Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Being a parent is hard. Anyone who tells you any different is either a liar or a bad parent. Things with Erin are rocky right now. She is returning to some negative behavior like telling lies and not completing homework. David, myself, and the teachers at school are trying to support her as much as we can, but some of the effort has to come from her and right now we just aren't seeing it. I hate to rely on medication, but in the past it made a 100% difference in her behavior at home and school. She went from getting bad reports every day to being on the honor roll and helping out with the younger classes. I'm sure some of that had to do with different teaching methods, but I believe that medication did play a role.
Things at the house haven't been as stable as I would like them to be either, but they are returning to normal. I know I shouldn't expect to see change overnight, but today was a really bad day on top of several not so good days for her. I see so much potential in her and it breaks my heart to see her strugle so much. She is a very smart child she just can't make herself be still long enough to finish an assignment. I'm calling her doctor tomorrow to get a referal to a behavioral specialist. I ordered a packet of information from concerta.net. I want to give her a fighting chance. I want her to know that we are rooting for her harder than anyone ever will and that we believe in her with every cell in our bodies. She is a good kid. She's smart, funny, and creative. She's worrying a lot right now about her peer group and boys. Her focus is not where it should be and getting it back on track is proving to be a challenge for us all. We will win this fight though and the rest that are sure to come.


R said...

With some of the ADHD kids at school (not that is what Erin has), massage really worked. A masseuse here in town gave really simple massages based off of some research. Something about that sustained touch helped.

I've got lots of other suggestions if you want them, though they are based on the classroom and not parenting, which is much harder.

Kristen said...

Let us know how we can support you in this, Sandra.

aola said...

Being a kid is hard, too. I cannot imagine the pressure that she's under (her or any other kid her age)They have the whole world telling them what they "ought" to be and not a clue what they really are, yet.
You are a great Mom and she is so very blessed to be with you. Just being there has given her way more of a chance than she ever had before.

Sandra said...

Becky, the last behavioral specialist we talked to did not diagnos her with ADHD but said she had similar symptoms most likely caused by drug use while she was in the womb. She is currently on Concerta. I am doing some activites with pencils and eye movement that are supposed to improve impulse control which. They are fairly simple little exercises and seem to be helping. I would be interested in any suggestions. Her teacher and I are working very closely so I could recomend things to her as well.
Kristen, just knowing I have people to talk to who will listen is a huge relief!
Aola, thank you so much for your kind words. I know we are providing support fo Erin that she hasn't had in the past. Having never been a parent before it's difficult to know how much of this is just normal kid stuff and how much is acctually from what she has been through.
Thanks for being here for me ladies, and for offering support.

R said...

I'm happy to hear about the ADHD. It can be over diagnosed, and it sounds like you have someone who is not looking for an easy answer.

I have a lot of get-you-through-the-day remedies. Three out of my six class periods were chock full of kids that had a hard time making school work for them. Most of them were super bright and talented in off-beat ways, but the structure of school didn't always work for them for a mulitude of reasons. My two biggest life savers were music, routine and touch. I played music during anytime I expected them to be quiet, and occasionally let them listen to their head phones. I'm not sure how that would work in parenting, but it seemed to increase their staying power. With music on, I could get them to write, read, etc., for 20-30 mins. Without the music, I could get 10 mins. max before they lost it.

If I needed, a student -- oh out of time will post more later -- Sandy, please feel you can ignore all of this. I'm not trying to offend or be bossy -- just share.

R said...

Okay, I'll finish this -- I hope I'm not saying too much or annoying you.

Touch -- my students responded better during talks when I touched their shoulder. Also, they did well when they were touching something during class, play dough (I know it sounds kiddy), a dog, etc. They would participate in class while their hands were busy.

Routine -- they liked knowing what would happen. Everything from me being at the door when they came in to what would happen when they didn't have a pencil. They wanted it to be the same. This was hardest for me. Keeping up that kind of consistency is exhausting.

Finally, they liked knowing it was okay. That if they lost it one day it didn't mean it was all lost. School's a pretty tight fit and just because you don't fit perfectly doesn't mean you're not going to succeed, that you're not absolutely fabulous. It takes some pressure off of them.

I hope I'm not offending anyone by writing all of this, and I hope this helps.

Sandra said...

Becky, thank you so much for the tips! You were not annoying at all or offensive.
Someone else today mentioned ways of keeping her hands busy while in class. I'm going to talk with her teacher about that.
Also, the touch thing is a big deal! I know that when I have my hands on her shoulder and looker her in the eyes she pays much better attention. The difficulty for me is making sure these things happen at school. At home, I can make sure because it's just the two of us, but school is another issue. I'm not sure what is okay to expect of a teacher who as 30 other students and what would be asking too much. Her teacher and I are trying to work it out. I also have a friend who is a retired teacher who has said she would love to help Erin. Thanks again for the advice and feel free to send anymore my way! I really appreciate it.

R said...

You can totally expect that of the teacher. Most are willing to take any input a parent has -- well, at least the decent ones are.