To all parent students: Are your kids making things hard or are they little angels?

  1. My 8 year old causes me a lot of stress. I am wondering how I can ever get to nursing school, let alone succeed if things don't get any better with him. He needs so much of my attention. I dont have any help from family, all live too far away and my husband is always gone and barely makes it home for a 24 hr visit each weekend. I guess I am venting today because I just had a rough day with him again, I have a test tomorrow and final Monday.
    How is everyone coping with difficult children...mine definitely fits into that category and I feel that I have reached my threshold of tolerance.
    He's been to doctors, psychologist, I just had a teacher conference and talked to school counselor....nothing seems to be of help.
    "Calgon, take me away!"
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 7, '06
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   collegebound
    Things we do:

    For my oldest, 5 yr old DD: she does her "homework" by typing on the computer or working in her workbooks while I study; gets to invite a friend over to play, or the good ol' TV

    for my youngest, 2yr old DD: lots of paper and crayons, naptime, or day care

    While I too don't have any family around to help out, I do have a young neighbor willing to help out. She's happy with just a little money and I can get some stuff done. Maybe you can look for a young teen to help out a couple a days a week?

    I am also curious as to what makes your son "difficult." Do you think there may be an underlying issue or just a typical 8 yr old boy? The reason being, my oldest was (and still can be) a difficult child as well but last year we saw an occupation therapist and found out she has some sensory problems as well as auditory processing problems. Since then we have been going to an OT and speech therapist and it has turned her (and us) around. It was such a relief to have this diagnosed, and an even bigger relief to have solutions that work for us.
  4. by   hikernurse
    My kids definitely take advantage when I'm not there. I decided when they were acting up to stop and make a conscious decision about how I was going to respond. Most of the time I find it's not worth reacting to negative behavior (stuff like not cleaning rooms, etc.). Instead, I focus on good times with them. And sometimes I beg them to be good ;-).

    When I'm in a pinch, I order pizza and put in a video and hint that if they don't disturb me while I study (cram) for a test, then I might forget to notice they ate all the cookies and that it's past time for bed.

    One thing that's really helped is to write out my weekly schedule and stick it on the fridge. I realized they were reacting to my schedule being different each week. I make sure to add times when I will be completely accessible to them, even if it means getting up really early the next morning to study.

    With your husband pretty much out of the picture for the time being, anyway, your boy's probably reacting to that--maybe making sure you're not going, too.

    I tell mine that if I can study uninterrupted for an hour, then I can spend time with them without books, whereas if I keep getting interrupted that cuts into their time. Sometimes they get it.

    Being matter of fact about the situation makes it easier to handle, too. Right now it's going to be hard with school, work, clinicals; but in another few months Mom will graduate and things will be easier. It's just something everyone needs to get through. Doesn't make it any easier for you, though.

    I wish you all the best. It's hard to raise children; I've got a bunch of my own.
  5. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from collegebound
    Things we do:

    For my oldest, 5 yr old DD: she does her "homework" by typing on the computer or working in her workbooks while I study; gets to invite a friend over to play, or the good ol' TV

    for my youngest, 2yr old DD: lots of paper and crayons, naptime, or day care

    While I too don't have any family around to help out, I do have a young neighbor willing to help out. She's happy with just a little money and I can get some stuff done. Maybe you can look for a young teen to help out a couple a days a week?

    I am also curious as to what makes your son "difficult." Do you think there may be an underlying issue or just a typical 8 yr old boy? The reason being, my oldest was (and still can be) a difficult child as well but last year we saw an occupation therapist and found out she has some sensory problems as well as auditory processing problems. Since then we have been going to an OT and speech therapist and it has turned her (and us) around. It was such a relief to have this diagnosed, and an even bigger relief to have solutions that work for us.
    I suspect fine motor skills to be the problem....tying shoes, writing, holding pens, and operatiing his toothbrush and on and on...but nobody seems to want to refer me to the right place. I have asked for help from OT...I get no response by anyone from the school, they don't seem to want to deal with me. The teacher thinks it's a "personality" thing...the school couselor siad it's a "Boy thing" ?!?!he doesn't want to work independently in class and needs lots of reminding. He doesn't get his work finished in class and the teacher sends TONS of stuff home sporadically, which is tremendously overwhelming. I have asked her to spread things our more but she doesn't seem to listen. One good thing is that he is not a discipline problem...that's not even a problem here at home...he just doesn't "Git 'er done"....he is Verrrrrry slow about everything, I use timers for everything including meals or he would just sit there for hours and play around.
    It's very tedious with him and I felt so terrible today because he was heavily critizised by his dentist for not brushing good...he doesn't brush good means that I don't brush good because he has braces and needs help with flossing etc. Anyway I don't think that the dentist was too empathetic to the fact that I am trying to get this kid to do the right thing and just gave me a puzzled look when I mentioned that brushing time is ALWAYS a war and a tremendous struggle. I will switch dentist since I wasn't too happy the last time either.
    Thanks for your ideas and good luck with yours.
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 7, '06
  6. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from hikernurse
    My kids definitely take advantage when I'm not there. I decided when they were acting up to stop and make a conscious decision about how I was going to respond. Most of the time I find it's not worth reacting to negative behavior (stuff like not cleaning rooms, etc.). Instead, I focus on good times with them. And sometimes I beg them to be good ;-).

    When I'm in a pinch, I order pizza and put in a video and hint that if they don't disturb me while I study (cram) for a test, then I might forget to notice they ate all the cookies and that it's past time for bed.

    One thing that's really helped is to write out my weekly schedule and stick it on the fridge. I realized they were reacting to my schedule being different each week. I make sure to add times when I will be completely accessible to them, even if it means getting up really early the next morning to study.

    With your husband pretty much out of the picture for the time being, anyway, your boy's probably reacting to that--maybe making sure you're not going, too.

    I tell mine that if I can study uninterrupted for an hour, then I can spend time with them without books, whereas if I keep getting interrupted that cuts into their time. Sometimes they get it.

    Being matter of fact about the situation makes it easier to handle, too. Right now it's going to be hard with school, work, clinicals; but in another few months Mom will graduate and things will be easier. It's just something everyone needs to get through. Doesn't make it any easier for you, though.

    I wish you all the best. It's hard to raise children; I've got a bunch of my own.
    I was thinking the same that he doesn't deal with it well that his dad is gone all the time...things were more managable when my husband was around in the evenings. He did help. It drives everyone just crazy to not see each other much. Weekends are crazy....he comes home and we need to adjust stuff around each time....better: he comes home and changes things...DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!!
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 7, '06
  7. by   collegebound
    Quote from stpauligirl
    but nobody seems to want to refer me to the right place. I have asked for help from OT...I get no response by anyone from the school
    I know exactly what you mean. I had her evaled by our school with no results. She scored in acceptable ranges on everything. But as a parent, I just knew something was off. I talked to our pedi who finally referred us to an OT (outside of the school system) and voila, we got results!

    Thanks for sharing--I know it can be difficult sometimes to talk about our kids issues and felt a tad guilty for prying but I sensed some of the same angst I had felt. I truly wish for the best for both of you!

    Also, I really liked the idea of "the more interuptions, the more it cuts into your time" technique. I am gonna have to try to be more aware of set time limits for all of us--thank goodness some of have some common sense--I could kick myself for not thinking of that one myself!
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Hey, I have a 2 year old so I don't have experience with older children, but I do know that even at 8, structure is a huge thing for them, and as parents when we are busy, it's easy to take a schedule and throw it out the window.

    I would come up with a structured schedule with structured free-time for him. He may be having a huge problem with time management. Age 8 is usually when the schoolwork starts getting harder, they get more homework, and teachers put more responsibility on them.

    Have a system of rewards...for example..."Here is your two-hour block for homework, and when it's completed you get 30 minutes of TV. If you get your work done early and CORRECTLY, I'll make you some popcorn, let you play a video game with your remaining time, etc."

    Also, reward him for doing things ON HIS OWN. If he takes a bath, brushes his teeth, and lays out his clothes on his own for 3 days in a row, reward him with a movie on the weekend..after a few days, increase it to 4, and so forth.

    I think, that the fine motor skills thing can possibly be with him just being bored, frustrated, and not wanting to do what he needs to do. He obviously needs to be evaluated to be sure.

    I could be way off base, but if it was my cihld, this is just some suggestions.

    I am also a firm believer in not allowing a child to participate in after-school activities unless their schoolwork is up to standard. School should come first....always.

    Oh, and never forget to thank him, thank him, if he is quiet for several hours and allows you to study and how proud you are of him for giving you that time.

    I wish you luck!
  9. by   Love Coronado
    I have a 5 y/o DD and 9 y/o DS. They are constantly "bugging" each other. I found going to the park, and letting them play while I sit on a bench and read or study works great. In the summer (I always do summer school) I take them to the beach and let them play while I study. If we stay at home and I try to get anything done, they just complain and come to me to tattle about everything. BTW my husband used to only come home on the weekends (he's in the Navy) and that was THE hardest thing for our son (our daughter wasn't born yet). The only suggestion I have for that is make him feel extra special on that day, maybe make his favorite thing for dinner, or take turns reading his favorite book. Time for just him. Good luck with everything, and Happy Holidays.
    Monique
    Last edit by Love Coronado on Dec 8, '06 : Reason: typo
  10. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Hey, I have a 2 year old so I don't have experience with older children, but I do know that even at 8, structure is a huge thing for them, and as parents when we are busy, it's easy to take a schedule and throw it out the window.

    I would come up with a structured schedule with structured free-time for him. He may be having a huge problem with time management. Age 8 is usually when the schoolwork starts getting harder, they get more homework, and teachers put more responsibility on them.

    Have a system of rewards...for example..."Here is your two-hour block for homework, and when it's completed you get 30 minutes of TV. If you get your work done early and CORRECTLY, I'll make you some popcorn, let you play a video game with your remaining time, etc."

    Also, reward him for doing things ON HIS OWN. If he takes a bath, brushes his teeth, and lays out his clothes on his own for 3 days in a row, reward him with a movie on the weekend..after a few days, increase it to 4, and so forth.

    I think, that the fine motor skills thing can possibly be with him just being bored, frustrated, and not wanting to do what he needs to do. He obviously needs to be evaluated to be sure.

    I could be way off base, but if it was my cihld, this is just some suggestions.

    I am also a firm believer in not allowing a child to participate in after-school activities unless their schoolwork is up to standard. School should come first....always.

    Oh, and never forget to thank him, thank him, if he is quiet for several hours and allows you to study and how proud you are of him for giving you that time.

    I wish you luck!
    He has structure and a reward system, maybe too much ?!?! ....I walk around with a stopwatch to keep him "on time" He has chores and opportunity to earn an allowance. Even a "paycheck" doesn't get him motivated. He has to finish homework or no swim team and friends etc.....it seems I have tried everything under the sun and he doesn't repond., that's why I am soooooooooo out of my mind....it's like he doesnt understand or care that anything has consequences. He stays real calm if I start getting annoyed and just replies with : "OK" His teacher says that he seems to want to do well but for whatever reason just can't get started or finish without constant reminders. I was thinking already that he might be autistic.....he is really smart, knows alot about alot and is very articulate.
    Last edit by stpauligirl on Dec 8, '06
  11. by   catzy5
    Quote from stpauligirl
    My 8 year old causes me a lot of stress. I am wondering how I can ever get to nursing school, let alone succeed if things don't get any better with him. He needs so much of my attention. I dont have any help from family, all live too far away and my husband is always gone and barely makes it home for a 24 hr visit each weekend. I guess I am venting today because I just had a rough day with him again, I have a test tomorrow and final Monday.
    How is everyone coping with difficult children...mine definitely fits into that category and I feel that I have reached my threshold of tolerance.
    He's been to doctors, psychologist, I just had a teacher conference and talked to school counselor....nothing seems to be of help.
    "Calgon, take me away!"

    +
    ahh so we are living parrallel lives then!

    I have twin boys soon to be 8 they both have ADHD we have been batteling this since utero practically. They both Take medication but heck by the time they get home from school its worn off and I get the mother load of rebound from them. They feed off of each other and everything is a battle. Some days are by far better then others, I do a lot of venting, this month my dh has been home alot more then usual so thats helped but typically and starting again in January, He is back on the road 5 days a week. Trying to get study time in his hard I usually don't do anything until after 7pm if I am going to study at night. I realize you are probablly burned out now with schoool and yet have to get thru finals which our stressful. so my suggestion is to try and take a deep breath, give your son as much attention as you can possibly afford when he gets home from school make special treats go see a movie just some fun things, and then seriously crack the books when he is not around. If he has some friends you trust maybe arange for some play dates at their house with a promise to return the play date after finals.

    good luck I feel your pain.
  12. by   catzy5
    Quote from stpauligirl
    He has structure and a reward system, maybe too much ?!?! ....I walk around with a stopwatch to keep him "on time" He has chores and opportunity to earn an allowance. Even a "paycheck" doesn't get him motivated. He has to finish homework or no swim team and friends etc.....it seems I have tried everything under the sun and he doesn't repond., that's why I am soooooooooo out of my mind....it's like he doesnt understand or care that anything has consequences. He stays real calm if I start getting annoyed and just replies with : "OK" His teacher says that he seems to want to do well but for whatever reason just can't get started or finish without constant reminders. I was thinking already that he might be autistic.....he is really smart, knows alot about alot and is very articulate.

    Its so frustrating and when no one is giving you a hand it is maddening. Have you gone to your pediatritian yet about this?

    My boys have been evaluated since about 18 months of age they have always been a serious handful, they have been getting speech and O/T since about that same time. We have had every diagnosis under the sun I guess they have a little bit of evrything.

    I do the timer for everythig too, we fight alot it seems its also a batttle to get them to do anything brushing teeth picking up things etc... Mine also have discipline problems at school which is why In my opinion they get noticed and get help with the school, its been my experience that the school blows it off when it doesn't effect them they don't look closely at the child I have a friend whos daughter is in 4th grade this year has been struggling for years at school I swear she is Add (without the hyperactivity) I am not going around diagnosising anyone I just see so much of it in her and with her being a girl and not a discipline problem no one takes notice. Her parents are finally getting her some testing this year and I hope they come up with something to help her. But I am telling you this because like another poster said go to your ped, even go back to school insist on some testing be specific! And make demands they have to listen and they have to provide you with tests its the law.
  13. by   mommy2g1b
    He sounds a lot like my daughter. She's 10, but we have been dealing with this for years. She's extremely smart, she just can't buckle down and do the homework. Have you had him evaluated for ADHD? How does he do in school? Can he stay on task there? If he's having problems at school too, I would call and talk to the school psychologist and ask for a Conner's evaluation (I believe that's what its called) and then have the teacher write a note to the Dr explaining what's happening at school, and document what goes on at home for a day or 2. We did this with my daughter, and she's now on ADHD meds, and the difference is AMAZING. The meds do wear off shortly after she gets home, but it lasts long enough for her to get her homework done. The Dr offered to give us a low dose med for her to take in the afternoon, but we declined because we didn't want sleep issues coming up.
  14. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from stpauligirl
    He has structure and a reward system, maybe too much ?!?! ....I walk around with a stopwatch to keep him "on time" He has chores and opportunity to earn an allowance. Even a "paycheck" doesn't get him motivated. He has to finish homework or no swim team and friends etc.....it seems I have tried everything under the sun and he doesn't repond., that's why I am soooooooooo out of my mind....it's like he doesnt understand or care that anything has consequences. He stays real calm if I start getting annoyed and just replies with : "OK" His teacher says that he seems to want to do well but for whatever reason just can't get started or finish without constant reminders. I was thinking already that he might be autistic.....he is really smart, knows alot about alot and is very articulate.
    Ok, I'm going to borrow a little of Dr. Phil's advice on children...you haven't tapped into what your son truly VALUES. He may LIKE certain things...but you have to narrow down to what he values...and use that as a tool.

    Never be afraid to go further than he is. However, he is old enough to self-entertain and take some responsibility that you have to go to school and do well so you ALL can have a better life. Tell him the things that you'll be able to do...maybe take a real vacation, etc...and be honest with him, "You can help Mommy by being independent for awhile and let Mommy study...or you can bring your books in here with me and we can study together, but you need to be quiet."

    It's a hit or miss, but you sound like you are really trying, and I think if you just keep trying different approaches you'll eventually nail it.

    My father once sent my brother to school in his pajamas to teach him a lesson about getting up and getting ready. My brother thought it was funny....until he got to school. My father stopped at the Principal's office on his way out and said, "we are trying a little experiment here" The Principal gave him the thumbs up.

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