Exploring the intellectual fails of my parenting
Today I am exhausting all options in approaching Mason’s ADHD. It is such a battle and most days I feel like it totally defeats me. I find myself wondering how I will ever make it through this child’s behavioral challenges. What works one day fails the next. There’s no consistency with his impulsiveness. Some days it feels as though every 5 minutes I’m reprimanding him, while others it’s only every few hours. Yesterday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I cannot live and feel sane this way. I have to find a way to help him.
Today I am making an appointment with my pediatrician to get advice about counseling, coping techniques, and as a last resort-medication. I’ve always been a firm believer opposing medications for children. But days like yesterday, I could somehow relate to parents who use this method. My problem is that I don’t want to take away from his personality. I don’t want him to lose his amazing attention to detail or numb his naturally overwhelming gift of generosity On the other hand, I don’t want him to lose friends because he just doesn’t know when to stop or which line not to cross. His impulsiveness outweighs his self control so often. I believe I’m strict, but he needs to be respectful and aware of others as well as understanding appropriate behavior inside as opposed to outside. Sometimes it feels like nothing is registering. He’s always quick to say sorry, but rarely knows what he is apologizing for. Most times, he apologizes for things he did that weren’t even wrong, while being unable to recognize what the actual problem is. He associates discipline, such as time outs, with a lack of love on my end. It breaks my heart when he says that and like a mantra I say, “I love you but I do not love your behavior.” But if it’s honestly not clicking for him, I’d almost want give him something to help rather than have him believe everyone is against him and picking on him.
I have reconstructed my rewards/privileges chart. Before, there was a 7 day chart. Under the chart I had a list of privileges such as tv, kindle, ds, snack, dessert, etc. When he isn’t listening and I have to repeat something three times, he must choose a privilege to lose for the remainder of the day. My husband and I thought that giving him the ability to choose what he wants to take away from himself would help him a)learn to make decisions by thinking them through and b)have control over his punishments so that he doesn’t feel like he’s being picked on. We’ve done this for the past year. If he loses three privileges in a day, he gets a sad face for that day. However, if he gets 7 happy faces in a row, he gets to choose a special prize such as $1 or going out for ice cream or Rita’s. Keep in mind, we started with him only needing 3 smiley’s in a row and worked out way up to 7. Unfortunately, I feel like he just doesn’t care anymore. Now my chart is for a single day. His teacher made him one for school and it categorizes areas of the day and if he gets 5/7 stickers, he can choose extra computer time, a warm fuzzy for the jar (when the jar is filled his class gets a party) or a small prize. He’s doing great with his behavior charts at school, however at home he seems to care less. So I have broken the day into 7 categories. I think this will help him focus on particular behavior more. Here is his chart:
- Breakfast-having good manners, staying seated, and finishing breakfast
- Morning Behavior-includes not running around the house, playing appropriately with Addie (he can get way too wild often,) not starting fights or trying to irritate Ana, etc.
- Getting Ready-brushing teeth and getting dressed without wandering around the house half dressed or having to be told 5 times to get dressed
- Playtime-again, behaving appropriately if inside or following the rules outside such as not leaving the driveway if permission wasn’t given
- Dinner-having good manners, staying seated, finishing dinner, and being able to participate in conversation by not talking over someone else already speaking or cutting people off
- Evening Behavior-same as morning as well as cooperating when we are working on his homework.
- Getting Ready-showering if needed and not soaking the entire bathroom, brushing teeth, putting on pj’s
It might sound crazy, but I think it should help. Just as with school, if he gets 5/7 smiley’s he can choose $0.25 for the day or a warm fuzzy which I will put in a jar. When he fills the jar he can pick something special to do with myself and or J.
Sometimes I feel like parenting Mason is like trying to solve a rubik’s cube. I never have been able to and I can even remember cheating and rearranging all the stickers on one. Sometimes I wonder why God thought that I would be the best mother to him. There’s so many other women that are more patient, more tolerant, and probably more nurturing than I am. But for some reason He thought I could do it, so I must figure out how-and I can’t cheat. I have to actually try to figure out this mystery through many trials, error, advice, and help. For some reason the song, “How do you solve a problem like Maria,” from The Sound of Music just popped in my head. Obviously, I’m wondering, “How do you solve a problem like Mason? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down…”