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parenting the unlikable child


caedmyn
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6 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

Gently, please realize that does minimize the situation... 

He’s now 16.  Has it improved. It has, but not because he’s 16.  It has taken constant supervision, behavior training, medication, an insane amount of physical exhaustion, and even with that, we believe, if he ever decides he doesn’t need medication? It will go very badly. Some kids have practically no impulse control and they seek the fight... over the weather, the meal, the assignment, because the sun came up...

I'm sorry.

I spoke from a place of hope but also ignorance.  The Miss 13 in my life was replaced in her sleep by a changeling last year and we are not out the other side.  I am holding on to stories from parents who say it gets better, but as far as I can tell she is neurotypical and I take on board your experience that it was an unhelpful comment to make on this thread.  Sorry also to @caedmyn and anyone else who found it naive or stupid or hurtful.

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There is a book which might help: How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk by adele Faber. It's an easy read, though the methods are difficult to use because you have to be consistent and not only use new language, but avoid the old language.

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2 hours ago, freesia said:

LOL  I was like, "She makes her child eat weeds? And that makes him nicer to be around? What kind of weeds?"

 

THAT IS INDEED HILARIOUS! I love it! 

Especially if you consider that my son hates vegetables of all kinds. 

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3 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I do think more constructive work would be really helpful for him, but DH needs to be the one to make that happen.  DS12 could do all the mowing, and then look for mowing jobs in the neighborhood once he’s had some practice like one of his friends does, but DH was supposed to teach him to mow last year and he only let him mow part of the yard maybe three times total.  DH just doesn’t seem to want to take the time to teach him or deal with a kid just doing an adequate job instead of one that’s up to his high standards.  It’s frustrating.  DS12 does have chores every day (vacuuming and kitchen cleanup), but he could do a lot more if DH would be willing to make it happen.

A dh problem - won't co-operate with you on parenting this child, won't allow treatment of ADHD or anxiety - will compound what you are seeing in your ds. 

I would be very angry if I were you, and if I were ds.

I'm not judging you - I stuffed up family life completely by staying with someone I should have left - I have no moral standing here - but one thing I did do and don't regret was to steamroller my dh problem when it came to the kids' health needs. My way or the highway (and it didn't always turn out so well for me, but by God, those kids got their learning, mental health and neuro issues investigated and treated).

Can you not find some way to have your ds assessed and a treatment plan worked up? He's 12 - it's not too late. 

 

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3 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

I'm sorry.

I spoke from a place of hope but also ignorance.  The Miss 13 in my life was replaced in her sleep by a changeling last year and we are not out the other side.  I am holding on to stories from parents who say it gets better, but as far as I can tell she is neurotypical and I take on board your experience that it was an unhelpful comment to make on this thread.  Sorry also to @caedmyn and anyone else who found it naive or stupid or hurtful.

I don't think your comments were stupid.  I think it's encouragement from a mom of a neurotypical kiddo who went through a hard spell.  I think it's different - not bad.  It's just really hard, as the mom of a non-neurotypical when others say things because *while YOU said it innocently* some others say it with the insinuation that if you just wait it out (we did for three years after we were told medication would be very beneficial for him) or if we did X, or were patient, or were proactive (exercise, diet, etc. - all of which we did and do) then all would be well.  And maybe I'm discouraging because our scenario is so NOT typical? That's a real possibility.  It might be the OP doesn't have our scenario, maybe she has yours! I'm just really close to the scenario that is hard following hard.  We breathe now, lol, but it was, and is, hard.

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4 hours ago, Spryte said:

 I think martial arts would be similar in that respect, but parkour was more motivating - and honestly, I wanted my tornado kid to learn to fall properly.  

It might not be exactly the same, but in my martial art (hapkido), you 100% learn how to fall correctly.  It’s one of the first things you are taught. As you progress through the levels, you are expected to fall from higher heights. Like, first you sit on your bottom and fall backwards, next you squat and fall backwards, then you bend a bit and fall backwards, until you get up to standing straight and then flopping yourself backwards. 

Same for side falls and forward falls. 

One of my fellow students (in her late 20s) fell on ice one day and her training kicked in and she landed exactly how she’d been taught and didn’t have any injuries at all, though she went from standing straight up to falling straight down hard. She had been practicing how to stand at her full height and then hurl herself onto the ground for years, so when it happened unexpectedly, she landed just fine. 

 

Just thought I’d let people know in case they were wondering. When you’re learning how to flip people and knock them to the ground, that means that sometimes you are the one whose turn it is to be flipped and knocked to the ground, so everyone is taught how to take a fall right away. 

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1 hour ago, Garga said:

It might not be exactly the same, but in my martial art (hapkido), you 100% learn how to fall correctly.  It’s one of the first things you are taught. As you progress through the levels, you are expected to fall from higher heights. Like, first you sit on your bottom and fall backwards, next you squat and fall backwards, then you bend a bit and fall backwards, until you get up to standing straight and then flopping yourself backwards. 

Same for side falls and forward falls. 

One of my fellow students (in her late 20s) fell on ice one day and her training kicked in and she landed exactly how she’d been taught and didn’t have any injuries at all, though she went from standing straight up to falling straight down hard. She had been practicing how to stand at her full height and then hurl herself onto the ground for years, so when it happened unexpectedly, she landed just fine. 

 

Just thought I’d let people know in case they were wondering. When you’re learning how to flip people and knock them to the ground, that means that sometimes you are the one whose turn it is to be flipped and knocked to the ground, so everyone is taught how to take a fall right away. 

Oh yes, I didn’t mean to imply that martial arts wouldn’t teach falling.  Oops! 


I only meant parkour was more motivating for my kid.  He loves parkour videos.  The bonus was he really did learn to fall.  Whew.  That has come in handy!

Martial arts would’ve been my first choice, but those parkour videos really appealed to my tornado kid.  I think he started parkour officially at 7, but in essence he’s been doing it since birth - he skipped walking and went straight to parkour.

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8 hours ago, caedmyn said:

DH was supposed to teach him to mow last year and he only let him mow part of the yard maybe three times total.  DH just doesn’t seem to want to take the time to teach him or deal with a kid just doing an adequate job

Not in an extreme way, but this is a struggle at my house too.  My husband and oldest are a bit ...uptight...about things like that.  I now have my tween mow during the day when Dad is gone and big brother is asleep.  The lawn is not ready for a magazine but the grass is shorter, and my tween gets to learn and get some exercise.  My oldest has gone out at least once to re-do it to his own standards at least once but I don’t know what to do about that.   

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9 hours ago, caedmyn said:

DH needs to be the one to make that happen.  

To me what you're describing is ADHD in the dh. And he might not identify with that or that might be on your radar, but what you described is how it shows up. Then to me you have this split as a mother, because you're saying the dysfunctionality has to fall to the level of the father rather than rising to what he COULD be with meds. 

So yeah, it takes one person with enough EF to cover for the other if there aren't meds. 

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5 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

My way or the highway (and it didn't always turn out so well for me, but by God, those kids got their learning, mental health and neuro issues investigated and treated).

Can you not find some way to have your ds assessed and a treatment plan worked up? He's 12 - it's not too late. 

 

Exactly, and all the sports and all these other ideas are going to end up with the same level of success previous stuff has. If you don't change the EF and function he has to work with, you're going to get the same results. The problem was not the activity.

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23 hours ago, caedmyn said:

Currently his only real interest is video games.  I do limit his time on those to 30 mins on weekdays and a couple hours total on weekends.

When we were in a difficult period with a child, one of the best things I did was to spend hours playing Minecraft with her. Sometimes you have to meet the child where they are, kwim? And if you can have fun playing video games together, that's valuable, and it provides a foundation for doing other things together as well.

Video games (I'm assuming something like Minecraft, not a violent game) are not necessarily all bad. They don't require the skills with other people that so many activities do require. If a kid is behind socially, that stuff is exhausting to him. The games can be a refuge from stress and a place where good things happen. He needs to feel that success.

I understand the concern about too much screen time. But if a kid is having serious problems, I would be tempted to ease up by allowing him more time at the one activity he enjoys. Instead of minimizing that time, increase it, and join in yourself.

And then, certainly, add more exercise. And please do get evaluations! And consider medications! A father shouldn't get to veto those possibilities.

But in the meantime, try to let your boy have fun doing something he loves with you present and involved. It's not a bad way to spend time together.

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12 hours ago, PeterPan said:

To me what you're describing is ADHD in the dh. And he might not identify with that or that might be on your radar, but what you described is how it shows up. Then to me you have this split as a mother, because you're saying the dysfunctionality has to fall to the level of the father rather than rising to what he COULD be with meds. 

So yeah, it takes one person with enough EF to cover for the other if there aren't meds. 

I've said this several times before here...I see zero indication of executive function issues or ADHD in DH.  They're just not there.  Genetics-wise this is coming from my dad.

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20 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

I've said this several times before here...I see zero indication of executive function issues or ADHD in DH.  They're just not there.  Genetics-wise this is coming from my dad.

In our case it is harder bc my husband is so extremely neurotypical -- so these invisible disabilities he just doesn't understand.  My oldest dd (adhd, combined type) is so smart, and she was able to inconsistently do what was right.  So he saw her succeed sometimes and assumed the other times she just wasn't trying hard enough.  As opposed to what was actually happening, which was the times she did succeed came with an extraordinary amount of effort compared to a neurotypical.   You can't see the struggle inside someone.

Same with my son (recently diagnosed ASD).  He recently had a meltdown which should have been totally predictable and avoided based on his diagnosis.  (He had an event to go to, he was involved in something that absorbed him and we forgot to get him moving to get ready until 5 minutes before leaving, and two other issues that just ended up overloading his circuits).  My husband just looked at the situation not understanding -- he wanted to tell him to just suck it up and go and be late.  But he at least followed my lead, my son went to calm down, and then we debriefed what happened afterward.  We talked about what to avoid the next time and how my son can set his own alarms to give him extra time to get ready, and now he trusts us even more that he have his back.  My dh is glad he didn't push him like his first instinct was. 

My side is definitely the non neurotypical side, so it's a lot easier for me to put myself in my kids' places.  Dh has never had those huge intense emotions that can cripple you, he's got excellent EF... my side of the family is a little bit of a mess!

 

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1 hour ago, caedmyn said:

I've said this several times before here...I see zero indication of executive function issues or ADHD in DH.  They're just not there.  Genetics-wise this is coming from my dad.

I was surprised 1dd was formally eval'd ASD and ADD.   She has zero learning disabilities of any kind.  she excelled in every subject she ever took - the student every teacher wishes they had at least once.   She went to bed early the night before major papers were due (while every one else was up until dawn) - because she'd already done them).  She had one final exam, where she'd already (unbeknownst) done the work they were asked to do.  on her own, because she was curious.  Yes - she told the professor.  He knew her, and certainly wasn't going to complain about anything she did.

Yet her among her ADD eval's, one  came back that if she's inadequately stimulated, half her brain shuts down.  (That I could completely see - I've seen the evidence of it.)   

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