Monday, November 4, 2013

Challenges of parenting!

So I have a very funny Shad story....  he was our usher on Sunday for the offering for orphans.....unbeknownst to me was his method of being an usher.   His method, I was told by my husband, who was laughing hysterically, was to stand in front of each parishioner until they gave!  We did talk to him last night about the correct gracious way to take up an offering, however we were still laughing so much about it that I'm not sure he paid us much attention!   Shad is such a funny guy:)   Love that boy! 

Our wonderful nurse took Selah this morning to HBOT so I could do paperwork and I did do some!  I FINALLY addressed the thank you cards to all the people who helped us in our insurance fight!  It was not the easiest thing to get the governor's address LOL.  I also paid bills, that is a good thing to do and on time.  I HATE paying bills, not just because it makes our bank account go down, I just hate the chore of it!  I did a bunch of calls for various things....left messages all medical, finally got one call back today. 

The kids had PT and OT today in between Selah's therapies.  Then it was time for her to go back to HBOT.  I had time to drop her off and go in for a few minutes before going to get Shad.  In those few minutes, the discussion turned to food and then to DOUGHNUTS.    I fought temptation hard but when I picked up Shad I asked his opinion and he really thought we should go and buy doughnuts!  Thank God because I was craving them so bad!   We bought a dozen and took them back to HBOT.  I didn't know if the health conscious staff would eat any....they did LOL! 

Steve is working hard on his last few books.  He wants to get a job but we told him he has to finish his books before he can get a job.  I think he will be done by Christmas or January. 

Shad made ALL A's in school, all high A's!  In just a 9 week period, he completed basically a half of year of work.  He did 5 or 6 books in each subject!   I'm very happy with his progress.  The boys use a curriculum that allows the child to work at their own pace. We'd love to see Shad finish with his curriculum early and enroll in college while still in high school.  I know he has a ways to go but it could happen!

I don't usually read too many blogs because I am afraid I will plagiarize them without meaning to do so LOL  but today I was researching something else and came across a really good blog.  this lady totally cracks me up!  I read several of her posts and totally agreed with everything she said which is unusual for me LOL  This post is even better!

Between these two posts I really started thinking.....

We expect a lot from our kids.  We hear that all the time from friends and relatives.  We expect our older boys to do chores at home and at church and to do them willingly without expecting payment or a specific reward.  We do not give allowances, we do not do rewards for them doing stuff unless you count getting pizza occasionally after a job is done as a reward.  I have told my boys that they are "working for God" when they do work at the church and that they will get their rewards in eternity LOL    Now we do fun things as a family and they get to do special things individually too at times BUT we don't usually give them the idea it is a "payback" for some specific job.  We feel like kids need to learn to work and that it is a part of life.  It's just good to learn to do things without feeling like they need to have a reward.

Recently Steve somewhat kidded around about the things he had done to help me that morning.....he changed both kids and fed them breakfast.  I told him that he should read "Little House on the Prairie"  and read how the young girls worked in the fields daily and then come and tell me about all he had done LOL!  That shut him up! 

Well months and months ago, Steve started pestering us for a specific new game system that is coming out.  I do truly HATE any type of video game and feel they are all spawns of Satan.... not because they are so evil (our kids don't get evil games) but the video games SUCK out the brains of children and teens....just suck them out and take them to outer space! 

Anyhow I gave in to him.....He has been such a great help this past year to us.  So I ordered this system and immediately regretted it!  But it was so complicated, I could not figure out how to cancel the order.  It's not that I don't appreciate my son, I really really do.  But I don't think this was the best way to show appreciation!   And I HATE anything to do with video games! 

He thinks it is the best way for us to show our appreciation to him......

Such a dilemma, after I read this blog I automatically felt like a bad mother!  I really don't want my kids to get an entitlement mindset!  

I'm still not in a happy place with this whole thing....I don't like to do things where I don't feel peace about it.  On one hand of course I love making my kids happy....but on the other hand, I don't want them to get their brains sucked out anymore than they are have had LOL!  Plus it was more expensive than I anticipated, of course Steve had an answer for that too since we didn't do much of a Christmas the last two years and he didn't complain at all.  We didn't do anything much  for his birthday last year so he succeeded in making me think this was a 2 Christmas and 2 birthday presents combined!   Let me tell you, he is good....

UGH!!!!   I'm not happy with myself!  This blog really made me think. Take the time to read it.

I am thankful, I think we have made good choices with parenting our kids.   There are a few things that I would change if I could go back and the number one thing would be video games- there would be NONE in our home!  You have no idea but VG are the bane of my existence and I have no one to blame but ourselves!!!  I know we could still yank them and sell them all but then a small part of me thinks how much Steve and Shad enjoy them and of course I like my kids to enjoy things....but.... we set limits with them and they are pretty compliant.  So this is the dilemma, that I'm still going through.  I like to give things to make my kids happy and be happy at the same time and I'm not!

The complications of being a parent!

The blog actually gave me some really good tips about how to get young children to sit still in church.  Sam totally loves church and sits on the front row right by the aisle so he is right in front of the pulpit.  It is unreal to see him come in and sit himself down.  He is extremely well behaved in church and actually seems to respond.   It took some years of me working with him gently. 

Sarah LOVES the music.  Since we sit on the front row, I let her twirl on the floor.  No one can really see her and she doesn't disturb anyone.  She generally will sit either in a chair or on the floor by my leg for most of the service.  However she has started doing a new thing.  She touches everything, which is good.  But she touches things by lightly hitting them.  We are working on this.  But sometimes she will hit the stage area and it picks up on the sound system.  Usually I have to take her out about mid way the sermon.  I've been taking her to the office where I can still hear and letting her play on the floor.  The blog gives the suggestion that when you take a small child out of service, don't allow any playtime or then the child will think "I'll make noise, get to go out and play"  That was a light bulb moment for me!  So now if I take Sarah out, she'll have to sit on my lap and not get down in the office.  I think she understands enough that once it doesn't become fun, she won't want to do it.  

We don't feel our little ones (Sam and Sarah and obviously Selah) should be spanked.  I don't have a problem with spankings, I think it helps to remind kids to behave but I also think the child should be fully able to understand spankings.  With them (and of course Selah too before the accident) we mostly "disciplined" them by removing them from the situation.  I have tried putting Sam in a "time out" before in his crib and all he did was fall asleep LOL.   Because of Sarah's situation, coming from where she did, with the understanding she has, I could never use" time out " for her.   That would be too much like rejection for her I believe.  With her if I say NO she does seem to understand and will stop the behavior (like the light hitting) for a few minutes at least.  It's challenging to train up special needs children with low mental understanding.    BUT I've seen some special needs adults who had NO discipline or anyone ever saying NO and they were brats and very hard to deal with.  I believe children crave order in their lives. 

Sam can be very impatient for things like food and we have catered to him probably a bit too much in the past.  He can be very demanding and we've always tried to meet his needs quickly so he didn't get upset.  It has seemed like that makes him even more demanding!

Sam has always "bit" on a finger, for years he has done this.  Then he began biting the same finger on the other hand.  We've worked with him and tried various things, mostly trying to do whatever we could NOT to frustrate him.

Well we have noticed since we came back home a newer level of frustration with him.  Now he sometimes bites the top of his one hand.  Occasionally, he has pinched himself   (he used to pinch us if he was mad)  and recently he brings both hands together and pushes on his forehead to the point he has a red spot. 

Our PT suggested more out door time and "brushing him"  I've been doing that pretty consistently for about 2 weeks now with no real change in Sam.  I set an appointment with his neurologist to talk about this.  I think Sam is dealing with anxiety and while I am not one to want to medicate myself or a child, I want to see what the doctor says about all of this.  We had talked a couple of years ago about the finger biting and the doctor basically told me to just keep him busy and keep the frustration level as low as possible, which we have done. 

I think, we may try a light anxiety medicine if the doctor thinks that is the way to go and then while he is on the meds, try really working with him to find other ways of dealing with frustration.  It is hard when your child is non verbal.   Looking at the situation, I really think we did wrong in catering to him as much as we have done.  Now if we do anything "out of schedule" he gets so upset.  he is an easy going child in many ways, but there are things that really upset him.  One thing that is hysterically funny is if anything changes the order of the church time I was sharing several prayer requests and he started making his "unhappy sound"  It was like he was saying "sit down and shut up and let daddy get on with the service!"  He did the same thing last Sunday as I was sharing about Orphan Sunday LOL  He knows the order of the service and he doesn't like that to change.  He also does NOT like if the service is late getting started.  Sometimes Jon will be a few minutes late since he does a service at the prison before our church service and Sam will get very frustrated (so does Mama LOL)  I've told our music minster to "just go ahead and start the service, Sam is mad"  LOL  it's really funny in those situations but it is something we need to work on with him.  We had tried a communication board/system before and he didn't understand it.  I think we are going to try one again and see if his level of understanding has gotten to a place where he could communicate with us.  It could be he is frustrated by not being able to communicate his wants/needs to us. 

Sarah has no behaviors like Sam does despite all the years in a mental institution! 

Again the complications and challenges  of being a parent!


So today is day 4 of HBOT, we haven't seen any changes with Selah except she seems exhausted!  This time around the morning and afternoon sessions are much closer together and I don't think she likes it at all!  If we do it again, I'll try to get better times for her. 

 Last time it was on day 10 I think, that she started the tongue movement so we'll see what happens next week.  Please keep praying for our sweet LaLa! 


  1. Thinking about the anxiety - I have read that it can be a genetic thing. Sam does have your genes, mama. You'll know pretty quickly if the meds work and let you reteach him some new habits to use when he is frustrated.
    Being spoiled - I think kids are spoiled when they EXPECT to get their way or a reward. It's that expectation that I find sooo annoying. I taught first grade for many years and I was always amazed at kids that expected to be waited on or who couldn't zip a coat or were still letting their noses run all over their faces. These were not special needs kiddos, just kiddos who were waited on. The kids would tell me they didn't have their lunch because Mommy didn't put it in their book bag. I would ask why they didn't put it in their book bag. They looked at me like I had three heads. Their parents looked at me the same way when I would repeat the conversation. lol Okay, off my soap box.

    1. I don't think I'm a carrier of anxiety LOL I was a pretty normal person till this past year!

      I can NOT stand spoiled kids and ones who dont' do for themselves, I see that and just roll my eyes!!!

  2. Thanks for the blog share...I had no idea your little guy is is my youngest. So many days I feel so alone trying to explain her or trying to get through another day of it all, therapies, no answers from specialists etc. Thank you for sharing that fact too.

  3. I am one of your regular readers. I enjoy reading about your family but I am also always hopeful when I come to catch up on your family that Selah will have made some new progress. I pray for her and I am so hopeful that this treatment will bring new progress for her.

    I know what you mean about the video games. We have a small Kindle Fire that I have allowed free games to be loaded on and I have such mixed feelings about it. Many studies have shown that it really does make changes to their brains so I think your concerns (and mine) are certainly valid. Boys tend to get really sucked into video games too. We allow our two sons to play 15 minutes each on weekdays but they like to watch each other play so they are really staring at the screen for 30 minutes. They can also watch a movie for 30 minutes a day on weekdays. On weekends we allow 30 minutes each of games and a long movie. When we are having trouble with behavior, the games are the first thing to go, usually 5 minutes at a time, so they can keep some game time if they start behaving. It definitely helps with behavior. We home school and both boys take piano lessons and one does not like to practice so the games and movies are incentives there too.

    On one hand, I wish I had never gotten the Kindle. But on the other hand, I feel that letting them play with moderation keeps them somewhat up to date so they can discuss games with their neighborhood friends and maybe it teaches them moderation. I sure have mixed feelings about it through and that makes me wonder if I would be more at peace if we didn't have the Kindle at all....maybe that is God whispering to me. I will have to think about that and pray about it more.

    Anyway, you have a friend in the Tulsa Oklahoma area and I will continue to pray for little Selah. (We adopted our two sons from Volgagrad Russia when they were 14 and 15.5 months old and they are now 8 and 7, but the 7YO will be 8 on Monday:).