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Friday, December 10, 2010

where do we go from here?

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I've had it. I'm at the end of my rope with Alex.  His behavior is effecting all aspects of life.  He refuses to behave at school, and he's equally atrocious at home.  I just don't know what to do with him anymore.

We're going to the doctor on Wednesday.  I've been struggling with the idea of having him tested for ADHD and whatnot since he started school so many years ago.  I thought it was just a behavior thing.  I thought that, if I were a better mother, I could avoid putting him on medication.  I thought that he needed different types of consequences, that I wasn't doing a good enough job at trying to control him.

I have come to realize, over the course of the last few weeks, that he is beyond control.  That no matter what punishment I utilize for his misbehavior, it will do no good.  That I need outside help.

I picked up the Vanderbilt form from the doctor's office yesterday.  Out of all the "symptoms" on there, that we have to rate on a scale of 0 (meaning never) to 3 (meaning very often), he received a 2 or 3 on all but a few questions.  That's for the parent form.  Maybe the teacher will have a better view of his actions.  But, I doubt it.

I suppose we're "lucky."  At age nine, he has never stayed away from home overnight, or run away, or stolen anything.  But, that's about it.  I even had to answer for the question about setting fires.  Though he has never succeeded, I did find burnt matches in his room about a year ago.  We camp a lot.  We have matches.  But, Alex knows better than to play with them.  At least, I thought he did.

At school, he is causing his teacher so many headaches.  Recently, she told me that she feels as if she is his prison warden.  I know how she feels.  Whenever her back is turned, Alex does something that is completely out of line.  From jumping out of his seat, to hitting other kids, to talking back or not turning in homework.  He is always in trouble.

There was a bright point over the summer when we received a letter that stated that, due to his reading scores, Alex had been chosen to participate in the Spanish program at school.  The other night, I received a phone call from his Spanish teacher.  If his behavior does not drastically improve over the course of the next week, my son will be kicked out of Spanish.  What an honor.

This misbehavior is carrying over into family life, too.  We can't do anything as a family, ever, because Alex is always being punished for something.  He has to sit aside during Scout meetings because, as his den leader, I cannot control him while tending to the other boys.  He violently argues with my husband and me.  He talks back.  He lies.  He cons us into thinking his done his homework, using elaborate plans.  He always has a bad attitude.

So, now we wait until our appointment with the pediatrician.  I no longer even have the heart to tell Alex to behave and have a good day when he gets out of the car in the mornings.  I know that it won't do any good.  I feel as if I am trapped with this disobedient child, someone I desperately love, but I do not know how to help.  I fear for my daughter, who has to see the struggles within our home, and I worry about the implications this will have on her development.  I long for a happy family.  That is my one, most desperate, Christmas wish.

**Photo Credit  Frayed by Perry French on flikr.


  1. Wow- that's got to be so frustrating. My thoughts are with you.

  2. I can't say I know how you feel because I don't have kids. But I am a teacher, and spent the last bit of my career working at a school with big time behavior issues. It makes you doubt yourself, it's hard, and even more, you don't get to go home at night because he's yours. So my thoughts are with you. I know you will find a solution and work through it as a family.

    I do have to say though, many kids respond most to spending time with their families. I don't know what you have and haven't tried, but if his troubles are that severe, I would pull a Dr. Phill and take everything out of his room but his matress. Let him earn everything back one thing at a time with good behavior (or simply reduced bad behavior). Also, give him the opportunity to earn family outings/ something he loves to do with just mom or just dad as a prize for good behavior.

    I hope I'm not stepping over bounds by suggesting something you may have already tired.

  3. Oh hun. I understand what you are going through. I have a gifted child exhibiting some, not all, of the same behaviors and it is so frustrating. Can I suggest this book I read? It is called Easy to love Difficult to discipline. It is a hard book to read, but Damian improved immensely when I started using some (not all) of the material in the book. Good luck. I'd love to hear what the doc says. My son was already evaluated. Not ADHD, just super smart and totally outsmarting us. What does that say about us as parents??

  4. I love your honesty!! My 6 y/o has had a horrible attitude lately & I can't stand it. II get scared that it will get worse & worse & I'll be writing your post on my site. I hope your appointment with the pediatrician is very, very helpful! I am sorry you are dealing with these behavior issues because I can tell you adore your son. :(

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Nancy, we have tried that punishment, and he didn't really care. He doesn't play with his toys as much as you would think, anyway. But, thank you for your suggestion. You aren't overstepping at all and I appreciate it.

    Bella, I will put that book on my reading list. It sounds very interesting and thank you for telling me about it.


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