Where do I begin? I've wanted to write this post for a long time but just couldn't. And didn't know if I should put it all out there. But here I go. I think this may be theraputic and maybe somebody will have some ideas or suggestions that will help us.
About a week ago I wrote all of the "things" in my head down about the current situation with one of my boys. I just kept going - jotting down notes for a doctor appointment of everything that Andy & I have been dealing with. Life has been hard with one of my boys for years. I kept thinking it was me, something I was doing wrong.We kept trying and thinking of different things- I read some parenting books, we went to a play therapist, I used behavior systems, time-outs, spankings, grounding, room stripping, loss of priviledges, you name it, we tried it. To no avail. Nothing worked beyond the initial success. It always wore off and stopped working. I know you may be thinking that sounds normal but the behaviors that happen aren't normal. When I sat and wrote the things I had in my head I realized there is a problem. Something that we need help with. It isn't something we're doing wrong...we need answers. We go to the doctor in about 2 1/2 weeks. I am ready to open up to our pediatrician and tell her how bad it is becoming. As he gets older it is getting worse. He is stronger, he is so smart, he is getting so big. I'm tired of the constant battle of who is in control. He tries so hard and we fight back so hard. Some days I give up because I just. can't. fight. any. more. Other days either Andy or I are stronger and that person does more of the fighting. Thankfully we have each other and can lean on each other. The fussing, whining, yelling, manipulation, etc that occurs when he is told to brush his teeth/do homework, clean up, etc. is just not right. But we've been saying that for years and implementing consequences that don't work on him. So now we are trying a positive chart, one that he earns stickers for responding with the right attitude. The chart was hung up about a week ago. He has earned 7-8 stickers. At least 3 of those were on the first evening of implementing the chart. Reminding him of that doesn't seem to matter.
But there is more going on that is making the problem worse. He deals with anxiety alot. We've had this problem for a long time. He holds himself together at school so well about 98% of the time. We occasionally have a rough morning when it is time for him to go to class. But even this has improved over the years. He is so well behaved at school. I'm very thankful for that- I know we could be dealing with a lot worse. I don't know how much of his behavior is driven by fear- he worries about fire alarms (we've been having a lot during renovation), severe weather, lcokdown drills, health issues, what others think, doing well on tests, doctor appointments, spending time away from home, etc, etc. Everything. I hate that for him and I don't know what else to do. We have been to the play therapist specifically for this problem- he improved some but not enough. We learned strategies for coping but still it isn't enough. We have our breathing exercises, I have key phrases I say to him and I'm trying to teach him self talk. (I am ok. God loves me. Mommy is at school with me. Everything is ok).
A couple people have mentioned sensory issues to me - that maybe some OT would help. But I don't know. I see more defiance & anxiety (he admitted to wanting to make me miserable this morning since I wouldn't let him have his way). But that could just be because I don't fully understand sensory stuff. He doesn't do well with changes. He feels that life is unfair a lot of the time. He'll think we love one of the other boys more if we compliment something they do. It's so hard. We are ready for some answers and some new ideas to try. If you have any, please let us know! If you read all of this, thank you for listening. :)