Oh Look, A Blog Post!

This past month has seen me slipping and spiraling. I’ve neglected my yard, forgotten friends’ birthday parties, and dropped all the balls that I might’ve had in the air.

As my kids return to school, I’ve found myself shifting schedules to accommodate child care while trying to manage meetings and appointments and still be a good employee. The upheaval compounded with physical injury (lesson learned: I can’t lift a giant bucket of water balloons by myself) and a recent bout of illness (yay strep throat and sinus infections!) has left me unstable. It doesn’t help that my son’s behavioral issues are still prevalent. Yesterday, the principal sent him home from school. School’s only been in session for a month, and I’m already worried that my kindergartner is going to get suspended.

Someone, crack me open another Red Bull, please. I need it.

My last attempt to find my son help didn’t go so well. My work benefits gives me 5 free counseling sessions with an in-network provider. The first meeting had my son squirreling about the room, not really interested in trying to have an adult conversation about what might be making him angry. The second meeting had the woman looking at me after my son pointedly ignored all of her paperwork exercises and asking “Can you think of any ways to get through to him?” Seriously? Why would I even be there if I knew how to help him? After the third session, I politely cancelled the remaining two.

I’ve got an appointment with a new place tomorrow, but alas, I may be missing from online for a while until my offline life levels out. Until then, I hope you all are doing well.

Do you know of anything that might help a child who kicks, bites, spits, swears, and screams while at school, but not while in the presence of his parents?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

19 thoughts on “Oh Look, A Blog Post!

  1. Christine Rains

    You’re a busy woman! And stressed. I’m sorry you’re having troubles with your son. My son sees a therapist for different issues and enjoys play therapy. Is it working? I don’t know yet. It’s only been 4 sessions. I wish I had some advice for you, but I can only sympathize and wish you luck in finding the help you need.

  2. Don’t have any advice about your son. Our son had his own problems. Refusing to do homework for any class or teacher that he didn’t like, no matter what we threatened him with or how many counseling sessions he had. The good news is that he seems to have finally matured enough we don’t have to stay on him. The bad news is that he’s a senior in high school, so I can’t give you any hope that your son will grow out of this phase any time soon.

    I wish you luck with your life right now. It sounds incredibly stressful.

  3. Elizabeth Seckman

    I feel so bad for you. That’s a full load.

    I can’t imagine talk and paper working with a small child. I’d have thought play therapy would work best. Have they tested his IQ? Smart kids get bored and act out. My oldest never acted out, but he was costing me a fortune while he was in kindergarten faking illnesses. He hated school. He was bored and frustrated. Fortunately, we had a wise teacher who recognized boredom over bad behavior and gave him work that challenged him.

    Have hope. When I was in kindergarten- my first year- I was tapped as an odd child with all sorts of social problems and emotional issues. My parents were so worried they pulled me out for a year. As I remember it, the teacher was mean. I was always a quiet introvert, but there was never any consideration for my personality. The teacher was a busy woman who wanted me to fit without any extra work. I don’t recall specifics, but I remember not liking being there- I’d hide in coat rooms and even found out that I could slip away unnoticed out the kindergarten door.

    My last memory of the situation was the teacher, the principal, and the school psychologist meeting with my parents at our house. I could tell they were angry and I was so afraid I was in trouble. But then, after listening a moment, my dad said, “Why are you here asking for us to fix your problem. How is it that a 5 year old child is escaping from school and that’s not a problem with the school?”

    My dad was right. I was 5 and miserably unhappy at school. My reaction was the reasonable for an unhappy 5 year old. The next year was much smoother. The new teacher was more patient. I feel like the first teacher tried to drag me out of my shell, the new teacher actually gave me a cubby in a private corner and suggested I bring a “special friend” to school so I knew I wasn’t alone. I brought a doll from home, stuck her in my cubby (a tray like locker) and the problem was solved.

    Years later, one of my boys would have separation anxiety, so I remembered the doll and gave him a set of my car keys to carry. They empowered him- he knew they were important and I’d always come back for them, and him.

    Hang in there, Mom. Being little is scary.

  4. Elizabeth Seckman

    Sorry for the novel comment. I have a soft spot for little kids. And I remember being labeled abnormal and it has always kinda stuck in my mind…though as a writer, I now embrace the idea that I am not completely “normal”.

  5. I have no good advice. I hope things settle and work out well for all of you.

  6. I wish I could offer suggestions, but I don’t have any little ones. All I can suggest is to give him a creative outlet (although I’m sure you have) and continually remind him you’re on his side. I don’t know 🙁

    It will work out! It always does 🙂

  7. I’m sorry he’s a handful. Usually it’s the other way around – they are a terror with parents but good elsewhere. Hope you can find some good advice and help.

  8. I’m sorry to hear about all your trials and tests, especially your son. My step-granddaughter seems to be in a similar situation – and in Boise. She’s trying to juggle kids, work, and her nine-year-old son got suspended from his school in the first week back.

    All I can do is wish you all strength to resolve everything while still creating magic.

  9. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Good luck.

    I have no idea what would make a kindergartner act out like that. Clearly he doesn’t have the words to express what his issue is. Perhaps try creating a story together (using dolls or some other form of play) and see what story he tells. He might be able to tell you without telling you what’s bothering him.

    The only other suggestion I’d have is to have him tested at the school for special ed. They might find a different accomodation for him.

  10. I’m so sorry. Has he been tested for anything? (Not that they don’t like to say all kids have something and need drugs.) I hope you find some answers.

  11. Good luck with all you are going through. I hope you can help your son adjust to school. Sounds like you need a different therapist to help. I hope you figure it out. It must be so stressful.

  12. I’m sorry to hear of the struggles you all are having. I wish I had some advice for you, but all I can offer is good thoughts. Stay strong. You and your family will work through this and come out the other side even better.

  13. Sorry to hear your story. My eldest is still a toddler, so we have never had to deal with a school issue or any problems with the outside world.
    Stay strong.

  14. I hope you figure out what is bothering your son. I can’t be of any help since I have little experience with even well-behaved kids.

  15. I’m sorry it’s been so rough. I have to say, you got a crack counselor there. I can’t even imagine how frustrating that comment must have been. I have no help to offer just “stuff.” A friend had a similar problem. It turned out it was a sensory thing. She and a physical therapist had to work with him daily for a year (or maybe two) to help desensitize him to the overload of input.

  16. Anna

    I had an angry child. When I went to counciling, I did the talking about what I was going through when he exploded. He didn’t act like he was listening, but he did calm down.

    But he wasn’t at school then. I also bought him a ‘Bop Bag.” (here’s the link if you need it: https://www.amazon.ca/Bozo-Clown-46-Inch-Bop-Bag/dp/B00067TAWG ) I shoul have bought two. He killed the first one within two hours. All he needed was a place for his daily frustation.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  17. Sarah Brentyn

    I’ve no advice, I’m sorry. I’ve had a difficult time with my own but in a very different way. Just know you’re not alone and parenting is the most difficult job in the world. (It’s a cliché for a reason.) Hugs.

  18. I like Elizabeth (Seckman’s) reply – it can take ages to find the ‘right’ expert (or whatever) who ‘gets’ your child. It’s tough being a mum at the best of times, and at the same time you’re trying to work out what’s making your little chap tick. Not sure how old he is, but I noticed with my aspie 10 year old, as he’s got older, things have changed because his communication skills have improved, which lessens his frustration.
    Hang in there, give yourself time and patience, and hugs.
    (Actually the hugs are from me, but give yourself hugs too 🙂 )

  19. My heart truly goes out to you and I’m sending you lots of positive vibes. One of my kids was doing so, so, so bad at school but great at home. Kept getting in trouble, not turning in homework that I knew was done because I made them do it (I found it stuffed in the locker). Finally, a teacher decided to test for gifted and sure enough, it turned out they were gifted and were bored in class and that’s why they were misbehaving all the time. The class they were put in was so cool. Bean bags, the ability to cross-talk, lots of thought-provoking projects. I thank God for that teacher because I really thought my kid was going to spend their days in suspension.

    Elsie

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