This is what I’m talking about

29 Jan

I was talking to a couple of friends yesterday.  These girls both know Sweet Pea’s situation.  Anyway, we were talking about two year olds and their crazy, tantrum-throwing ways.  I joked that I had a 70-lb two year old.

Then my friend described her now-seven year old when he was a toddler.  She said he threw terrible fits, kicked through walls, etc.  So I said “Thank goodness he outgrew that stage.”  And her reply stung.  She said “Well, I don’t know if he outgrew it.  I like to think we just did something right.”

In other words, GOOD parents can change that kind of behavior in their kids.

And since mine still displays that kind of behavior, she clearly didn’t have that kind of GOOD parenting.

Now this is a friend who has stuck her foot in her mouth many times before.  I did not respond in anger; I didn’t really respond at all.   She has no idea how badly her comment hurt me.   The time will come when I can gently help her understand how her off-the-cuff remarks are so painful to Hubs and me.  But it’s not the right time yet.

I laid in bed last night, after working with Sweet Pea for two hours to get to sleep, with the devil whispering in my ear:

She’s right, you’re not a good parent.  You could’ve and should’ve and you didn’t and now look what you’ve got.

And then I told the devil to SHUT THE HELL UP!!


22 Responses to “This is what I’m talking about”

  1. Tracey January 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Sweet Pea is so lucky to have you for a Mom! It amazes me how you write so honestly about your struggles and it really allows me to empathize with parents of ADHD kids more. I used to think the kids need more exercise and more structure and that would solve a lot of the defiance. Clearly there is more to it and you have to have the balance of understanding, compassion, and strictness and it’s always changing. I thought autistic parents had the worst of it but now I realize that at least autism is taken more seriously than ADHD as a medical condition. You exude so much patience even when it sounds like I would be at my wits end. You are good parents and God knew exactly what he was doing when he chose you to be the parents of Sweet Pea.

  2. Darla Baerg January 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    You tell him girl!!!!!!!!!!! That’s awesome!

  3. Jenny January 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    From what I can tell, you have done everything you possibly can for your daughter. You are a wonderful parent! And just as you’ve explained in some of your recent posts, Sweet Pea has a medical condition (not a bad mother or father) that causes her behavioral issues.

    I’ve thought a lot recently about how I’m glad God gave me a child with behavioral and other issues, and a child that’s far more laid back. I’ve learned so much about how little control I have over their temperaments and development. I can no more pat myself on the back that my daughter was potty trained in 4 days than I can beat myself up that my nearly 4 year old son is nowhere near being out of diapers. Or when my daughter’s good behavior is commented on in public, I can’t take personal pride in that unless I also want to take upon myself the guilt of my son’s poor behavior. But, I doubt I would have really learned or understood this lesson if God hadn’t given me a child with special needs.

  4. Spring January 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    I can echo what Jenny said. As a mom by adoption of 3, I can tell you that parenting has far less impact than we might like to think. One of my children is laid back and calm with perfect behavior. I’d almost like her to get into trouble from time to time. The next one is a wild free spirit, artistic, effervescent, and blissfully unaware of the practical limitations of time and space. And the third is yet something else altogether. I parent them all but they are very different indeed. By design.

  5. Issa January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    She probably has no idea what she is saying, but Ii get these comments too and they always sting. That and the under the breath comments of, I’d be spanking my kid if she did that. Ah there’s a good one. Let me hit my child into not having ADHD. Yes, that old trick always works. Asshats.

    She’s lucky to have a great mom like you. One who understands her, at least most of the time. 🙂

  6. Judy Haley January 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    just keep telling the devil to shut the hell up – and what is it with friends/family members that supposedly care about you but keep saying mean hurtful things? I have those in my life too.

    the whole nurture/nature debate has been ongoing for decades, and I think it will continue for decades more. Personally, I think who a child turns out to be is a combination of four elements: nurture, nature, the child’s choices, and circumstances in the child’s life (for instance having cancer or experiencing some other devastation will have an affect on who the child is). Of those elements, you can control the way you nurture the child and to a much lesser degree, some of the circumstances in the child’s life. that’s it. every child is different and develops at their own rate – even identical twins.

  7. Caring January 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    I have been reading this blog for a few days now and am truly wondering if this is for real? I have a child about the same age who has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). I can guarantee you that without medication and letting him do whatever he wants he behaves. There would be no question about him bathing, if there was I would stand in the shower and bathe him myself…not bathing is horribly wrong, unsanitary and can cause all sorts of health problems. You have to be very strict and structured, children thrive on structure and discipline. Proverbs 13:24 ring a bell with anyone? Step up to the plate funny girl…

  8. Beatrice January 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    The comment by “Caring” was not very caring. She needs to change her userid/screen name. Also, quoting that scripture was just way over the top. Get over yourself.

  9. Issa January 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    @ “Caring” Seriously? You are saying that your kid has ODD and he always behaves? Despite the fact that ADHD and ODD are two completely different diagnosis, you are talking like someone who has no children. My mom has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has worked with ODD kids for years. I’ve never heard of one who always behaves, especially un-medicated. that would kinda be the point of ODD, they are defiant. Maybe read up on something, before you start sprouting off nonsense.

    Nowhere on this site has Funny Girl said that Sweet Pea runs her house. But she gave up one battle because it wasn’t worth it. And this post wasn’t even about that. Nights are hard for ADHD kids, because they’ve been trying all day to control their bodies and in the evening they have nothing left to give. They are balls of energy, coming off of the high. It may not make sense too you, but it is true. My kid is more likely to have a tantrum after 6pm, than any other time of the day.

    Also, kids, especially pre-teens, tend to decide they don’t care to bathe. It’s fairly common. Ever walked in a fifth – eighth grade classroom? Those kids are ripe. My brother once went three weeks without bathing. He was 11 and an ice hockey player. The boy smelled and he didn’t care less. All of those kids smelled. It wasn’t until he fell for a girl that he started caring. It’s the same for girls, they just tend to care the first time another kid says something about it. Sometimes the fight isn’t worth it, As a mom, we have to pick and choose our battles. Eventually you have to give kids a bit of independence. That’s the only way they learn to become adults. They also have to learn to deal with the consequences of their actions, i.e. other kids making fun of them or whatever. Then again, at ten, not showering is pretty dam normal.

    Please take your judgments elsewhere. We (I can say we, because my daughter also has ADHD) get enough of them from people we know, we sure don’t need them from strangers who know nothing about our kids.

  10. Caring January 29, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Quoting scripture is not over the top, truth hurts sometimes I guess. Not being insensitive but, children with ADHD only have a slight disorder they are VERY teachable. And funny girl was concerned about being a “GOOD” parent, it has nothing to do with being a good parent, it has everything to do with having and using good parenting skills along with a little common sense. You can’t let children run the household, who’s the parent here? I am a very caring person and truly love teaching children the difference between right and wrong…good and bad. But come on, what color is the sky in your world?

  11. Caring January 29, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    Don’t have to know Sweet Pea, mirror image of Mom.

  12. Issa January 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Dude caring, you really need to just go away. You obviously haven’t been reading here long. You have no idea what kind of mother Funny Girl is. or what kind of a child Sweet Pea is. Nor is it very caring the things you have been saying. Saying kids with ADHD are teachable is true. And Sweet Pea is being taught a lesson. One that she has to learn to care about her own body. This is a lesson all kids have to learn. See: learning and teaching all in one. But it’s very obvious you’ve never been around a child with ADHD. Just because you see it as wrong and crappy parenting, doesn’t mean it is.

    The sky in my world is all rainbows. Everyone had their own way of parenting. Doesn’t make it all wrong and bad. If we all did things the same way, the world would be a dam boring place.

    However quoting some scripture, doesn’t make you a caring person. And yes, you are being insensitive. Maybe you should look at your life and leave K’s alone.

  13. meg January 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    I’m very sorry you are feeling the need to criticize my dear friend. Yes, Sweet Pea IS a mirror image of her mother: beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, aweet and incredibly strong. That said, you can’t begin to know their exact situation. ADHD is a very real condition, which yes, can be HELPED by medication, therapy parental intervention and love. However, ADHD can also accompany other medical and psychological and emotional issues.

    I, too, have three children, two of whom have severe, off the charts ADHD. These beautiful children ALSO have a myriad of other factors. If you were to see them on the street, they look perfectly normal, but if you saw their behavior sometimes, I’m sure you would be appalled. Its NOT because I don’t love my children with every ounce of my being. Its NOT because I’m not a good Christian. It’s NOT because they aren’t drugged enough (trust me, we could open our own pharmacy). Its NOT because we don’t have parents, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pediatricians, behavioral therapists, social instructors friends, neighbors and other assorted loved ones involved… we have more specialists than I can list or spell. My own dear husband is a doctor!

    What I DO know is that my kids continue to struggle with very REAL issues. They are not simple. They are NOT “just” ADHD. They are not going to be cured with good parenting skills and common sense. YES, these things help. And YES we have, AND FUNNY GIRL HAS implemented these and more tactics.

    What she COULD use hear is SUPPORT and LOVE from others, not hateful flames fuleling her own insecurities. I’m glad you are secure in yourself, but perhaps CARING could learn more empathy for those around her and learn to support and love one another.

  14. Donna January 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    First, to the writer of the blog, you are a great parent. I know this not because I have been around you the last 10 years, but because I watched and admired you in your teens. I know what kind of person you are and I have always looked up to and admired you.
    To the parent who made the offhand remark. Yes, parenting can help with the tantrum stage, however it also has to do with the child and their ability to overcome their emotions enough to calm themselves and present a viable argument rather than being overwhelmed with the situation and therefore throwing a tantrum. My daughter is currently 2, and what I am doing today for her tantrums is the same as I did when she was 1 and a half and started them I will continue with this until SHE has outgrown them. I know that my actions do not encourage the tantrum, but they also do not stop them until she has developed emotionally to where she can stop them on her own.
    To Caring, I don’t believe the action of choosing not to fight with SweetPea was at all sparing the rod or spoiling the child. It was a growing experience for all. I am sure if it has lasted to a point where the health department should get involved funny girl would have given Sweet Pea the fight she wanted. Funny girl had obviously tried many other options before actually trying this. The rod (I am guessing you are thinking of physical punishment) did not work and does not work on many ADHD children, that was what Sweet Pea wanted. Therefore by not giving in to the demands of her child (wanting the fight) funny girl was using her mental wits as her rod. I like to think of the rod in that verse as a sign of leadership and power rather than a device to beat my child. Your remarks have been cruel and cutting and I see no reason for you to have shared other than to hurt and inflame funny girl. Please in the future keep your judgment and condemning remarks to yourself.

  15. Molly January 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Sweet Pea is lucky to have a mom as caring as you. Please ignore the haters. People who feel the need to hate on someone elses parenting (of a child they’ve never met. parents they don’t know) must really be hurting inside. This sort of comment doesn’t help anyone.

    And I repeat, Sweet Pea is lucky to have you.

  16. Barb January 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    Dear readers responding to “Caring”:

    Matthew 7:6
    “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    Dear “Caring”: SHUT THE HELL UP

    Dear Funny Girl,
    I love you, you are awesome.

  17. Patrick January 30, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Take it from an educator who has worked with several Sweet Peas over the past 17 years – YOU ARE A GREAT PARENT! You’ve done NOTHING wrong. Your friend is ignorant. She was blessed with a child without special needs. I happen to think that you were blessed with Sweet Pea. She just doesn’t know (ignorant) what it’s like and so in her mind she rationalizes your life based on hers. You are raising apples and oranges. I pray her child does not get sick, but if he does, tell her to parent him out of his illness. Sweet Pea has a diagnosed medical issue. As a nurse, you know better than to let it get to you, but I understand that ignorance hurts. As a black man, people say the most ignorant things to me on a weekly basis. You should have a conversation with your friend to educate her (the cure for ignorance) about the Sweet Peas of the world. Trust me, your life is so much more interesting and rich because of Sweet Pea.
    My pastor always says, “The devil is a liar!” He was sent to kill, steal, and destroy. I rebuke him in the name of Jesus Christ. Satan, get the behind. Don’t let this woman (demon) steal your joy. The devil is using her to get to you. I always say that if the devil is messing with you, then you are doing something right. I’ll bet he leaves her alone.

  18. Patrick January 30, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    Dear Caring,
    Oppositional Defiance and Attention Deficit are not even close. Funny girl never said that Sweet Pea was not teachable. I was a public school administrator in Houston for the past 11 year (in the classroom before that) and I had ODD and ADD students under my care. I attended many an ARD and wrote IEP’s for them.

    What you are basically saying to my ears is that your son has diabetes and Sweet Pea has cancer. I’m not saying that ODD and ADD are comparable to those two disease but follow me. You are chastising Funny girl for not giving Sweet Pea insulin (treating her like you treat your son). You son needs insulin in this scenario. Don’t criticize Funny Girl because Sweet Pea’s treatment will be very different. She will have different symptoms, presentations, cures, treatments, etc. Take care of your son. I pray that he will grow to be an awesome young man under your guidance. Take it from those of us who know Funny Girl, she is doing the right thing. Take it from a professional who has worked with many students like your son and her daughter, she is doing the right thing.

  19. Darla Baerg January 30, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    Dear caring-

    Ouch. I’m honestly thinking you are kidding. But if not, we have something in common – I too have a child with ODD. We struggled from the time she was 3 until she was nine. When we finally went to the “experts” they said it was our parenting. Which is strange because our other 3 children are by all accounts well behaved and pleasant children who respond well to authority.

    When our oldest began physically hurting the younger kids, we again begged for help. And this time, we weren’t told it was our parenting. We were told our child had problems and there were a variety of ways we could deal with it. And thankfully, we are now on a road to recovery. But truly it is one of the hardest things with which I have ever dealt.

    All that to say….every child is different and responds to different things. I bet if we compared your ODD child with mine, we’d find tons of differences. And therefore we parent differently.

    But I can assure you of this (and you may want to see funny girls earlier poat titled “That Face”, we moms with “different” children need to support and care for one another. Not question or condemn.

    And if you are joking….this is not a laughing matter. It hurts.

  20. anymommy January 30, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    I felt that remark to my core, just reading it here. I’ve heard many, many similar things, often when I was trying to parent my son and still sometimes regarding our parenting of our daughter. She has only mild issues, but I still struggle and work so hard on how to deal and get judged, no matter what.

    You just write her off girl, and consider whether you really need her in your life. ALL two year olds tantrum and most grow out of it, pretty much regardless of parenting. Some beautiful children have over-trodden pathways in their brain that lead them down the same, pointless, frustrating road over and over, years after most kids have developed beyond these behaviors. Parenting doesn’t prevent this from happening to some kids, but AWESOME parenting deals with it, adjusts to it and helps them grow into incredible adults. That’s what your doing, and I love reading about it and learning from you.

    PS Hey “Caring” call the devil!! 911!! I let my ‘average’ toddler refuse baths for two weeks to avoid screaming battles while teasing him with new toys for my other kids every bath night. He caved and asked to get in the tub on his own…just like Sweetpea. Battle over. But, I’m sure God was horrified by the loving, gentle, nonconfrontational parenting. The filth, after all.

  21. Vaniqua January 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi Caring!
    I encourage you to do some research. You’ve “been reading this blog for a few days now.” Please go back & read the blogs from the last six months. Tell us how else Funny Girl isn’t stepping up to the plate. Go ahead, list them out. Make a Letterman style top 10 list. You’ll find her to be a loving, incredible mother who only wants the best for her child. Remember that different is not necessarily wrong. That’s what makes the world a beautiful place.

  22. Julie January 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Caring (LOL…really??), I am mad on so many levels.

    1.People like you give Christ-followers a bad rap. People who throw out of context, random Scriptures out as a way of “proving” that they are right only inspire resentment from those around them. If Christians spent more time cultivating true, deep relationships rather than walking around pointing accusing fingers at those we deem less perfect than ourselves, the world would be a brighter place for all.
    2.Your comments are remarkably ignorant and insensitive at the same time. Commenting that Sweet Pea only has a “slight disorder” because she has ADHD is laughable. Let me just grab my DSM for a moment…oh, yes, here it is…ADD/ADHD is right there under “slight disorders.” I speak from years of experience as a public school educator and a therapist in private practice when I say, “What?!” Children with ADD/ADHD can present in such an enormous variety of ways. They respond to situations so differently that their parents are constantly having to re-evaluate how they are parenting them. Funny girl and her husband have done an amazing job of balancing structure with freedom. Sometimes freedom to fail is the way a child with ADHD learns best. It hurts. It’s hard. It’s hard for the child and even harder for the parents who move over and give them the room to learn causal relationships for themselves (“If I don’t bathe, my hair smells and feels bad, kids at schoold don’t want to sit by me, etc.”) Kids with ADD and ADHD tend to have an unbelievably hard time putting cause and effect together for themselves and yet they learn best when they do finally figure it out. You may stand in the tub and bathe your child when he refuses to bathe now. How much fun will that be for both of you when he is 14, 15 or 16 years old? Talk about needing therapy–
    3.I echo what Patrick said about you lumping your “success” with your son’s ODD in with how Sweet Pea’s parents are parenting her. They are two completely distinct disorders. I also highly doubt that your son is truly ODD if the comments you made about his behavior are indeed accurate.
    4.Parenting is hard. Parenting a child with any kind of special needs is really hard. We need to focus on how we can support each other. You quickly made judgements about a mom you don’t even know. A mom whose blog you have only read for a few days. Does it feel good to lift yourself up while putting others down? Do you feel like a superior parent? We don’t have to agree with how another mom parents her child, but we can surely be wise enough not to make snap judgements before we’ve walked a mile in her flip flops.
    5.Take some time to look at yourself. Process why you felt the need to reply so harshly over Funny Girl’s willingness to give up the fight over bath time. Really, have you ever know anyone to get sick from missing a few showers. Maybe there is something else going on.
    That’s it- that’s all I’ve got.

    Katy- My first principal told me that if I were ever going to make it at the school I taught at I would need to “make like a duck” and let the nasty comments roll off my back like water off a duck. So, quack, quack, quack…waddle, waddle, waddle, take Sweet Pea out for Friday ice cream and celebrate how far she’s come!! Love ya’ girl!!

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