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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Coping in Chaos

 This is what I read this morning...
 "The number one tip for improving child discipline is remaining calm. It is sometimes hard to get children to listen and follow directions, especially if they have ADHD. This leads to stressful feelings and frustrations on the part of the parent. The child’s behavior may end up escalating; as a result, the parent may feel a loss of control and escalate his or her own negative feelings. Sometimes arguing and yelling begins. The child may throw a tantrum. Madness ensues." 
 And this is exactly what my morning was like. God forgive me. There was Madness with a capital "M" in my house. I have allowed  Daniel's behavior to create chaos in our household.
 Daniel has always been a little rambunctious and very independent. But this summer his behavior changed from "just boyish craziness" to out-of-control tantrums, anger and impulsiveness. Needless to say, it was a difficult summer for us all. The blessing came when he received a diagnosis of ADHD, although it was hard to digest at first. With the diagnosis came hope. But hope quickly faded when the first med couldn't be swallowed and the second didn't work. We are now on the 3rd and it seems to work for the first part of the day, but wears off in the afternoon. The biggest hurdle is that Daniel has refused to take his medication the last few days. Seriously, when a child refuses to open their mouths and take medicine, there is not much you can do.
 Yesterday I went from calmly persuading him to take his medicine to complete madness.  There was yelling, threats, and lots of crying. I finally forced him to put it in his mouth and he spit it out. Pill #1 wasted. So we tried again, and he spit pill # 2 out. So, he went to school with no medication. ... and ended up on purple card (good to bad, behavior cards go from green, yellow, blue, purple and then red). Usually purple would warrant a trip to the Principal's office, but thankfully Daniel's teacher gave him grace and allowed him the opportunity to make better choices and redeem himself before the day was over. He ended the day on yellow.
 After school I sat down with him and we talked about what happened in the morning. I asked him if he could have made any other choices that would have helped him to have a better day. He said "yes, I could have taken my medication, followed directions in class better and worn socks" ( he refused to wear socks, I chose my battles and allowed it, and he ended up with sore feet).  
 We went home last night and the kids and I had a family chat about what had happened. Everyone had a chance to speak and try to understand how the morning's events made us feel. Daniel and I talked again about how mornings would go and why it was so important for him to take his medicine. Breathe....I thought we had made it past this hurdle.
 I was wrong. Even though I got him up a little earlier, set aside plenty of time for him to take his medicine, and gave him the option of what he wanted me to mix it with, he still refused. I remained calm, assured him that I loved him and explained again why the medicine was so important for him to have. I gave him 5 minutes to take it on his own. Time was ticking away and I needed to get he and Emily to school (Katelyn had walked with a friend- I now regret not letting Emily walk as well). He refused again, saying he didn't like it, even though it is tasteless. The calm disappeared and chaos reared it's ugly head. Yelling, crying and anger returned. I held the spoon by his mouth until he ate the pudding, little by little. Then I rushed him out the door to school without teeth or hair brushed (feeling like mom of the year-Not!)
 After dropping him off, and crying the whole way home I called the doctor's and asked for help. They suggested we dissolve the medicine in water tomorrow. So that is what I will try. I hope that dissolving doesn't ruin the effectiveness of the medicine and more than anything I hope he will take it this way.
 I pray for a better day tomorrow. I pray God will forgive me for coming into my office and screaming at Him and questions my faith. I pray my son will forgive me for not remaining calm. I pray my daughters will not be scarred by this.
 The advice on about.com says, "Our primary job as parents is to control ourselves and model proper behavior...We are not responsible for our children’s behavior, attitudes and actions. If your child is in a bad mood, so be it. Choose not to give in...you are not obligated to respond. Walk away calmly and let your child know that when he’s ready to talk and be polite, you’ll help him...Our children need to learn that they are responsible for their choices, and you are responsible for yours."
 God's advice says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) and "Parents, don't come down too hard on your children or you'll crush their spirits" (Colossians 3:21).
If anyone is reading this, please help me to pray for peace where there is madness, and love where there is anger. Thank you for allowing me to vent :)

4 comments:

  1. I am praying for you all, Jen, and have been everyday. Trust that the Lord will bring you all peace and don't give up hope. Stay strong. Love you LOTS, Mom

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  2. Lots of prayers your way. Will send you a private message with my thoughts. Love to you.

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  3. I am praying too, you can do this. Romans 12:12 :)

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  4. Love you Jen! Been praying for you LOTS! Thanks for praying for me. We're doing better :)

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