So I REALLY have 6 kiddo's struggling with different degree's of A.J. (ATTACHMENT JUNK)...Even my lil' Domestic fella Scooby who is 7 now, since day one has had struggles, no therapist could agree with. DEEEEP Down in my heart ...even though I KNEW he was only 3 days old,something was up, This baby did NOT want me. Everyone thought I was crazy, or it was my problem. We will talk about that in another post. Kids with less Severe behaviors, so to the naked eye, or with most people, you get the "Oh he's just being a difficult", "He's a boy, they break things, or they naturally argue and push Moms".
They don't know the Dark, hard truth.
Specifically towards you Mom, he is rejecting you.
He is triangulating, he identifies with Dad, but you are the bad guy....again gonna go there soon. This has been a gaping everyday wound in our home. Love and Logic parenting does not work with this child, because every, single interaction , is his opportunity to defy you...you push, he pushes back even harder...you give a consequence, it is you being "Mean", him not suffering his own choices and consequences. AM I TOUCHING A NERVE for anyone?
So onto the girls, "el Diva's"...La DRAMA DESIGNERS"!
With Therapeutic Parenting, It is about, stopping the rage, turning around the tantrum, defusing the bomb in your child, so the heart thumping, crazy mind racing does not interrupt the bonding that NEEDS to take place in order for your child to heal, and function in your family, heck in society PERIOD.
Therapeutic Parenting is the OPPOSITE of every natural parenting inkling I have ever had. Because shaming these kiddo's, telling them how BAD and Naughty, PUNISHING them the way you would an attached kid...is like kicking a rock and telling it is HARD and DIRTY....well DUH! They already believe that to their very core. They have been abandoned, left, not wanted , hurt by the people GUARANTEED to love and protect them.Innately they know deep down you are going to hurt/abandon them too....so get on with it already! They are just trying to speed up the process!
My teen is GREAT at trying to make me not love her....I am going to give you examples.
Does it mean, I don't lose my cool? EVERY STINK-EN DAY..and go in the bathroom and bang my head on the wall?
At first I tried "normal" parenting ....man did THAT not WORK...because she was INCAPABLE of connecting ANY ownership of her own choices and consequences..EVERYTHING I was "Doing " to her ...was me just being mean. Still is!
She could shoplift and in return, I ground her from the mall..and make her take it back....SHE DOES NOT GET that she made a not-so-fabulous choice. Because I am following through;"I am mean, I am making her feel uncomfortable by returning the item, it is MOM's fault anyway, because if I would just by her what she wants, she wouldn't have to steal, Why shouldn't she be able to go to the Mall, see MOM doesn't love me and want me to have ANY fun".
I am NOT kidding when I say, THIS IS REALLY WHAT IS GOING THROUGH HER HEAD!!!!
Here are a couple of ways we have been able to call her on her crap, successfully...but not endure DAYS and hours of abuse for it...I hope this helps someone... This was a break down of Papillons week:
Monday Papillion got caught posting something inappropriate on facebook.(she earns 20 minutes a day, mostly supervised, when she has a decent behavior day)...WELL..the post caused problems, and ultimately natural consequences fell..and she ended up feeling pretty-darn-stupid. I tried sympathizing with her..but it just made her mad.
So she raged, sabotaged, decided she didn't deserve school, dance class , youth group, food....it was a really crappy day...but after helping her trash her room,being a total dork and jumping and singing on her bed, we did pull her out of it.
Tuesday was great. OK it sucked- but was manageable.
Wednesday she had that she panther look of pacing ," I'm-a-gonna-kill-something-when-you-least-expect-it-and-it-will-probably-be-you look." Of course the "it" hit the fan right in the middle of pre-school with the 3 five year olds...she walked in and threw her math book at me. Nice bruise on my back and hip.
We had a rage, nasty rotten refusal to go to her room...which of course put Chatter into a three hour rage, had Diva peeing all over my couch and Cookie eating crayons.
WE TURNED IT AROUND, turned out the trigger was her want of a cell phone and her believing she would never "be good enough" to earn one...so in her twisted mind...why not terrorize them into getting what I want...WAY EASIER!...We had some great self talk...telling her the "GOOD" is already there, she doesn't NEED to learn or become good, deep down she is already GOOD...we just have to get rid of the hurts for the Good to shine...we had that break down/break through. I shared some of my past child hurts and showed her how those things didn't hurt me anymore, and didn't define who I was...I told her how I knew that bad things had happened to her, and that she had probably been made to do bad things , out of being scared, hungry , lonely...but we love her through it....It was a FABULOUS night....
Thursday was a dream.
Friday she had hollow eyes, blew up 3 times before breakfast... she had the look of "I Am going to destroy you and myself and anyone else that comes with-in 2 feet of me"and I knew if we didn't do something, something VERY bad was going down.....
Hubbie took her to seminary (early morning youth bible class) to defuse her and stayed out side the class room, by 8:30, I had called her therapist, staged an intervention appointment, got sitters for the other six kiddo's and had a respite on call.
The session was a joke. She was the sarcastic, "I'm not giving you anything"...she was laughing, shrugging shoulders, repeating/copying...her therapist would say "Papillion why don't you tell me how that makes you feel" .."She would say "I don't know you $%$& why don't you tell me how it makes me feel", the BEST was the truth statements, like we would say "Papillion we get that this is Hard and makes you angry"...and she would say "If that is what you say, it must be true".
P.S. Her Therapist (who is AWESOME, and is Chatters and Scooby's therapist too. Is a Catholic nun, like full habit and everything...Pappiliion was pulling some NASTY language.
So walking out Hubbie left for work...and I didn't walk toward the parking lot, I just started walking...so she is SCREAMING "Why are you walking a way from me, WHY AREN'T you WALKING BY ME!!!"
I calmly looked up at the sky and over to her and took one more step away, and said... "Dude after talking to a Nun the way you did...I don't want to be anywhere near you when the LIGHTNING STRIKES".
SHE. BROKE. A. SMILE.
Bomb defused. Talk about a 'The Hurt Locker" moment!
So we actually had a relatively good day..., lots of quiet "real" talk.
She threw a tantrum when we told her she hadn't earned Facebook by the disrespect she had shown that morning, slammed a door and it popped back in her face.. tried breaking a glass and it didn't break...she stomped down stairs...I gave it 15 minutes...and walked into her room cheering and and clapping telling her that was the WORST tantrum I had ever seen !!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
She giggled, felt silly, and came upstairs for Movies and Family Time.
Is it worth letting your kids be banished to their rooms? THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT...to be alienated, as far away from the family, from love, from being close to anything, or anyone.....so win the real battle, not the fake ones they are constantly throwing at you.
YES this was a PARTICULARLY HARD week...but this week beyond all others made me realize...I can't do this alone, and if anyone else if feeling like, or dealing with close to what I am...it's time to find those people reach out and hold each-other up.