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2010-05-02 - 10:37 a.m.

I am all on board with avoidance and elimination of foods for children with sensitivity. Wondering about this as I think ICE CREAM has been a recent culprit in the food that affected my littlest one resulting in a Tasmanian devil like moment.

Here is a great article, with the funny comment saying something like:
If you think your child has a food allergy the LAST thing you want to do is take the child to an allergist, as they DON'T BELIEVE in them, and treatment of food allergy to address behavior is an alternative therapy.

I thought that was funny!

The thing is, while in total agreement to have extinction of foods until you learn which is the culprit, and I am in agreement to avoid all artificial color and flavor- I think ONCE in a while it is not going to harm a kid to let them have a little.

The key here is ONCE IN A WHILE-- as in, when in a social setting and an exception is made so the kid can participate and enjoy the rare treat. ALSO it depends what it is.

So I thought it was offensive when after I piked up Alexy from Day care Friday night and brought her to the ball field one weekend that she had not yet eaten dinner that I was then criticized for not having fed her, but then when I gave her a health bar it was taken AWAY from her after Dad read "natural and artificial flavor" on the label.

I mean really... it is a HEALTH BAR designed as a meal supplement for diabetics for goodness sake. A friend with diabetes DIDN'T LIKE THEM and so my nanny had them in her car. She was there as the older ones were in her care until the transition.

And as the UBER NANNY ALWAYS PREPARED she of course had those in her car. They are sweetened with fructose and have low sugar and 10 grams of protein. You can't find much HEALTHIER on the market than that!

So it was just frustrating to be given the message once again to the girls of "YOUR MOTHER IS BAD" so OVERTLY
with the criticism.

I think that message is the #1 factor in it being difficult for me to establish authority with a couple of my more challenging children.

Read some great web sites.
The refresher and reminders were very helpful.

I did get some concrete specific tips and technique which I thought were great.

What I think is hilarious is that the ADHD ODD EXPERTS are all THAT THEMSELVES. They DO KNOW what works! SO I laughed at watching the video of the Dr with the dark circles who talks a mile a minute (like me!) and who looks a bit crazy with full knowledge that if someone wanted to attack the EXPERT they COULD DO SO! Yet also with full knowledge I found yet another resource that is a good help and its always great to review and be reminded of things (even if not NEW--- sometimes I don't THINK of some of the techniques that we used to used daily ROTE in the group home so the refresher of them is fabulous as they also work WITH CHILDREN!)

I also learned something TOTALLY NEW which is always encouraging as its nice to know there is something out there that I HAVEN'T YET TRIED!

Great tip: When kids goes off, use the echoing and validating of active listening, and THEN DO NOT SAY "BUT" but say "AND ...." followed by the expectation WITH AUTHORITY.

IT minimizes opportunity for argument.

I tried this with Katie this AM and WAS IMPRESSED That it worked.

I tried it with ALEXY after the fit over dressing and toothbrushing and admit IT WAS AN IMPROVEMENT.

Its so darn funny but I got SO USED to using non verbal , physical prompts to disengage in an verbal spar (which worked GREAT for the disabled folks and autistic folks I worked with and GREAT FOR SOME KIDS- but for mine when I go to lightly touch, or prod and give a nudge they react VIOLENTLY as if I just hurt them EVERY TIME and scream "DON'T TOUCH ME!"

As that has been the #1 method in the past I recommended to parents to cut out the arguing-- just physically assist as it is 1) faster, and 2) less frustrating for all and 3) non confrontational and 4) you get the desired behavior, and you can 5) use the LEAST RESTRICTIVE PHYSICAL PROMPT so often a light touch on the shoulder while handing the toothbrush for example will work.

But in my kids case the resistance and defiance is so great that the LEAST restrictive prompt often ends up with "I am going to count to three, at which you can either brush your hair or I am going to do it for you"

And then the battle of my holding the kid, brusing hair and the kids screaming bloody murder begins- which is FAR WORSE than verbal sparring!

I mean I just don't have discussion. I don't ALLOW for a debate. It is getting done.

But the trouble is that method above that worked FOR SO MANY I HAVE WORKED WITH and some of my children, for others results in them physically reacting with such force which seems to be the instinctive FEAR response and they are then ASSAULTING ME, FREAKING OUT, CURSING...etc.. in such a dramatic way, and trying to break free and RUN AWAY to hide (usually behind the couch, but the bushes outside became a hiding place WHICH IS NOT SOMETHING I CAN ALLOW as that is NOT SAFE if they are going outside to hide!)

This AM was a lovely one haircombing. WHEW

They had baths Friday night and went right to bed. Sat AM was busy getting ready for baseball, so I let them all do it THEMSELVES on both Fri and SAT AM. The hair needed a little HELP.
Last night was the standard RESIST and TEST MOM's LIMITS episode which we worked through.

I have re-established my eroded authority (as I have to do AFTER EVERY TRANSITION)

Katie reacts so strongly to that authority however after last night when she had her melt down, knew she had to follow the rules and freaked out, but then I let her call Daddy to calm down- she awoke in better spirits and made HER amends.

We have an agreement that is she is respectful and refrains from cursing, hitting or otherwise assaulting me after the transition I will bring her breakfast in bed.

It was kinda cute that last night after she fell short of the goal and she came and cuddled in my bed in the AM (as she loves to do again thankfully!) that SHE said "I want breakfast in bed" and when I reminded her that would be SO GREAT the next time she comes back and we have a smooth transition and she does what she needs to do with respect and not fighting I would SO LOVE to do that for her- that Katie was adorable in the fact she understood and accepted that and then SHE GOT UP AND MADE ME BREAKFAST IN BED!

It was the cutest thing. She was happy making it for all her sisters.

So it was great to see that progress.
I think she IS developing a sense of remorse for her behavior and trying to make amends and do somehing nice for the ones she had mistreated in her moment of weakness and not being able to maintain her composure.

I think everyone else in the family understands that she acts that way NOT OUT OF NOT CARING ABOUT THEM, but our of her OWN INTENSE FEAR at not BEING IN CONTROL.

Katie feels secure when she is in control. It HARD for her to accept anyone else as an authority. So she resists- and I think it is hard as it just makes HER FEEL destabilized and powerless and FEARFUL if she has to relinquish control of herself TO ANY DEGREE--- even by following a simple instruction of another.

She just resists appears to get angry- but I think that is the external veneer and the real deep rooted emotions have to do with FEAR and ABANDONMENT.

For how can she trust and turn over AUTHORITY and lets another in CONTROL OF HER when in the past that trust was so severely violated and betrayed?

Yet I think that is the subconscious stuff going on. And I think neither SHE nor the BETRAYER really RECALL and have a conscious AWARENESS of the moments of betrayal as they happened in such unbridled passion of anger that I think there was just REACTION And HABIT and not much forethought or COGNITION GOING ON in those moments.

So I think the more that relationship is HEALED between Katie and the one who loves her but betrayed her-- THE HEALTHIER I THINK SHE WILL BE.

So as I have thought before - All things happen for a reason and it is often not ours to understand in the moment. I think that understanding comes later with experience and hindsight.

Which is why, even despite all these challenges, for the MOST PART I remain at peace.

Now if only on those OTHER TIMES I could SLEEP WELL and be rested! What a difference that would make in my well being and my life!

Staying up reading about behavior interventions did keep me up til 2AM last night. So I guess it wasn't REALLY INSOMNIA THANK GOD

Back to chilling and playing some games (special features of a favorite Harry Potter video!) with the two who are not at Religious Ed this morn for a while. I am tired, so a movie is perfect right now after a morning filled with sorting through hand me downs and trying to weed out clothes.

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