Friday, October 14, 2011

Found an answer

It's looking as if Bailey is a strong willed child.  On one hand thanks to all things holy it wasn't 'bad parenting skills' that was the culprit.  Other hand, shiiiiat this is hard because we have to parent differently.

We thought he was getting better and we were getting better at handling his outbursts.  Then Tuesday came along and I got a call from the councilor.  No he wasn't doing better, he was the same but that day he was worse.  Like way worse.  Like sent to the principal twice, got taken around the school to observe how to act in class and then ended up in detention worse.

My 6 year old.

My first instinct was of course anger.  I'm doing what they say.  Every morning and evening it's the exact same routine, he knows the goal and he knows what's expected of him.  But that doesn't matter, it's still a fight with lots of yelling and screaming.  Before shopping trips or going out for dinner, we explain the rules and what's expected of him/them.  Doesn't always matter, he still makes it difficult up until we are in the store/restaurant.  If we say 'you do this one more time and you will be punished by blah' and he does it again we follow through with it.  We don't give in to his whining.  We don't shower him with toys and candy to make him mind.  ETC.  And we have from the beginning.  According to the experts this is a huge tool and one that will give kids stability and help with behavior.  But Bailey, he wants to do what he wants, when he wants and doesn't care what you ask of him, punishment only lasts so long and he knows it.  The experts need to come to my house for a few days, ha.

It just so happened that on Tuesday night there was a parent's workshop at his school and we moved heaven and earth to get there on time.  The first workshop we attended, they had many to choose from, was about family routines.  We aced it, the only thing we came away with was on times he drags his feet to set a timer, everything else we do and always have.  Who said we don't have routines down in this house...oh me yeah well now I know differently.  Oh that and he has far too much free time, and should earn it not get it naturally, but we already knew that. The second session we chose was for behavior.  The lady went through all the you set the rules, you don't bend the rules and you always follow through with punishment stuff.  So I piped up, what happens if you do that and always have but your child, who at one time responded to it, no longer does.  She asked me a few questions and I explained how no matter what the punishment is or how consistent we are with rules and punishments, he continues to scream and yell and fight us on things because he'd rather be doing something else. She referred me to books on strong willed children and said that would be very helpful to me, that it sounds like that is the problem which means our parenting isn't bad, it just doesn't mesh with a strong willed child.

She felt bad enough that she gave me a very tight and long hug after the session was over and made sure I understood it's not our fault, and it's not his fault either and we are not alone.  I like that little ol lady, I asked if I could keep her and she said no.  Bummer.

I've got one of the books she recommended on my Kindle, I've read like 10 pages so far and so far I haven't learned anything really.  But at least now we have a direction to go in, and if this book or the other books she told us about doesn't work, we can look in a new direction.  It's better than nothing.


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