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the things we don’t write about

the things we don’t write about

August 17, 2006

My son is difficult. At least that is what the doctor says. I know different. I know that on that magical 7th birthday he too will have letters strung out behind his name and fastpass at the pharmacy.

My son is difficult. Unless you have one, you can not fully grasp what this means. If you are feeling judgmental, step back and consider yourself lucky because you don’t know. When people tell me how wrong it is to medicate a child and how I am stifling the natural boy energy and I should just do whatever it is that they think I should do… I smile and nod and wish I could join them up there on that high horse. Really, a sticker chart for him is all I need to do?

Holy crap, don’t let the pharmeceutical companies find out. This could ruin them. Hey, I have an idea maybe we could do sticker charts for diabetics, asthmatics, and those with PPD too.

My son is difficult. I have heard that if I only had one child people would say, “You don’t know what children are really like. If you had more children you would realize that this was normal. You are too focused on him”

Because I have more children, I hear, “Well, of course he is acting out. You can’t possibly be giving him enough attention.”

Only people with two children are allowed to have difficult children through no fault of their own.

My son is difficult. He emerged from my body pissed off at the world and it hasn’t stopped. It’s the colic that just won’t end. I don’t feel like I am the cause of my pathologically happy-go-lucky 7 year old, but yet I mentally castigate myself for this child.

My son is difficult. There are times that I lose my patience with the other children. The innocent bystanders who suddenly become casualties in this battle. A request from one of them in a tone of voice that I would usually shrug off, can suddenly be met with my anger. I find myself apologizing more that I wish I had to.

My son is difficult. Often he has a huge meltdown and then recovers. The rest of us left behind in the wake. Unsettled, our energy spent. And he looks at us confused, unable to grasp that his actions have caused this.

My son is difficult. Many times I have greast plans to go somewhere, but in the time from when he wakes up in the morning until breakfast is served, I realize that I don’t have the mental fortitude for it. And so we don’t go do the “fun” thing, because I realize that it would not be fun. We will stay home. It’s easier to walk on eggshells in a controlled environment.

My son is difficult. This morning he asked for new batteries for his CD player. I don’t have any AA batteries on hand, but told him we could buy some when we go to the store. He can not accept that answer. He screams and yells and carries on. He can not let it go. For hours I have to hear about the batteries. He goes through drawers, he gets out a screw driver and tries to take the batteries out of his brother’s toothbrush. I ask him to put his brother’s toothbrush down and he refuses. When I get up to take it away, he throws it at me.

A few minutes later he has moved on to something else. But I still feel tense.

My son is difficult. I tell him to go to time out and calm down. He refuses to go. He crosses his arms and stomps his feet. He looks at me with such defiance. Rob and I joke that he would be the model prisoner of war. You could never break him. You could never force him to do anything he didn’t want to do. I want to break him. I want to make him obey. I hate that about myself. I never wanted to be a dictator.

My son is difficult. He embarasses me because I feel like I am not a good parent. People wonder why I don’t get him under control. I wonder why I can not get him under control. There are times when I yell too harshly or grab him too roughly and I have to remind myself that he can’t help his behavior. But what is my excuse?

My son is difficult. I have an older son who used to be just as difficult. He no longer is. That is what keeps me going on the worst days. I know that there is help for him eventually. I know with maturity things will improve. I know with medication, things will improve. I am willing to stand up and accept the stigma of being one of those parents who embraces medication. Because there is a stigma. And other parents feel smugly superior for their parenting skills.

My son is difficult.

Posted by Chris @ 8:22 am  

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Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have different problems, but really resented it when people insisted my son was just like any other baby and I just wasn’t handling the second baby well. And then they spent a day with him and nodded at me, “This isn’t normal.”
    Here’s to not judging -

  2. madre-terra says:

    Big hugs. Hang in there!!

  3. Caren Story says:

    My daughter is difficult too. She is autistic, but considered high-functioning. Its hard to have difficult children. Thanks for being real about yours.

  4. Jessica says:

    My oldest is difficult. I only have 2 children so do not let the ” you do not show him enough attention” crap get to you. It has nothing to do with the amount of children you have. It is all a part of the child. My son will be 11 in a week and he has grown so much this summer it is amazing. Keep your chin up and think positive. This too shall pass.

  5. jody2ms says:

    When the ones on the high horse step out to judge you, send them my way for a public spanking.

    And hugs to you! I have a difficult chid as well. He came out knowing exactly who and what he wanted, and it has been that way ever since.

  6. Carola says:

    No one can tell you what is best for your children, and you know better than anyone whether he needs medication or not. So forget about stigma because “these” people are not responsible for your child’s future, only you and Rob are. Hang in there, and keep smiling!

  7. Dot says:

    Your honesty is refreshing. My difficult child is 15 now. He was difficult in much the same way that your 7 year old is. However, when we put him on meds it didn’t help enough and we went thru the painful process of finding the right one. It wasn’t until he had an emotional breakdown at 11 and was hospitalized that we got a proper diagnosis for him. I understand how people can be judgemental, only when they have a difficult child will they understand.

  8. Ness says:

    My second child is difficult. I love him very much but sometimes find it hard to like him and I hate myself for this. Only you and Rob know what is best for your child and the family as a whole. You seem well informed and for what it’s worth do whatever it takes. As for all those judgemental people, are their lives so perfect? Thanks for being so honest. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  9. d says:

    my kids aren’t… but I understand. I have a stepbrother who is “difficult” and we recently fostered a boy age 5 who had me grinding my teeth into powder by the end of the first day. I’m glad though that your son has the benefit of being the second, now you KNOW that there is a light out there and can hang in. Cut yourself a little slack -

  10. Nicki says:

    Boy can I relate. You are spot on, girl!

  11. blairzoo says:

    Thank you SO much for writing this and posting it publicly. I have written the same thing over and over about my daughter in my journal. People don’t understand. People told me to use sticker charts (HA!), they told me it as because she’s the middle child of five, they told me it’s because her brother was born when she was 5 and she couldn’t deal with not being the youngest, etc etc. We went and spoke with counselors about her when she was 3 and again at 5 and again at 8. She has been medicated twice, but neither helped (and this from a crunchy, homeopathic, herb-toting mom….desperate times call for desperate measures…) She has been ‘diagnosed’ as oppositional-defiant, which is another way of saying that living with her is death-defying. She is a pain in the ass and dominates the household every single day with her arguing, tantrums, screaming, bullying, rude voice, and slammed doors. She can’t figure out why other kids don’t want to play with her or tell her that she’s mean. It’s really quite sad. I love her. I really love her, and it makes me so sad and full of guilt that I don’t always feel that love. Other moms of kids with challenges tell me that they’d never want their child to be ‘cured’ as it would take away from the child they are. Not me, baby. If there was a million dollar pill that would change her into a kind, loving, peaceful child, I’d sell my soul to buy it.

    Thank you for your post, it made my day to not feel so alone with my DD.

  12. Susan says:

    You posted this on the perfect day. My 9-year-old “difficult child” started his new ADD medicine yesterday, after coming home from school on Friday and saying, “Mom, I HATE this medicine. I know it makes it seem like I’m smart, but…” I told him it didn’t make him SEEM like he’s smart, he IS smart, it just helps him concentrate. Oh, the guilt…We went through such emotional turmoil putting him on it last spring, but after so many years of struggling, we finally caved. And that’s when I realized that we don’t hesitate to give his sister her asthma medicine, or her Benadryl when she has an allergic reaction, or any other medicine when it’s necessary. Hang in there, you know him best.

  13. Katie says:

    I’m beginning to think my second son is “difficult.” Most of the time I can use little tricks and planning to get around it but I worry that when we send him to school (they won’t have the time or patience without a diagnosis), he might have a lot of problems. I’m not even sure where to begin though.

  14. wookie says:

    I’m actually really relieved to hear you express this. I had these delusions that all your kids were awsome and gorgeous all the time, that you’d some how won the dice-toss against disabilities and health challenges, and had seven completely normative kids… and that me with two who both have problems and issues was the worst mother on earth.

    So yeah… I’m just glad to know it’s not just me.

  15. Navhelowife says:

    Ignore the fools, and do what makes your family and your child the best they can be. Medication is medication, and sometimes, it is what is needed. Sometimes it isn’t, but when it is, wow. What a difference it can make for *Everyone*.

  16. Marie says:

    My daughter is difficult, I’m told, because she is adopted. Or because *I* adopted her, depending on the judger. But the upside of that is that, with enough love and some time, all of her difficulties will go away. Poof.

    I am also one of the bad moms who medicate. The doctor lowered her dosage for the summer to try to get her to gain some weight. Net results so far (my daughter is 11):
    - She pulled the rearview mirror off of my brother-in-law’s car
    - She cut her own hair
    - She put her cousin’s cell phone in a full sink “to see what would happen”
    - Etc., ad nauseum
    - She has alienated the entire neighborhood, many friends, and some relatives with her behavior
    - As unhappy as everyone around her is, she is even unhappier - I see her self-esteem plummeting
    - Weight gain? One pound

    We won’t be trying that little experiment anytime soon.

    Hang in there - you’re not alone.

  17. Adrienne says:

    I have one of those too. Tempermentally challenged, I call him. He’s a delightful child once in a while, just often enough that I don’t sell him to the lowest bidder.

    I think he’s too old for his skin, if that makes any sense. He doesn’t fit the 7 year old world he lives in, and I wonder if that’s the case for your son too. I keep thinking that he’s going to be a fabulous adult, if I can let him live that long…heehee!

  18. lipstickface says:

    My littlest sister is difficult.
    Not in a violent attention controlling way.
    In a lying way.
    In a sociopathic lying way.
    She’s been medicated for so long I’m not really sure what or who she would be without the meds.
    It’s very hard on a family to stand by with all the love in the world for a child, yet that love doesnt help or change or improve the kid.
    It is so frustrating.
    My sister just graduated highschool. I thought my step-mother deserved the diploma for 12 years she had to sit down with my sister every afternoon and every night doing her best to help my sister focus and get her work done. I dont know what life is going to be like for my sister. It’s so hard feeling so helpless.

  19. JO says:

    I am a grandmother of a difficult boy, now man. Medication worked. He was a colicy baby, he was expelled by 3 daycares b4 age 5, he developed childhood diabetes at age 12 and now that he’s adult he’s learning that he can’t have alcohol just like he can’t have sugar. Medication has been this childs godsend. With Ritalin he attended school without incidence. I am ADD and was 50 before I was diagnosed…aging made it more difficult to cope with. My life would have been immeasurably more productive had I had this help as a child.

  20. Melinda says:

    I also have a difficult child. My daughter is autistic, and there are days I want to pull out all my hair and run screaming from my house. Thanks for posting this–lots of us deal with the feelings of frustration and guilt about why our kids are the way they are. We just hate talking about it, because we fear being judged by others. Just stay positive and be confident in the fact that you are doing the best you can.

  21. InterstellarLass says:

    It took real guts to write this. My son had/has emotional meltdowns too, but I think his come from a drive for perfection and a fear of not doing everything just right. He wants to please above all. Coming to terms with the fact that he’s not perfect and that he’s allowed to make mistakes has been difficult. He’s 11, and he still has these crying meltdowns because things go wrong. I feel for him.

  22. Michele says:

    Your son may be difficult, but you are truly amazing. Surely, that trumps, huh?

  23. abc momma says:

    I could have written this post today. How do you know when it’s time to get help–when they really are not able to control their breakdowns. My son was colicy, and then demanding, and now defiant and tempermental and easily offended.

    We sought help a few years ago, but were basically sent home with a sticker chart. How can I know? Where can I go to get some help?

  24. Jeff says:

    My oldest daughter is like this. She was colicky at birth and it hasn’t stopped since. She is emotional and I am dreading it when she becomes a teenager.

    We thought all children were like this at home until the other children were born. They are easy compared to her.

    On the good side, she is very smart and driven. If I can keep from locking her in the basement until she is 20, I think she will rock in the real world.

  25. Mary says:

    As usual, most everyone else has said what I could say. Thanks for sharing.

  26. joanna says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.

  27. Karen says:

    {{{{{{{ Chris }}}}}}}}

    I have walked your path and felt your pain. It sucks. It sucks every single day. And a lot of people do NOT have a clue, but are willing to give ‘good advice’ or judge anyway. They do NOT have a clue.

    We have at least one Aspergers kid (who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was younger), and I suspect some of the others might be similar. Life is NOT easy with them, and yes, sometimes it just takes too much energy to go fun places because you know the stress for the whole family.

    No advice, ‘just been there, done that, wearing the t-shirt’ - post

    {{{ HUGS }}}

    Karen

  28. Gretchen says:

    You have just written a post that exactly describes my nephew. My sister was so frustrated, and embarrassed. She endured the comments of judgemental people, including her parents and her in-laws. She felt like a failure. When he entered school, he was diagnosed and medicated. What a difference! Yes, she feels guilty about resorting to it, but if you ask him, he is so glad to have it. He himself is frustrated by his lack of control and confusing emotions. Life with him is still not easy, but at least it is bearable. Oh, and she only has 2 kids, and her daughter is a very average, very nice girl.

    Hang in there, try not to let the guilt take over, and tune out the criticisms. Sometimes medication is best for both you and your child. It’s not your fault!

  29. suzanne says:

    i’m crying.

    i have a difficult son. he’s my first. i feel all of these feelings you’ve written. and none of my friends have a child like this. and sometimes i’m the outcast. but i have two other younger children and they’re not difficult.

    i’m still crying. thank you for being real. it is so hard.

    i’m still crying. just to know there are others.

  30. Heth says:

    Thank you for writing this. Boy can I relate.

  31. Danielle says:

    You always seem to know just what I need to read. I was sitting here trying to figure out what I can do for my classroom of 19 third graders. Several of them are difficult but unmedicated. This is their parents choice and I honor that but they do not spend the majority of the day with their children.

    **As I was writing this one of the teachers just called me to remove the student that I was thinking of. She was kicking chairs in the computer lab because someone said that she was typing too loud.

    Thank you for being honest. More people need to know what it is like to deal with real problems in life. Difficult children, depression, whatever it is. Keep on writing. We all sit and suffer in silence. We are not alone.

  32. missbanshee says:

    Beautiful post. My brother was also Difficult. Doctors galore shrieked “ADD!!!” and my parents said “Please. This child? Who will play Nintendo practically motionless for a million hours at a time? No.” He’s now a bigwig at MTV (shudder) and doing grand. Difficult happens. What a lovely, heartrending post. Thanks.

  33. Beth says:

    Sounds like you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I understand that going through the tunnel itself is terribly hard. I didn’t realize that doctors won’t medicate for this kind of thing before the child reaches seven years. A friend of mine has a son who just turned seven, and she’s tried everything except medicating. She’s getting close, though. I wish you well, Chris.

  34. Nicole says:

    Sometimes its so hard to see the real world from all the way up there on that high horse, but the rest of us commoners thank you for sharing your story.

  35. And Baby Makes Four says:

    My son might fall into this category, but he is too young for me to tell if it is him or just his age (he’ll be 4 in October). I feel bad when I call him difficult because he is only 3.

    It’s wierd you mentioned the battery story - my son does this once or twice a month.

  36. Amy says:

    One of my daughter’s best friends is a “difficult” child. At her birthday party last month, he had no less than 3 complete meltdowns–all over something seemingly insignificant to the rest of us, but of dire importance to him. His mother avoids so many things because of him, and people are so judgemental towards her. Me–I think it’s great that she has him for a friend…she’s learned a ton in the last few years about how to be his friend. She is very protective of him and doesn’t let others pick on him.

    We won’t be passing any judgement over from our house. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Karen Rani says:

    I don’t have advice, but I will say two things, a) you are an amazing mother; and b) I’m always here for you if you need to vent.
    Love Karen

  38. Meghan says:

    For some reason, certain people think it’s acceptable to blame the mother for everything regarding children and phisological any psychological conditions they may have. People used to blame autism on “cold mothering”. Sheesh. I personally beleive that all such judgements (aside from situations of abuse) are from a place of deep rooted insecurity and fear.
    I am glad that you are doing what is right for your family and your son. A lot of people don’t “get it”, but you certainly do. Please don’t be discouraged. I can only imagine how difficult it is to parent a child who has oppositional and exasperating tendencies. You are a great, thoughtful and loving mother. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Those judgements say much more about them than you.

  39. Melinda says:

    Thank-you.

  40. Sarcastic Journalist says:

    Sometimes, I go to AIDS clinics and hand out stickers.

    Some people need to learn to keep their opinions to themselves. Unless they live with you 24/7, they have no idea.

  41. JustLinda says:

    I have 5. It’s my middle one, now 10, who is that child - the ADHD child. She is just now growing out of - learning to have some control over her impulses. Before, she had no control over them. She would fly off the handle at the smallest thing. She would push herself to the front of the line knocking smaller children over in the process.

    In having this child, I understood so much more about what parents of such children face. I am no longer judgmental.

    I have a child with ADHD. We do our best.

  42. TC says:

    (((hugs))) having a “difficult” child is hard and it is even harder when you have judgemental people to deal with too.

  43. Mir says:

    I just love you. This was perfect.

    “What’s my excuse?” indeed. Must go self-flagellate, now.

  44. debbie says:

    **hugs**

    *I* am difficult and I feel sorry for my *kids*. I don’t know what the big deal is about medication. Its such a caveman attitude. What, if your son had a broken leg and you didnt get it in plaster you would be a bad parent, but if he has a broken, um, head (you know what I mean) then to help him is wrong???

    Oh well. I good dose of PPD knocked all my umming and ahhing about med on its head!

    When does he turn the magic medicable age then?

  45. Carrie says:

    I could have written this post. I have two difficult sons, one who is medicated and the other who was taken off medication two years ago due to adverse effects. It’s not easy and when someone starts preaching the natural route, there’s just something in me that snaps. They don’t get it, and they never will. You have to do what’s right for your son and your family and nobody has the right to judge any of that. Until they stand in your shoes… Thanks for a great post.

  46. CityMama/Stefania Pomponi Butler says:

    Chris, you continue to just blow. me. away. with your writing ability and your raw honesty. Your son may be difficult, but his mom is a force to be reckoned with. You’ll (all) come through this shining like stars. I just have a feeling…Don’t let the turkeys get you down!

  47. Steph. says:

    I don’t have a child with the same issues, actually mine sounds just like Interstellar’s based on her comment! But, I really commend and admire you for your honesty. I’m facing another school year of judgemental parents standing at the bus stop deciding who to snub this week, and my son and I get that a lot because we’re both more reserved people and don’t like to flaunt.

    One thing I really hate in life is people who form quick judgments and then make others feel like a failure based on that. It sounds to me like you are handling your son in the best way for you and your family, and most of all for HIM. No one knows what your son needs but you and your husband. No one should make you feel like you’re handling it wrong because they haven’t walked in your shoes.

    Sending support your way today…

  48. bombaygirl says:

    I have a “spirited” son who is 26 months and a 3-week old girl. He is just as you describe your boy, and my mil says that he’s normal for a boy. Apparently my husband was like that as a child, and so are some of my son’s cousins. I dread going out, because I am not sure what he will do/how he will react. He flips from being a screaming nightmare to a giggling child in a matter of seconds. My girlfriend said that its a gemini trait…oh, if all of life’s problems could be decoded by astrology!

  49. Jodi says:

    I have a daughter much like that. She is 7 and has been on medication for 3 years now. l

    I had to laugh at your sticker chart idea. If only that was all it took to “fix” my daughter’s behaviors. Yea right.

  50. Chris says:

    My middle son is difficult. Most times I sit back and wonder what I am doing wrong. Already at four years old he has the most unbeliveable meltdowns. Often I have wondered about medicating him, but honestly I have been too scared to ask.

    When he gives a public performance, comments are that he is the middle child. Which means, you don’t give him enough attention. Honestly, I can go on and on about this. Thanks for writing about this.

  51. Daisy says:

    Remember: you know your son best. The well-meaning but stupid comments are not accurate.
    My “difficult” child has Aspergers syndrome, a high-functioning autism. It took three years to convince the school district to do an autism assessment. They insisted I didn’t know what I was talking about. Now, with meds and services and lots of (parent!) research, he’s doing very well.

  52. Nicki says:

    My son is difficult in a different way. Between the colic, reflux, hernia, the allergies, and the delayed speech the first 4 years of his life have been extremely difficult for all of us. I too heard the judgements from other people, especially family. Thanks for always finding the right way to make others feel better about their parenting decisions.

  53. Shelby says:

    I don’t know what to say but I have to say something…Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty. My older sister was ‘difficult’ I hear. She had episodes of hysterical paralysis and (and perhaps because) my father would berate her at the dinner table every night. Horrible. My mother is a Saint. I am pregnant now, and can’t imagine what it might be like to have a difficult child, but I imagine that if I did, posts such as yours and other ‘mommybloggers’ would be my lifeline. Ugh, I can’t imagine the judgment from my MIL if it were to be true…

  54. foodmomiac says:

    You are so courageous to share like you do. And, only you and Rob know what is right for your guys. We had a boy in Max’s daycare who got very violent when not on medication. He was 6, and would climb into Max’s crib, hit the teachers, etc. With medication, he was sweet and loving and able to control himself a little better. You know what you need. And you know what will make your guy happy and at ease with the world. XO, danielle

  55. Suzanne says:

    I too have a difficult son. He was diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder (which looks and feels a lot like oppositional defiance) at 8 1/2. Now, almost 11, he still throws a tantrum at least once a week over something. Luckily we have a great therapist who tells us just that - we have a difficult child. It’s not our parenting, it’s him. We do our best, just like you. And he is medicated - me too, now…

  56. Melissa says:

    I don’t care if someone has one or ten kids, we all know when our kids are more diffucult than others. Good for you that you are taking the steps to help him. My brother is diffucult. At 4 my mom and dad put him on medication….and it helped. Some times at 24, I wish someone could put him back on that medication.

    I have a daughter who is diffucult, but in different ways. I wish there was a medication for her. I shouldn’t, but I do.

  57. Karmyn R says:

    I wish I could tell you it will get better - my sister, FINALLY, at the age of 15 was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. When she was on the meds we were a normal functioning family. Of course, she wouldn’t stay on them.

    Fifteen years later, she still causes chaos and drama in our lives. I have learned to ignore it for the most part (living in two different states and not answering the phone have helped.) Having children of her own has helped a bit, but every day there is something.

    My parents have slowly learned to not get caught up with all of her crises. She no longer has meltdowns over the mundane (like batteries) - but creates dramas from them that must involve everyone.

    All I can say is “goodluck” and seek therapy for your family NOW - so you can be taught ways to deal with difficult situations and not blame yourselves when situations arise that cause YOU to come crashing down!

  58. jen says:

    Yes. Oh My God, yes. I know, I understand, I am there. And it is hard, so very hard. And you wonder, am I trying to help him, or make it easier on me? Oh my GOD yes, I know this feeling, I could have written this. A is five, J is two. A is my difficult one. Oh my God yes. It is so hard.

  59. nextcommercial says:

    You gambled too many times. God gives you at least one easy child and one difficult child. You have seven kids… so, the odds were against you from the beginning.

    See? I know this because I have a daycare. When I have a firstborn who is the most wonderfully easy joyful baby, I warn them to STOP now!!!! But, do they listen?? No, they must have at least one more. “Afterall” they tell me, “Cars have four doors, tables come with four chairs.” O.K, Whatever!

    And they pay the price with a child who can peel paint with their screams, A child who can climb higher and faster than any natural human should. A child who, though it is impossible, they WILL, eventually,force their giant head between the wall and the refrigerator JUST to see what I have back there.

    Pray for his wife. If it is true that we all have the children we deserve, his wife will certainly want to know in advance.

    You are wonderful parents. I wish I was your naighbor. My daughter thinks your oldest son is kinda cute.

  60. nextcommercial says:

    *neighbor* (blushes)

  61. Kelly says:

    You must have known that I needed to hear this today.

    My son is 12 and is a very difficult. We have had fits that last days and days. Looks that could kill the purest of people. I have went to bed in tears and woken to a storm.

    We to are a homeschooling family also,sadly this year I sent him to school. I have done all that I know to do. He does take meication and he still has bad days but dont we all.

    I do think however that when you have a hard child and he or she is on meds it should come with a bottle of zanax for the parents.

    Ha that would be nice!

    Hang in there. I see your hope and I have hope also.

  62. the womom says:

    No judgement from this neck of the woods, just lots of hugs. You are an awesome mama.

    I taught preschool on and off for 12 years. I’ve come home with bruises, bites and scratches. I’ve had chairs thrown at me and been hit in the head with blocks more times than I can count.
    There’s a lot of denial in the world and a lot of people scared of the stigma a label brings.
    A label brings help.
    Help is okay.
    Everyone needs a little help from time to time.
    xoxo

  63. ktcakes says:

    yepper!
    Got one here. Hell, I had to add Prozac two years ago for his OCD. You are much braver than I. He is 15 and I am so thankful that he didn’t want to homeschool. I’m not sure I could have handled it. Of course we are not out of the woods, yet. If things go south in high school, I’ll have to bring him home.

  64. Xangelle says:

    I have a difficult son as well! I relate to a lot of this post. I totally get the “not going out” - it’s hard sometimes! Thank you for sharing this part of your self. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone!

  65. marian librarian says:

    I actually know a few women who have the Trifecta of Perfection: perfect families, perfect houses, and perfect bodies. I can’t be alone with them for more than five minutes before I want to find a corner where I can go to cry. My kids are far from perfect, ditto the house and the figure. My 7 year old son has been difficult from the day he drew his first breath: Anger, poor impulse control, inattention, and immaturity galore. We have not ruled out using medication, but we don’t take it lightly either. On his good days, he is sweet, charming and delightful … and your son, I am sure, has a great many fine qualities too. I’m convinced that genetics plays a part in this. My son takes after every male on my side of the family.

  66. Susan says:

    Oh I just want to hug you. Because I really do know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

    But first I have to get a tissue.

  67. ben says:

    Oh, Chris, I’m sorry I’m like the 65th person to answer.

    I’ve got one like that. No, actually, I have three, but he other two are small enough that it isn’t as obvious, so we have a glimmer of hope.

    (but when I took the baby with me to my son’s therapist one morning and the first thing he said to me was “Wow, she sure is BUSY,” I took it as a sign)

    Along with the difficult, of course, comes flashes of brilliance. I hope my son will use his powers for good, not evil. I hope that for every child, really.

  68. Erin says:

    My 3 year old has PDD-NOS, and I know where-from you speak. He is difficult. He is in the throw of a super-tantrum right now. I’ve been wanting to write a similar post, but have been “trying to focus on the positive.” But you know what, some days I wish he didn’t struggle, we all didn’t struggle–with this.

  69. Owlhaven » Whatever she chooses to call her blog…. says:

    [...] … I  heart Chris. Hers was the first blog I ever loved. The most recent reason I will always be a Chris groupie:  Notes from the Trenches » the things we don’t write about [...]

  70. JET says:

    I am a grandmother to a difficult boy and the mother of a difficult boy - now 29. Raising our son was certainly not easy - we always said trying to get him to do something was like pushing a rope! And he is still finding his way through life, working on a college degree while being an activated reservist. But you would have to search long and hard to find a kinder, more wonderful person than my son. His wife absolutely adores him and my grandson worships him. When I see the heartbreak my daughter and son in law are going through, I want to say magic words to them, that this will all go away. But after all these years, I still tear up when I think of the pain we ALL went through. I read somewhere once years ago that the child who is the hardest to love, needs it the most. My heart goes out to every child who is difficult and every parent who lives with it every day.

  71. peepnroosmom says:

    (((((Hugs)))))

  72. Aubri says:

    I was difficult. Now that I’m an adult, I look back on key moments in my childhood and see how well my mother did, and how much she must have been tearing herself apart. My brother was significantly NOT difficult, but I was. I was a child with ADHD “identifiable from the womb” as my mother would say. Doctors told her time and again, “not possible” I had that colic that would never end. I was difficult. I was diagnosed with ADHD when ADHD as a diagnosis was still relatively in it’s infancy, before the HUGE boom in prescriptions for Ritalin. I too had those turn-the-car-around-this-instant meltdowns, and didn’t get to leave the house.

    I want to tell you it will all go away, but the only thing I have for you is that you’re doing the most fantastic job parenting. Don’t let the high-horsed jerks tell you any diffrently. YOU know your child best. YOU are his best advocate. Trust your judgement, you’re the one who’s his mother. Medicine got me through Kindergarten, first grade, and into college. Don’t be scared of it, but always follow your judgement, and remember that second (and third, or fourth) opinions are a great idea.

    Hang in the wonderful woman! I and my 70-some-odd fellow reader/commenters are rooting for you. We love you babe!

  73. biz says:

    Thank you for writing this (100th some person to tell you this! :D)

    I WAS that difficult child, BUT I found no medication/no assistance until as an adult, and then judged as AN adult, making an adult choice for needing to take medication to level out what was medically out of balance. I do not understand how ANY parent can be smug - or any adult toward another adult. People have food/allergen issues and wish (demand) the world to understand and accept, and I think we are attempting too, and many are doing profoundly good things to help such issues in children and adults. HOWEVER, have it be a chemical imbalance or some-such “mental” thing… Woe, let the “damning” begin. I need to find healing and forgiveness toward those who have been ignorant and chose to judge. I praise you for waving the banner for wellness - in whatever form that MUST come in. Mother’s like you - must trust, and hope they are doing indeed the best, because that is all we can do - what I wish my mother had done.

    Kisses!

  74. Heidi says:

    Heh, *I* was the difficult child in my family, and to my knowledge I’m no longer “difficult”. Make me wonder though…if I was the difficult one, what are my kids gonna be like?! =P

  75. Blaine says:

    My son is difficult too. Thanks for understanding.

  76. Lesli says:

    I first read this about 70 comments ago, and my predominant thought is still that it’s a tribute to you and your family as a whole that you have so many wonderful things to write about despite the extra weight of dealing with a difficult child. I have days that the fun plans change and the innocent are in the line of fire, and I only have 3, none “extra” difficult, but no angels live here, either. I hope that many others who feel their homelife is stressful can read this and know that it doesn’t have to be a situation that casts a pall on everything, all the time. And that it gets better.

  77. Julie says:

    Delurking to say thank you, thank you for being so honest. It’s comforting to know that someone else feels this way too. That my house is not the only one held hostage by a difficult child (God love him). I’m going to reread this many times, I know. Thank you.

  78. Wendy says:

    I know what you are going through. I have a child just like that. It is not an easy path.

  79. Sarah says:

    I chose to not medicate my little hellion, and (I call her that with greatest possible affection). I get judged for that too. Her school thinks I’m out of my mind and won’t give us or her the help we need because I “will not corroborate”. Do what is best for your child. Only you know - to hell with if they can’t understand.

  80. momslo says:

    Thank you for writing what I feel a lot of the time- my number 2 child is challenging and our interactions are very hard sometimes. It makes me feel so sad and I thank you for voicing this- It’s nice to know- I’m not alone.

    I also have a nephew that at the age of 16 has just now been diagnosed with autism- poor kid has been through hell!! and my incredible sister too-she has been judged-and it’s NOT RIGHT! she has done her best- it’s a challenge that those who judge, have no flipping idea about what it’s like and how hard it is! It makes me sad- that people judge instead of helping and loving!

    Hang in there.

  81. Amah says:

    I’m the mother of 1 “difficult” son - I was told that he was “bored” and needed more challenges. He was 3. Now I’m the grandmother of 7 - 2 of the boys are ADHD/ with Meds. One is 5 and one is 7. The Dr’s in San Diego evidently believe that the family needs to be able to cope also. I can’t really give any advise but I can offer my sincerest congratulations on how well you are doing with your whole family, your writing, and your wonderful sense of humor. Needing to vent is normal and healthy. Thank God you vent to all the “sisters” that can both understand and learn from your experiences. I know that you won’t read this, but I felt that I wanted to express it anyhow. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Remember the old adage ~ “one day at a time”

  82. Rae says:

    Wow, Chris, thanks for writing that. It’s so good for people to hear what it’s really like to deal with something you can’t control… thanks for sharing.

  83. margalt says:

    My son is difficult. My daughter is difficult. They are twins and they are difficult in different ways. I’ve never known what it is to have non-difficult children. But I have learned what does work for each child. Except that it changes…often. Medication works for one child and does not for the other. Therapy works for one child and not so much for the other. Family therapy drives us all crazy but we keep at it, hoping that we’ll learn to get along. We are much improved. We have a ways to go.

    Have you read Ross Greene’s The Explosive Child? I like the book and I think it’s very helpful even though I’m not a fan of Dr Greene because he does not take ANY insurance and thus only works with rich kids, which I find specious. But the book is good and I recommend finding it at your library.

  84. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    How brave to share such a personal part of your life. I’m afraid I have no advice but I do support you in whatever decision you and Rob make for your son. I agree with several others that “This, too, shall pass!” and years from now you’ll be able to smile about this chapter in your life because it will be over.

  85. Stefanie T says:

    “I find myself apologizing more that I wish I had to.”

    Oh, yes, I feel that way so often, too.

  86. wanderingrose says:

    Thank you!

    I am so tired of hearing about all things I am doing wrong that are causing this.

    If you think ADD/ADHD does not exist, you are fortunate enough not to have a child with it. Lucky you.

    I have four, two were easier and they are grown now, I am left with little ones who seem determained to finish me off.

    One of them is ADD and has down syndrome (no meds) and the other is the most ADHD child I have ever seen. (meds in the school year)

    Anyone who thinks they can “fix” my children is welcome to give it a try, many well qualified people have tried in the past and failed

  87. meredith says:

    I wish I could show this post to a friend with a difficult son, but she doesn’t speak english and she doesn’t want to know about the help medicine can bring. Meanwhile her marriage is suffering and her son is very isolated from kids his own age, no one wants to be around him anymore.
    I know, because my sister was difficult. And now she is a happily married 25 year old, recently medicine free adult. She would not have reached such a happy place in her life without the help of medicine.

  88. cher says:

    My 7 year old first-born is and has always been a difficult child - I say she was a pill even before she was born (she refused to come out and defiantly remained sunny-side up through delivery and almost required a c-section). I love her but don’t always like her. Maybe sometimes I don’t even love her. I feel horrible when I think that. Her sister (6) is a joy. Easy baby - easy child. Everyone loves her. This probably just adds to defiant one’s misery. I try to remain calm - doesn’t always work. I tell her it’s OK to be angry about things, but not OK to stomp until my glasses break or slam doors off their hinges. SHe’s in a great mood for the first 1/2 hour of every day. Then she turns into a real pain in the ass. I just keep thinking that this will serve her well in the future - somehow. She will be a tough cookie and not take crap from anyone. If only I don’t sell her the gypsies first. :) Thanks for this post!!

  89. Jennifer says:

    I think I was a little bit that child. When my mother talks about those years, her eyes glaze over and she says ends whatever story she is telling with, “You were very strong-willed. But you grew up eventually.” They didn’t medicate back then and I am a normal functioning person. I have apologized to my mother, not that it can erase all the nightmarish situations I must have put her through.

    You are a wonderful, patient mother. You set the bar high for the rest of us. Thanks.

  90. Momma Bean says:

    A wonderful post. I see the beginnings of a difficult child in one of my daughters and she is only one. I know I would do anything I could, including use medication, if that would bring my child any sort of peace. Hang in there and thanks for sharing.

  91. Maggie says:

    While not having had to face the degree that you hoave, I too have a son who can be difficult. From the responses, it looks like a lot of support. You are a good Mom. Even my crunchy, health-conscoius MIL is supportive of my son’s medication.

  92. other chris says:

    something only the mom and dad really have a clue about. our second (son) would have been an only if he had been born first. (also said with much love.) now on his way to law school. number five (also a son, adopted from romania at six) is difficult on a good day. middle school rears its ugly head in two weeks, so we’re hanging on and praying- for you too.

  93. Laura K. says:

    My son turned 3 in May and I have a feeling I have a similar child and I admire you for so many things…

    Laura

  94. MJ says:

    I can relate, my son though has sensory issues but the emotional meltdowns and rages are what is tough. Thanks for writing bout the tough stuff. I struggle with figuring out how to adequate address his needs without letting him completely put the rest of the family in chaos.

  95. GW Mama says:

    I hear where you’re coming from! I’m glad you don’t listen to people who act like giving your son medication is a bad thing. We had to put our autistic son on meds when he was the tender age of 5. It was that or watch him try to hurt himself. I even have other parents of autistic children who act like I’m bad for putting him on meds. Ya, whatever is what I say! Just know that you’re doing the right thing and that you are a wonderful mom! You’re in my prayers!

    Jody in Mississippi

  96. Misty says:

    I love you. As a mother to a difficult child and as a woman who is brave enough to speak out when most aren’t. And for those who aren’t I don’t think it’s necessarily their fault. It’s society that makes you want to keep quiet. It’s all the judgement and disapproving stares. It’s the lack of responsibility for each other as part of a community. If we could all get together and support each other through difficult situations I think maybe some of those situations would lose their power. Hopefully one day we’ll all see that theory in action. Until then I thank the stars above for people like you.

    And remember, as the 90-some-odd comments before me point out, you’re not alone.

    http://red1019.blogspot.com/2005/02/parent-worries.html

  97. Woman with Kids says:

    This life with Boy 1, exactly. I only have two kids, and they are night and day. Boy 1 will fight anything and everything. Boy 2 is happy with everything. I had no idea until I had Boy 2 that not all kids acted this way.

  98. liz says:

    Big hugs.

  99. Nikki says:

    I, too, have a difficult son. Trevor is ten now and has made progress but there are days I feel exactly as you. There are days I want to hide under my bed and just cry. Thank you for saying what many of us think.

  100. cheeriobutt says:

    oh all I can say is thank God for medication! Don’t feel bad. There are a lot of ailments these days that are physical and yet they feel mental because they affect the brain. It’s tough but you are much stronger than I. Good job!

  101. rachel says:

    yikes - I miss a day of blogging, and there are 99 comments! do I get a prize for being #100?

    seriously, though - substitute daughter for son, and she’s now over the “magic age” of 7, and it sounds like the same child. we’re still hoping to avoid medications (esp since we’ve seen such a huge change with diet & supplements), but we’re absolutely not ruling it out.

    (((huggs)))) I’ve been upset lately when my younger children can do things the oldest cannot due to her challenges.

  102. A Gaggle of Girls » Blog Archive » She wrote it all better than I did says:

    [...] Go over and read what Chris wrote about her son. If you substitute “daughter” for son, and realize that mine has passed the “magic” age of 7, it sure sounds like we have the same kid. I commented there that due to the changes we have seen with dietary interventions (high protein, no gluten, no dairy) and supplements (especially zinc, B-complex, and fish oil) and homeschooling (which Chris does too), we’re hoping to avoid medications. I’ve watched friends struggle to get medications right, and the levels right. Since BG has many days that are just fine, I’d like to avoid those struggles. We’ll have to see what happens. 4 years ago I was determined to never use medications. I’ve learned a lot in 4 years. Never say never would be one of them. [...]

  103. Suebob says:

    Your boy may be difficult, but I hope there will come a day when he realizes how lucky he got to have a mom like you - someone with experience and wisdom and parenting skills. I am sure he makes you feel like a not-good mom sometimes, but I’ll bet you handle it better than most people could.

  104. Amy says:

    Chris - There is so much I could say but I will be a blubbering idiot if I sit here and try to explain to you how perfect a post this is. I can’t possibly cry anymore than this post made me last year, but you come close:
    http://buggydoo.blogspot.com/2005/09/september-26th-blogging-for-kids-with.html

    It was the eye opener for me at that time, and if yours touches anyone for the first time as much as that one did me, you have blessed someone today!

    It is a huge relief to be reminded we are not alone. Especially on the tough days.

  105. Michele says:

    Thank you for this post. I have one too. I could have written this post had I been half as articulate. In our case, because we’re unwilling to NOT consider medication (you know, after he tried to beat up his teacher AND principal over a toy) - we are no longer on speaking terms with my in laws. You know, because it’s all my fault that I don’t stay home to raise him, and let others do it. I asked them to pay the rent themselves so I could, but that didn’t work so well.

  106. Nan says:

    This post and all the comments have opened my biased, nature-is-best hippie eyes to the truth that some kids really need more than a ’sticker chart’. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have children who were no more difficult than usual. Now I think I understand, and won’t be so quick to think a parent might not be trying hard enough. I just didn’t know. Thanks for knocking me off my high horse.

  107. baggage says:

    My daughter is difficult too.

  108. Jamie E says:

    Chris,
    Hang in there. I have a 4 year old who was born difficult too, for him it’s the autism. Of course all I heard was “put him on the bottle” “you aren’t paying enough attention to him” and “Maybe you should stop having kids”(I am pregnant with # 4 now) He is my oldest and I refuse to be embarassed by his acting out and I refuse to wear a sign stating his neurological problem just so others can feel sorry for me or “understand”. If they don’t understand that this total stranger before them may be having a bad day then they aren’t parents yet.
    *hugs*
    And I second the motion to not judge.

  109. Carol says:

    My son was oh so difficult, too. He was our first child and we just thought we weren’t doing thing “right.” So we took it a day at a time (even though at times that seemed like an impossible task) and 20 years later we have three more children and we realize that, in our case, it was just his way of growing up. He is now a very bright, responsible junior at a top-notch university.

  110. Marian says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I know. And I know how it feels to live among those who don’t know. So painful. My difficult child (high-functioning autism/ pervasive developmental disorder) was child #1, so I started the struggle before having mostly normal children #’s 2,3 and 4 to prove to the world that there might be an ounce of what they are seeing that is not all my fault. I know.

  111. Elizabeth says:

    I’m adding my thank-you, because my nephew had ODD as a child, but is better now that he’s older and has spent years on medication and behavior therapy. There is no way for me to really understand what it is like, but I appreciate you writing so openly and honestly so that I can learn.

    I’m also sorry that you feel stigmatized because you use medication to treat your son. Why should it be okay to treat asthma and diabetes with medication, but not this? It makes me ashamed to be part of a society that makes you feel that way.

  112. mommyHAM says:

    I’m a mommy on meds….for depression, and it’s a similar dynamic, particularly with older women whose children are grown. Kinda like, “Oh, that. We made do with out a prescription….”

    As for the children - I hear you, loud and clear, and often wonder if LMNOB will have the same fate in a couple years. Or, if it will strike later. In either case, it’s not fun waiting for.

    (hugs)

  113. judi casey says:

    what doesn’t killl us makes us stronger.
    raising these difficult children is such a challenge- emotionally and physically- but there is also so much to learn from them-about them, about ourselves and others.
    medication can be a godsend when it helps, although i do think it is often overprescribed to make square kids fit into round holes.
    but, clearly it helps your son and you are wise to use it.
    two of my five are “difficult” and present me with new challenges every day. sometimes i am up to them, sometimes not, but every day i gain new insights into them and myself.
    despite their difficulties, or maybe because of them, my two difficult ones are, underneath all the acting out, immensely loving-probably more so than my other three.
    i am confident that all will work out for you in the end- you are a caring mom and really go the extra mile(s) for your kids.

  114. Mom of all Seasons says:

    “Only people with two children are allowed to have difficult children through no fault of their own.” Isn’t that true! While I don’t think The Boy, here, isn any more “difficult” than your average boy, his every little step is monitored by the world because he’s an only.

    We went camping for several days, a couple of weeks ago, with a “difficult” boy and, Wow!, I could certainly see how life with a “difficult” child could leaving a family feeling physically drained and emotionally spent. So many meltdowns, so little time. Best wishes to you.

  115. Yvonne says:

    My son is difficult….

    Thanks

  116. Thorny says:

    Ooogh, that thing where people look at us moms like, “Why don’t you control your child?” As if children came with little universal remotes so we can just alter their emotional states at will?! Sh-yah! I wish!

    My twin boys are only 2, so I’m not sure yet how things will shake out. But I do know that they were born with their own minds, personalities, everything.

    I’ll never forget in the hospital - the nurses were on me all the time to feed them every two hours. H was having none of it - he’d eat when he wanted to eat, and any attempts to make him eat before that just resulted in both of us upset and crying and miserable. Then, the last night we were in the hospital, I let the nurses take the kids to the nursery so I could get a little sleep. The next morning, they brought him back saying, “Wow, you know, H only wants to eat on /his/ schedule! We tried to feed him every two hours, but he just wasn’t having any of it until he was darn good and ready!”

    I’m still very proud of myself for resisting the urge to beat the nurse down with a bedpan.

  117. Jenniffer says:

    My oldest is difficult. I hate it.

  118. Kristen says:

    I only have two kids, but my oldest is and always has been difficult. And yes, there is judgment, and no one understands (except some highly valuable people I’ve found via the internet). I think you confirmed me that birth order, number of siblings, parenting style, and “attention” has nothing to do with it. For whatever reason, it’s just who they are. We just have to deal with it and love them. It’s clear that you do both…

  119. mothergoosemouse says:

    Thanks for writing about it. A good reminder for all of us.

  120. Michelle says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This post has moved me so much! Knowing that someone else has the exact same reactions to her difficult child really helps. I thought I was the only one who felt just like that. We were so worried when we started ours on medication. What if it didn’t work, what if it caused more problems than it solved, what if ….? My son is a sweet, loving, difficult child. The medications have made him a sweet, loving, less difficult child, with fewer problems. I can’t read all of the comments, because he’s awake now, but I just had to comment NOW. I don’t think I can stress enough how much this post means to me. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your courage.

  121. Kristi says:

    Wow, thank you for that. My daughter is difficult. I have wondered about medicine to even out her moods. I just don’t know. I feel like a horrible parent for thinking that she is a horrible child. I hope it gets better, like you say. She just turned seven and though she doesn’t have nearly as many fits as she used to, they are still bad. If you feel inclined, you can read about my latest experience with one of her tirades; the post is called A Little Sympathy, Please. It’s nice to know there are others who have the same issues and feelings. Good luck to you!

  122. Melanie says:

    I am again reminded of an acquaintance who used to slag other parents constantly. “MY daughter would NEVER run around like that in public!” “MY daughter is not allowed to speak to adults in that manner!” “My daughter sat still on a plane for 12 hours when she was 20 months old!” Always followed by, “These people just don’t know what they are doing with their kids!” or some variant. Then, she had her son. And she shut. the. hell. up. He too was “difficult” and she learned quickly that there is an overlay on parenting, and that is the all-important temperment. Turns out that her daughter was, and is, an exceptionally compliant child by nature, always wanting to please whoever she was with. When faced with a difficult child, the mother did her best, but it certainly wasn’t any better than the rest of us.

    Hang in there, Chris - seven is coming!

  123. kathryn, dym says:

    You’re right. There is no such thing as PPD or Athsma or Al Gore. They’re all a figment of our imagination. Everything’s already been said. I like you. That is all.

  124. Becky says:

    I have 3 boys that are very opinionated and unbendable. I have been told over and over that they are just boys, but I can’t understand that when they try to hurt each other. I have had people tell me I was a terrible parent because I cannot control them. I am trying to come to the conclusion that it is ok for them to be “just little boys!” It is very difficult. I am glad that I found your website because I don’t feel so alone.

    I am a nurse and I agree that some children need medications to be “just kids”. I also think some doctors are too willing to give meds just because the parents cant handle it. I think medications are very important in our lives but need to be considered with a lot of care. I also have seen the kids that need it. Mothers have a gut feeling about their kids and it needs to be listened to and supported. Thanks for talking about the things we don’t!

  125. jen says:

    MY son is difficult…
    ——-
    He emerged from my body pissed off at the world and it hasn’t stopped. It’s the colic that just won’t end.
    ——-

    Crap. Mine’s not even 2yrs old yet. I was hoping that colic wouldn’t last forever.

    my.son.is.difficult.
    I think I just admitted it.
    Thank you for that.

  126. Lori says:

    Babycakes (#2 of 2 kids) will be 4 in Oct and is a “frequent flyer” in the Childrens ER. Took 5 stiches on Saturday evening because she got pissed off at the velcro on her shoes and banged her head on the door frame…and Mama’s on Paxil for “anxiety.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  127. ABC Momma :: Lack of Substance :: September :: 2006 says:

    [...] I’ve come to realize it’s time to ask for help because my child is suffering. His doctor’s appointment is in the middle of the month. [...]

  128. carrien says:

    I hope this goes to your inbox or something and that you read these because this is quite a dated post. A bunch of stuff came together in my head last night, and then jumped over here and I just wondered if you have ever considered that your difficult children may be sugar sensitive or even hypoglycemic.
    I ask because I have been, my whole life but remained undiagnosed until adulthood. There were many family doctors who wanted to put me on all sorts of medications, by the time I was a teenager it was anti-depressants, when it turns out that eating differently solved everything.

    I was the child who would suddenly collapse on the floor in a fit of crying and screaming, be inconsolable, the world was ending, etc. I remember frightenlingly uncontrollable crying fits with grunting and groaning and a toatl inability to get over it. I also, looking back, remmeber it being after skipping breakfast and eating chocolate for a snack, or not getting breakfast right after waking, or eating pancakes for dinner and leaving out the sausage.
    My married arguments start with my husband asking, when did you last eat and what was it? Anyway, even if they are only borderline hypoglycemic as I am, that’s why it went unnoticed for so long, or are just more sensitive than your other kids, it’s relatively simple to check, just read a little about what the glycemic index of foods are and keep trach of what their eating or what they have eaten and their breakdowns. askdoctorsears.com has a couple of articles explaining how food affects brain chemistry and in what combinations it works best, etc. And you can just google glycemic index to find stuff that way.

    It’s made a difference with my oldest to make sure his meals are specific to his needs.

    Anyway, I just thought it may be helpful for you so I thought I’d take minute and write. (I don’t seem to be able to e-mail for some reason.)

  129. Mocha says:

    Wow, Chris. I’m so amazed at you. You eloquently wrote this piece that reflects much of what I feel as well. You’re right: we don’t write about this stuff. True. Did you even know I had a difficult son? Did you know I have two of them?

    You are a wonderful momma. You just keep on doing what you do. You’re doing it all right. Even with minor scrapes along the way, it’s all right.

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    [...] In my e-mail lately I’ve had a lot of wonderful, supportive people. I love hearing your stories! Yet, I understand why not everyone wants to comment publicly. People have the most amazing stories and I’m grateful you want to share them with me. Some of them have already been written and many wonderful mothers are struggling day to day and if that brings comfort to anyone, then I’m happy with that. [...]

  132. Catherine says:

    Mocha Momma sent me here, to this very old post…my son, too, is difficult. I have three children, and he is the oldest.

    He broods, he boils. He explodes. But mostly, he reverts to acting “put upon.” I don’t think there is a medication for this.

    He has had insomnia for a week. Going to bed at 8, getting up for the fourth time at 11 to say he “can’t sleep.”

    I have three. And i feel terribly guilty at how easy the other two are when he is not around. Thank you, thank you for good, sound words (and thank you for all the posts that followed, also with insights.)

  133. Anthony says:

    I am the father of a little boy, age 2 weeks who has a possessed 7 yr old Linda Blair for a big sister. She is a horror. She gets pissed off at the drop of a hat, and has a mean, hateful, baleful stare that would make water freeze. She has tantrums, she is rude and hateful to who she chooses. She physically assaulted her 9 month pregnant mother at a mall because she couldnt see Santa. Her mother not being very big and nearly helpless at 9 months slapped her butt, and talked to her which had the same effect of doing nothing. She ruined New Years Eve, by throwing a full blown hissy fit/meltdown because she was informed she couldnt pick up baby brother as she saw fit. At 13 till midnight, but still made sure she had her NYE celebration as soon as she saw that me and mommy were at war. She has hissed at my mother, and thrown a baby bottle at her, because SHE wasnt allowed to feed baby brother, who she sees as her personal pet/property. She is causing my girlfriend and myself to come apart at the seams, and my girlfriend naturally sides with her, EVERY TIME and tries to turn it on me. I love my girlfriend to death, and my baby as well, and I love and get along with her 16 year old son. Her rude 7 year old daughter? I have more feelings for the family dog. There is no doubt in my mind that the child has issues. She sleeptalks, and it isnt kind simple words, it is hate and bile, and yelling. She was abandoned by her asshole Biological, and Big Brother left the family to move out of town. Add to that possible bullying at school, and you have a powder keg. She needs clinican help, Ritalin, Thorazine, anything for some peace, I hope she doesnt break me and my sweetie apart, and cause my baby to grow up with seperate parents.

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