This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Life on overwhelm

Saturday we had a family meeting to discuss the fact that the kids are giving Grandma a hard time about doing their chores and are not getting them done. I decided to present them with a list of possible consequences/ rewards and some of the flaws with each one. The kids came to an agreement on rewards and consequences that was pretty reasonable.

Kitty got overwhelmed a few minutes into the meeting - chores and the implied criticism often do that to her. She interrupted constantly, and finally ended up covering her head, moaning and crying and insisting that we were going to starve her (one of the "options" was "no kid chores, no parent chores" - meaning that if you didn't do your chores you had to eat cold food instead of the hot meal prepared, and you couldn't watch TV). We tried to insist that of course we weren't keeping food from her, but she was too activated to hear us.

The other kids were totally frustrated with her. They wanted to get the family meeting over with so we could have lunch. I told Kitty that she needed to go to her room, and we would tell her later how the meeting went. She wouldn't leave and got worse. Finally Hubby stood up to take her to her room, and she managed to get control of herself. I allowed her to stay only on the condition that she no longer participate. She was told that if she interrupted, talked or went back to wailing that she would have to leave the room.

She did calm down. Although she still tried to interrupt several times, she did stop when I told her to quit. She made it through the meeting and even managed to do a couple of small chores before our picnic lunch in the park. After lunch she went grocery shopping with me and stayed calm. She hung out with the neighbor kids and Bear's girlfriend and the gf's friend that came over for an hour or so. All the kids stayed with Grandma overnight as usual on Saturday and went to church with her Sunday morning.

My sister came back from a 2 week business trip in Singapore on Friday and brought all the kids presents. Kitty called Hubby and I to see when we were going to get to Grandma's for lunch. When we arrived she came running out to the car to show us the hair clip she'd gotten. She even allowed hugs from me.

Bear had his new girlfriend over again this afternoon. Everyone has been complaining that I make the same dishes over and over and they're tired of them, so I made a list of some new dishes to try and today I decided to make Hawaiian meatballs (Bear's choice). Had to have side dishes too so we had Ginger Squash, a Pineapple Sweet Potato Casserole, rice, and Virgin Pina Coladas to drink. Plus an Almond Peach fruit cake for dessert.

Ponito volunteered to help. After awhile I realized I needed more help so I called everyone in (including the gf). We had fun mixing together all the ingredients. The gf invited Bear to come out to dinner with her family, but I nixed it. First of all, dinner was his choice, and second, I still don't trust him without Hubby or I supervising. Gf stayed for dinner, but didn't eat?!

Kitty got hyper and giggly. She started using her barking laugh that sounds like she is having an asthma attack. Everyone was teasing everyone and Kitty couldn't stop laughing (I think she couldn't really handle the teasing either). After dinner it was Kitty's turn to do dishes, and that's when the trouble began.

Kitty hates doing chores. Particularly dishes. I stayed in the kitchen to keep her company which sometimes helps, but so did Hubby, which sometimes makes it worse. As usual she ended up having a major meltdown. She whined, threw things, made a big mess, tried to talk her way out of it, raged and cussed. We were sympathetic and calm, but did not allow her to stop doing dishes. Eventually she threatened to accuse us of child abuse (because of course forcing a child to do dishes is child abuse!), accused us of not listening to her (we told her repeatedly that we do listen, but that doesn't mean she's going to get her way), threatened to run away (lost her shoes on that one - which of course makes her rage more), told Hubby he was evil and mean and how much she hates this family, and threatened to hurt herself.

We repeatedly and calmly redirected her to do the dishes. Explained it was taking her longer to argue and throw a fit then to do the dishes. She tried to run away. Hubby stopped her and she immediately tried to bite him, hit and pinch him. I don't really know what to do about her men issues. Family issues we just keep plugging away at, but the men issues seem to be getting worse. She's blaming everything on poor Hubby, including her family issues.

I think it might be time to start attachment therapy again, but with Hubby not me. I don't know how much more poor Kitty (and Hubby) can take.

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