Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

Archive for December, 2008

Give the Boy a Keyboard

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 31, 2008

We were called to school a couple weeks ago to discuss Fast Boy’s behavior. It’s certainly a lot better than it has been in the past, but his teacher is getting frustrated. She said that every time she thinks she finds a reward that works for him, it works for about a week and then he loses interest. Well, welcome to my world! It’s been like that for years. Why do you think I’m so frustrated?

So we continue to chat about what works and what doesn’t. I brought up a time where I had him write down an explanation of his bad behavior, kindof as a consequence for that behavior. I had good results. Making him concentrate on the problem by having to write about it seems to have made him realize more about what he did. Then his EC teacher chimes in and says “I do that with him”. I’m thinking, “Great! He already hates writing and we’re using it as a punishment.” Seems to me that would make him hate writing even more.

But then something really eye-opening happened. I asked to see samples of the writing he has done for her with the explanations for his behavior. What was presented was typed paragraphs. My husband and I noticed the same thing immediately. Unlike the messy, mispelled, incomplete thoughts we see in his handwriting homework, these paragraphs held full complete sentences, grammatically correct without the spelling errors.

So, Fast Boy really can write! He just has trouble writing his thoughts with a pencil. He apparently gets so hung up on the handwriting skill that he loses the ability to put the thoughts together. That would certainly be the conclusion that makes sense.

The school has since given him an “AlphaSmart” to use in the classroom when he needs to write essay style answers. I haven’t gotten a progress update yet, but I’m very interested in seeing the results.

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Masters of Manipulation

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 17, 2008

I haven’t posted in quite some time, I know. Does that mean things have been quiet? Unfortunately, no. However, things have gotten better in the past year. Nobody is getting hit in the face with sticks and so far there have been no in-school suspensions. (Knock on wood.)

One of the largest problems that I have faced in the past year is that my children have become masters of manipulation. They know I’m tired and they know if they push me far enough, I will back down. Even on my strong days, both Fast Boy and Princess have me throwing my hands up in the air and wanting to give up.

I read the following article and thought it sounded JUST like what it going on in my house. Thought I’d share:

Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior

I love how it says “You can be sure your child knows what it takes to make you back down.” That is SO true! My children definitely do. Princess throws temper tantrums, but at least she backs down without hurting someone or something. Fast Boy will keep going until he has physically damaged something the we can’t afford to fix or replace. He certainly knows our weak spots. He’s had lots of practice figuring it out. But, how much damage do you let them do while you are ignoring the manipulative behavior?

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