Monday, October 20, 2008

Howling at the Moon

We took the kids to my sister's Saturday and went to ride a Haunted Hayride. Everyone was very excited, except my worry wart, Emma. She is so high strung that I am becoming concerned that she may need medication. She cries every morning and it is just nerves. She loves school and all the kids there, she can't put her finger on what is worrying her, she just is. She worries like no buddy's business about tests. She will score the highest in her class and sometimes in her grade but she fretted all night and morning about it. It gives her stomach and headaches. It is definitely getting worse, her teacher is afraid to reprimand the class for anything without making it clear to her that she didn't do anything and isn't in trouble. I remember asking her pediatrician about it a few years ago and she said when/if it affects her life, then consider it. It is affecting her life, my life, the kids', life and her poor teacher's life. Time to start talking about trying something.

We had another session of family therapy. It went better than the last weeks session. At the end she took my DH and I into her office to ask see if we would meet another couple from the program. She has another little girl in the program with RAD and the parents are struggling. They feel alone, frazzled, and in way over their heads. Anyone relate? The therapist is, at least, trying to think outside the box. We scheduled a supervised meeting with them next Monday. Both our families will do a joint session of sorts.

With Ava gone during the week, Ella has stepped up her pitifulness. (I know, it's not a real word but it fits.) If I question her homework b/c she obviously copied Michael's sentences, she bawls. If I tell her it's time to clean off the table, she stands in the corner and cries. Last night, I asked her to drop her clothes down the chute and she stood in the middle of the living room crying her eyes out. I am sick of it. I am losing my patience with this. I don't understand her need to be a victim all the time.

I don't ask much of my children, they do not have extensive chores. All I really ask of them is to pick up after themselves and they each have the dishes 1 night a week. Not much compared all I do. She acts like I am making her do everything. She used to hide in the bathroom with the light off when it came time to pick up their toys, now she stands there and plays the victim. Right now she is howling, I am not joking, howling at the table b/c she has to write 5 sentences with words like, all, thank, he, was, and you. She won't do it correctly, she does it over and over wrong but I know she can do it b/c she does it at school. Normally, I give them an opportunity to do their homework and if it's not done, they do it at recess. She has figured out that she can manipulate her teacher and she doesn't do it. Tonight I am switching it up. She can sit there as long as she chooses, her brother did it it in less than 5 minutes. I refuse to get involved with her drama. Ever been so mad for a split second that you actually had a brief fantasy about spanking a kid? I have, this kid. I know it won't help and I know enough to keep myself away from her for a few minutes until it passes. I am not sure why it bugs me so badly.


Mongoose said...

I had a crier in my Guides unit. In the beginning everyone responded when she cried. After a while I got everyone to ignore it and I'd give her attention when she was done crying. She missed a few activities sitting under tables crying by herself before she caught on to the new order of things.

Of course it's always hard to come up with something relevant from my own experience because I haven't dealt with kids as disordered as yours.

I'm glad to see your fundraising is coming along, too. :)

Christine said...

In my house, our kids get more chores the more they argue, fret or do their chore poorly. I encourage them to do any of these things, because I love a clean house. They quickly remember the rules and I don't hear much lip from them. This really works!

Essie said...

Hi- me again.
I have you linked on my blog and I recently realized I should have asked you first. LOL! So, I want to put you on my blogroll- is that ok?

Tudu said...

We do ignore her and double the chore if they even huff about it. It works for everyone but her. When she hides instead of helping she gets to do it all without help. Nothing works. She is so determined to be miserable and pitiful that I am completely lost what else to try. She plays the injured person in every situation, it is unlike anything I have ever seen.

Essie, go ahead and link away.

Ashley said...

Emma has CP, am I right?

I am 22 years old and also have spastic diplegic CP- Anxiety has come as a part of that for me. If you'd like to talk more, feel free to e-mail me.

Tudu said...

Ashley, Ella is the one with CP. Emma has been here since she was 3 weeks old,she has no dx at all. I would love to pick your brain about Ella, though. She is convinced she needs to play the part of a victim. I have tried to put her in situations that she is the most able child but it didn't help. One kid in a wheelchair ended up feeling for her and helped her. It is so aggravating.

Mongoose said...

Well then, maybe what you need is to give yourself some Cognitive Therapy. Ava crying and Ella acting helpless aren't dangerous behaviours. They're not molesting kids, they're not being violent, they're not breaking things, they're not starting fires, they're not torturing pets. All they're doing, with this specific behaviour, is that one is crying and one is acting helpless. Yeah, so it's manipulative. Yeah, they probably use it successfully to get out of doing what they don't want to do. But it's really more an annoyance than a problem. So, maybe you could just choose not to be annoyed by it. Tune it out. Go do something else. Ignore the fact that it's happening. Maybe they'll stop, maybe they won't, well, so be it. If they don't grow out of it, they'll grow up to make their boyfriends completely miserable, but hey, that's a choice the boyfriends make. It's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of thing. Well, in my opinion, anyway.

Some of these kids' behaviours you do have to try and modify, but for the ones that aren't harmful, I think you could just leave it alone. It's much easier to change your thinking than to change someone else.