but my main purpose of the example was to show his behavior. 


    The thing is, I don't think his purpose is to delay school work. As noted, this isn't a school related issue per se. It's an ongoing issue with his not being able to react in a reasonable manner to disappointments and frustrations. This could be anything - his brother's cookie is slightly larger, it's too cold to play outside, he colored outside the lines, he has to read when he'd rather not, it isn't his favorite food at dinner, etc, etc. 


    I'm sorry for being unclear in my original post - all your responses have been very helpful in answering it. 


    The real issue is his often exposive emotional reaction to rather mundane daily issues. 

  6. First, hugs to you because this must be so very difficult. You are a brave and glorious mama. 


    Second, if you haven't already, which you probably have, be sure to join online communities with other parents dealing with this type of issue. It may take some time to find your group, or rather the group that has children with your child's symptoms, but those communities are invaluable both in helping you find connections for a medical diagnosis (they are often incredibly well educated on whatever their children are dealing with) and for support and encouragement. And finding good doctors and good restaurants near the good doctors. 

    • Like 3
  7. Thank you Lori! This is very helpful. 


    Thanks for clarifying. :) All we had to go on was the info in the original post, which mentioned pulling the 7yo out of school, and 1 brother who also needed 1-on-1, and the specific schooling interaction. Did not realize your full backstory, so disregard the new to homeschooling thoughts. ;)




    It does sound like something is going on, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to bring it up with the pediatrician, if your doctor is one who is knowledgeable about a broader area than just the usual keeping kids up to date on vaccines, and the usual minor childhood ailments.


    If the emotional fragility is new, then it can be a reaction to recent change in life circumstances: his transition from school, or a change in family dynamics that has reduced his 1-on-1 time with mom/dad or with a sibling for example. Seeing how he does with a little more emotional support through regular special time with mom/dad might be all he needs, if that is the case.


    He's been very sensitive all his life, but the outbursts and frequency have increased exponentially since he started a new school last fall. It's a main reason we brought him home, to give him more time with mom and dad and a more encouraging environment. Any thoughts on how long it might take to expect a change there? 


    It could be a developmental stage -- a lot of physical growing and changing within him, leaving him very little ability to cope with emotions and impulses at the moment. Or, he may need some explicit strategies for coping with difficulties (for example, the What to Do When You... series might help -- books on anxiety/worry; perfectionism; anger/explosiveness; grumbling/negativity; OCD/brain gets stuck; envy/"it's not fair")


    ​These are great! Going to see if I can get my hands on them. 


    It could be a physical cause: the new development of a food intolerance (which often has emotions as a symptom) -- gluten, wheat, corn, and dairy are the big ones that can trigger physical intolerances that manifest in the emotions and the ability to focus. Also consider removing all artificial dyes and preservatives and see if that helps.


    ​I have considered this, but apart from banning sugar have not made any dietary changes. I shudder to think how that would go (Sorry, no cereal at breakfast, but here are some eggs and fruit! Commence meltdown) But I am willing to give it a go! 


    Another possible physical cause of emotionalness is sleep deprivation -- is his room too light at night? He might have enough bedtime hours, but not really getting the deep sleep he needs due to the room not being dark enough, or his sleep cycle being disrupted. Ideas to try there would be blackout curtains, a white noise generator, or even taking melatonin to aid with proper sleep.


    On this note - he is always my first to get up in the morning, usually around 6, and I have wondered if it's not enough but it's not because of light. He's also my only kid to sleepwalk, although that hasn't happened in a long time. Is melatonin something we go to the dr for? 


    Another physical trigger of emotional change is residual strep infection (PANDAS). Usually that triggers tics and OCD-like symptoms, but could also result in emotional mood swings, irritability or anxiety, and separation anxieties.


    Interesting. I see much reading in my weekend. 


    Is there the possibility of a mild learning disability? At that age, my DS#2 would "mask" with angry outbursts or meltdowns at the school work, because he couldn't do it. Do the emotional responses seem to consistently happen around the same few school subjects? If so, then that might be an area to explore. If you think there is a learning concern, then getting a thorough evaluation would help pinpoint the specific LD, and also give you specific therapies or helps will address the concern, and will help you narrow down what program/curriculum will be the best fit for DS.


    I don't think so. He reads at a 3-4th grade level, seems to have no trouble with math, enjoys schoolwork (when his emotions are under control). He's actually quite bright, so far as I can tell this early. 


    So hard to know from a distance and with so little to go on whether this is just a "stage" that just needs to be treated with gentle, loving, firm consistency -- or if it's the sign of something bigger that needs to be addressed.  BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.


    Thank you so, so much! 



    Echoing Heigh Ho's post, esp. about blood sugar and protein snacks. Having a mid-morning protein snack was VERY helpful here.



  8. Side note: the military is in a tough place and this repetitive-forced-deployment issue is going to get worse going forward. This society won't support a draft (biting my tongue about the same society also just loving to be big, bad-ass superpower of the world, with service members currently deployed in 150+ countries, and increased defense spending always seen as "good"), and up to 75% of today's young people don't qualify to serve (due to weight issues, drug history, etc.). 


    The crunch between the need for soldiers & the lack of able-bodied people to serve is going to get intense. I used to think I wanted ds to do 20 years, due to long-term benefits, but I don't feel that way anymore. 



    Side note, but I had no idea this was true. It seems like when I was in high school all the boys signed up. We lived in a military town. 


    To the OP, hugs and prayers. What a tough situation. 

  9. However, if you need to use that as a way of having 1-on-1 time with the sibling, then you HAVE to set it up on a schedule that the child can RELY on, because letting them on at their choosing, and calling them the way at your convenience is only a set up for melt-down. (Speaking from hard experience here. ;) )



    This is really good advice, even if I'm maybe not taking it the way you meant, exactly. I used to reward my kids by letting them set the schedule or pick what we did next. I think for him that's a terrible idea and increases his anxiety and melt downs. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I think he needs a schedule on the board that doesn't change. 

  10. First, thanks to everyone for the replies. They have given me some good stuff to think on. 


    To clarify, though my example was about school today, this really isn't a school issue. He is well able to complete the work when his emotions are under control and actually enjoys much of it. It's a difficulty with processing emotions issue. For example, 15 minutes ago I was on the phone and he tried to come talk to me. I said, "Please wait until I'm off the phone to talk to me." This resulted in his pounding his fists on the table and running off crying. 


    Just a note - we don't normally allow computer time during school. And after today it clearly won't happen again. Also, my kids are 16, 14, 12, 9, 7, and 3 and we've been homeschooling for 10 years. Which is not to say that I don't value ideas on how to make the day run! But to say that 'first steps' kinds of ideas have probably already been tried. I'm looking for insight into how to help him process these emotions and whether or not this kind of behavior is normal or I should consult a pediatrician or counselor.  None of my older kids dealt with this type of thing, so it's thrown me a bit. 

  11. Sorry for the length!  


    My son, who is 7, has a great deal of trouble with impulse control and emotional regulation. Part of this may be because he was born 5 weeks early. At the time we were told that preemies often struggle this way, but of course there's no way of knowing for sure. He is a very sensitive, sweet child who loves to play with his little sister and is incredibly kind and generous. On the flip side, he feels very deeply when he has perceived he's done something wrong. He struggles mightily with his attitude and negativity. 


    We recently pulled him out of school, in large part because, unlike last year, when he loved school and his teacher, he had started coming home last fall saying things like, "I'm stupid", "I'm the worst", etc. This became part of his everyday language about himself. Any small mistake on his part was the catalyst for running out of the room, falling on the floor and declaring that he was a horrible person. I have no way of knowing if this was precipitated by something in the classroom as we were not permitted to volunteer in the room, but I wanted him home so we could have more time and space to deal with these issues. 


    To be clear: We already have a good sleep schedule. We limit his sugar intake. We try to get him to have physical exercise every day. We limit screen time to an hour per day. 


    Here's an excerpt of this morning's school: 


    Me: It's time to do school. Why don't you sit here and do this math worksheet while I work with your brother? When you're done you an play on the computer until it's your turn. 


    Him: It's too hard, I'm stupid, I can't do this, I never had to do this in school. 


    Me: Yes you can, you can do this! You are smart. If you sit down and work hard at it, it'll only take you ten minutes. 


    Repeat for half an hour until he finally gets his work done. Imagine lots of rolling on the floor and putting his head on the table and dropping his pencil, etc. 


    I finally get to work with his brother (who also has attitude issues, so that's also a struggle. Yay.)


    Me: Okay, it's time to come work with me.


    Him: No! I didn't even get to do my game! I only had a minute! (Tears and yelling and running out of the room and a giant fit follow)


    As I work mightily to hold on to my patience, I finally coax him into coming to the couch and we start FLL. This goes reasonably well since it's a read aloud story and questions. Fine. We start WWE. 


    Him: This is stupid. I hate this story. Why do I have to do this? etc., etc, also involving rolling on the floor. 


    Me: You cannot behave this way. This is inappropriate. You must sit here on the couch and finish your school work. You are smart and big and you know how to act. 


    Him: I'm the worst! Now I can't get ice cream with dad today! (This was their reward for the end of the week)


    Me: Who says you can't go? 


    Him: Because I'm bad! I'll never get to go now! I'm the worst! 


    And on and on. 


    This is just a snippet. It took us 2.5 hours today to do math, FLL and WWE and then I gave up and gave them the rest of the day off. I sent him upstairs while I tidied up and because I needed a break. A few minutes later he came back down, and when I told him to go back upstairs he burst into tears and said I was mean and never listened to him and ran off. 


    I am exhausted. I am trying hard to be patient and encouraging. I know this is a transition and is going to take time, but I need some guidance on how best to handle this so we can move past it. He does not do well with discipline. Any time out, anything taken away and he melts into violent tears over what a bad kid he is. I have three other kids to homeschool and a toddler and we're not getting much done because of his behavior. 


    It's constant and escalating and nothing I try seems to help. 


  12. I hear you. I had a recent experience in which I joined a FB forum for people wanting to start blogging. They give lots of great advice, but also push you to buy your hosting through their partner (I'm sure they get a kickback). At one point a woman had asked a question about whether she really needed to buy a website or could she just start with a free site. I responded to her encouraging her to start with a free site, write to find her voice and grow her community, etc. I've been blogging on a free site for years and it's been great even though I've never made a dime. The moderator shut the comments off and deleted my response, replacing it with her reasons why you just 'have' to buy a website. Sleazy. 


    OTOH, people do need to make money, and recording podcasts and webinars and setting up a website aren't cheap, so I see it from both points of view. 

    • Like 1
  13. I'm not sure anxious is the right word, but as I get older I feel more responsible for things, and that gives me pause. Take homeschooling: when my dc were small, I had no concerns whatever about it. I was absolutely sure that I was the best person to teach them and that if I followed my instincts everything would work out for the best. I do a lot more second guessing now, and relying on experts, than I used to. Whether that means I'm more nervous or more wise, I'm not sure. 

    • Like 3
  14. Does anyone know of a curriculum or book for emotional intelligence? I have two big emotion boys, and this thread is very timely. They tend to feel everything big - sadness and anger being two that are tough to deal with. I love the level idea - thank you! 

  15. I had a friend years ago who married a man at least 15 years her senior. They were a biracial couple, and she was often asked if there were challenges because of that. Her answer was no - every person comes from a different family culture and you learn to deal with that, the difficulties were in the age difference because he'd had so much more life experience. She felt like she wasn't allowed to grow up, in a sense, because he just took care of things based on his own previous experience. Just her story, of course. 


    We know another couple who married, he's 18 years her senior. They seem to get on famously, but it was weird because she'd been the babysitter for his kids from his first marriage and they'd known each other in that kind of context for something like ten years before they dated. They insist there was nothing going on before his divorce, and I tend to believe them because they're my friends, but it was weird when they got together. 

  • Create New...