Thursday, February 4, 2010
The Challenges of Parenthood
The hubby and I have been over the years blessed with our middle child who is to put it lightly a handful and a half. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and has some "issues", which is putting it nicely.
A little background. The hubby and I married each other with kid-lets under our belts. I had one and I was a divorcee. He had a few but one to which he had full custody and lived with him full time. This said child is whom I consider to be our middle child. I met and married my husband before middle child was 5 years old so in the scheme of things I am the momma. I have been there sense the first day of kindergarden and beyond. Said middle child began school with a bang and has been on a roller coaster ever sense. In fact the fist weeks of kindergarden included a call from the office asking us to come in and discuss his disruptive behaviors. Speaking out of turn, singing loudly, dancing, talking over others, not waiting for his turn, answering when not called on, and on and on.
Being that I had already had a son who was 1 year ahead of said middle child I knew that some drastic measures needed to be taken and without them we would be doomed.
Our middle child had issues with to many people trying to parent in IMHO. He had paternal grandmother and grandfather (Grammy and Granddad) who spent a large of amount of time raising him and loving him, as my husband was their son and they were his support system. Then there was the maternal grandmother who equally loved this child and wanted to keep as much contact with him despite his bio mothers lack of commitment and involvement. The maternal grandmother demanded every other weekend visitations that his bio-mom was suppose to have. Now let me say that all of these stupid shenanigans arraignments had been made and had transpired long before I came onto the seen and much to my disappointment continued much longer after wards as well, despite my firm belief that this was a bunch of BS err against it.
Either way I felt and feel that our sons issues stem in part from instability and who knows what kind of exposures as an unborn and infant. Either way as he progressed in school he only experienced a shit-load more and more difficulties. It got to the point that when he was in 2nd grade, at 8 year old, the teachers suggested that he be tested for ADD and ADHD as they felt he was in need of some serious help. His behaviors had escalated to the point that I was being called at least once a day to the school regarding his behavior and he was failing in school due to his inability to complete assignments. It got so bad that if I put homework in his backpack completed by the time he reached class he could not find them!
He would be unable to tell us where the work had gone and thus he would fall behind, which only frustrated him more as he was pressed to make up the work. Needless to say this pattern was beyond frustrating to all involved and most importantly to him.
None of this helped when said middle child also had bonding issue with me. In fact in the 2nd grade I was called into the classroom after class by his teacher. She had asked middle child to draw a picture of the people who lived in his home. He had drawn a picture of his dad, our eldest son, his Grammy and Grand dad but had omitted me, grand parents did not and do not live with us. When asked about his mother and why there was no mother in the picture, as the teacher saw me daily, he refused to respond or draw me. This of course alarmed his teacher enough to bring it to my attention and to ask for clarification. I had no insight to give but he did. He told us that he did not draw me because he wanted me to go away and he wanted the people in his picture to all live together in a house.
Even today middle child and I have what I would describe as a distant relationship, I have learned to live with it as has he. I have given him his space and have reinforced the love I feel for him while NOT pressing myself upon him. I am his main care taker. I go to all school meetings, parent teacher conferences, school activities, Dr appointments, therapy appointments, football, basketball and baseball games he has ever played. I have cared for him when he is sick and been there to keep him well. I love this child despite the fact that I did not birth him from my body.
Yet at time I feel challenged and pressed with the weight of loving a child that is frustrating and often destructive. Who despite our best intentions and wishes seems to be failing at almost every avenue in his life. Today I made an appointment for middle child to be seen again with pediatric psychiatry. Yesterday he was suspended from school and has been struggling immensely with his academics, still.
I have found myself tied with the feelings of wanting him to be "normal" capable and feeling a sense of failure as a parent. As any parent we have the simple desire to see our child succeed in life, yet we find it almost impossible to make that happen. Middle child has been medicated, exercised, given rewards, things taken away, therapy, tutoring and more and more over the years but to no permeant and successful end.
I am not at my wits end but I am at the end of dreaming that somehow this will go away and he will just gain skills and mature out of this. He will not. Instead as parents we are huddling together to formulate a new game plan. Our first plan of action is therapy again, from there we will adjust as need be.
As we stoop in our huddle we chant and clasp hands. READY! SET! HUT HUT!!! We are off to our first of many plays wishing for a touch down or at least to gain some yards.
Wish us luck because we are trying to pull of the play of a life time.