Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Quirks and Behaviors

Andy and I had a big talk last night about the kids and their behaviors. Little E and Josiah have been major handfulls and into everything. I love them both to death, but I need to find some way of disciplining them that gets through to them that they can't do certain things. It's getting to a point where I cannot even leave them out of sight for a couple of minutes or they're running to get into everything that they're not supposed to. These are my 2 with ADHD and ODD. I watched a Super Nanny episode a week or two ago where SN was telling the parents that they were expecting too much out of their son who had ADHD and when he acted up, they just needed to give him a hug and talk to him about what he did wrong. He wasn't meaning to act up and he just couldn't focus on what he needed to be doing. She did an experiment with Mom where she wanted her to read a book, listen to music, she had all the kids come in and do various things to her at the same time, and then she asked Mom to tell her what she had read. I understand that these kids have problems in that dept and I am sympathetic to that. But, I think they need to have consequences just like any other kid does. I think they need to learn that they still have expectations in life, rather than just learn that because they have ADHD that they have an excuse not to do those things.

I had started to give them little tasks and if they could complete those without incident I was rewarding them with 2 gummi bears. It was working for the most part. Then, we went to a training and one of the caseworkers mentioned that he didn't think that was a good idea as it was setting the kids up to expect something each time they did anything. I quit doing it and the kids went back to being major handfuls. Into everything, running wild everywhere, refusing to listen, being defiant, making big old messes, being agressive with one another at times, and after Andy and I's talk last night, I decided that I'm going back to what was working. Once I get their behaviors under control for awhile, I'll start cutting back on the gummi bears, but for right now them earning gummi's, tv time, and extra perks seems to be working and I'd rather give them something extra for now if it will reap the rewards of good behavior. I need to be able to go sign forms for the therapist without them making a beeline for the refrigerator, pantry, or DVD player to make a mess and wreck things. I need to get a handle on this now, so that when the baby comes and I need to sit and feed the baby, that I don't have to stop every 2 seconds and go get them out of the bathroom, out of the pantry, or out of Deidra's homework.

And before anyone says this is normal kid behavior, if it just happened here and there throughout the day, I would understand, but this is constant over and over and over and it doesn't matter how many times they lose a privilege or wind up in time out, it doesn't change the behavior. I think when we go to behavioral therapy tonight, I'm going to see about adding Josiah to the behavioral class rather than just go to skill building so we can get some ideas on how to handle some more of his refusing to listen and the 45 minute screaming fits (no tears, just screaming) that come with him not getting his way. He has no self-calming techniques either and I just talked to the occupational therapist about how I understood the massages and squeezes she does in therapy to help calm him, but I need ideas on how to teach him to self-soothe as otherwise he just screams and screams. She told me to keep removing him and putting him in his room so he learns he's not going to get negative attention either. I told her that I do go put him in his room, but he destroys his room during his screaming fits. She told me to put a mini-trampoline in his room so he can get some sensory input from that, but that seems more like a reward to me. I think I'm going to bring this up at behavioral therapy when we are in our parenting class and see what they think. But, I do think he needs to join the behavioral class so we can see the progress that he makes in learning those skills and be able to see how the counselors deal with some of his quirks.

They are making some progress with social skills. All my littles have a really hard time with boundaries and what is appropriate with strangers and others personal and private spaces. I found a social skills for early learners book in a teaching story that I picked up and we have been learning one social skill each week and I give them little reward strips each time I see them do the appropriate social skill that we have learned already. They are slowly improving and I am SO proud of them!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, I personally think you are amazing! If the gummi bears work, use them! It shows them consistency. And immediate awards and consequences. Every behavior we do affects us and others, somehow, whether small, large, now or later. You are just teaching them the concept behavioral-reaping. They have to start somewhere. And Gummi bears is perfect!

I went out and bought that sock monkey doll from Target and told the girls that if they slept in their beds all night, they could have it the next day to play with, and you know what? #1 could not care less about the dumb thing, but #2 sleeps in her bed all night with her Mimi-the-Monkey Doll.

So what's the difference between Gummi's and the Monkey Doll? the price tag, goofy! Your a genius, and giving the kid a mini-trampoline, is like treating your suspended student to breakfast from McDonalds. Hello!! You get porridge without any sugar, buddy!


6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, another thing, (just thank God we don't get to go out to coffee, or else you hear me ramble for an hour without taking a breath!)

Self-soothing: I know my kids aren't ADHD, but they do whine, pout, scream, and kick their feet. I tell them they need to put their voice:

Its impossible to whine.

6:47 PM  

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