It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Not because I’m doing great and have nothing to write about. Because I’ve been distracted by something much more important in my life, my son.
The last 3-4 weeks of preschool my son went from the boy who was always well behaved and helping the teachers, to the boy who was flipping desks and throwing chairs. On more than one occasion he had to move to the 3 year old class because he would hit his pregnant teacher in the stomach. He wasn’t aiming that way, it just happened to be where his little hands could reach.
The behavior didn’t stop when he started Kindergarten. I qualified for a scholarship to a private school and he was accepted. Unfortunately, his assessment for the school had been done before his behavior issues started. The school handled things as best they could, but I was constantly getting calls to come pick him up because he had hit students or staff. This sudden violence in my child was disturbing. The first 6 weeks of Kindergarten he was suspended 3 times. I had a sit down with the assistant principal of the school and we decided that public school would be a better option for him because they had the resources to actually help him rather than just sending him home. They wanted him to stay, but sadly they just weren’t able to properly accommodate him.
In between pre-k and kindergarten we had an appointment with his pediatrician. The pediatrician referred us to a neurologist, but did say my son seemed like a text book case of ADHD and ODD. About 2 months ago he got an official diagnosis of ADHD. A week and a half ago he officially started his meds. Today on Facebook I saw the memory of his pre-school graduation. That means it was a full year since we started this journey. A full year chaos, heartbreak, suspensions, and tears.
The road wasn’t easy. There were always people in the background telling me what I should do with my kid. People telling me I needed to whoop his ass or somehow discipline him better. I’ve been taking him to a behavioral specialist and she helps with good discipline tactics that are actually good for my son. Things like sitting with him in time out for a minute until he’s calm enough to sit by himself. She’s also helping him with coping mechanisms. Right now his go to is deep breaths, singing Soft Kitty, and counting to 10 over and over until he feels better.
My child isn’t bad. He doesn’t mean to hit or be violent (which is what he was always suspended for). He just gets frustrated and can’t control himself. The school he is at is actually amazing with him. Even after he hits, they all remind him how much he is loved and that they know he didn’t mean it. Every time he hits, he feels remorse. With the medication, he doesn’t hit. It clears his head enough to give him impulse control. Now when he gets angry he can take the steps he’s learned in behavior therapy and actually apply them.
I’m doing the best that I can. With his dad, A2, being an absent parent, I have to do all the leg work. I struggled with whether or not I should tell A2 about the meds. In the end, I decided it was best to be the better person and I told him. Of course, just as I suspected, he tried to argue. He tried to tell me he hadn’t even been diagnosed, which I KNOW I told him. I have the text showing I did. But, hey, once a gaslighter always a gaslighter. It took all my strength not to take the bait and yell at him. ALL MY STRENGTH.
I wanted to tell him that I am the one who has to drive to the school to pick our son up when he was violent again. I am the one who has to hols his hands down so he doesn’t scratch while he’s in time out. I am the one who has to listen to my sweet little boy tell me that he hates me and that he doesn’t want a mom anymore. I am the one who has to hold his hand while he cries because he’s so so so sorry and he doesn’t understand why he is the way he is. I do those things, all of them. And they break my heart. So, no, you don’t get to tell me how to handle the situation while you sit on your bed in your room in your mother’s house where you moved to because God forbid you learn how to be a proper adult and live on your own. I make those decisions, because I’m the one who is raising my child.
I am the one who gets to listen to that sweet voice tell me about the wonderful day he had at school. And I am the one who gets tears in my eyes, both happy and sad, because my 5 year old understand what his medication is for and is excited about how well it helps him.
I’m doing my best teaching my 5 year old how to live rather than survive, and it breaks my heart that I even have to.