Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Case of an Urgency Plan

Yesterday, where do I begin? Yesterday was absolutely our worst day yet. Friday afternoon Riley decided that doing his PM assignments was out of the question. We were having company over and with that rattling through his brain he was not able to focus. Over the weekend I decided that YMCA soccer was enough for him to do and that we all needed and deserved a break. (so we did not make up Friday's missed work over the weekend) Monday comes along and he goes bonkers. All hell breaks lose. It took two hours just to get him to the table and 6 1/2 hours to complete his days reading and written assignments. Usually he can do this in about 3 hours. There was crying, screaming and nasty words all around. I felt so defeated and quite honestly devoured by a 7 year old. It was awful but the good news is, its over and today is a new day. 

Riley is the type of kid that just pushes your buttons just to see if it works. Lately I feel that he's really testing the waters to see how far he can push me. "If I push her far enough can I get out of my work?" I'm not the most patient person in the universe and I fully accept this. I've said from the beginning this is about me learning as much as it is about him learning. We're both a work in progress I suppose. He's made major, major improvements since the homeschool transition. He's wonderful and as a whole he's entirely a new person. A wonderful and delightful kid most of the time. Now that he's not as stressed out its like a miracle how loving and sweet he can be.  He is genuinely interested in  learning about things and he's willing and capable to change his behavior often by me simply telling him no. 

At times he makes up his mind that he will not do anything. These are the times  its quite honestly like arguing with myself. (Stubborn + stubborn = chaos) I continue to explain to him that working with me at home 4-5 hours a day is the alternative to having 8-9 hour days PLUS HOMEWORK.  (Not to mention the fact that he's treated like a person here. He can pee, eat and talk when he wants to.) His only responsibilities are to do his school work, clean up and be respectful. Most days so far we've had a pretty good time of it. We wake up, follow our routine and even though there is a good deal of the mental pushing and pulling everything works out. Some days Riley will not even write his name though. I kind of feel like as he's relaxed and acted more civilized I've been treating him more as an "equal". I really hate the fact that every time I give him an inch he walks all over me. I hate to refer to monkey behavior but quite honestly I feel as if my child demands to be treated like a monkey. I'd really like to know... why do we have to sling shit  every single morning just to establish that I am the dominant monkey? 

At what point will this no longer be a daily tug of war? After the storm calmed I really felt the urge to get out and about. Under normal circumstances I probably would have just said forget the arguing. We're going for a walk. I'd considered going to the store but we have limited resources and not only do we have no money to spend at the store, but I also have damaged tires we can not afford to replace right now. Seeing as its been 15 below, walking is not quite an option. We really need to come up with an in case of emergency plan. In case of an urgency to do something else....anything else but school work. Grab finger paints? ...mmm dirty, indoors? no way. Bake cookies? Thought about it but then I'd end up making them, eating them and having to clean up. I'd really like to develop and grow to a point where instead of having an anxiety attack there's a backup. A logical well planned solution. Anything but bickering.


  1. I'm not sure you are looking for an answer, but I've got a suggestion. You can make ANYTHING a learning experience. You don't have to fight with him. Perhaps simply walking away from him when he behaves this way? I don't know your son so don't know if this would work. When my daughter was a toddler she would resist very strongly things she didn't want to do. We are talking screaming, throwing herself down the whole nine. I would simply ignore her. Step over her as she was prostrating herself on the floor screaming and go about my business. I would tell her I'm not going to talk to you until you are done with your fit. I'd even tell her to go to her room and cry if she needed to, but I wasn't going to listen to it. Anyway, she's a very strong willed kid and going head to head didn't work when she was little. Telling her to go ahead and throw her fit if she needed to and I'd be ready to talk to her or pay attention to her when she was done worked wonders. I'm also not the most patient of mothers (that's why I chose to only have one!) so I know what you are feeling at those times.

    Again, no idea if this would work with your son, but I do know when he is in that frame of mind he isn't learning anything. When those meltdowns come perhaps as you said, you can just take a step back and leave him to himself. As you know, learning comes in so many ways and forms. Stay strong, you'll get there! I'm very fortunate to live in a wonderful state for homeschooling, so we can take a much different approach.

    Sorry if this wasn't the least bit helpful............LOL!

    Homeschooling is by turns the best thing I've ever done as well as the most terrifying!

  2. My son will follow me around screaming at me. I tell him to go to his room and be a lunatic and he does. Eventually after the chaos has settled I will go into his room and say "look I'm sorry but please listen...." and before I get that out of my mouth he will start running his mouth again. At what point do I just grow up myself and not feed into his drama?

    I think it was all just a matter of will. It was him trying to figure out if he could squirm out of his work again. We're still establishing daily that this is not just a prolonged vacation from "real school".

  3. I feel for you. Raising a strong willed kid is very hard! It is true that you have to be the adult. My dad can send my daughter, who is now 12, into a dramatic fit and it is because he won't be a grown up. You'll get there. Make sure you still take time for yourself. Not having that alone time can be very hard in the beginning!

  4. Thanks. I find myself in an empty tub with my phone some days. Its a work in progress I guess. I have to remind myself progress isn't going to be constant. What we do the whole year, the big picture matters most.