Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom...

I have not posted bc things went from bad to VERY VERY bad. I think all the therapy and bringing up the past and trauma coupled with starting kindergarten and coming out of the crazy summer with two vacations did us in. YUP... we did it to ourselves. In hindsight as I write this I can see it oh, so very clearly. But, when I was knee deep in it. I thought we had lost our minds.

You see dealing with violent rages is scary. Yes, I said it and it is TRUE! Aggression is not something we want to have problems with. Neither is defiance, disrespect and anger. But, for the past 6 weeks that is all I have been getting from my RAD son. We were at our lowest point people. And, sadly I thought that we had hit the bottom before. Yuck... I really hope this one was the REAL bottom. I pray that something changes and we get it right this time.

We thought we had made progress with some things like Nancy Thomas... but I think we hit a point and were not progressing. I think it is our fault. We got caught up in the loss of privileges and the strictness and so it stopped working. Than at our lowest of lows we had to re-evaluate everything.

Have you ever had to be that honest with yourself. Really examine and figure out why YOU are the problem. Well I did it and so did hubby and we realized that we needed to have a clean slate. We needed to act as if our Sweet M* just came into our family. But, this time with the knowledge of his past. This time we were prepared. And, this time we were going to draw him close every time we spotted defiance, anger, fear etc... We were going to look at those downward spirals as opportunities to correct his distorted views.

Crazy... yes. But, I am hoping that this will allow all of us to move forward. Today was day 1. But, it went well. It feels better to me and hubby and I can tell M likes it better too! I am going to post progress and failures (including rages) so I can follow our progress.

We also might use the services of Walter Buenning. He comes into the homes of families with RAD kids and trains them how to handle the different behaviors.

Here's to regaining hope!

1 comment:

MRK said...

You know that you are all deep in my heart. It is amazing to me that you have pulled yourselves up from this BOTTOM that you hit, and that you were able to see the ways in which the lives we lead (busy, always so busy, for one thing, aren't we?) contributed to Shea's insecurities. We get caught up in doing something and don't often enough step back to see that it's not working...that we've become focused on the method no matter whether it's working or not. We that, too. We got TOO controlling in order to wrest back control of our family. I have to say that I think NT operates with a certain amount of disrespect, sometimes, for where the child is coming from emotionally. I am finding as I work through all of this more and more that her methods may be based more on changing behaviors than on truly building a connection. I think that the connection can be tougher to create but, in time, the behaviors that we want will naturally follow once we've built that connection and made our children feel safe rather than controlled and dominated. It's a subtle difference in the way that we talk to them and the ways in which we limit their choices, so in the chaos of our lives, it's easy to miss. But it is things like really seeing and making our children FEEL the difference between a boundary and a consequence, the difference between containment and confinement (when we try to keep them close because they can't handle something - that shouldn't be seen as a punishment but we often are frustrated and stressed and feel that way about it and it comes across that way to the child and then it's backfired before we've even begun). I absolutely love the list of new rules and guidelines that you guys set for your parenting. I am going to print them and post them for us because we can use reminders like those, too. I think they will serve you so well. I don't know about you, but I'm the kind of person who needs constant remininding, so I am going to post mine where I will see them daily. I love the part about morning time and before bedtime being 100% focused on the kids - no checking emails or working on the dishes and trying to get a lunch packed for tomorrow. I am constantly trying to do that, and you are right, it is better to set aside those times for nothing but 100% attention on the kids.

I just ordered the Heather Forbes DVDs (I feel like she and Karyn Purvis are more on the connection end of the spectrum in comparison to NT, though I have taken a few learnings from NT, too, to be sure). I will let you know how they are and still definitely recommend that you read the Beyond Consequences 3 book series. If you want me to lend you mine, let me know! Time away is key, I agree. In addition to your date nights, I really hope you consider the Parenting in Space conference in April of 2012. How much would I love to see you there ? And I wish you could come to Orlando....I wonder if Corey is still taking waitlisters.

So glad you updated the blog, too. You are heroes in the trenches. From a mom who knows a bit of what those trenches are like in a way that so many people don't, I want you to know that I think you are amazing. We will make mistakes many times a day, but with the right guidelines and attitude and support, I think you will make progress. KEEP IT UP! Megan