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Supporting but not enabling your child

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Aubrie posted 8/30/2013 12:35 PM

Ok, my DS4 is confusing me and I do not want to destroy this child's life. He is so different from DD8 and I'm completely at a loss on how to handle him.

He is very touchy feely. It's obvious that physical touch is his first, second, third, fourth, and fifth love language. Not even kidding. This kid is a cling monster.

He's also very short tempered and easily frustrated. If he can't understand or figure something out on the first try, he will loose his mind. Gets angry, throws it down, talks down on himself, and stalks away. I've been working on him with that. It's ok to fail. We just have to keep trying, believe in yourself, etc.

He's had a serious crush on a 17 year old for almost 2 years now. We're talking, serious obsession. He found out she had a purity ring and was "married to Jesus" and oh my gosh, the fallout! He cried for 2 months. He is always talking about his girlfriend and when they get married. When he sees her, he has to talk to her, stand next to her, sit next to her, you get the idea.

What in the world people??? I'm not encouraging this behavior. I'm not discouraging either. Just pretending I don't see/hear it. I'm hoping it's a fad but I wonder if he's subconsciously aware that when he gets big, he has to leave home and he needs someone with him when he does? He is very smart. His vocabulary is amazing. While he throws his tantrums, he's pretty mature. Would an almost 5 year old be aware of these kinds of things?

I just don't know how to maneuver this. If his LL is touch, I want to support that, but I also don't want to enable and encourage co-dependent behaviors. His future partner will hate me for that. How to I train him to self-sooth? How do you even go about that with a touchy-feely person that's 4, almost 5?

jrc1963 posted 8/30/2013 19:12 PM

You home school right?

Is it possible he has some sensory issues?

He sounds an awful lot like my son when it comes to the meltdowns when he couldn't get something right the very first time he tried. The tantrums! OMG!!! Ages 3-6 were sheer hell sometimes.

My son had two issues going on... He had Sensory Integration Disorder which manifested in a sensitivity to noises and language processing and also gross and fine motor coordination. Occupational Therapy for 1.5 years corrected these issue for the most part. His writing is still a mess.

His other issue is that he's tested very high on IQ tests and is now in the gifted program. It's not really an "issue" except that his brain was way ahead of his physical capabilities and it caused him a lot of frustration when he was 4 and 5.

I'm not saying your little guy has SID. but I'd guess he's pretty high on the IQ scale.

Just my thoughts.

Lionne posted 8/30/2013 19:57 PM

If you have a good university near you with an education department, I think an evaluation is in order. It's very possible he has some sensory issues. This, combined with the intelligence can be hard to navigate. An evaluation will give you information to help you help him.

Bluebird26 posted 8/31/2013 05:22 AM

Not to scare you, but that kinda sounds like my ASD son. But every ASD kid is unique though. I would do some investigations.

He may have some sensory stuff going on. It might just be a stage he is going through.

Try reading the book "my out of sync child" that book really made me go wow this is all about my kid. I had no idea what sensory issues were before reading this book. It helped explain a lot. Maybe it will help?

[This message edited by Bluebird26 at 5:23 AM, August 31st (Saturday)]

Eranda posted 8/31/2013 06:39 AM

I agree. Have him screened for Autism/Aspergers.

Not to be blunt, but stop worrying about love languages and enabling and co-dependent- those are adult concepts that you are projecting onto the child. They have nothing to do with it. Kids that age do not worry about what happens when they are old enough to leave home, they are not capable of thinking that far ahead.

He possibly has some sort of attachment disorder, or sensory processing issues, or aspergers. Get him evaluated.

[This message edited by Eranda at 6:39 AM, August 31st (Saturday)]

Aubrie posted 8/31/2013 08:26 AM

those are adult concepts that you are projecting onto the child. They have nothing to do with it.

Sorry but I beg to differ. While they may be "adult concepts", it does not mean that they are not worth looking at now. (FOO issues anyone?) We are a product of our raising. Granted, I'm not sitting down with flow charts and medical studies with the kids. But I have watched how they interact and respond. A child can and does have a LL. And in knowing them, you can communicate with them so much better. My concern is overindulging him and when to pull back. When supporting because enabling. Instilling confidence and self-assurance, and self-soothing in them. It's gotta start somewhere, it may as well be while they're in my care.

You home school right?
Yes. We officially start on Tuesday. It will be the first time DS is sitting at a desk and doing "for real" school. (Let's face it, Preschool was just a big party.) I'm quite nervous. He's eager to learn. It's the "I can't do it right." and frustration that I'm worried about.

Is it possible he has some sensory issues?
I'm sure anything is possible. I just don't want to be so quick to slap a label on something. If the kid is just wildly impatient like QS was when he was a child, then it's a process we'll work thru. I'll research Sensory Integration Disorder and other disorders mentioned above and see if anything rings a bell.

Raising kids is hard.

Lionne posted 8/31/2013 10:18 AM

I've had many students who respond badly when they make mistakes. It's tough on them. Many do learn to adapt with patient teachers and 1-1 counseling, both of which you can do. But PLEASE don't get hung up on the worry of a label, that is such a non worry. Labels have nothing to do with restrictions and everything to do with getting kids (and adults! Read the thread from Missesjai or PPG) the services they need. As a home school parent, the more you know about your child the better you can help him. And often you may need the unbiased opinion of a qualified outsider.
Both my kids are "different." I suspect that DS#2 and my FWH both have some degree of Asperger's. Not saying that is what you are dealing with. But for anyone who is, It's not a death sentence. But it does requires special guidance. Knowledge is power.

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 10:20 AM, August 31st (Saturday)]

tushnurse posted 8/31/2013 10:39 AM

Aubrie. I have to agree with not worrying about a label. It gives you a place to start from and provides you with the right resources to help your kid. I have a brilliant ADHD borderline aspie he had issues from the time he was a baby. I begged for help from my pediatrician and she encouraged me to go through Parents as Teachers for evaluation.
I did he was speech delayed due to his high iq his Brain went way faster than his mouth which created frustration and then he would just shut down. However through good speech therapy 2 times a week for 1.5 years prior to starting school he was able to get up to speed.

He ha all the resources and help he needed. He also had serious impulse control and breaking point issues. When he lost it it took him a long time to get under control especially when there wa a lot of external stimulus. Through his IEP and BD/LD teachers we were given the tools to help him. So sure he had a label but now is a fully functional has a great understanding of how he is different and why it's a good thing. He is 16 in honors classes, and has great friends He is happy and well adjusted.

He ha a friend however that he bonded with in kg who ha a lot of the same issues his mom didn't want a label she also opted not to medicate. This boy was also brilliant. He is now home schooled because he failed out of private high school, got kicked out of public high school has had some serious drug issues and a pretty rough go. It killed me to see my kid not fit in and struggle as a little guy but I cannot imagine the pain and grief his friends parents and he have gone through because he wasn't given the right resources and support all because mom didn't want a label.
Embrace it for what it is and work with it. This helps you help him more than you can realize.

It does sound as though he is brilliant and has some sensory issues. I found with my guy at 4-5 he was big enough to understand if I warned him when things were gonna happen that he had trouble with like being in a large group. I would also tell him how to escape it. By first grade he was able to shut out all the external stuff by reading. So if he knew it was about to get crazy in the classroom he'd pull a book out and start reading. So for these kids you definitely have to think outside the box of norma for their age. I always talked to him like an adult it worked. Let's face it how many first graders are capable of reading the entire Harry Potter series, but mine was. It kept him in the class and taught him how to self sooth.

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