Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Interesting Child

How I love my little children. I really do.

However, I must admit it's quite interesting to have a son who resists so much. You think as a parent that your kids will just love you when you have that spontaneous spark (ok, ok, that ADD spark), and sometimes skip off to the beach, or take them out of school for a little adventure.

But Jeffrey (10 yrs old) fights these things, and is quite put-out about them. A couple of examples:

--Didn't want to go to the beach last week when we had a day off school. Very strongly expressed that. Quite sullen on the drive down (which I politely ignored).

--Didn't want me to take him out of class on Thursday to visit Bryce's 2nd grade Thanksgiving presentation of some reader's theater skits. The entire time I took him out he kept turning to me with a look of "I don't understand why I have to be here." Most kids would JUMP at the chance to get out of class for a half hour.

--When we were at a fall carnival, Jeffrey rode on a 4-wheeled motorized little jeep with a group of kids. They went around a track several times, and because several of the little kids weren't too good with managing their little jeeps, he often was out "ahead" of the pack, separated from them. He called out to us, "Am I winning?"

We assured him he was winning, just for the fun of it. So, when the ride ended and the attendants told the chidren to stop, Jeffrey had arrived at the finish spot first, before the other kids. The attendant told him to go around again, so he ended up coming in behind the other children. He was very upset that they made him "lose."

Only when we went with the little "winning" illusion and told him that he got a victory lap, and explained they gave him a special treat by letting him go around again, did he change his tune and become excited.

Sigh. I do love him. Sometimes I wish that I could teach him that life doesn't have to be so rigid, that it can be fun and enjoyable.

--ps. Once we got to the beach, Jeffrey had a BALL. He loved it.

But, at all our trips to the pool this summer, where he was terrified of getting stung by a bee, he complained the entire 1-2 hours we spent there each visit.

But I did see him smiling at some of the fun poems and skits in Bryce's class this week, even though his body was tense and I could tell he didn't feel like he was in the right place until I let him go back to his normal routine of class.


Then, there's my middle child, Bryce, another interesting child. He is a 100% kind of boy, and very strong-willed. He can be super excited and bouncy and full of energy while he's in the middle of something that interests him, or tearfully sad, or explosively angry.
When he was younger (about age 2-5 1/2), when he was angry he was defiant, and expressed it by hitting, and then his anger would escalate. Sometimes he would start by hitting the air, then the floor or a wall, and then human beings. Many times I didn't catch him and get him to time out before the escalation of anger blew up in my face, and I would have to carry him to his bed when he was in full hitting, flailing mode. I always carried him so he was facing away from me, so I wouldn't get the brunt of his out-of-control anger.

My friend Robin has started a new blog called Parents helping Parents, and I'd really like to hear from all of you. Click on the link and, in the comments, tell us, what has worked? What hasn't worked? What has helped, and with which child? (i.e. what personality types succeed with which parenting tools as far as you've seen?)

Thank you. For as much parenting help as I've received over the last 10 years, I still find myself worrying, doubting, from time to time. Especially this weekend, when Bryce has been crying all day long, bursting into tears over several little things (wait, he was doing this the last two days, too). Is this a case where I should be looking to see what's really causing the crying (I have no idea), or where I need to show tough love and consequate with losing money (2 cents each time, he earns and loses by 2 cents, Jeffrey by 5, Nathan by 1, but I'm the bank, and 1 penny can buy a popsicle, so it all works out nicely) each time he responds with tears instead of being more mature?

Sigh. Again.


Shelly said...

Some of Jeffrey's actions sound like Nicole's, with her anxiety. She would be a bit nervous to leave the class and I could see her overreacting about a bee sting possibility.

With crying for no reason, I still look back to the same questions I used when they were babies, hungry? tired? need attention? need quiet/down time? It doesn't always work, but knowing me, it's usually hungry (I feed myself, forget the kiddos).

It'll be interesting to see what the next one's traits are.

BillieJo said...

Hey Kimmy, Jeffery actually sounds a lot like Wesley! He thrives on a specific routine. It drives me crazy sometimes. If we make a plan, but have to change it; he invariably has a hard time. he will complain, pout, get angry, get fidgety, etc. He's getting somewhat better, but its hard to know what to do when a child's reaction is almost opposite of your own :)So, I guess I'm no help, but I'll commiserate with you.

katortot said...

At least little Nathan is perfect!

Kimbooly said...

Shelly-That's true; Nicole's anxiety has been very severe.

Billie Jo-Sometimes commiserating is what helps us pull up our breeches and jump back into the fray to continue attempting to parent that tough child.

Sarah-Aaaw, thank you! Though Nathan has his own little issues, he is more "normal" in the sense that his actions aren't so off-the-charts, but pretty average of a little five year old. : )

ixtumea said...

You know I can relate. I even had to take son out of public school after principal and teacher refused to help me with his 'issues'. And I'm sorry, meds aren't the only answer.

I ended up joining CHAAD and I'm going to an ADHD meeting on the 7th which will address parent's rights and how to work with the school system. I feel that info is enpowering.

Each child is different and unique. Right now my son is behaving so much better after I took him out of a no win situation. He still comments on how 'dumb' he is(which he never did until he was in a certain teacher's class) but he's a lot more relaxed and enjoying the whole the community is our campus.