This is my first post, and I come in hopes of insight and understanding, ... not judgment. I have two children, both girls ages 11 and 8, and they are as different as night and day.
My 11 year old is easy, I never feel a need to question how things are going with her. My 8 year old, not so much, ... Don't get me wrong I love Bean, and I live for her, I'd die for her. Since birth, Bean has been a trial, everything about her took more work, more patience, more understanding. Everything is a struggle, every situation is filled with whining and anxiety.. ( and she isn't the only one I find myself resorting to whining) I feel that we very rarely get moments where she and I can just enjoy each other,... I just want to be able to have happy mommy moments with her and for her, where I'm not constantly saying " don't pick your nose" ," use manners" , "that was hurtful" , " you aren't listening", "don't hurt your sister", "don't spit" ," make good choices".
" Make good choices" has become my mantra, and I can see she is bothered by my constantly trying to get her to do right, .... I hate discipline, I really do, it breaks my heart to hear her cry when I have put her to bed early or send her to her room,... I usually end up in tears too.
I find it so hard to be tolerant, I want to be a good mother to her but I don't feel like I am, I get so easily annoyed, and frustrated with her. She's 8 and I feel like I'm still teaching her things she should have mastered at 2, like using a fork, or toilet paper.
The whining, I can handle mostly, I just tell her it wont be tolerated that whatever she's whining about I wont help with or do it with her, sometimes that works, sometimes I have to just leave the room.
I have actually asked around to friends I trust, asked if she's likable, and everyone loves her, she's great for her teachers, she does have a non behavior related learning disability, but she does well in school. She takes martial arts, and does well there, she's 8 and a blue belt, which is two from black.
When she was small we would say, she will outgrow it... it will get better,... but she's 8 and I don't see any of it being resolved.
I have to control everything concerning Bean, even her food intake, because she just seems to know no limits, its what she wants , when she wants, no matter what the consequences.
She's rude, and as hard as I try to correct, redirect, and teach, I don't seem to make a dent in this, .... is it wrong to say I don't want this to be her personality? She says things to people , strangers, in public, that she shouldn't say... like... " why do you have a beard? " to a woman, or " I cant stand here mom, this guys butt stinks" .
I try so hard not to compare her to her sister, who is a polar opposite, strangers come to me to say how well mannered and behaved she is... I don't know, maybe I'm asking too much...
On the other hand, and there is always two sides... I feel it would be very unfair for me not to point out all the good in my Bean, She is intelligent,very funny and very sweet, very loving, and devoted, gentle, and giving, she never intentionally hurts anyone, not emotionally or physically, she goes out of her way to be a good friend, and really does seem to want to please. This isn't a bad kid, ... she really isn't, I just seem to have no tolerance for the progress we haven't made. I think I'm the problem, not Beanie.
I don't know what I'm hoping to find here now that I wrote all of this, I don't want to sound like I'm putting her down, I just want to find tolerance and understanding that should come naturally with motherhood.
She has a memory deficit, where she cant recall things all the time, like one day she can be tested, and get an above average score, then the next day be given the exact same test, and get nothing right at all, they said its clear shes giving full effort each time, but that she simply doesnt know the answers each time.
Hi. Oh, it can be hard, can't it? I've got two boys 15 months apart and sometimes they are angels and other times they wear me down until I have to give myself a time out. They are 6 and 5, 15 months apart in age.
My oldest has sensory integration disorder. It involves the nervous system and processing. He's super smart as well and performs pretty good academically but can be a handful. He can be moody, impulsive, difficult, challenging, picky, etc. My younger son has no sensory issues and is almost always in a happy mood. He has his moments, don't get me wrong but it is a lot different than my older son. (don't tell him that!)
So, let's look on the plus side. Her behavior is good at school, right? That is a blessing------ let me tell you. Before we realized that my son was struggling due to sensory issues, he had a terrible time at school. The phone calls, the looks, my son's self esteem plummeting. It was truly horrible. Now he does occupational therapy and things are much better. He functions really well in school and we have lots of strategies to deal with behavior issues. But still . . . he saves his best meltdowns for me. I wouldn't have it any other way because I'd rather deal with it than have his teachers deal with it . . . but it makes for a long day sometimes. Sounds like your daughter is a little like this.
Do you think that her non behavior learning disorder/memory loss makes her work doubly hard in school? If so, that could be part of the problem. She is working to hold it together all day at school dealing with it so that when she gets home, she's exhausted and just blows for you. They always say that we torture the one we love the most the most. Anyway, I"m sure she is completely frustrated by this and that has to surface somewhere. So maybe it is a behavior related learning disability . . . just after the fact and with mom.
Difficult temperments are not uncommon. They give us a run for our money. Have you read Stanley Greenspan's book "the difficult child" or something to that effect (google the author and you'll find it). I read that book and it made me feel better. I'm not alone. You're not alone.
I've asked myself often------- why is it harder for me than seemingly everyone else. No answer to that. But I just keep trying.
We've done occupational therapy for two years and have about a million and one strategies to help with behavior and attitude. Let me know specifically where the problem areas are and I might have some ideas for you. good luck
I dont really know where the problem areas are... its little things and sometimes i seriously think its me not her...she does get frustrated, mostly at tae kwon do when she cant remember something she knew, but the problems at home its almost an 'I dont care' attitude some of this may seem petty...
socks stuffed into the couch, ... every day, even after many times being asked not to, corrected, reminded, and even grounded.
'forgetting' to use toilet paper, ... my god shes been out of diapers for almost 7 years, this isnt rocket science...
leaving food out.... leaving clothing on the floor, giving me a hard time over chores, even ones that are for her, like packing her back pack, laying out clothing... etc.
a lot of it seems like just laziness, which i hate to use that word because its so hurtful, and just all the way around negative. But its like she just doesnt care... Ill say, "the barbie stuff has to be picked up before Nana gets here... if i have to do it, it goes in the trash....." ( now keep in mind the barbies are her favorite thing )... she will shrug, and say.." i dont need them anymore, you can throw them out." And its not a challenge, its not that she doesnt want them, its just she doesnt want to pick them up so she will let me throw them out. The only thing I have learned to do is rephrase... if I say,... "if you leave your barbies out, Nana may trip and fall and be badly hurt"... then she will clean them up... while whining. lol
another thing i didnt mention before is Beanie breaks things, .... its unbelievable , she doesnt do it intentionally, and she isnt overly rough with things that I see, but if she picks something up you can almost bet it will fall apart in her hands, if we go somewhere i am so afraid of her destroying something....even things she cherishes,.. something i watch and see her be so careful with her favorite toy, being always aware of where she puts it and really being extra careful....sooner than later it breaks.
I dont know, maybe im nit picking, I feel like I am, I feel like im constantly picking on her... I try so hard to go way out of my way to be aware of her so i can catch her being good, give praise when she uses manners, or is doing the right things. Sometimes I just feel like a complete failure with her.
I talk to my husband about it, and he said that although she is frustrating at times, and does seem to be dragging her feet when it comes to manners and such, that she is fine, and that im doing fine, that shes happy and healthy, and thats enough.
You know when you said, "memory deficit", I went back over and reread the problems your daughter is having. A lot of those are symptomatic of ADD. "Memory deficits" are caused by something, and to deal with it you have to know what is the cause. Now memory problems are just one part of ADD/ADHD. You might want to check out this link - http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/2157/Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-ADHD?page=1#sec_3761 Focus on the Inattention symptoms. On the ADD/ADHD forum where I post a lot, I have seen numerous parents saying similar things.
By the way, it is not unusual for an intelligent girl to go unnoticed in school (well, at least till about middle school), while all the hyper little boys are noticed.
If the symptoms look familiar, then you might want to buy the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. It will answer a lot of your questions. Of course you can post on the ADHD forum or back here as I will monitor both.
Finally, ADD may have nothing at all to do with your daughter, by I would hate my self if I hadn't mentioned it. I have seen too many kids and parents suffer in silence because no one spoke out. Good Luck
I didnt get a chance to check the link yet that will have to wait until i can focus... you know how kids are... so for now its dinner and a family movie, later i can concentrate.. I do appreciate the link though.
Beanie was tested and observed for a month by a special education team, and my first question was, are they going to say ADD... because I was ready to dispute it, because she has incredible ability to focus, she can spend hours writing a story, drawing, even doing homework.. and whats astounding to me is she seems oblivious to everything around her, ... tv can be on, kids playing anything... shes focused. Her sister needs quiet. The team did say right away this is not an attention issue, that they never have to redirect her back to task... they said that what is holding her back is that on the days when she doesnt have the answers, she will look up to the right, like shes searching her memory banks because she knows she knows the answer, but cant find it... and in a public school, of course they cant just wait for her, .... Its all very concerning.... and Im new to the situation as she was only evaluated this past winter. They said she has made gains, but its more a matter of them figuring out the best way for her to learn, that she has above average intelligence, shes just unable to pull it up every day.
Are there things besides ADD that can cause a memory deficit? Can a child have ADD and have the ability to focus like she can? I dont know.. like I said im new to the learning disability part of this.
Oddly Im not as worried about that as I am about what seems to be her inability to grasp basic manners and socially acceptable behaviors.. maybe the two are linked, I dont know which is why I am here.
I will read the link asap, and thanks again...
off to dinner and a disney movie... ahhhhh the romance and excitement of parenthood lol
So much has happened since I asked what she was diagnosed with!
Try again with a diagnosis. Sandman2 is right - it sounds a LOT like ADHD! That is why I asked what she was diagnosed with since you mentioned it was a non-behavior related learning disability.
Here's my thinking on this: I have a husband and daughter who have ADHD (daughter is non-hyperactive type). They both have this amazing ability to focus intensely on something they are interested in. I always refer to it as "hyper-focusing". This is an incredibly common symptom of ADHD. They lose track of time while hyper-focusing (I've had my husband get very angry at me for "accusing" him of working on something for hours... until I can prove it with a clock). People with ADHD are usually of higher intelligence, yet can appear through schoolwork that they are not learning - my daughter has a terrible time in her honors trigonometry class because she forgets simple math rules during tests. She's also had multiple IQ tests - she tested into gifted programs and the next year tested right back out and then right back in again.
ADHD can be quite inhibiting on social skills - not nearly as much as autism, thankfully -but it can really be a test for the person and their friends/family. They have a hard time filtering between their brain and mouth - so it all comes pouring out. They tend to be quite blunt because of it and can send acquaintances running before they can get close enough to be friends. Their ability to empathize with others is poor as well. Telling them that something they've said or done has hurt someone doesn't really fully make an impression on them. Not that they don't want to care - they just can't fully understand how the other person feels.
I was wondering if the special education team that tested her is through the school system. Schools are quick to rule out ADHD for many reasons. My daughter's school refused to test her for years - even though she was a textbook case for a female (girls tend to be less hyperactive than boys - girls tend to internalize and become moody instead). Both my daughter and husband could be construed as lazy, definitely!!!! I have to remind myself sometimes that it goes beyond laziness! Neither of them have problems being put back on task - but that's not the problem with ADHD. The problem is that they are so easily distracted in the first place... at least as long as they're not "hyper-focusing", then it's nearly impossible to get their attention.
So, that's what's been running through my head. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. I've had plenty of experience with the workings of ADHD and how it manifests itself - even the symptoms that seem to contradict each other. :)
Hm. Well, all kids are different. And you haven't seem to found a way to motivate her yet. Couple of suggestions. First, do you have a reward system in place? A chart that she earns marks on as she does her "jobs" or things that you ask of her. She could earn a special activity of her choosing. Or she could earn money. This is very motivating to my boys. YOu could try beans in a jar for the same effect. I'd try to get her to be your helper vs. just doing what you say when you say. She sounds like she responds to more of being a team than a slave (not meaning that rudely). I know you don't think you have to, but for things that you are motivated for and she is not like cleaning up-------- tell her you'll do it together. You can do the time game--------- see how much we can get done in 5 minutes or 3 minutes or 15 if it is a big mess. It IS amazing what you can get done in that short period of time and even though you've helped her do it-------- the job gets done and she is doing it as well.
There is a book called "love and logic". It discusses lots of things that I think would be very helpful to you. One example is the area of her backpack. What would happen if she didn't pack it? Natural consequences to not being responsible. YOu can remind her to do it and if she does not--------- she will suffer the consequences. I know you don't want her to get in trouble but she has no motivation to become self serving unless she sees what will happen if she doesn't do her jobs for school.
I also think that if you threaten, you have to follow up. I never threaten something I won't do such as I'll throw your toys away. What I will do------------- 10 minutes in your room when Grandma gets here for not listening. Or no tv time that night. Or whatever would not be her favorite thing. And then you follow through.
So, these are just some ideas. But I really think that the issues with memory are having more to do with this than you realize. That will take its toll. You sound like you run a tight ship and I hope you make lots of time for unstructured fun. Games, books, running around. As in YOU do it with her. This does a lot for a kids self esteem. I think it is hard to have a perfect older sister. I know this . . . because I have one.
These are just some ideas. good luck
thanks for the feedback, I have tried many of the things you said, we have check lists for chores... and my ship really isnt as tight as it seems, her responsibilities are these...
feed and water the dog
pack back pack ( including water)
remember her eye glasses
help with the 10 minute tidy up when i call for one
and we ask that they take care of their dirty laundry and dirty dishes
shes 8, so i dont ask for a lot,
I have let her face consequences, ... let me give you last weeks example....
she is supposed to fill her water bottle with ice and water for school before bed at night and put it in the fridge so its an easy grab in the morning, but she didnt so i just let it go, in the morning i reminded her, even though it should have been done the night before, i didnt want her to be thirsty all day.... she said no, she doesnt need it. so she went all day without water, even went to the nurse with a sore throat, at the end of the day when i picked her up had a headache, and i told her it was probably dehydration... and i gave her water, and soon after she was fine..... that night... refused to fill the water bottle , i reminded her... told her it was what made her feel sick,... she refused.... in the morning i reminded her.. she said she didnt need it.... she would be fine... ( this is where i may have gone wrong) I filled the bottle and told her i was upset she wouldnt do it when she knew it was what probably gave her the sore throat and headache,.... that i wanted her to have water, its getting hotter outside and the school doesnt have AC...
she just doesnt care...
most of our time is spent doing much of nothing, crafts, painting, creating, cooking... and she does ok most of the time when we do that, other than what i think is normal, ( licking the spoon when making cookies even though i said people dont appreciate that) ... I dont know.. like i said, I dont think its Beanie... i think its me, my tolerance level has gotten so low... i feel like ive thrown up my hands and given up... and i cant give up, shes my baby... i have to keep trying to guide her and teach her and help her... i just need to find a way to do it with patience.
you are absolutely right, she is magical , and can be delightful.... I dont mean to sound like im bashing my beanie... and I hope that most of the time she feels nothing but adoration, I try hard to make sure she knows she is loved a great deal.. for every negative thing I have said today, (because I do feel frustrated and feel my tolerance slipping), I could tell you 50 things about her that make her an amazing child, and how proud I am that she is mine.
I just need to find patience and tolerance again...
Patience and tolerance is nice. Knowing is better. Not knowing leads to frustration, and a lack of patience and tolerance.
Carefully read what myenzoorka had to say. Particularly the part on social skills and hyper focus, everything I have observed over the years says she's right.
Your special education team bothers me a bit. And it may just be because you left out some parts. But when I was on that team, both as a principal and a teacher - we always had a school psychologist working with us. There was ALWAYS a survey or questionnaire that went home and to the teacher. You will also note in the link I suggested that this is standard practice. So I kind of wonder who was on the team. Did they do things like to look at test scores and questions to see if she was missing very easy answers at the end of the test? Does she have trouble finishing tests? Does her teacher fill like she tests below her ability? By the way, you don't know something one day and forget it the next. Any lapse of short term memory that would do that would be so serious, that it would be noticeable in everything she does. To me, the only thing that would explain that is distraction, and lack of ability to concentrate. To be more blunt, I have never heard of a term like memory deficit - but things do change.
I also had a few questions when you said, "The team did say right away this is not an attention issue, that they never have to redirect her back to task... they said that what is holding her back is that on the days when she doesnt have the answers, she will look up to the right, like shes searching her memory banks because she knows she knows the answer, but cant find it... and in a public school, of course they cant just wait for her."
Typically, kids get redirected back on task when they are making a disturbance that is noticeable. I wonder what is on the right side of the classroom? Are there windows there? There are more reasons to look up and away then to search ones memory banks. And yes, she may be trying to remember something, or she never got that information because she was distracted while it was being given. And by the way, public schools can wait for a kid to finish a test. Its called a 504 or an IEP and its the law. So I've got a bunch of questions about their assessment. Frankly, given what you are feeling - I would spend the bucks and get an outside assessment by a doctor (either a psychologist or psychiatrist that specializes in child behavior).
A quick note on discipline (which myenzoorka touched on). Discipline is basically cause and effect. The kid does something and there should be an immediate, consistent, effect. Over a period of time, the child will put two and two together (if the effect has been consistent, fair, and immediate), and change their behavior. This will work for all normal kids. However, if you have ADD or ADHD, they either can't remember the effect (ADD), of lack the filters to stop their action before they act (ADHD). Either way, the normal discipline doesn't work. The parent tends to get very frustrated (understandably) - and everything goes down hill from there. If the child has ADHD/ADD they need behavioral therapy. Basically, you are retraining their behavior. It takes a lot longer. But it can be done. The book I first recommended is a good start.
Finally, if all of the problems were at home, than my recommendations would be completely different. If the school was concerned enough to look into what was going on, its a different ball game.
When you have an amazing child, that you need to find patience and tolerance with - that should be a huge sign that something is not quite right. Get professional help to find out what is going on (my opinion).
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