Monday, May 9, 2011

Lost and Found and Please Help

I hope all of you women had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. Breakfast in bed, no fighting from your children, and a delicious meal cooked by your husband. OK, back to reality. I hope you had at least a few moments when you felt loved and appreciated. My day was pretty much the same as every other Sunday. My husband was at work which means I got to bath and feed and clean up after three children and get us all to church on time. My oldest daughter did wake me up at 6:45 for a special bowl of bananas sprinkled with sugar and my husband brought me home a pretty azalea plant so I did feel very loved. Today I also felt very blessed. I don't always remember how lucky I am to be a mother, but after this week I looked at Mother's Day in a new way.

I won't give you the long drawn out version of the story, but basically on Thursday my son was supposed to be playing outside with his sisters and a neighbor friend only when I went out to check on them he was gone. I didn't panic right at first because I figured he had gone back to the park behind our house even though I had previously told him three times that he was not allowed to. After checking the park and several other neighbors houses I did start to panic. I called my husband who left work immediately and enlisted the help of a few neighbors who were already outside to help me search. I'm not sure how long it actually was that he was gone, because in my mind it seemed like an eternity, but I think after about 30 minutes is when our 12 year old neighbor found him. He was only 4 houses down from us and still in our little circle, but he was in someones backyard that I had never met, who only have one little boy that is several years younger than my son which is why I didn't think to look there.

Now, don't think this is the first time I have ever lost one of my children. It seems to happen to me a lot. I'm not sure if I'm just not very watchful or if my children just wander off more than most kids, or possibly a combination of both. Whatever the reason, I have definitely experienced this type of panic before, but never to that degree. I was so scared by the time that we found him that I didn't even have it in me to yell at him for wandering off without telling me and going over to a strangers house, although in his mind it wasn't a stranger because apparently my kids have met the little boy before while playing outside.
It was those feelings, still so fresh in my mind and heart that kept me feeling grateful all day yesterday. It didn't matter how many arguments I had to referee or spills I had to clean up, I kept reminding myself that I was blessed and happy.

I can't imagine my life without this handsome boy, but I have also reached my breaking point. I don't know what to do with him any more and I feel completely helpless. He isn't bad or mean, he just won't listen. And it's not just me he won't listen to. I get complaints from his teacher at church and both of the parent teacher conferences I have had with his school teacher have focused on his lack of following directions, talking too much, and talking back. Just last week his teacher sent me an email asking me to have a talk with him because it is getting worse.

I actually laughed when I read the email because I was thinking "You want me to talk with him? WHAT DO YOU THINK I DO EVERY DAY!" We have already taken away his video games, and I've been trying to praise him more when he does listen, but nothing is helping. Last night I asked him to clear a bowl for me from the dinner table and he just stood there ignoring me, and when I said his name again more sharply he said "what? I don't want to."


Do you have a child like this? Have you raised a child like this? My husband and I are completely lost. After last night my husband jokingly said "maybe I just need to give him a good beating every day." And even though we would never do it, that is where our frustration level is right now. We have simply run out of ideas.

What do we do?



Sounds frustrating. The first thing that came to my mind was to check physically that his ears are okay. I had a friend who had something similar and her son had prolems with water in his ears. He could hear, but it was like he was underwater so sometimes he'd just put together what he thought his mom was saying... just a thought. If it's him just being stubborn, I'm not sure. I'm curious to hear what others think. Super Nanny??

The Yarbrough Clan said... you dont know me, but I know Jenn. And I am not a super mom or super nanny by any means but I did teach special education for 3 years before I had my children. And all I can say is the positive comments are great! I had a student who was so hard, and barely did anything we wanted to. But I had to catch her doing someting right, and when I did, comment on it right away and explain what she did that was right. Have you tried a rewards system or chart? If he does what you ask, he gets a sticker, and so many stickers gets him a trip to the dollar store?

I didn't say this very well, but I hope you get the point, positive reinforcment is key!

Amanda said...


I know this isn't the popular answer. It's a suggestion/answer I didn't even want to consider for a LONG time with my son.

My son (who is now 9) had all the problems you just mentioned. I read every parenting book, tried reward/incentive programs, took away toys, friends, etc, checked his ears, eyes, and general health, had him tested for learning disabilities, but nothing ever worked. He was in trouble at school all the time. His performance at school was not at grade level.

Anyway, I finally reached my breaking point and decided to ignore all the voices that said that ADHD was a bunch of bull, and after much prayer, I decided to have him tested. Sure enough, that was the diagnosis, without a doubt. I decided to try meds for him. Now there is a night and day difference with his behavior and performance in school.

I'm not saying that this is the answer for everyone. This was just my experience.

Ria said...

Sally I just wrote you a long comment which blogger wouldn't print. dunno.

Short version is Love and Logic is a great program and my favorite book series by Louise Bates Ames, Frances L. Ilg, Carol C. Haber. Your One-Year-Old, Your Two-Year-Old and so forth. There is one book for each year up through 9 and then they glump 10-14 together. I highly recommend this series for gaining an understanding of what is normal behavior. It would show you if James' behavior is out of bounds or if he is just a typical boy. Let me know and I can tell you more about the books if you want.

Amy said...

Love and Logic!!! Love and Logic. Did I mention, Love and Logic? Yes - Love and Logic. Read it, practice it and you will love it!

Sally said...

Thank you everyone for all the great advice and suggestions. I am working on a reward system right now and I just might have to get that love and logic book. I think I will also take him in to have his ears checked, because he did have problems with them as a baby. I'm hoping that ADHD is not the problem, but if these other things don't work that I am willing to explore that as well. And if anyone has any other advice I would love to hear that as well still. I am open to anything at this point!

Lorie said...

Maybe it is because he burned his leg as a baby?! Ha!!! My son is like that. They tested him for ADHD but linstead found that Austin (who is 10)with executive function disorder, which means his brain is literally unable to focus on multiple tasks at once or even a single task if there are distractions. A speech therapist worked with him at school for a out a year and (although not perfect) he has improved significantly. Good luck! Glad you found him.... He is so dang cute.

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