The house is once again silent…the busy mumblings of nonsense have walked out the door towards the bus stop. Every morning is the same…the consistent talking to himself in tones and beeps…”That’s enough” ,”Calm down” are repeated with regularity.
I let so much of this annoying babble “go in one ear and out the other” hoping he will stop on his own. I shake my head and reach for my coffee! Today was better than most days! Some mornings the noise level is excruciating and it is just my youngest. We have tried explaining that most of this is not needed and he should try to focus on controlling himself. I have told him stories about when the boys were all little and how the noise level was quieter than he is all by himself. My words just fall on deaf ears. “Speaking of ears…we had them checked! Perfect hearing!”
I feel like Oliver, cautiously holding my bowl up, Please Sir…Could I Have More?
What I want more of:
When someone asks you to calm down or stop doing something that is consistently bothersome…could you at least try! Respect for your elders was what I was taught as a child. My boys were taught the same thing. My youngest…well I do not know what he was taught before he came to live with us. There is a 7 year window that we really have no clue what his life was like. Situations were documented by case-workers and law-enforcement giving us a peek but nothing else. Eating habits, when he took his first steps, when he started talking are all things we are totally in the dark about. The simple forms of respect are absent! We have tried taking baby steps to bring him up to speed on respecting others and yourself. “Can you say Brick Wall?”.
The typical activity of bringing bugs and collections of lizards indoors is of no concern now. I have not had this issue with this little boy. My mother was gracious when she taught me the importance of fresh air and the poking of holes in the lid of a jar. Out of my four siblings, I was the one who had the nature collections. There was always a jar for my use and a place for my collections set aside “outside”. I collected lizards and rolly-polly bugs…I did let them go! I played with grand-daddy long legs. ( those are the long- legged spiders) I lived in the creek and would build forts in the woods behind out house. I was adventurous when it came to riding my bike and I had the injuries to prove it. “I was the perfect “Tomboy”!
The challenges of raising this unique spirit inspired my creative side. Sadly, the only collecting he does is from the garbage can. Really! The items he treasures make no sense…
His behavior deviates wildly, swinging from concept to concept, as he is shown how to respond and behave. He cannot remember the simplest of instructions. Common sense make no sense to him. Examples:
Norm: You want or need something…just ask!
Child: Take and sometimes hide the evidence.
Norm: Privileges are lost and earned back
Child: Lost the privilege of his computer and TV in bedroom and does not try to earn them back
Norm: Basic manners
Child: none…unless with sarcastic smile
Norm: We do not throw desks and chairs at teachers
Child: Throws desks and chairs at teachers, raises fist and moves to strike. (Yes..he did!)
Are we wrong in our expectations? I do not want a little robot…We want a creative little boy who is able to enjoy life and not destroy the lives of those around him. We understand noises that are related to imagination. Our 18 year old had the best lawn mower and weed-eater sound effects. My favorite was his chainsaw! He would go out into the yard and work…make the noises…and even broke a sweat. He was 3 when he started this! He now works a side job as a landscaper. “Hmm!” The presence of unique sound effects our 18 year old includes into average conversations just flow from his personality. Being a mother, who has been working with children since childhood, I have seen all types of personalities. “Except this personality from our youngest!”
The world does not revolve around you…there are five other people in this house!
Bedtime means bedtime…you need your rest and you get up very early!
Calm down…this does not mean get louder and get into things you have been told to stay out of.
He does not understand consequences and does not see the problem with the way he acts. He thinks the kids at school approve of his actions…sadly he has no real friends. There are a couple that play with him on our street…but he is never invited anywhere and does not ask if someone can come over. My other boys always had friends over…they played and ate…watched movies and ate..they would shoot hoops and eat some more. I miss those days! Most days there were at least 4-5 other boys here. Football games in the front yard were a weekly occurrence. I was everyone’s other mom…but not with this little boy!
He is a very bright mind with inventive and creative tendencies. I want him to be able to roam the neighborhood, with friends, as they play and eat at each other’s houses. As it is he cannot be trusted to cross a street correctly and has not been able to show us he is ready to do this. He gets so scattered and forgets the time…we know that can happen…but every time! He gets turned around and does not know where he is…that worries us! He finally memorized the phone number but still has trouble with the address. A dear friend brought him home from church…my son told him he was going the wrong way…my friend, being who he is, called me and put it on speaker. “Did you move and not tell me?” “Not that I am aware of…why?” “Your son does not know where he is!” He had been with us for two years when this happened. He does not seem to understand the baby steps that need to be respected and understood before he can go, out away from the house, by himself. He will be 12 this summer but acts much younger.
Disclaimer time! I have worked with many different types of children, including special needs, during my teaching years. I grew up believing there was no such thing as a bad child…just misunderstood. I am moderately ADHD and have learned to control myself…for the most part. ( okay, those of you who know me personally, stop laughing and get back in you chairs!)
We have a fun family and love to laugh and joke with each other. Our older sons are liked by their peers and are respected in many differing adult groups. We also set reasonable limits of conduct and behavior.
What are we doing wrong? Is there something that we have not tried that will help us in raising up a strong and respectful young man? I would appreciate any and all feedback! Until then..I will go about my day, enjoy my coffee and try again when he gets home. Guiding and teaching, without his knowledge, in the everyday lessons of life hidden in homework and chores. I hope this has not been to negative…it is easier to smile when I get certain things off my chest. Have a great day…Really!