Upgrading the Behaviors – or Rather Downgrading

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After a pleasant couple of months with the girls (we won’t discuss the teen today) – things are going downhill at a rapid pace. Molly is starting to fall behind in school.  Her comprehension of lessons she used to excel at is slipping, her grades are following suit.  I have no idea on her behaviors in school because we missed Parent Teacher conferences in the wake chaos around the teen’s hospital stay.  I’ve contacted her teacher in hopes that we can develop new ways to tackle this and keep her going. She’s so smart, I don’t want her to lose that edge. Kennedy. Oh, Kennedy. Her anger has always been an issue.  While we’ve been seeing a massive resurgence of her anger – another threat has been lurking, ready to pounce on us out of nowhere. Lying. Stealing. Manipulation. I always knew she was a good liar.  I kept an extra eye on her when I could. I don’t know if it’s the recent stresses on the family, or just being in full time school, me going back to work, or  just testing limits. But it’s blown out of proportion. Over the past two weeks we’ve caught her in two lies, the latest involving stealing. Then lying to me three times about it. We’re calling the counselor. She’s having recess revoked as punishment. Now I just have to figure out how to punish her here at home. Threats of Santa not coming have no effect. How do I get through to this one? What punishment would you suggest? She shares a room with her sister, and some punishments would affect both of them, which isn’t fair to her sister.  So keep that in mind.   Read more »

She is Sunshine – and a Cloudy Day

[flickr id=”6936627216″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”] *Side note – to date this is my absolute favorite picture of Kennedy. 😀 When you first meet Kennedy, and often for many meetings after, you see the sunshine. We once pegged her as the ‘smilingist’ baby ever. She has it all. The eyes that melt your heart with their bigness, their brightness, their expressiveness. The cheeks that run in the family – from birth until teens just adorable, chubby, and pinchable. The silly grin.  It lights up her face, or quirks just a bit to make you forget the anger and lean to laughter. Don’t get me started on the baby-doll voice. Cupie doll, sweet and tiny. [flickr id=”6936590242″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”right”]No one can believe it. Not unless they ever see it. No one understands it. The completely opposite. Desperately different. Achingly painful. Underbelly of that sunshine. When we mention the way she can burst your eardrums we get the “You’re kidding, right?” look. When we mention the temper tantrum she threw – they think we’re being silly. We don’t know what a real tantrum is like, what real anger is like. But they weren’t there to watch her slam her head into the corners of walls, into the hardwood floor, into our faces. They aren’t here to see her intentionally dig at her nose until it bleeds so often she’s building scar tissue. [flickr id=”6936587076″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”]Some days I feel like people look at me like I’m making it all up. Some days I wonder if maybe I’m overreacting to the anger. That on top of everything else this one thing is unbelievable. Because she is sunshine. With every heart-wrenching smile – she is sunshine. When I am at my angriest she can make me lose hold of it and smile. [flickr id=”7082668411″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”right”] But she gets angry. Mind-numbingly, ear-splittingly, heart-wrenchingly angry. Things are better these days. A little. At least she isn’t trying to break our noses on a regular basis. But her teachers notice. It’s out of line with “normal” temper tantrums. And for this – for this I don’t know how to help her. Everything else has a solution. A therapy. A doctor. A…something. This? Most of the time, I don’t know how to handle this. I let the flame burn out. And wait for next time.       Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Perky Scared Me – Until…

[flickr id=”7665946732″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”]The day before school started I got an email from Kennedy’s teacher. After reading the excited, bouncing off the email, energetic note of welcome before school even started I took to twitter and commented that Kennedy had a “perky” teacher and that I might be a wee bit frightened. The feeling continued when the first day of school came with another bouncy email and a mass of papers to fill out about Kennedy – her personality, strengths, weaknesses, etc. More than any of my kids have brought home from any teachers. Of course I got to go to Kennedy’s “meet-the-teacher” night while Erik went to Molly’s – so I got to meet the bubbly teacher myself. She didn’t disappoint with her very friendly and enthusiastic intro into the world of 1st grade. I think I became a little more frightened. Then yesterday happened. The first time Kennedy’s notorious temper reared its ugly head. I knew about it pretty darn quick.  The teacher emailed me withing an hour or so of it happening. We communicated through the day, and I was able to deal with it when Kennedy got home. I was scared of the perky, bouncy teacher…until I realized that it could lead to a year of excellent communication and possibly a better way to deal with Kennedy’s anger issues. Embrace the perky. I know I will. 🙂   Read more »