Friday, May 15, 2015

Praise--how much is too much?

I read this article today:

It got me thinking about praise.  Are we raising a society of children who require constant praise and affirmation?  I have 2 kids.  One of those 2 kids requires constant praise.  CONSTANT.  It gets exhausting.  It's to the point that we have to have discussions about how I can't praise everything you do and just because I don't, doesn't mean I don't love you.  I'm going to be flat out honest here--it annoys me to no end.  Like it's to the point that I will purposefully not praise something that said kid does just because the constant need for affirmation annoys me.  It's not like this child has had some kind of emotionally distant childhood.  The kid has had lots of love and affection and encouragement throughout life.

I fear that children of this generation are going to grow up and feel that every single time they do something at their job, or in their homes, or whatever, that they will need some kind of praise for that.  NO.  How about you just do something because that's your job?  I will be the first to admit that I always like it when someone says, "Hey good job!"  However, I don't need constant praise for doing my job.

Child experts will tell us that we need to be positive with our children.  Give them praise and encouragement.  However, there are times that I just want to say, "What on earth are you doing?  That is the stupidest thing ever!"  Why is it so wrong to occasionally not be positive and encouraging and just tell them the truth?

Back to the link above that started this whole thought process, why do we feel the need to praise our spouse for everything they do?  Better yet, why does our spouse need the praise for doing things around the house or with the children?  What's the right amount of praise to give our children without making them become so dependent on it?

Your thoughts?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Campain speeches and O.D.D

Those of you who watch Parenthood can relate to this situation.  Remember when Max ran for Student Council President?  Well, Brady has come home telling me that he is running for Student Council representative for his class.  Thank goodness it's just for his class and not President of the whole thing.  This is how he tells me he's going to run:  "I'm going to run for Student Council." Me:  "That's good."  Him:  "Yeah.  It's my New Year's resolution to run for stuff."  Me: "Ooooookkkkkkk....."  So now we have to come up with a campaign speech.  I mean, what do you say in these things?  "I will represent our class well....I will attend the monthly meeting....."  What?  If there are any speech writers out there, I am accepting all submissions.  Please remember it needs to be on a 5th grade level.  :)

So the kids had eye appointments today which meant I had to pick them up about an hour early from school.  It's never a good thing when you walk in the door and the secretary says, "Mrs Tapia wants you to walk on down to the room so she can talk with you."  Well crap.....Lily has apparently had a very trying day today. Very little focus.  Her teacher asked her multiple times if she had her patch (for ADD) on which Lily replied yes (she did have it on).  Very unfocused today.  Her teacher said it's almost like she's defiant.  I said, "funny you should say that because that's what the school based therapist said about her last year.  Clearly oppositional defiant disorder." This stuns me.  I've got one kid (Brady) who is pretty much a nightmare at home but an angel at school.  Then Lily who is an angel at home and a nightmare at school.  At home she is not oppositional or defiant very much at all.  You tell her to clean her room and she does it.  She volunteers to do dishes and laundry!  Then at school it's kind of like she's putting up both her middle fingers to the whole concept of organized education and throwing them all a great big "F you!"  So the district behaviorist will now be coming Monday to observe her....let's see how that goes.

So recap--we need a campaign speech and Lily is well on her way to Alternative School! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

In honor of Mother's Day.....

"What do you want for Mother's Day?"  That's what I've been hearing from my husband the past couple of weeks.  I love my husband dearly but he sucks at gift giving.  He is also notorious for giving iTunes gift cards.  He gave me one for Valentine's day about 4-5 years ago.  He then gave me another one for Mother's Day 2 years ago on that fateful day that Lily broke her foot...I think I have established with him since then that iTunes gift cards are NOT an acceptable gift.  It may or may not have taken me giving him iTunes gift cards for gifts as well...So, I figured I would make a list of the things I truly want, not just for Mother's Day, but for all year around.  But especially on Mother's Day.  :)

1)  I want my family to put things back where they belong.  Clean up after themselves.  I can have the entire downstairs clean and then within 5 minutes they can have it destroyed.  I don't know how they do it....

2)  I want my husband to do what he says he will do within a reasonable amount of time.  I asked him last Sunday, Monday and Wednesday to put away the blankets that I washed and folded and put on the back of the couch.  Those blankets are still there.....It's that way with everything he says he will do.  I ask him to clean the bath tub.  "Oh yeah, I'll do that."  Yes he does it....a week or so later.  I also want him to stop having so many clothes strewn all over our bedroom.....and stop leaving Q-tips everywhere.

3)  I want my sons room to not smell like a sewage treatment plant.  'Nuff said with that one.

4)  I want my dogs to not shed any hair inside my house this day.

5)  I want my husband to wash and vacuum my car every other week for the rest of the year.

6)  I want my children to not fight or argue.

7)  I want to not hear a single person say "mom" all day long.

8)  I want ten “Leave me the heck alone” coupons with no expiration date.

9)  I want to sit in my nice quiet space and watch tv or read on my kindle while eating white chocolate covered strawberries or Gigi's cupcakes.

10)  I want a really nice and long back and foot rub.

11) Last but not least, I want some cash so I can go buy my own frickin' present.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Science experiements and hippie rants

I know what you're thinking.  WTH is that?  I was at work a few Sunday's ago and Brian sends me this picture in a text message and tells me he found it in Brady's room.  I was so disgusted by this picture that I gagged several times and then was unable to eat lunch or really anything for the rest of the day.  I'm having a hard time now just typing this post without gagging because the picture is currently above this type.  Maybe I should have uploaded the picture after I typed everything up....So back to the big question you've been asking--WTH is that?  Well that my friends is what Brady calls an "experiment."  It's cereal and water.  He said he was trying to extract the iron from the cereal.  Then he was going to sell the iron on ebay.  *insert eye roll here*  I have no clue what the strawberry candy wrapper is for.  Speaking of the strawberry candy wrapper, those were my candies that I had hidden away in the back of the cabinet where the plates are.  He found them....and then proceeded to eat them all.

This past weekend we found an empty honey bear in Brady's room.  Knowing that there had been 2 honey bears in the pantry (one full and one half full), we made Brady tell us where the second honey bear was.  He finally fessed up that he had hidden it in the linen closet.

This morning we go downstairs to an empty container of little meringue we watched the video footage from during the night.  Apparently the kid was up from about midnight until around 4 am....

(the above was written about 2 weeks ago or so.  Everything from here on out was written 3/31)

So this brings me to a picture I saw on Facebook today that a friend of mine "liked."  (nothing against my friend.  I love this person dearly)  This picture really peeved me off and I feel the need to rant about it. 

So I was reading the comments that went along with this picture and just really wanted to give the hippy naturalist people a piece of my mind.  Now don't get me wrong.  I'm all for being healthy and organic, etc.   However, maybe it's because I'm a nurse so my job is giving people medications that help whatever problem they have that ails them.  If you have diabetes, you take a medication for it.  High blood pressure--you take a medication.  I feel that it is the same way with children with ADHD.  They need a medication.  Trust me, I have tried everything in order to help with this kids attention and hyperactivity.  Diet modifications, schedules, militant structure.  Nothing works.  I had a kid that was FAILING the first grade.  All because he could not focus on his work.  His teacher couldn't sit beside him all day and re-focus him.  I couldn't go to school with him and sit there all day and re-focus him to get his work done.  You would think that it would be pretty hard to be failing first grade.  It's actually not.  :)  So after lots and lots of discussions with therapists and peds, we started a medication.  Within a week the kid was bringing home A's on his school work.  He ended the school year being on the A/B honor roll. 

We haven't really adjusted his medication dosage since he was in first grade either and he's now in the 4th grade.  However, this past Monday we went to a follow up appointment with his developmental pediatrician at the local children's hospital here in KC.  After an hour and a half of discussing all of the issues I post about on here and then tons more, they decided to increase his ADD medication on a trial.  We were on the verge of sending this kid to concentration camp or something because we were at the point we could no longer deal with him.  He was such an overwhelming force in our house that was making our house a miserable place to be.  The FIRST day we noticed a dramatic improvement.  He was almost like a normal kid.  We have only had ONE incidence of food sneaking in the past week.  He has been able to focus and has not been chewing on everything he can get his mouth on.  He hasn't been hyper.  He has been respectful.  He hasn't been eating us out of house and home.  He is like a totally different kid. 

So back to the hippie naturalists that think I'm an evil, lazy, uninvolved parent because I give my kid ADHD medication.  I will gladly send them my unmedicated kid for a month and see if they can "fix" him naturally.  If so, I will totally eat my words and bow down to their graces and kiss their hippie, sandal covered feet. 

Oh--here is what Brian does at the end of the day to relieve some stress:

Friday, March 1, 2013

"You ARE the weakest link! Goodbye!"

Remember that game show?  For some reason I believe that the contestant fell through a hole in the floor once they were deemed to be the weakest link.  Brian Romick tells me it did not happen that way, that they just walked off stage left or something.  I like my version better.  This totally describes how this week and basically my entire parenting life has felt to me.  I feel like I am the weakest link of parenting.   I have never really felt like a great parent. I guess I feel that as long as I feed them, clothe them, keep them fed, give them shelter and do not abuse them that I do at least have a leg up above some people. 

So as you all know, Lily is our resident hisser, growler, and just plain don't want to do what the teacher says to do, child.  She has been to the behavioral therapist a few times and Monday, Brian and I started what I like to call "Parent Training Classes."  So it's Brian, Lily and myself in a room with her therapist.  Future sessions down the road, the therapist will be on the other side of a window thing listening to us and will have bugs in our ear telling us what we should say instead of what we are saying.  This is a very hard task for me to grasp hold of.  My brain keeps telling me it's a bunch of hippie BS.  However, I guess that since I apparently suck as a parent, I will follow the hippie BS.  So we took 5 minute turns in our "play interaction" time with Lily and the therapist kept a score of how many times we gave Lily a labeled (specific) praise, neutral comments, unlabeled praise, imitation of her actions, reflections back to her, commands and questions.  Commands and questions are a no-no.  We are not to do those.  So when Lily wants to start mixing colors of Play-Doh together, how am I supposed to tell her that we cannot do that without giving her a command?  This was my moment of panic.  The therapist is watching me....grading me....making little check marks on her paper!  The timer is ticking the heck am I going to handle this?  I start sweating....Lily is reaching for the 2nd color of Play-Doh....I'm telling myself, "You can do this!  Think!" It boiled down to me failing that task. I straight up just said, "You can not mix the two colors of Play-Doh together.  They do not belong to us."  I gave a command.  FAIL!  You never really realize how hard it is to give labeled praises such as, "I love how well you made that horse out of Play-Doh." until you have someone watching you do it.  The therapist takes a turn to show me and Brian how it's done (she totally showed us up).  She was all, "Lily, I love how you're sitting nicely in your chair.  Lily, I love how you're using your indoor voice.  Lily, I love how you put those two puzzle pieces together.  Etc....etc...etc."  The whole time I'm sitting there going, "Why couldn't I think of those when it was my turn?"  Needless to say, we have lots more parent training ahead of us.....

This brings us to the male child.  Brady mentioned to his therapist that he wanted to start taking his showers in the morning before school instead of at night before bed.  I'm all fine and cool with that....until he wakes me up at 3:30 am (this morning) going, "Can I take my shower now?"  Parenting training goes out the window at 3:30 am.  There was no, "Brady, I love how you're using your nighttime voice.  Brady, I love how you're taking the initiative to take a shower. Etc."  None of that.  It was more like "Get your butt back to bed." He comes back in at 4 am "can I get in the shower now?"  Heck no kid!  Get in the bed!! He comes back in at 4:30 am.  Third time was a true parenting failure nice words were said.....needless to say the kid did not come back in our room again asking if he could get in the shower. 

Lots and lots of parenting training ahead for us.....I kinda don't know that you can teach an old dog new tricks though. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We're watching your every move...

This is what you see at the top of our stairs.  You'd think this would deter said child from going downstairs and gorging on food while the rest of the house (and most of the world) is still asleep.  Most of the time it does.  One fateful Saturday morning it did not.  We go downstairs to an entire box of Little Debbie brownies (You know the ones.  Those good ones with the nuts on top of them. Yum, yum).  So after once again re-asserting that we are the keepers of the food and that the camera is in fact watching him, we've had no more incidences of sneaking food in the early morning hours.  He will still do it in the daytime/evening hours but we're making small progress.  Baby steps people. 

This has led us to a whole other issue altogether.   I had to work this past weekend (Saturday and Sunday) so that left Brian with the duty of caring for the spawn.  He sends me a text message on Saturday and tells me he has found chewed up pencils in Brady's room.  I'm not talking about pencils that have been chewed on but are still in their whole form.  Oh no.  These are pencils that are chewed into little crumbs.  All in his carpet.  So what do good parents do you ask? We give him a Furminator (dog grooming brush) and make him brush it all up out of his carpet.  Parents of the year right here.  He also happened to have a dentist appointment for a cleaning on Tuesday.  Before he went back, I told the hygienist about the pencil chewing/eating.  When she came out to get me for his exam she said, "I tried to get off all of the lead staining but there was some that wouldn't come off."  Great....just great.  My kid now has lead colored teeth.  So the dentist talked to him about how he was going to break his fillings, end up with dentures and maybe even end up with lead poisoning (just to scare him).  Do you think that phases an Aspergers kid that has little common sense?  No it doesn't.  So what does one do about this you might ask?  You buy your 10 year old teething toys.  Yep....going back to having a teething baby.  So if you see a 10 year old on the street with a teething necklace on, that's my kid.

The Necklace:

A teething stick:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"I know you just called me odd"

This week I had to meet with Lily's school based therapist to go over her progress, etc.  At one point the therapist said, "We are clearly dealing with O.D.D (oppositional defiant disorder) here."  Lily looks at her with straight seriousness and goes, "I know you just called me odd."

This leads to today's discussion.  How do you tell your child that they are odd or weird or not good at something without crushing their hopes and dreams? For example, Brady believes he's going to grow up and go to Alabama and be the quarterback.  Now I'm torn here.  I know I'm supposed to nurture his dreams and encourage him to reach for the stars.  However, at the same time I know that this kid has pretty bad attention deficit and does not have the attention and fast thinking skills required to be the QB anywhere, much less Alabama.  How do I get around this problem?  I bought him a book about being a skilled kicker and a kicking tee for Christmas.  So now we are trying to encourage him to gravitate towards being a kicker instead of a QB.  Seems to be working so far.  However, this is just one of many things.  His latest obsession is hockey.  He also wants to be a geologist.  He keeps walking around in the field behind our house and finding crap that he thinks he's going to make money off of.  His list of hopes and dreams changes rapidly.  Never wavering from an Alabama football player though.  The kid is really not good though.  The only part he's good at is running and for some stupid reason the tackle football coaches always put him on the line instead of putting him back as a safety or something like I told them to do.  Brady always got creamed because he doesn't have the reaction time necessary to be on the line in tackle football.

So how do you tell your kid they aren't good at something?  Or do you just never say anything and let them continue to live in ignorance and just maybe figure it out on their own one day?  Maybe I should talk to Honey Boo Boo's mama because whoever told that woman that Honey Boo Boo was good enough to do beauty pageants was doing crack or something.  Crack is whack kids. Don't do drugs.