View Full Version : Child frustrated

Mary FL
05-22-2012, 11:09 AM
Ds is 10. Almost everything in his day is met by frustration, attitude, very little joy is shared. Everyday chores/helping out with the family are met with rolling of eyes, hands up in the air exasperated, so on. We don't give difficult chores or school assignments. I try to point out if I did that when cooking or shopping for groceries or daddy did that every day he had to work, well, what would that accomplish?

Help. Things don't make sense to me. I feel like I didn't expect enough early on. I didn't know what we were dealing with then, though---not till he was 9.5 years old.

05-22-2012, 01:03 PM
We have been through this. One thing that really worked for me was to quit my job. I just stopped doing things for my dc. No hot meals, they weren't allowed to cook, only cereal and cold bread. No rides to practice etc. I only punished those that were complaining. The first night, I cooked spaghetti which is their favorite meal and we sat down to eat in front of them while they ate plain bread. It worked after 2 times of implementing it. They still grumble occassionally but I remind them that I feel a strike coming on and they usually straighten up. It was really hard on me, my mama heart was broken watching them watch us eat a good meal but it worked so it was worth it.

05-22-2012, 01:08 PM
What I have found with my DS is that his feelings are normal, his reactions to those feelings are exaggerated. I have to accept that he has trouble regulating the level of his reaction. So yes, I don't like doing chores either, but my reaction to having to do them is regulated by social conventions.

DS not only doesn't always get social conventions, but even when he does he cannot conform to them. Part of his therapy is to learn to modulate his reactions to conform better to the situation. In the meantime, I try to gently remind him that there is a better way to respond (sometimes not so gently) and remember that he's not having fun trying to work all this out either.

Amy Joy
05-22-2012, 04:51 PM
Can I just say that my ds, 10 later this month, is just like this Mary and he is not sn. When I sought advice from good Godly ladies they told me this: hormones! And while the behavior needs to change it is a good time to teach on self control. So we have been working on this. On learning to say "I need a moment mom" on learning to curb reactions. Heres a :group: for you.

05-23-2012, 07:54 AM
Do you have a set daily schedule for him? I don't remember the particular dx for your son, but maybe he just needs some added structure to help him feel like things are OK and in control.

I know for my ds14 who has aspergers and visual/auditory/sensory processing issues, he needed a schedule of expectations at that age. The schedule was the same nearly every day so he knew exactly what to expect. It is very helpful for him know that these certain hours are school time, chore time, free time, etc.

If something changed in the schedule then I tried to give him ample warning.

As he's gotten older, he's become more flexible. Though we still follow a schedule, he's more easy going with changes... most of the time. ;)

Mary FL
05-23-2012, 11:14 AM
Thanks, ladies. Tonya, I really appreciate your insights each and every time. :group:
Amy Joy, yes, I have to remember about hormones. He's only 10!! :eek: I know. Wake up and smell the coffee. Shelly, I like that idea too.

Cindy, no, unfortunately I haven't been consistent with a schedule. We know that that is something I have to work on and get done for him. His diagnoses are similar to your ds'. He also has ADHD.

Do you have a link to a form you use for a schedule?

05-23-2012, 04:18 PM
Mary, I have found that consistency is so important w/SN kids. My dc have the same chores everyday so they know exactly what is expected of them. I even schedule dog walks in there and the number of times they are expected to walk her etc. It is very predictable so I really try to enforce doing chores with a good attitude. For my kids, the grumbling really starts when I throw them for a loop and insert a chore they don't usually do. Very frustrating for both of us.

Lindsey Carter
05-23-2012, 08:27 PM
Getting school work and chores done with my eldest was like war. It took my entire day. Recently I decided to try something new. My eldest (who is about the same ages as your ds) loves movies and looks forward to his daily screen time. So, instead of taking it away for disobedience I decided to give it as a reward. My ds now gets a list each day (either verbal or written) of what he needs to accomplish before he gets screen time. To earn screen time he needs to have all his school work done, all his chores done and demonstrate kindness in some way that day. I will not nag, plead or beg. He comes to get me when he is ready for school. If he gets up and walks away from school work I ask him if he is going to come back and finish. If not, I get up and go back to whatever I was doing. I may occasionally remind him that it is getting late and he is not going to have time to watch a video before bed time if he doesn't get to work.

Pros about this approach...
-he is learning time management
-he is responsible for getting his work done (even though as he is a non reader I have to help him with all of it) and can not blame anyone else
-I don't spend all day engaged in a war to get him to sit down and get it done
-ds has spent more time in creative play and listening to audio books
-ds is much more cooperative when we do his school work
-I am able to get more house work done

Cons about this approach...
-school can go late. There are days that we don't finish school until after 6 (which has resulted in not being able to finish his video, so that has only happened once or twice), but we often finish around 4-5.
-chores are often done in the early evening instead of first thing in the morning.
- I need to be ready to help him when he is ready
-we are home most of the time, but if we were away from home a lot this type of schedule could be more difficult.

Ds typically likes to start school after lunch. He also likes to take breaks in between each subject. My son has some difficulty sitting still and paying attention, but isn't truly adhd, so I don't know if this would work well with an ADHD kid. I just thought I'd throw it out there for you as it is sort of out of the box and might help get the wheels turning for new ideas.

Mary FL
05-24-2012, 08:10 AM
Thank you, Lindsey. That is very helpful. Shelly, I have to get a schedule together.

Do you keep a schedule with chores every day, even if it's not a school day? Any other advice is welcomed. I hope to work on this very soon and have a plan in place.

05-24-2012, 09:18 AM
We keep the schedule everyday, even on weekends. It is just easier that way. My ds has trouble remembering the days of week so we just make everyday the same.

An example of how we do it is after every meal, ds clears the table, dd 10 wipes the table and chairs clean with a rag and dd 12 sweeps the kitchen floor. Each child (of the older 3) is required to walk the dog twice a day for 20-30 minutes each time (we have a puppy). We also rotate feeding the dog in the morning and afternoon. In the late afternoon, dd 10 and ds 8 tidy the family room before dh gets home and dd12 tidies the schoolroom. These are the basic non-negotiable requirements that are done everyday. I also work cleaning chores in there during the week but they change everyday and some days we slack because I forget or get busy with other things.

05-25-2012, 07:57 AM
Cindy, no, unfortunately I haven't been consistent with a schedule. We know that that is something I have to work on and get done for him. His diagnoses are similar to your ds'. He also has ADHD.

Do you have a link to a form you use for a schedule?
I don't use a form/written schedule, but keep it simple and verbal. We've done it so long this way that it's just normal now. He knows that 10:30am-Noon is school time and before that is all free time. I give him a 5 minute warning before we start so he can clean up whatever he's working on or just have a few minutes to switch gears. He just needs his own time in the mornings and that's OK. He has an hour lunch time. Then 1pm-3pm is school time in the afternoon. 3pm is chore time, and after that is free time. He's been my only student for the past 2 years, so this has worked great for him. Next year I'll add in a K'er, but his schedule should still be able to be the same.

Sometimes we go 5 or 10 minutes past 3pm, but usually we are done right on time, or when 3pm comes we just end, and pick up the next day where we left off. He is much better with lots of short lessons rather than fewer/longer lessons. We even do the lessons in the same order everyday.

You could write out a simple schedule for him and keep it posted for both you and him. I think the toughest part for me was getting used to it myself and keeping consistent. It was tough for ds at the beginning too, but he quickly realized he liked the predictability and knowing when his free time was. He knows his own time is coming and he will have it every day, though he still keeps his eye on the clock and holds me to it :lol: But really, that keeps me on my toes with planning and knowing exactly what we are going to do each day.