Friday, August 20, 2010

This is Quite Lengthy But I Would REALLY Love Your Opinion

WOW!  What a title that was...

Many of you know that I am a stay at home mom to one 15 year old girl, a 7 year old boy, and a 20 month old boy.  Added to that I have an onery hubby and a house that is always full of noises and messes.

There are so many days where I reach the end of the day and after taking a look back I can't really see what "good" I have instilled in my children.  Keeping my home clean, feeding them, keeping them clothed with {clean} clothes, getting them to and from school, making sure they're rooms are at least {sanitary} and things aren't growing in them all make it hard to actually sit and focus on what I shoudl be doing with my kids everyday.

I know that I can let the dirt go but to really focus on my children just seems to get lost.  Sure I can color, wrestle, and all kinds of other stuff, but I have a sense of sadness when the end of my day comes and I don't feel fulfilled with my children.

With Alysia, she keeps busy with her friends and finding tiem to spend with just her gets harder and harder as the days go by.  School has started and she is going to be spending more time with her friends and at school functions and then soon enough she is going to want to be working somewhere.  Anytime I have with her just her, I need to make important.

With Parker, it is a little easier to focus and spend quality time with him simply becuase I am home with him all day.  Still there are many days that go by and I have let my pitter patter around the house interfere with truly interacting with him.  It makes me sad.

James is my precious boy that I think I am struggling the most with.  He is such a sweet tender hearted boy, yet he is so obnoxious.  It seems that everyday, all day I am arguing with him.  I am really starting to struggle with why he does some of the things that he does.  Was there something I missed and didn't get him to understand when he was younger to make him act the way he does.  He can be soooo sweet at times and at other times I have to keep myself from putting my hands on him.  Beucase of my frustration with him, I am noticing that I am quicker to anger and saying things that should not be said.  When he isn't listening to me for the "umpteenth time" I blow up.  If he's being rude, I tell him "Stop being a jerk."  It started with, stop being rude, stop being mean, and progressed to me calling him a jerk bascially.  Other times I aks him what in the world is wrong with him that he can't listen to simple directions.  I yell and get angry. 

The thing that is beginning to bother me is that he is starting to say when he is in trouble that "You all hate me", I'm horrible", "You like Alysia more than me", or "I can't do anything right."  These are all things that he has said and it is tearing my heart to pieces.  In the moment that he says these things I am angry and simply tell him, we love you James, you are not horrible, or that we love you just as much as everyone else.  I don't feel that I say it with much compassion simply because I am so frustrated.  I know for a fact that my approach to those feelings will greatly affect how he feels.

Please don't get me wrong, I do love James and I do tell him that everyday.  I just don't think that I show it everyday just becuase he is my challenge child.  I know for a fact that just telling him isn't enough.  He needs to feel it from me.  I am almost certain that he feels my love for him though...I think.

I have done some research with ADHD symptoms.  These are inattentive symptoms:

•Has difficulty following instructions
•Has difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities at school and at home
•Loses things needed for activities at school and at home
•Appears not to listen
•Doesn't pay close attention to details
•Seems disorganized
•Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
•Forgets things
•Is easily distracted
These are symptoms of hyperactive/compulsive:
•Runs or climbs inappropriately
•Can't play quietly
•Blurts out answers
•Interrupts people
•Can't stay in seat
•Talks too much
•Is always on the go
•Has trouble waiting his or her turn

The bolded symptoms are ones that "I" feel James exhibits more often that my other children.  I am not saying he does these things all of the time nor am I comparing him to my other children.

This topic can become a little heated between my husband and I.  James has a wonderful personality and Brian seems to think that if James is medicated then it will squash it.  I can somewhat understand where he is coming from but I personally think that it may make it better.  People will be able to appreciate his personality more if some of the other negative characteristics eliminated.  I am not into jumping on the bandwagon to medicate my son.  I do feel that there are parents that medicate their children just to make things easier.  That is not what I am doing.  This is not a debate of what's easy for my son or my family.  I do feel though that if this is the best thing for him that it is something that we need to look in to.  I also know that there are other things that can be addressed such as diet, etc.  I am willing to make changes in any of these areas but I feel we need outside professional help.

I guess what I'm looking for in this post is just some encouragement.  It is hard to go through my days sometimes knowing that my kids may not feel like they are completely loved by me or that my husband feels like I throw them "under the bus" quite a bit.  My husband thinks that I am quick to point out James' faults.

This breaks my heart simply because I don't want to accept that any of my children are "broken".  I know that no one on earth is perfect but some of us need more work than others.  I had a REALLY hard time accepting that I needed medical help when I went emotionally ape-shit {excuse my language} when I was pregnant with Parker.  There are things that have been with me my whole life and accepting them was a very hard thing to do.  Knowing this, I have not been quick to judge my son.  This is a very challenging thing to address especially knowing that my husband and I are both on different pages at this point in time.

Having said all this, what are your thoughts?  Do you have techniques that may assist us?  Are there things that we need to completely steer away from?  Back to the beginning, how can I get more fullfillment?  A mother's mood sets the mood for the entire home.  I want that to be a good thing!!


kelly o. said...

Bear with me, im doing this from my phone.

My dearest Bailey has ADHD and luckily with a lot of family counseling ang NO meds, she is better. She has her moments, but we have a secret word ...butterflies... we use to keep her excessive behavior in check. We involve in as much as we can INSIDE the home. She has chores that keep her busy. She is very involved with the raising of her brother. We dont make her babysit, lol, just keep him occupied if Im cleaning the house, etc. She is a big help in the kitcen too. Her outside activity is AWANIS on Wednesdays. Sports has helped a bit too, but I try to limit that to summertime.

She does have play time, but not as much as she used to.

With that said, we still have our moments. Shes a very hands on intelligent girl, very smart...but it takes us about 2 hrs. Per night to do homework. Absolutely no distractions during this needs to b uber slight distracrion, i could lose her.

The only piece of advice I can give you is continue to love James and he will reciprocate. What gets rewarded, gets repeated. Set aside time for just you and him and just him and his dad...

Good luck and continue being a great mom!

me again... said... addition, sugar of anykind is prohibited...we know when she hs sugar, it's on, lol..THANK GOD, the kid doesnt care for pop...

Aunt Connie said...

Beth ... if James is truly ADD or ADHD then I hope you understand that his issue isn't a behavioral thing, its a chemical imbalance in his brain. My ex-husband Gary is ADD and he has struggled with it his entire life. As a child he took ritalin until the age of 14. I can tell you from living and working with him for over 20 years that being ADD or ADHD doesn't disappear when you become an adult. He still has the imbalance and over the years we tried lots of different medications to help, but unfortunately didn't find any that worked as well as he hoped.
Gary described it as "a fog" or "like a hangover" where nothing seemed real clear, he wasn't able to focus and quickly lost track while reading.

I don't know if any of this will help. I'm not absolutely pro-medication but I do know that it helps.

Another issue I see (possibly) is the middle child syndrome. Having raised 4 kids (and watching others) I think that the middle kid seems to generally have the hardest time coping with things. They feel left out and unimportant. Sounds like James is maybe trying to tell you these things in the only way a child his age can.

Don't let it frustrate you, just let him know that you love him, and find time for him with you and with Brian.

I love you .... don't doubt yourself, you are a wonderful Mom!

Alisa said...

well, honestly Beth, he sounds like a young boy.

I think sometimes we are very quick to want to come up with a reason for their misbehavior when it could be a phase or just plain old poor behavior. My son displays a lot of those characteristics at different times. He's the middle child too in almost the exact same family dynamic as you guys. You have to remember too that boys are sooooo much different than girls and that's what you already know {me too}.

I find that when we give Corban extra attention and love, he is so much better behaved. It's easy to get upset about the things that he is doing that are obnoxious, but noticing what he is doing right can go a long ways towards encouraging good behavior.

I have worked with quite a few kids with both ADD and ADHD. In my opinion, you can spot a child with ADHD pretty easily. There is a very noticeable hyperactivity and inability to control themselves. ADD is not so easily diagnosed. I would definitely look into having him professionally diagnosed if you think it's a real possibility. I know I haven't been around James that much and certainly not very recently, but I have been around him several times and he didn't seem to display ADHD symptoms.

With all that being said, I think the best thing you can do is pray about what the Lord wants for you to do. I think you are a wonderful mom and if you have a feeling that something is really wrong, then go get it checked out. It will make you feel better to know one way or another and then you will know what actions to take.

I'll be praying for all of you!

Debbie said...

Wow--have you been inside my head lately? I have been thinking about my Connor a lot lately with this topic exactly. I know he just turned 5. However, he struggles with stuff that came very easily to the girls. And the things you highlighted...yep. I have been online researching for natural remedies. I'm just not sure of the road to take. I have been working on a post for a little while on this but just haven't posted. It's still not done.
I know exactly how you feel. It is a hard place to be. Maybe if I had spent more time working with him, maybe if I had ______________. You name it and I have filled in the blank with it. Connor really is too young (I think) for me to get too paranoid. He just turned 5. But again...the differences I see are so blatant--it's hard not to notice, you know?

Debby said...

What you are going through is so hard. It is hard when others don't understand. I think as a Mom you know when there is something wrong. Please do not go to your family doctor about medicated your son. You need to go to a mental health professional that can test and evaluate your son. They will give you a check list, maybe your husband, and his teacher. You are asked the same questions and then they are compared. They can also run simple tests to check on his attention span.
As far as your husband goes, men have such a hard time accepting that their child has something wrong. Yes, their are diets and behavior modifications that can help. Medication can be helpful. There could also be a medical problem contributed to some of these issues. Just get the right help. Yes, it could just be a boy thing but chances are if these issues are bothering you so much, and from what he has said, they are bothering him as well.
We adopted a little boy when he was 4. He had gone through so much as a little child. You have never seen ADHD until you have seen a child like our son. Our phsyciatrist at Childrens Hospital said he had ADHA with a capital HD. It has been a rough road. He also had a seizure disorder, past abuse and developmental problems.
Not saying that your son has any of this. Just saying all of this so that you know that I have had some experience with all of this. You need some kind of help so that you can feel better about how you feel about him. Respite also helps. It may just be a passing thing. If so, that's wonderful. If you need to talk just let me know. ((((HUGS))))

Anonymous said...

perhaps it's time for him to be assessed? This can be a hard road to travel as there isn't a cut and dry solution for these problems. If he is diagnosed there will be a lot of troubleshooting for certain. Good luck!

Here from boost my blog, happy weekend!

Heather said...

My mother-in-law got us a book about the 5 love languages for children and while I have not read it yet, my husband has, and implementing some of the techniques for showing our oldest we love him in the way that he needs (which is affirmation and physical touch (hugs, kisses, pats on the head, etc)) has helped tremendously with his inattentiveness and acting out. We've also been working with him about he displays his anger. We've had to drill into him that if he talks to us and tells us why he's mad then we'll listen and try to talk it out without the yelling and inevitable tears. Its also had some success...he know tells us he's mad and why without hitting himself or anything else. Just my .02.

BTW...thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Elisabeth said...

Have you visited Dianne Crafts site? It's She was a wealth of information at our homeschool convention this year concerning struggling learners, including adhd children.

I had a son who would have been labeled in school and it was very hard to homeschool him but he's turned out to be a WONDERFUL son that I admire so much. He is very smart, just not book smart. :) Another great help to me was the book "Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in School" (Formerly Titled 'The Edison Trait') It was so encouraging for me at that time.

I agree with one of the above posters, pray. Ask God for wisdom. He said He would give it -abundantly. I love that verse. You must not give in to your angry words or yell (I'm not without fault here and it is hard sometimes to control our words but we must. We are the adult. :) )

Be a firm and loving disciplinarian. Children are funny this way. The more we don't give them what they need the more they act out. I do not believe your son has any mental problem, he just needs discipline - consistent and loving. No raised voices but calmness as you deal with him.

This is quite long already and I hope it's a help and doesn't come across as judgmental. It's all things I've dealt with myself. Don't beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes and go on. Cry out to God for help. Truely, He is there for you.

The last thing I would mention is you don't want your son acting like this when he's 19 so don't accept disrespectful behavior now. Find things to like about your son. Start to ENJOY him. He will feel that and it WILL make a difference in his actions.

In Christian love,

P.S. The Five Love Languages that was mentioned above is a good book, too. Michael Pearl's site "No Greater Joy" is very helpful also.

Cara said...

Oh my stars, Beth. I think we were meant for each other, lol!! THANK YOU for commenting on my blog, we are going through the exact thing.

I can't thank you enough for posting this, as I know longer feel like the only one. I look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with you:)

I am definitely going to try some of these tips, and check out that website too...

Your sister in sanity (or lack thereof),