Thursday, September 28, 2006

Struggles

The Bear has been having struggles in school. In their folders, there is a calendar and on the days they are "good" they get a sticker. If they haven't been "good" there is no sticker, but a note about what rule they have broken. The Bear is having issues with keeping his hands to himself. We have received notes like, "poked his friend", "pushed his friend", "hit his friend in the throat", "knocked his friend to the ground", and todays note, "hit friend in the face". Do you find it strange that the notes say "friend"? Well, he only hurts the kids he really likes. He doesn't do it because he's mad, he just has these uncontrollable urges to "love" someone to death.

We have tried so many things. Not letting him play games when he gets home, (computer games are his life!), the teacher has taken away playground privilages, we've told him go fold his arms or hold his hands together, I bought a stress ball that is supposed to sit on his desk for him to squeeze when he needs an outlet. I thought things were good this week, a sticker 2 days in a row, and then today. BAM!

It talked to the teacher he had last year who was trained in special ed, and she suggested the ball. When I took it to school on Tuesday, his new teacher looked at me like I was nuts, and the ball has remained in his backpack. The Bear says, his "brain tells him to do it." He has a lot of involuntary movement in his arms and legs that his brain really does "tell him to do" that he can't control and his old teacher thinks this might be related. So, what do you do? I feel like he's really not meaning to hurt his friends, but I can't just ignore the problem. Do I continue to punish him at home?

I am at my wits end. I am tired. I am grouchy. My head hurts. I have run out of ideas. I feel like I'm about to "loose it" in a big way, but am holding on to patience by a thread. I need a vacation.

Oh, and did I tell you that my over-extended, over tired teenager is treating me like a human doormat? You say that's normal??? Oh...yeah.

8 comments:

peebugg said...

Alec started flipping his brother's off and said "his brain told his finger to do it" It went on for about a month and I started spanking "the bad hand" when he did it and told the hand to tell his brain that it's bad. Evenutally it worked, but it was stressful.

I'm not sure what to do about the hitting, you can't really hit him back--especially in school....

Keep me posted on the solution...I might need to borrow them

Di said...

Well, teenagers, there is no cure. THEY are monsters.

Does he do things like that at home or only at school? When my older son was younger he was VERY shy, everywhere but school. At school he suddenly became someone else. Loud, not sitting still, etc..

I think positive reinforcement is always better. Can his teacher take the time to ask how he is feeling? IS it certain times of the day? During certain activities? I SERIOUSLY think making him sit out at recess is good for him. I thought they banned doing that everywhere. Deciding that children need a release somewhere. You might need to go and sit in on class to see what is really going on. Might help.

G.W. Mama said...

Well, let's see...first of all, let me say I can relate to this as my son has done things in the past where he had trouble keeping his hands to himself, but punishment is not the answer. That's like punishing someone every time they blinked--it's involuntary.

Positive reinforcements always worked for us. And we didn't say "Don't hit the kid" we would say "Good quiet hands" when Papoose would be doing a positive--you ignore the negative and reinforce the positive. BUT--every child is different.

When the teacher doesn't let him have recess, does he do more of the movements/pushing/etc. or less? It sounds like he needs some redirection when he does start pushing or whatever--not just a note to you that "Oh--here's what he did today."

There's also the idea that certain foods will wind kids up more than others---hence Papoose does not get red dye #3 (or whatever number they're giving it these days) or sugar at certain times in the day.

So there are some ideas for ya. I'm sorry I can't just say "Do this" and have it work for you--if I could do that, I would. Say a prayer, get him a blessing from his daddy and remember--my thougths and prayers are with you too!!!

Oh--and happy Conference weekend this weekend!!!

Love ya!
Jody

monica said...

Oh my. MY sweet friend. this new teacher needs to work with you, may be you should talk to the principal? Does he have an IEP?

Jillian said...

(((((((((((((((Erica))))))))))))))

Being a mommy is SO HARD sometimes, isn't it???

I'm probably not the one to offer advice; I would tell you to wait another year to put him into kindergarten. In addition to anything neurological that might be going on inside Bear, the fact is that most, if not all, boys are about a year behind girls developmentally. That sets them up for all kinds of trouble in school, starting in kindergarten.

Boys have WIGGLES and they need to let their WIGGLES OUT!

Poor Bear.

As for the doormat thing....no, it's NOT normal. Society tells us it is, but it isn't. Nobody should treat you like a doormat.

You wouldn't stand for it if Dave did it, would you? Well, wait a minute...that's a ridiculous example isn't it? I mean, he treats you like a Queen. Queen among queens, even. Queen of the Universe! Yes, the man adores you. Cherishes you. And so he should!

So. Tell your over-extended teenager to take a few tips from Prince Cheezweezil!!

:)

marsha said...

Ooohhh.....why does this sound so much like my life??? :-) I use positive reinforcement as well but the hitting goes on (my second son). Poor bear...actually, my son's toned it down quite a fair bit and there has been no more complaints from school teacher.

I can relate to the 'i am grouchy. i am tired. my head's about to explode. i am out of ideas. i feel like i am sitting on the edge of a cliff. heck, i feel like falling OFF the cliff'

Being mom is totally totally exhausting!

NativeForce said...

Both of my sons calmed down alot when I stopped giving them cow's milk. I had to get a doctor's note for them to get juice at school lunch. We get certified raw goat's milk and like it alot. Also, I really can get revved up (in a negative way) when I eat wheat and other gluten-containing foods, ALL forms of corn, caffeine, chocolate, organic chicken (corn-fed?). Did you know that 99% of cold cereal has barley malt flavoring? It has been proven to be a strong stimulant....Even the few cereals that do not have it can have other stimulants added. Cocoa Pebbles used to be OK, but now I cannot tolerate them.

My oldest son was much calmer in school if he could get out and play hard the evening before class. As an adult he has found he works and sleeps better when he has a regular exercise schedule.

Hope this helps! You are doing a great job.

Wendy Lee

www.myspace.com/ShamanLee

Natalie's Nest said...

Hi Drama Queen,

I am the mom of 4 boys, aged 21, 19, 17, and 14. Boy do I remember when my now almost men were were little bears :)!

How unfair for your son to have to come home and hours after the event try to go back and recall all the details that led up to the hitting. How unfair for you to have to punish him way after the events.

What does his teacher feel is positive that he is doing? Is she giving any positive feed back to him about his good choices durng the day? Is the class a rigid one where he is unable to wiggle or squiggle in his desk and he is frutrated when he finally gets to move?

If the teacher would like you to help FROM HOME in her class, she may consider at least trying the ball he used last year...

I would try very hard to get her to find some positives through out the day to say to your boy and also to give him some alternatives for when he feels very wiggly, or a desire to hit.

The best teachers my children had found ways to make my children know they were liked and could be successful, and could make mistakes. The most damaging teachers were the VERY rigid ones.

I do not advocate hitting, EVER. But, I think we need to be taught about how to handle our frustration when we are not frustrated.

At home you may be able to find some good children's stories to give Bear ideas on handling frusration. You can show him other children when you are out who are "kind", "good at sharing", "patient" and so on. NEVER calling attention to a lack in him, just examples of ways of handling himself kindly.

Brag in his presence about all of his great qualities that you are proud of to reenforce, we all have areas we are woring on, and we all have great things about us to be admired :)!

A lot of writing because i remember when my boys were young and these things were huge. Keep the faith Your boys can grow up to be fabulous men. especially if their parents ask for parenting advice as needed. We sure did!!!

My oldest son, my wildest as a tiny guy, most active, most strong willed (most likely to hit :))- Today is at a private university, he chose, and is personally paying for his own education there. He works hard for a large, well known chain, and has been asked to consider upper management when he graduates from college this upcoming year. He is responsible, extremely well mannered, very hard working, loyal, maintains many of his childhood friends even though he is in his 20's.

I am proud of him, not because I am his mom, but because he genuinely has earned my utmost respect. He was not easy to raise, but he is an absolute delight in my life :) I would not change who has become AT ALL.

Bear will get through these days and you will too!