Sometimes bad news can have a way of making you feel better. In this case, it makes me feel a bit less crazy. I realize that’s sounds counter intuitive so let me explain.
For a really long time, especially with Gavin, it was so incredibly frustrating that he would behave the way he did at home but when at a relatives house, we get a report of great behavior when he returns.
The truth is, his behavior wasn’t perfect and he had problems. However, our family felt guilty telling us that. They didn’t want us to feel bad. That was really sweet of them. However, this didn’t have the intended impact on Lizze and I. Instead, it made us feel like we were crazy.
Sometimes as parents, we need someone to validate what we are going through. In some really weird way, I needed to hear that they experienced the same behavioral problems that we did. I needed to know ow that this wasn’t only happening to us at home.
Does that make sense?
Back to my main point.
Lizze spent most of Saturday with her Mom and aunt. At some point along the way, Lizze’s Mom informed her that Gavin wasn’t really doing so well anymore, behaviorally.
She explained that the honeymoon phase is definitely over and much of what we had been seeing at home has been shining through. They’re seeing more meltdowns and frustration from him. She said that they are able to handle it now but they don’t know for how long. Gavin’s in the middle of puberty and he’s getting bigger and stronger. This makes him more dangerous and difficult to control.
Most people would hear this and assume it’s bad news. However, when I heard this, I felt some weird sense of relief.
I felt like, it’s not just us.
I think that as special needs parents, we are always wondering or worrying if we are doing the right thing at any given time. Holy crap, I feel like that all the friggin time.
It’s so reassuring to hear that we weren’t the problem.
I know that sounds bad but you know what, it’s the truth. It feels good to know that he’s doing some of the same thing to his grandparents that he does to us. It means that we were doing okay.
It’s not about blame or anything like that. What it is about, is feeling more confident in my parenting skills and that we’re probably doing alright by Elliott and Emmett. Basically, the problem is within Gavin and wasn’t us, as his parents, doing something wrong. We worry sometimes that it was us because he seemed to be doing so well in his new home.
Speaking for myself, it had me questioning myself what we have been doing with the other boys.
Maybe I’m not explaining this well. Hopefully, at least someone will read this word vomit of mine and be able to relate. 🙂
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No one believed my child’s crazy behavior was caused by an autoimmune disease until they all witnessed him going ballistic, then taking Ibuprofen and going completely back to normal within less than an hour. Especially the school. Boy did they change their tune once they saw such a dramatic change. I was able to get much of the supports I needed just because of that reason. They finally saw it had little to do with my parenting, and everything to do with sky high dopamine levels because his immune system was attacking his dopamine receptors.
I totally get the whole family not seeing how hard things can be…I do this on my own. My sons father passed away before he was even 2, and I don’t live anywhere near my family at all for one, and for another…they have issues overall. So much so that I’ve had to block and blacklist on my phone my mother and my sister. My sister actually had the nerve to claim she could raise my child better then I could because I chose to not fight over the length of his hair with him. Yes he may only be 4 right now, but he hates hair cuts. I’d rather not fight with him about getting one. When he agrees to get one…we get one. Who cares how long his hair is…he has awesome hair…lol. And It’s HAIR for goodness sake….hair….it’s not hurting anyone. But according to my sister it’s grounds to threaten to try and file for custody of my child….it makes me mad as hell that I have family that just doesn’t get it for one, and for another is the complete opposite of supportive….but glad to know that others DO have family that tries to get it and tries to help.
@ClementineKruczynski that’s awful. I’m so sorry. We are pretty lucky to have both sets of grandparents quite helpful. I don’t understand why people can be so ignorant…. 🙁
TOTALLY know what you mean! I get reports from school, respite groups, and therapists about what a pleasant boy Jacob is. Dont get me wrong my Jacob IS a pleasant little boy at certain times, but for the most part he is defiant, aggressive, emotional, and he thrives on irritating others. I would LOVE to hear just once that he is doing this somewhere OTHER than home!
@shawneerenee31 it’s like people look at you like your crazy because they don’t see the problems you do at home….. So frustrating
I totally understand on so many levels! When I took my 5 yr old to see the psychiatrist to get the results of the ADHD surveys, and he said my son had severe ADHD (90% for hyperactivity, 98% for impulsive behavior, and 98% for overall ADHD), I felt validated. It wasn’t me failing him, it was something that made good behavior mentally and physically difficult for him, and it required special knowledge and extra patience to parent successfully. It was okay that I didn’t know how to handle this innately, and that medications and behavior modifications at home and at school would help:) And with my youngest who has Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome and autism, I thought he was never going to show his teachers how destructive he actually can be. I had explained that Chase breaks every toy we get for him, won’t leave bed covers of any type on the mattress, and that he actually pulled up the Pergo quarter round and ate some of it…but they said he was such a good boy at school. He sat and worked on his stuff and didn’t break anything. Of course, he has a full-time aide there, plus the teacher and other therapists…all busy keeping him on task, while at home I have laundry and meals and cleaning and keeping Chase from wandering away from the house (he is a 3 yr old mentally) and it is hard to always do one on one stuff with him. So when I got a call last week from the teacher that Chase had been trying to break his toys and wouldn’t stay on task and that he was being very loud, I felt like “FINALLY you are seeing the challenging side of him!” But who wants the teacher to call and tell you that your kid is being a brat? I had a guilty little giggle that they had to take care of him like that and I was getting a break;) Is that bad?
@katykate nope. I get it…
I can totally relate! Raising special needs children can be very isolating. Especially with extended family, it’s often the case where they don’t totally understand what you go through every day. It’s comforting to know you aren’t losing your mind and restores your confidence in your parenting skills.
@hudginsvicky it’s just nice to know you aren’t crazy. Sometimes it feels that way when no one sees what you are going through.