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Baby Mama Drama

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things around my house have been CRAZY as of late...but more on that later. First, the good stuff.

Yesterday's eating went relatively well. I did have a bagel late last night and stayed up too late, but I was still under my calories for the day. *shrug* It just wasn't a "hungry" day at all. I made Moussaka for dinner last night, which Hubs and I thought was good, but the boys didn't like. (In all fairness Logan is currently sick. He ate three bites and then yakked in my hallway. *sigh*) For lunch I had some of the Lentil Soup I made the other night. Meh. It was alright. Certainly very filling, but it was kinda bland and just there. It's alright in a pinch. I'm not too keen on the vinegar addition and I think next time I'd just leave it out....if there ever is a next time. I was looking to use up my lentils, but I think I'll look elsewhere next time.

After work, my gym routine was to be: 5 minute warm-up, chest ST, and 30m Cardio follow-up...but on the way to the gym I started to feel sleepy. REALLY sleepy. I went anyways. I told myself I had to go. I wasn't feeling well, but I didn't want to stop unless I was yakking all over the place. So I went. And here's how IT went:

5 minute elliptical warm-up

ST moves:

Dumbbell Incline Presses
Primary Muscle Group - Chest (Upper Pectorals)
Secondary - Front Deltoids & Triceps

They look like this:

Source: www.my-weight-loss-advis

Target: 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Actual: 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8 - weight: 5/10/12/15

I felt those as I was doing it, but I think I can be brave and try upping the weight next time, especially on the front end. I like these a lot, though. I love that I can FEEL my pecs working to get where they need to be. There's just something special about feeling the body part you know the exercise is supposed to work working hard to do what you want it to do.

Barbell Flat Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group - Chest (Mid Pecs)
Secondary - Front Shoulders & Triceps

I doubt you need a picture, but here's the best one I found anyhow:

Source: www.trainbodyandmind.com

Target: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
Actual: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/6 - weight: 45/55/65

Who wouldn't like these? Oh, well, I didn't like the part where Hubs didn't make it to the gym so I was left without a spotter and this is the most extreme case of me wanting him there. I probably could've finished that last set, but fear had crept in telling me I was going to crush my ribcage with the stupid barbell loaded down. Still, I did well. I challenged myself and pushed through not feeling well.

And then it was time for cardio, and for the first time in a long time, I bargained my way out of it. The deal I made myself? If I go to Zumba tonight, I can let myself off the hook for missing cardio last night. SUCKS that I woke up to a horrible cough, but I'll still be there tonight, coughing my way through a Zumba workout and making myself proud, because that's what my poster tells me to do every day when I leave work.

And being at the gym tonight will be a good distraction from the family problems I've been dealing with. Here's the skinny:

So, Ethan is my youngest child. The darling of the family. Just like his Momma. He does great in school, loves finishing his homework early, and LOVES to read. He also hates healthy food 9 times out of 10, just because it's healthy and he'd rather have french fries and chicken nuggets, and hates cleaning. When I told him a week or so ago to go clean his room, he did what we call "pulling an Ethan," wherein, in order to get out of doing housework, you simply take a nap. I seriously know how to get my child to take a nap, but this practice of sleeping away your troubles seriously pisses me off. I usually yell at him and tell him to get his butt up and clean like he was told (I swear he's not actually tired. It could be 10 minutes after I woke him up from a 10-hour sleep and STILL he'd find a way to be tired enough to sleep instead of clean). This last time, I figured I'd try a different method. I was sick of hearing him cry and pout and scream his way through cleaning his room talking about how horrible I am and how much I must hate him to make him do it. *rolls eyes* So this time I looked right at him and I said, "I'm giving you the choice. Either this room is cleaned by bedtime or you're going to be grounded for two weeks. You make the decision and you live with the consequences." He is currently without video games and his room is still a complete and utter mess.

That same night, we had another issue arise when we got a call from another parent from school. Apparently her son had taken razor blades into school that day and passed them out to a few of the other kids, Ethan being one of them. I honestly felt scared for Ethan, but I wasn't completely upset with him. We've never dealt with razor blades and, in my eyes, being the blade pusher was MUCH MORE SERIOUS than accepting it. Still, we had to talk to him. We told him that it was dangerous and against school policy. We told him that if he was caught with it he would likely be suspended or worse and it would go in his permanent record. We told him we loved him and we were afraid of him getting hurt with something like that, and that we knew he knew it was wrong, and if he KNEW it was wrong, he should NOT have accepted it. We told him that there was a difference between tattling and telling a teacher about something like this, and next time he needed to be brave for everyone else and just tell. He cried. We took the razor blade away, and then talked to him about lying (he told me 3 times in a row he hadn't gotten anything at school from anyone until I told him, "We just got a call saying you did. Do you want to try that answer again?"), and we talked to him about safety again (he had hid the razor blade under his pillow in bed, the pillow he was laying on...I nearly died! SO close!!). He got punished at school for it and he was super mad that his "friend" had gotten him into trouble and made him miss some fun things they did at school.

Last Saturday, he admitted to me at Logan's basketball game that he had $20 in his coat. I knew he shouldn't have any money left from Christmas because he spends it on stupid crap almost faster than he gets it. I asked him where he got it from. I asked him SEVERAL times. Just the day before Hubs was remarking that he had THOUGHT he had more money in his wallet than he did. It took SEVERAL times before he finally admitted he stole it from his father's wallet. Being in the middle of the basketball game in the middle of a crowded, tiny gym, I told him to sit down and shut up next to me and we would discuss it later, but not to move from my side. Minutes later, he was gone. It took me several laps around the school, outside and in, before I found him hiding UNDER the school bleachers. I yelled at him to get out in front of everyone and he smirked and said he wouldn't. I informed him that when the game was over and everyone left, I was coming in after him if I had to. He came out some time later and sat next to me. I tried to grab his hand to take him into the gym and he wouldn't budge. He wouldn't speak, he had the nastiest look on his face, it was not the boy I had known for 8 years, it was rebellious and spiteful and I got a little sad immediately. Hubs was pissed and pulled him up out of the seat...and then Ethan took off. He ran away from me even though I told him several times I just wanted to talk (that's all I wanted, to talk!). He went outside without a coat and hid from me. After about 20 minutes, I had to give up. I figured he would come out eventually....I hoped he would. As I watched the final minutes of Logan's game, I was upset and hurt and scared. What was happening to my little boy?

Several times when we tried to talk to him on the way home, he mentioned that he should just "go kill myself" which broke my heart over and over again. It took me screaming at him, asking him to stop, talking to him in every manner I knew how before he finally admitted that he was wrong and said he was sorry and it would never happen again. I thought it was resolved. He added 2 more weeks to his grounding and it went up to a month.

Last night was the last straw. His behavior toward me regarding the dinner I had just spent nearly an hour preparing with his help, his disrespect. It was killing me to watch. I told him to just go to bed because I didn't want to be treated that way, and he popped out another stupid comment about how I don't care about him, don't love him, and he should just die. (It literally kills part of me every time I hear him say this...every single time.)

I don't know what to do and the stress of it all is starting to break this calm facade I've built for myself. For two weeks I've stayed mostly on task. I thought I was working the balanced scale to the greatest degree I have ever achieved. I work all day, I go to the gym with Hubs, I go home and cook a nice, healthy dinner for everyone, I put things away, I do laundry, and finally slip to bed VERY late, only to get up and do it all again the next day.

Needless to say, it's been a trying time.

Being a mom is hard right now. I can't look at him right now without seeing his mutilated body (my mind likes to recreate worst-case scenarios in full-color movie quality HDTV for me). Sleep has been a joke with those kinds of nightmares plaguing my mind. I don't know how serious he is. I don't even know where he got this from. All I know is that I don't want to leave it unchecked. I lost a best friend when I was in HS to suicide and I can honestly say that I wouldn't survive the same fate for either of my children. I simply would not survive it.

Anyhow, not sure why I'm laying it all out there...probably because I'm lost and hurt and need to talk and really have no one other than Hubs to talk to (and he doesn't have any clue how to better handle it either). I love my boys and I just want them to be happy.

I asked Ethan if I was spending too much time at the gym. He insisted, and I mean INSISTED that I keep going to the gym. He said he LOVES it when I go to the gym.

I can't exactly work less, so that's not an option.

I just instituted Family Game Night every Friday night where we spend hours upon hours playing games together as a family. Maybe it's having a negative effect instead of a positive one, but I don't know why it would.

I don't know why he's acting out. I know kids generally act out to get attention, any kind of attention, but I don't know how much more I could give other than quitting the gym. Maybe life was easier for him when Mommy stayed home all the time watching TV because she was afraid to be seen in public. I know he surely enjoyed it more when we went out to places like McDonald's and Wendy's, and we simply don't do that anymore. I don't care if we do. I'm happy to take him...I just don't really like the food anymore unless I have a random craving for something.

....life is hard sometimes. The trick is fighting through the battle and coming out on the other side a stronger version, having learned something from the struggle. I hope what I learn is what my child needs to grow up to be a successful, happy, loving human being. But right now...right now my heart is broken and my will is shattered. I dread going home tonight. I can't decided if I want to retreat to bed (my illness may determine that one for me) all weekend, or if I should take him out and show him what a fun time can be had with me. I don't know what to do, so I'll likely do what I can do - muddle through until I find the path....it's there somewhere...I just have to find it.


Moussaka recipe:

Lentil Soup recipe:

EDIT: FYI - Ethan is 8 years old.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUGIRL06
    Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time with your little one :( I have no advice seeing as I have no kids. Just wanted to let you know I'm here to listen!
    3730 days ago
    Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. They go from chubby adoring babies to sometimes little monsters, and still they are yours. My son is 32 and his life has been a nightmare for the past decade, and I still hurt just as you do. Who knows what happens in their little growing minds, or why they act out the way they do. I ignored many of these outbursts and thought love would see us through. I didn't have the skills I thought I had. While ultimately my son's problems originated with a brain tumor growing on the third ventricle since birth (a very scarey benign tumor that is almost impossible to diagnose), I know we could have all benefited from understanding behavior more. If counseling is an option for you, it would be a great place to start. Good luck Mom.
    3738 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7009225
    Sorry, I have been sick this week and just saw this. I agree with you seeking some help for your son. My children had difficulties in 2nd and 4th grade and the school counselors were extremely helpful and a great place to start. My experience was that they are there 6 or 7 hours a day and can develop a rapport with kids to be able to check in on them and give them an outlet to start talking. My experience was that they don't take on "full time" counseling either. They know when a kid needs further help and it was recommended for one of my two kids at the time their father deserted us. The school counselor continues to check on both of them periodically, but she was able to give an initial assessment that helped me to deal with them. Reach out as soon as you can. It costs nothing and she/he should be able to help guide you. Good luck. Stay aware and alert. I will be praying for you and your family.
    3739 days ago
    You know my stance - I agree with everyone else on the counseling thing. However, I know that money is tight, so it may not be an option. But what about something like this: IF you can afford that $20 that he took out of your husband's wallet, why don't you take that $20 and give it to him with the caveat that he needs to use it to plan a "date night" with you - just the two of you. He can do whatever he wants with that $20 (and he may choose to take you to Wendy's so beware), but whatever his ideas it must involve the two of you spending some time together so that you can talk to him (on his terms) about what's really going on. He might be sensing your stress about money, which is why he's stealing it "just in case" for himself. Talk to him about that. I think he's old enough to be absorbing anything that's stressing you and taking it on himself, so maybe a night that he gets to be the grown-up and budget the date and plan everything himself will give him the courage to talk to you about his own "grown up" issues.
    3740 days ago
    Esther, I'm sorry that you're having to go through this. I'm a HUGE advocate of counseling and I'd highly recommend taking Ethan to see his school counselor. That is what they are there for and they are trained to help kids learn coping mechanisms for anger/depression. Especially if he is threatening to kill himself, I think that he needs to learn that isn't something you threaten for attention. If he means it, a counselor will help get to the root of it. Some things I think are better coming from 'officials' rather than parents, and maybe for Ethan he needs someone other than mom to help him work through this one?

    sending you big HUGS, my dear.
    3740 days ago
    I second taking him to a child therapist. Not a guidance or school counselor, but a clinical mental health professional. If his behaviors are sudden, and so dire like you're describing, it would benefit you just find an objective person to speak with. He might just need someone completely removed from the situation to really work on the things bothering him. As much as you guys love him, and as unconditional as your love is, (speaking from experience) there's always that child fear that maybe what's happening would be the one thing that unconditional love won't accept. I do hope things get better.
    3740 days ago
  • NDMOM73
    So sorry you are going through all of this. I have a 17yr old daughter who as far back as I can remember has had anger issues. I have always felt it was my fault because her father and I divorced when she was 2. When she was about 6-7 she would say "I wish I was never born, I wish I was a cartoon (not real)." It broke my heart each and every time she said it. I would cry, tell her how much I loved her, beg her to now say those things. It would drag on and on and my other daughter would have less of my time because I was feeding into the drama.

    This continued in various ways through the years. When she was 13 in the middle of an argument she threatened to kill herself. My husband (her stepdad who is now deceased) and I immediately took her to our local mental health facility for a screening. She was very, very angry but it was also a wakeup call that we weren't going to take a threat of suicide lightly. When they offered to keep her for a few weeks she started crying and said that she was just trying to scare/hurt me by saying it. After a long visit and their standard screening they didn't feel she needed to be admitted. She has never threatened suicide again and she even thanked us for taking her and making her realize how harmful it was to herself to even say those words out loud.

    I don't know the right thing to do in your situation, but I would definitely think about taking him somewhere to be evaluated. They know what to look for and if nothing else your son will know that you will not take threats of suicide lightly. Do not be hard on yourself, just as you wouldn't be hard on your son, sometimes as parents we need help and there is absolutely nothing wrong in seeking that help.

    Best of luck to all of you!
    3740 days ago
    emoticon Since I don't have kids, I can't get great advice, but love the advice to talk to the school counselor. Have you talked with any of his teachers to see if they have noticed any changes with him. New group of friends, anything?
    emoticon I hope everything works out.
    3740 days ago
    Wow, I had a flashback when I read your blog. My youngest DD (11) had anger issues and the threat of harming herself. We went to a therapist. One of the BIGGEST rewards that she LOVES now is mom & me time. If she does not talk back and does what I ask, I give her 15 minutes of time that is whatever she chooses. It is the BEST reward!!! It might be playing a game, cuddling on the couch, playing outside, playing the wii, at the gym, whatever. Usually it is much longer than 15 minutes. Hang in there! Your kids are totally worth it!
    3740 days ago
    Ah sweetie, my heart is breaking for you. I think he's telling you he needs some help, maybe he needs to learn how to express himself or maybe he needs to learn how to love himself. Either way, he's telling you he's in a lot of pain and you are hearing him. Maybe just telling him you need his help to figure out what to do could be a place to start. Love you Es.
    3741 days ago
    Hi E, I'm not a parent, so I have no real advice other than go to counseling with him. I said stuff like that at that age, and my parents put me in counseling, and I swear I'm still around because of it. Hearing your kid say "I wish I were dead" has got to be the scariest thing - esp having your history with the friend in HS - so get him into therapy to be sure you are not having the worse deja vu of your life.

    Also, the whole razor blade thing is so scary...and keeping it under his pillow like he's keeping his options close to him? I did that exact same thing. Yep. Razor blades in my pillow case. It's not just a good hiding place - it means something.

    And just b/c he doesn't say it all the time doesn't mean when he does say those things that it's not real. Please take it super seriously. Please.

    3741 days ago
    Oh sweetie, I am so sorry for how difficult this must be for all of you right now. I wish I knew the right thing to say. I am thinking of you and Ethan.
    3741 days ago
    I don't want to be an alarmist, but those phrases you quoted your son saying are exactly, word for word, what my younger sister would say, under similar situations, at the exact same age. And she took 150 pills in a suicide attempt at 16. I don't think your son is just trying to get attention, I think he is genuinely hurting and whether it has an external cause or not, he needs to be seen by a professional child therapist. Not a school counselor, but a real therapist. My guess would be he's feeling singled out at school in a negative, hurtful way by other kids. Does he get invited to bday parties? asked to hang out often by other kids? Does he have a any close friends?

    I'm not a parent, and I'm not in any way criticizing you or your methods. Just trying to help another family pay attention to clues that in hindsight you may wish you had responded to differently. In the meantime, please hug him and tell him how special he is to you and how much you love him, no matter what he does, and that he will always be a special member of that family. Kids in that kind of pain can't get enough validation, so lay it on thick. You guys will definitely be in my thoughts, and I'm hoping for the best for you all
    3741 days ago
    You MUST talk to the school counselor or your doctor. It is cry for help for a child of any age to repeatedly say he wants to kill himself. It is nothing you have done or not done, but for some reason he feels useless or something. It is not easy to do this. I know, I had to get help for my son when he was in middle school, but your son needs help and starting with the school is a good way to begin. emoticon to both of you. I am not going to even try to say what might be going on, I just want you to fight for your son and get him some help.
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6904820
    I'm sorry you're having a rough time with your son. I'm also a teacher and agree with the others - talk with the school counselor. Depending on the situation (and the size of the school), the counselor may be able to have group or individual counseling with him. If the school counselor can't help, you can always find a child psychologist or psychotherapist that will be very helpful as well. Good luck!
    3741 days ago
    I have no helpful advice, just observations from afar: you're a fighter and so is Ethan. You won't give up nor will you let him give up. He will draw from that your strength and your love. Keep talking to him and keep listening to him. I'm sending you lots of love and strength.
    3741 days ago
  • MENACE79
    yikes - that sounds like a lot, and can't even imagine what it must feel like. The pressure to say/do the right thing when you're not sure what the "right thing" is must be enormous. I don't have kids, but went through some tough adolescent times, and remember them well. When my mom didn't know how to get through to me, we would go somewhere (mall, groceries, anywhere as long as it was in the car and just the two of us) and she would quietly say that she knew something was wrong, didn't know what it was, but she needed me to know that she loved me, and that we could talk about it if I liked. Then she would drop it. I didn't always crack, but I did sometimes. Knowing that she cared really was the whole point. I can imagine the disappointment she must have felt when I DIDN'T talk, though. We had a lot of talks sitting in the car in the driveway. Many many years later when I learned my fiance had been cheating on me (before I began dating hubby), I was hysterical and I asked to speak with her in the car - lol. Something non-threatening about sitting side-by-side rather than face-to-face.

    Good luck, deep breaths, and I hope these wrinkles smooth out for you soon.
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8853463
    I used to teach 3rd grade and I completely agree with LYON77, talk to your school counselor. It definitely can't hurt to have another adult involved.
    3741 days ago
  • ERIN1128
    I agree with the other posters about talking to the school counselor (if there still is one - here in budget-wracked California, that's pretty much the first thing to go!).

    I also think the family game night thing is a GREAT idea. I have really been making an effort the past couple months to institute special family time on the weekends, as I realized that we were often splitting up to get stuff done - Mommy hangs out with Kate while Daddy runs to the grocery store, that kind of thing. Now I'm making a point of saying, for example, how about all three of us go for a walk on the river and enjoy this beautiful sunshine, and then we can all hit the store together on the way home? Kate has REALLY responded to it, she loves it. I bet it will help with your little sweetie too.

    Good luck and keep us posted. Big hugs to you!!!
    3741 days ago
  • LYON77
    First of all, I am not a parent yet so I really have no idea how hard your job is!!! But, I am a school counselor and I would recommend calling your son's school counselor and let him or her know what is going on. If a parent called me, I would find an excuse to call him into my office and then just say that I am meeting with all of my students today to see how they are doing in school and see if everything is going ok for them. They never suspect anything else. The counselor may be able to get something out of him that you cant. Its amazing what kids will tell their counselor!!! Trust me! He may end up saying that he is being bullied or that he doesnt think his teacher likes him or that he feels stupid in class. The school day is a huge part of thier day and thier life and things at school can make or break a kid. It wont hurt to ask and if the counselor is a good one they will take the time to try and see what the issue is. The counselor can even ask his teachers if they have noticed anything different in class, in lunch, at recess, etc. Maybe he can be in a group at school. Sometimes counselors run groups like social skills groups, or friendship groups. Get your counselor involved!! We care about kids!
    3741 days ago
  • MAGSA10
    Well I am glad that you did get your workout in as it is a good stress buster. I am sorry to hear of the problems that you are having with your 8 year old son. Sometimes we try to treat them like they are really older than they are and that back fires on us, we forget that they still need that hug and kiss and told good night. I know that I had that problem with my son when he was younger due to the fact that when he was in the 7th grade he was over 6ft tall and had a mustache by than. People looked at him and thought that he was a lot older than he really was and would expect him to act older, big problem..... Well anyway I am wishing you better tomorrow with your son. Stay strong and keep on Sparking.

    Maggie j. emoticon
    3741 days ago
  • _SASX_
    Oh, just big hugs for your and Ethan and your family, Esther! It's so easy for our kids to wound us without even knowing it.
    Talk with his teacher, and find out if his school has a counselor, or can recommend one that you can take him to go see. Sometimes just having a different person, who is not as emotionally invested in the stich is what is needed to see what is really going on.
    If he's trying to be included in stuff at school and is being shunned by the kids that he admires most is hard for any kid. And as parents, we want to protect them from any hurt. His actions may have been ways to gain 'status' in the group he wants to join. It sounds like he loves you, loves family game night and all of that. It could be that he's just trying to find a way to be the cool kid at school and the normal Ethan at home. But a counselor could help.

    Hugs, mama!
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7194503
    Im not by any means saying that this is an issue, but it might be so i thought i would let you know. when i was about 8 i started acting out for reasons i had no clue about. i started screaming and lying and being a horrible person, and then telling my parents they didn't love me and i was better off dead. this went on for 8 years with various doctors telling me and my parents that "it was just a phase" and "i'd grow out of it"

    looking back i had no clue what was wrong with me, i was scared, and wasn't completely in control of my actions.

    it turned out at 16 when i finally demanded that i go see a counselor, that my depression was fueling all of my "crazy"

    its just a thought, and like i said i dont know if its the case, but i thought id throw it out there for you

    i hope everything gets better for you! raising kids is the hardest job there is
    3741 days ago
    reading your post I'd suggest it probably is less of home and more of school/social issues. Could it be that he is feeling left out at school cause he's not fitting in with the "cool" (and by "cool" I mean they actually aren't and will find that out later in life!)kids. This would make sense why he would take the razor blade (to fit in).

    My 4.5 yr has had some discipline issues in daycare before. A lot of the issues when the two "big boys" he WORSHIPPED went off to kindergarten. For instance Jack was coming home with "bad" words at least once a month last year. This year he has informed me of one word is bad (he didn't know it was and I guess said it and it was explained it was bad). He no longer says it.

    My kid is a people pleaser/follower too and I'm constantly monitoring his friends. I am quick to set up play dates with the kids who are more like him. Jack is easily convinced to try things because a friend told him to.

    I too would suggest calling the school councellor/teacher to see if they can shed some light on his school behaviour.
    3741 days ago
    You know, Kaura...that makes a LOT of sense. Ethan is a people pleaser, and I do remember one bout of yelling in which he mentioned that everyone at school hates him and says he's annoying and don't want to be around him anymore. I don't even know what that's about, but maybe that's where I should start looking because I honestly can't see the home disconnect right now.

    We just instituted family game nights, and he looks forward to them every week. He loves them! It's his special time with us. And I always split up my boys from time to time and do things with them one-on-one, even if it's just "let's just you and me go to the grocery store this time" and then letting him help pick stuff out for the week. He likes things like that, and I am sure to do stuff like that on a semi-regular basis. So maybe the problem is with classmates. I don't mean we're perfect parents and not doing anything wrong, I just mean I can't see what's going on there and maybe there's something there that is upsetting him that I just don't know about...he rarely talks about what happens at school, and usually lies when he does tell me things about school. *shrug* The person he talks about most at school is his teacher, not his classmates...and that seems strange to me too.

    Oh, and this is also Ethan's off-season as he's a football player. We've got one in football and one in basketball, so WE as parents don't get an off season, but I do know he's just itching to be active again out on that field. I know that's a part of it, but I can't speed up time or make weather cooperate.
    3741 days ago
    I have a 7 year old that was fine before school. Other than being scared of me sometimes because I had gone through PPD and yelled constantly we had no problems. 1st grade was when we started having major issues. He was coming home with things he shouldn't have, saying things he shouldn't say, and acting angrier and angrier. At first I blamed myself and said if I hadn't yelled at him so much as a toddler he wouldn't be like this. Then I sat down with his school counselor and told her I was stuck and had no clue where to turn. She asked if his twin brother was having the same problems but he wasn't. So since they were in separate classrooms she suggested we assume it's Cole's classmates that were causing the problems. She did a temporary classroom change and it was literally that first week we started seeing changes in his behavior. I've learned since then we really have to be strict on who he hangs out with and if I have any doubts in my mind that I'm doing something wrong I have to take a step back and look at it as if I were him. If I would be upset as a child and not understand then that's not how I would act towards him. Now that I"ve rambled a ton I would suggest seeing his school counselor. They won't call cps on you or anything, their job is to make sure the kids are developing the way they're supposed to.
    3741 days ago
    Glad you got your workout in dear...

    Sorry about the sitch with your son... I am sending a huge round of hugs your way.
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    emoticon Sorry you are going through this rough spot. Hang in there.
    3741 days ago
    I'm a custodial stepmom to two boys who are now 15 and 17 and I've heard it all. My oldest was very combative when he was in his adolescent years and has grown into the best person. He still has his moments of defiance and attitude, but is generally a good person. Someone I never dreamed he would become. The younger one is just now going through these types of emotions and tests with us, but he has always been the "people pleaser".

    I love Melissa's idea of getting Ethan involved in some sort of martial arts. The self-discipline and respect learned from something like that could be very beneficial for your son.

    I mostly just wanted to wish you well and tell you to hang in there. Raising children is the hardest thing I've ever done...even though they're not technically "mine". I wish it was all puppies and rainbows, but it's not. You will get through it, though. One step and one day at a time.
    3741 days ago
    i'm sorry to hear about your troubles! i just wanted to say how much he reminds me of me when i was younger. i was an emotional kind of kid, but had trouble expressing it in any way other than yelling and hitting. my parents had a hard time with it, but i remember now how i just felt so out of control and didn't know what to do with it. i just FELT so much. some of it was from growing up, some from moving to a new school. just wanted to say that i think i was pretty normal, and i was a good kid except for a couple years there. but my parents did have me talk to the school counselor, which was great.

    3741 days ago

    Being a momma is so hard! I hate to hear that Ethan is going through that. Him and my oldest girl are close to the same age and its so sad to think that he's thinking things like that. I hope it gets better for you all.

    3741 days ago
    My heart goes out to you with your son. My son started this behavior in kindergarden. He's a freshman now. It has been a long and bumpy ride. First reading how your son will sleep to avoid a chore made me think of my son. Please have him checked for depression. It is not a happy thought, but if you have him checked out you will feel better. My son has been suffering from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. It is hard to think about, harder to deal with. But many of the things you describe are very close to what I've had to deal with.
    I am sending you a ton of positive thoughts.
    3741 days ago
    I was going to say the same thing that BeckyB73 did. I don't think you'd appreciate the alternate advice that sprang to mind when you were talking about him running away and hiding under the bleachers--which would be a swift swat on the backside. When my brother wouldn't clean his room (his excuse was always to use the bathroom) my mom finally quit--she got large green garbage bags like you use in the garden and threw everything away! She took it to the dump so that he couldn't go garbage diving to rescue anything that he missed.

    (She secretly kept keepsakes for him, but for the most part, everything went in the trash--toys, games, puzzle pieces, papers, garbage etc.)

    She only had to do it once and he got the idea that if he didn't clean his room when he was asked up to her standards, that she'd "clean his room for him"

    Or, when I was young with my sister, I'd laze about and let her do all the cleaning. I got caught at that once and they tore apart everything that she had cleaned and gave her money to get a treat from the corner store. I got stuck cleaning the rest of the room by myself.
    3741 days ago
    Aw babe, I feel for you. How old is Ethan?
    I ask because very recently I've been reading one of those parenting books (insert big sigh here, I know) to try to teach me something about dealing with my 2 1/2 year old. It's called "Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys". And while I realize that there are a million of these books out there, in skimming sections on older boys, I sort of did a double take when I skimmed the section on The Individual (ages 9-12). My brother in law is 10 right now and is going through a lot of the behavioral issues that Ethan is.
    Again, I have no idea how old your son is, so maybe this doesn't apply. Anyway, even though I'm not raising my brother in law, I was able to show the section to my husband and mother in law, and it helped them to at least know that his behavior is very much the norm. And that even though he says horrible things and makes my MIL simultaneously want to hug him and ground him, it's a stage that he has to get through. Anyhow...I know how things go with the plethora of books that are out there, but I wanted to send you a virtual hug and let you know that you're not alone.
    I hope today is an easier day for you. I know my days like those are coming. Just down the road a few years.

    3741 days ago
  • BECKYB73
    If you employer offers it as a benefit, you should check out the Employee Assistance Program. It's a good way to reach out and find mental health/family/personal life, etc. resources for yourself and your covered beneficiaries.
    3741 days ago
    I'm sending you strength and love to get through this time. You have so much on your plate right now but I'm so glad you're husband is encouraging you to continue to go to the gym. Stick through it... it'll get better!
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6372002

    Aw sweetie ... I don't have any advice for you but I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I think you're doing the right thing by not leaving his words unchecked. They probably (hopefully) are just things he says in the heat of anger, but it's better to be safe.
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3543611
    So much of this rings true with me and I wish I had a suggestion on how to deal, but I don't. I have a 7 year old step-daughter who is sweet as pie one second and then screaming she hates me the next second..and it's not just me. She does it to her father as well.

    We've just gotta keep loving them and hugging them and telling them that we want whats best for them. Hang in there!

    {on a lighter note...have you tried putting Curry Powder in your lentil soup?} emoticon
    3741 days ago

    Being a mom is hard enough when things are "normal," I'm sorry that you have to deal with all of this!!! We never sign up for the parts like these, do we.

    I wish I had some advice for you, but just know that if you need a shoulder, that I am here to listen!!! It sounds like you are doing everything that you can to make it work and be there to help him, but he is constantly acting out and it isn't helping matters at all.

    3741 days ago
    I don't have all the answers but I wanted to first off say I feel horrible for you. I'm tearing up ready this as I have a little boy. He's 4.5 yr old so I'm not dealing with most of this yet.
    For cleaning the room I tell little man to do it. He OF COURSE says no. I then set a deadline and explain what I mean by clean (so clear expectations as he's only 4.5 yr old) and then I say if it's not clean by the deadline I will come in there with garbage bags and throw away everything. I have never had to, BUT this is a slightly empty threat. If it came down to it I would for sure load up his stuff and then lock it in the garage for a few weeks to teach the lesson. When giving it back I would explain next time I am not holding onto it.

    I think your son is definitely feeling some changes he isn't sure he likes and doesn't konw how to deal with it. I think you need to set aside a day or some hours or whatever and spend time just you and him. I would hope he would then see your love for him (maybe not the first time!) and hopefully either open up or shift his attitude. I know how much my little man acts out when he feels he's not getting enough attention.

    Even though i should be studying there are nights where I take the extra hour and spend it playing wii games with him, reading, building lego houses or whatever.

    We have a standing "date night" that is just me and him (his dad isn't around much but we live with my BF who treats little man like his own). I kept it up after we moved in with BF because it's one-on-one attention of his very busy mom.

    I hope you find some answers soon! I'll be thinking about you.

    3741 days ago
  • MELISSAD0721
    So sad to hear about what your Ethan is going through. I have a very emotional 5 yr old Ethan myself. One suggestion may be something like taekwondo where they teach children self-esteem and self discipline. Something he can do to be proud of himself. Your a mom and you care so you will get through it. :)
    3741 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/14/2011 3:02:19 PM
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