Posted by: amica | November 15, 2009

Keeping Track

I figure the best way I can understand how to help my kids is to keep better notes on their daily behaviors…or at least weekly. I am going to try to jot them here for my benefit and if anyone wants to jump in to point anything I am missing or a way to handle it – I won’t argue!

So lately with M – School isn’t going well. He is there to socialize, with his inept skills. He has to be the funniest, the loudest, the coolest. When in reality he is the smart one, the witty one, and the follower. He becomes a child other than the one that lives here when he is around his peers. I realize most kids do this at some point or another but this is over the top. I have seen him even take on accents, the way someone walks, their laugh, etc. He gets into trouble because of his desire to be accepted. It is working for him to some extent. He does have boys that hang out with him. They are a group the teachers talk about as a click. The loud, offensive, rude, mouthy ones. I am so proud… He talks excessively – surprise, surprise. He tries to play games on the computers at school, he doesn’t do homework, he doesn’t study, but he is intelligent enough to have all A’s and B’s which pisses me off. How does my telling him how important doing his work and studying is when he knows he can pull off good grades anyway. He doesn’t care that if he did, he could make all A’s. He wants to pass and he does. Fine, he is passing and I should be content with that. Is he learning? I guess to some point – enough to score high on the tests. He had 2 large projects to do this weekend and for one, he needed the book they are reading in English. He left it at school, of course. So he worked enough to earn buying another book Saturday so he could do the project. He finished them both with my reminders, and I asked him tonight, when I put him to bed, how it felt to have it all done. He looked at me like it was a trick question. “How am I supposed to feel?” I asked, do you feel different than you do on nights you know you haven’t done your work? He said no, why? How would you feel mom? I told him I couldn’t sleep those nights I had forgotten mine. He looked at me humorously. Mom is so cute…

At home, he is constantly doing things to annoy H. Little stupid things just so he can argue that he didn’t do anything, I think. He has a comeback for everything, is so mouthy lately, thinks I am horrible for providing consequences for these behaviors. He still thinks there should be all equality between he and H, unless he falls on the good side. He thinks he is the man of the house, acts like the dad, questions my parenting, and is entitled to everything. The food hoarding continues. Apologies are done in our house now – I am so sick of the sooooreeee – yeah, that’s sincere. Make it up to me, don’t rattle off some words. Then he catches himself sometimes and I do see sincerity, or is he working me from another angle? The hugs seems more affectionate and less controlling. It comes and goes. He is playing the dumb card quite a bit lately too. Doesn’t work for him so not sure why he is still trying… He is also using RAD as an excuse, mainly so he doesn’t have to be nice to H. UGH!

Now for H: I really don’t know about school. Her grades are great and she gets a happy stamp everyday. She does complain that her friends don’t treat her well but her teacher says he hasn’t noticed anything. So hard to know what is real with her. All she talks about are boys! boys! boys! – boys at school, that waiter is cute, that checkout boy is looking at me, that kid is checking me out…all.the.time. I’ve done the inappropriate thing, I am doing the ignoring thing, not working. She has calmed down with the passive-aggressive anger stuff for the moment. She was so hyper today – talking, not listening, not paying attention – all daily behaviors for her but today on speed. She and M were pointing out all the mannequins nipples at every store. Lovely. She is giving, constantly drawing me things or cleaning. She adores M still, bends over backward for him, which he abuses. I just wish I could talk to her, have a genuine conversation not filled with dramatic lies.  M does all these things that gets him constant consequences but H is more of a mystery to me. I know there are dark things going on although, from the outside she is an angel. I can’t get on her for cleaning too much, or making me too many pictures, or telling the wildest tales and trying to pass them off as reality. If I did the latter, she would never be unpunished – not exaggerating. It is constant – every sentence. She is loving and affectionate and helpful. She also scratches herself, bites herself, causes her nose to bleed, hits her head on things and breaks them, and can emotionally break down if she deems necessary in .5 seconds flat. M is more transparent to me, more about self sabotage. H is more complex and makes me more leery of her. The looks she gives me when she doesn’t get her way…a long look, then a weird smile with an “OK” and off she goes. It’s like she is putting each time in a little box to use for later. She looks at me as if to say, that’s ok, I’ll remember this. I feel she is more of a time-bomb. I hope I am wrong. I am just so unsure of how to handle her. M’s effects are so clear to his causes. H needs effects but I don’t know what to do, I am usually just annoyed or stunned by her or she can do something and you won’t know for days….I need help with this girl.



  1. Oh, honey… you have got your hands FULL. I send up a prayer for you every day that God will grant you peace and ease–I wish I could do more! I miss you and I love you and we should talk soon!!

  2. It’s amazing. Your boy presents just like my boy, and your girl – like my girl. Aren’t we lucky? Each avenue of RAD in one home. Ahhhhh.

    One thing I did start to do with Mar was to say, “I think it is so great you want to make me a picture. They should be very special. So, you can make one a day. Here is where it goes on the fridge. When you finish it, I’ll replace the one from the day before.”

    Also, when we went places, she was NOT allowed to make anything for anyone – ever. Sweet pictures and notes were only for mom and dad (not even siblings). On her siblings’ birthdays, the other kids make cards for each other. She was not allowed to do this (hers would end up being 6 ft tall, out of a refrigerator box, with glitter and such! ha!). I would let her do one of their chores as a birthday gift or something.

    It was amazing how that started to diminish, when the rules just MADE it appropriate. I stopped feeling bad about saying, “No, you cannot make grandma a card, because no one else is making her a card.”

    Because, you and I both know, it’s not about the feeling of wanting to give and connect. Nope. It’s about – LOOK AT ME!

    After visits with people, I would say things like, “Wow! They sure had fun play with/talking to/laughing with you. They love being around you, because you’re a great kid.” Showing her she has something to offer without always having to draw massive attention to herself.

    Still … freaky. Our kids lining up the way they do – boy and girl.

  3. My daughter did alot of those attention-getting things and she had me coming and going in a bunch of different directions. I would get mad at seemingly “nice” things while I let a bunch of no-so-nice things go because they just weren’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. I finally had to resort to picking a few things at a time to work on relentlessly either by banning altogether or by telling her to do it all the time. It was (and is) exhausting. Your are on the right track here with her. Just be consistent. Big hugs. Dia.

  4. We have taken the same approaches as Dia and Christine in the past. Either banning things, extremely limiting them, or prescribing that a certain thing be done all the time. More commonly the first two, as I am relatively new to the prescribing idea.

    Always stress the connection/attachment angle.

    It is exhausting…

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