Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

22 Apr 2009, 7:50 am

I had an interesting conversation with my 7 year old yesterday and this is what he said..... He got in trouble for saying a bad word at daycare. He said he didn't say it. I said who did? and he pointed to his chest. I have had this conversation twice with him and he says basicly the same thing, which is...

His "life" is inside his body. You can't see it. His life is separate from "him", like they are 2 different people. His life will tell him to do something, and he tries not to do it but he can't control it. He knows that the behavior is wrong, and he doesn't want to do it, but his life always wins and makes him do the behavior, say the bad word or whatever. I asked him what he does to try to get control over what his life tells him to do, and he says that he tries to hurt it by squeezing himself, but it doesn't work so he does what his life tells him to do.

I don't think that he is trying to get out of taking the responsibility for what he does, because sometimes he will take the hit and not blame it on his life, or he will blame someone else. It seems to me that what he is trying to say is that he knows what is right and wrong, but he can't control his impulses. He says that his life controls him, and then he gets in trouble and his teacher makes him "worse". (He has had quite a few "worse" days lately) So what that tells me is that he is upset that he can't control himself, and he gets more upset when he gets in trouble from his teacher.

Am I reading this right? Does this make sense to you from your experience, especially as a child or is he really trying to get out of consequences? Keep in mind that my son is language impaired and he communicates the best he can with the words that he does have so don't take this too literally. If I am close in my assumption, what are some things I can do or say to help or support him?



Grunthos
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 18

22 Apr 2009, 8:02 am

Left Cerebral hemispere vs Right Cereral hemisphere- not well connected

"Im in two minds about that"

See Split brain experiments.



zeichner
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 689
Location: Red Wing, MN

22 Apr 2009, 8:20 am

That's an interesting way to describe it, but - yes, I can relate.

All my life, I've been able to see/feel that I'm about to say something that I KNOW is inappropriate. I don't want to do it, because I know the consequences - teasing by peers, punishment by authority figures, alienation of friends, etc. - yet, I feel compelled to carry on.

Over the years, I've gotten much better at controlling this tendency - but it still can be a struggle.

It's clearly socially unacceptable for me to go with my feelings in these situations - so when I can't control it, I accept the consequences (I apologize frequently.) :oops: It's embarrassing to not have full control of the way I put my thoughts into words (that's one of the reasons I like writing MUCH more than talking) - but that's not the fault of the people I happen to offend by my inappropriate comments.

I don't know if there is a solution, other than learning to control the impulses better.


_________________
"I am likely to miss the main event, if I stop to cry & complain again.
So I will keep a deliberate pace - Let the damn breeze dry my face."
- Fiona Apple - "Better Version of Me"


MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

22 Apr 2009, 8:40 am

Zeichner,

Does your struggle also pertain to physical impulses as well? such as hitting? (when you were young of course, I certainly hope you don't haul off and hit everyone who pisses you off :lol: ) It seems like he is really trying not to do these things. So should I support him in dealing with the consequences more than addressing the action themselves? From your perspective, would that be a better approach in these situations?

Our first conversation was regarding hitting or pushing and he told me the same thing. He can't control it, and his teacher makes him worse. I did use a token economy with him for that behavior and it worked beautifully, but he still does it on occasion, and that's OK. I don't expect perfection.



zeichner
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 689
Location: Red Wing, MN

22 Apr 2009, 9:12 am

Personally, I don't believe I've ever had an uncontrollable urge to hit, or push (at least, not since I was a toddler) - but I've read that it can be an issue for kids with ASD.

I would agree that he needs your understanding & support. But I'd also say that the impulses are "mitigating circumstances" & not a free pass to do whatever occurs to him. He's going to need to learn to get along in school & with his peers - so it would help him to learn not to be a slave to his impulses.

I can REALLY relate to what he says about his teacher making him worse - there are (and always have been) certain people in my life who, when I'm around them, cast a "cloud" over me. It always tests the limits of my self-control to deal with them in a positive fashion (when I really want to use my words to dig the knife in & twist.)

Obviously, it's in his best interest to learn to get along with his teacher. What I find most helpful when dealing with the people who "push my buttons" is to just take a moment to collect myself & ask myself what they want from me. (In my case - these people tend to be imprecise. My impulse is to press them for clarification & the more I press, the faster the encounter deteriorates.) My solution is to just be pleasantly literal with them - I smile & do what they ask. I take it as a personal challenge to compensate for their inadequacy.

His situation is bound to be different - but I think the solution might be the same: to learn to "outwit" his impulses with his intellect. He can learn to find a way to turn the situation into a personal victory.


_________________
"I am likely to miss the main event, if I stop to cry & complain again.
So I will keep a deliberate pace - Let the damn breeze dry my face."
- Fiona Apple - "Better Version of Me"


MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

22 Apr 2009, 10:17 am

Outwitting his "life" is interesting. I asked him if he talks to his life and he says he does, but it doesn't listen. Maybe that's the approach to take, rather than him just telling his life not to make him do stuff. He has the intellect and creativity to come up with something, he surprises me everyday. Just articulating this to me is amazing to me, most 7 year olds I know don't reflect on their own behavior quite like that. You gave me a lot to think about. Thank You!

I do want to add that when I picked him up yesterday his daycare provider wanted him to write 25 sentences saying he wouldn't say a bad word. Of course, that does nothing for him but she doesn't understand that, nevertheless I did tell him that even though he didn't want to do it because it wasn't "him", he should because when he does it so does his life, and maybe his life will listen better next time. That's kind of what I mean about supporting the consequences. Not so much allowing him to get away with stuff, but helping him realize that these consequences are because of his actions, and this is what we have to do when we do things that are inappropriate. There are times when he needs more direct intervention, but I hate to punish him for things he really tries to control but really can't.

Anyway...thanks for your input!



zeichner
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 689
Location: Red Wing, MN

22 Apr 2009, 10:36 am

I'm glad you found it helpful! :)

Best of luck - it sounds like you have a great attitude!


_________________
"I am likely to miss the main event, if I stop to cry & complain again.
So I will keep a deliberate pace - Let the damn breeze dry my face."
- Fiona Apple - "Better Version of Me"


ManErg
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Apr 2006
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,090
Location: No Mans Land

22 Apr 2009, 10:53 am

Don't all of us have trouble matching our actual behaviour to our ideal imagined behaviour? :) The only people I've ever heard of who don't regularly do things we knew we shouldn't have done, and who don't do things they really feel they should, are overly staid zombies leading lives of total boredom :)

I think your son is very creatively articulating the sort of internal battle all of us have. As a child he is much more conscious of it than we desensitised adults. The main difference being him pointing to his chest when most of use would say the 'thoughts' are behind our eyes. In Freudian sense, perhaps he has a very clear distinction between ego and super-ego.

Also, there's nothing like suggesting to a naturally curious child that a certain word is 'bad' to raise the importance of that word to obsessive level in their mind. And I won't even mention the hyprocisy of punishing children for using bad words that they hear adults using without punishment. :? Does his daycare provider never use bad words? "He who is without sin...etc"


_________________
Circular logic is correct because it is.


irishwhistle
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,272

22 Apr 2009, 11:41 am

When I was a kid, I was left pretty much to my own devices to glean what I could from my siblings, peers, and TV. As a result, I walked around in a bit of a muddle, doing things strangely or just plain wrong but usually too timid to do anything at all but play alone or with my siblings, or copy their actions, good or bad. My parents were busy dealing with the oldest ones and their various complicated lives to give me guidance. But I did get punished. Not as I should have, mind you... in that there should always be consequences for wrongful behavior. It is vital to know whether the child knows that what they did was wrong, and that their intent was to do wrong. If a child knows hitting is wrong, gets angry and hits, there should be consequences. And even a kid feels this, knows that they did wrong and can actually find rightful consequences comforting.

An example of how the person meant to provide guidance can make it worse... When I was little, we went to a church function. I was the smallest and my siblings each wandered off to their various friends but I didn't know what to do with myself. I was with the grown-ups who did what most of them seem to do: started a long boring conversation with other adults (I still think this, by the way). I wandered along the food table, feeling uneasy and a little lost, and in my unease, I did something extremely impulsive: I took the top paper plate and bopped myself on the head with the top of it and put it back.

Like a swooping bird of prey, my mother was there in an instant, angry and roughly (firmly, but it felt rough) grabbing my hand and making me take the top plate I had just "dirtied" with my head and scolding me for having done what I did. I had no idea there was anything wrong with it and her appearance startled me horribly, to the point that, even though it was at least 30 years ago, I still remember it vividly. I folded up the paper plate and carried around with me, angry, the whole time. I suppose I was in some way being a martyr.

But we were not what you'd call a scrupulously clean group of children, and we lived in the country with almost no neighbors. Taking me to a church function was a little like cleaning up Huckleberry Finn and presenting him for inspection. So I was a little kid who had no idea about cleanliness or that there was anything dirty about my filthy little head (I'm sure it was dirty, honestly) and thinking no one was even taking notice of me, but they certainly saw when I did something wrong. I guess this is why people have started trying to "catch" kids being good. Too many lived with what I did.

I see this sort of thing with my son, and even his teacher had pity on him when he said a nasty word at school, I forget which but it was at lunch, and the lunch ladies apparently came down upon him like a flock of harpies and of course it ended in a melt-down. And to this day I dread messing up without meaning to and having that abrupt backlash as people who assume I know everything they know explode in one way or another. It's only one of the reasons I avoid conversation now. No adult should assume that even other adults know what they know exactly. It's idiotic, but they do it.

Sounds like your son is lucky to have someone who asks questions and studies his intent while making sure consequences are delivered. That balance is the eternal struggle of parenthood, no matter what the child is like.


_________________
"Pack up my head, I'm goin' to Paris!" - P.W.

The world loves diversity... as long as it's pretty, makes them look smart and doesn't put them out in any way.

There's the road, and the road less traveled, and then there's MY road.


MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

22 Apr 2009, 12:00 pm

Sounds like your son is lucky to have someone who asks questions and studies his intent while making sure consequences are delivered. That balance is the eternal struggle of parenthood, no matter what the child is like.[/quote]


Thank You. I try really hard to keep this balance. That is why I'm here with all of you. He's going to have hard enough time as it is with his HFA, I really don't want to make it worse by messing him up because I don't understand him. Confidence is huge, and it can affect everything, and it is a priority to make sure he keeps as much of it as he can. It's so hard sometimes to know what his struggles truely are. I also want him to have at least one person in his life that loves him who really gets him. I think that's important too.



Detren
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 410
Location: in the connection between the ansibles

22 Apr 2009, 1:30 pm

Maybe you could ask him if before his "life" starts to tell him to do anything if there is enough time to take a break. As in, being able to feel it coming on, and going somewhere quiet for a couple moments to calm back down. Maybe he feels antsy right before?

If he can figure out what sparks it then he could have better control/prevention over it. Was it loud everytime this happened? Time of day? After eating a specific snack/lunch? Feeling that the other person was too close? (I have a huge personal bubble and can "feel" people, at times, who are closer than 10 feet from me as if they were mooshed up against me.)



MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

22 Apr 2009, 2:04 pm

That's a good question. I know one of his "worse" days was because he turned around and pushed someone for no apparant reason while they were going up the steps, and of course he was punished for it. It could have easily been a space issue. I will ask him that and see what he says. If he does feel it coming on it may give him time to "outsmart" his life and control it's influence better.


hmmmm