Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ants in the Pants

I've been struggling a bit lately, and I hate the feeling that I am losing control over something. So I'm coming to you for help, my bloggy friends. The beautiful thing about the Internet is that there are so many people out there, and someone is bound to have a similar experience to you. I'm hoping that's the case, and someone out here in the blogoshpere can give me some guidance or maybe just a boost. 

As a parent, you always want what is best for your children. You want them to be happy and successful in everything they do. For this reason, I have always had a hard time with school. I hate not knowing if they are happy and feeling special and successful all day. I worry about them getting picked on or feeling "stupid" if they get the answer wrong in front of the class. Part of this is me projecting my insecurities from my own poor school experience, and I know that. I assume the other part just comes with being a parent and the difficulty of separating from your child.

You see, my son has ants in his pants. These ants have followed him since kindergarten, all the way to the third grade. They even make their way home with him at the end of every school day. We have been watching them closely, hoping they would hit the trail (pun intended), but so far we've had no such luck.  

So what do you do when you know your child requires a little more attention than most? How do you focus on your own responsibilities when you know your child is struggling and you can't be there or don't know how to help him? 

Our two older boys both have had their share of learning difficulties so I'm no stranger to this sort of thing, but with our little guy it's a little less black and white. He is academically quite capable, but he has a very hard time focusing. The concern is that if he continues to have this difficulty, the missing information will eventually cause him to fall behind. We have already tried manipulating sleep/wake times to improve behavior during the school day, and giving a break after school before homework to no avail. 

We are currently working with some behavioral modification programs both at school and at home, trying to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. The consensus is that if we give the power to him, he will focus longer and try harder to make things go in the direction in which he wants them to go.   

Yesterday I was a little nervous to tell him about the new system we were going to be using at home where he will be earning his TV and electronic device time by way of neatly and correctly completing all of his homework assignments. He was SO excited about the new program his teacher was using in school and how well he did with that in school, I thought it might go better than I expected - and it did, at first. Homework went off without a hitch! He made corrections without complaint, and earned almost of all of the electronics time available during his allotted after school hours. Apparently the more he thought about our arrangement the more he decided he didn't like it, because by the end of the night it was all he could talk about... and then he put his nasty pants on. Next came those dreaded words. The words no mother ever wants to hear, even when you know they don't really mean it.

 "I HATE YOU", he said. 

Then he put himself to bed. He wouldn't even say good night to me.

* SOB* 

This is hands down the hardest part of parenting. My mind knows we are doing what is best for him, but my heart wants to tell him to forget the whole thing & give him whatever he wants just so he won't be mad at me anymore. I know it was only the first day of our new systems, but I was hoping it would go a little bit better than "I hate you" right out of the gate. Cross your fingers for me that day 2 goes a little a lot better. 

Do you have a hyper or easily distracted child? How do you deal with homework? Outbursts? Has anyone tried modifying diet, and if so, did you find it to be successful in any way? I would love to know I'm not alone in this and hear some other perspectives/advice. 

post signature

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I've spent the last 2 weeks suffering miserably and recuperating from the flu. I have never been so sick before in my life. The fever and sweats kept me up all night. I mean literally had to get up and change my clothes in the middle of the night, menopause-type sweats! The pounding in my head and ache in my back made me want to curl up and sleep all day. 

Unfortunately, when you have children rest is pretty hard to come by. Jay was unable to stay home from work, so I was on my own most of the time. It's taking me a little longer to get 100% back to myself since I wasn't able to rest as much as I should have. 

It's been very hard to get back into the exercise groove because my body is still so tired, and I had an asthma attack during my first post-flu attempt at running. I like to do everything full throttle, so I'm having a really hard time taking it easy. I'm generally an all or nothing type person when it comes to working out, so it's really been bugging me that I can't get in the type of workout that I love. I'm feeling better every day though, so I think I'm almost there! 

Slowly but surely I'm getting back into my routine, and I've been thinking this week about how lucky I am... even when it seems that maybe I'm not. 

In spite of all the hardships, I still have a ton of things to be thankful for:

Since we live in NY, where everything costs a bloody fortune, it's sometimes easy for us to forget that we both have really good jobs and make a good living. Unfortunately it's not enough, but I'm very grateful for what we do have. 

Last week when I was sick I had to take care of the kids myself, which sucked a little bit, but not too much because I have the best kids ever. They were both so well behaved! Baby M especially, I still can't get over how good she was!!! Even R was able to reign in some of his excess energy and keep it together so I didn't want to kill him on top of feeling like shit. On Saturday when the boys were with us they were also so good and so helpful. I really am so blessed to have such good kids. At first I was mad at Jay for not being able to help me out more, but I decided I have to just view it as more time spent with my loves, whether I felt good or not. Being upset about it isn't going to change anything, and I need to focus my energy on more positive things. 

I am also thankful that I have such wonderful friends, who brought me & the kids dinner and goodies when I was stranded in my house for a week. My bffl checked in on me every. single. day. When you don't have a mom, it's nice to have someone looking out for you... 

Which is why I'm equally as thankful for my sister, who also checked in on me daily while I was sick & helped out by taking R to religious ed for me so I could rest. 

I really am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I have definitely learned my lesson for next year & I will be first on line at my doctor's office for my flu shot! Never want to deal with that bullshit ever again. 

post signature