January 22, 2018

Who’s In Control Here?

Hi All –

Had an interesting interaction occur with one of my sweet kiddos this week that got me thinking about control. Not the “I am going to beat you over the head with demands until you do what I say” kinda control. But the control that allows the child to trust in our training them up. “Splain Lucy!”

This particular one has been digging his heels in with hygiene. Now we all know that if teens are going to take a stand for independence it usually starts with hygiene. I remember my mom getting after me about my dirty, greasy hair. This one is following suit. I can’t drag the big lug into the shower and he knows it. I can’t brush his teeth for him and he knows it (tight, pursed lips and all!). Oh he would give me a nod by starting the shower but not getting in or running the water but nary a toothbrush it would see. Oh my what to do, what to do?

After a stern talking to by the orthodontist (to him not me – I brush my teeth!) about the dangerous situation his mouth was in and many failed attempts of correction due to being deceived by this bright one, his dad and I decided to bring out the big guns. NO electronics (his passion) until he brushed in the morning and none after 9pm unless his brushed. We have done this before, trust me, but added a new twist! He had to brush in front of us!

The first night, he clamped his mouth shut around his toothbrush in the old fakeroo of just moving his toothbrush around. No go! He opted out of electronics. On his behalf, his gums were flaming and a touch of the toothbrush was going to be excruciatingly painful. Day 2 – after another shot of faking, his dad the supervisor requested a second attempt. All of sudden the tears flowed as the brushing started for real! Now some of this was pain, but it was obvious these tears were from the heart. This boy was broken. Just like a horse. He gave up control and trusted us. It has been smooth sailing since. (We are not giving up supervision until his next dental appointment at the end of the month, just to set this habit in concrete and to get his mouth healthy). We also have seen him taking control in areas that are normal for teenagers that are good and not a danger to their health!

Be assured this control issue can rear its head at any age. My friend’s son threw down the gauntlet as a toddler in refusing to pull up his britches after using the bathroom. After an hour and a half of  working on “who’s the boss”, even to go so far as to say “I can’t” and trust me it wasn’t because he was incapable! He tearfully relented. My friend swears this set the base for the kid to trust and an easy going bringing up.

Who’d a thunk it? But just an ear to where the emotions come from can be a huge lesson for this parent. Definitely gotta stay in tune!

Chat soon ~

About the author: By

Julie is an awesome parent (along with her husband Matt) to five adopted kiddos and the owner of the Parenting Allies website.

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  1. Traci Wihlen says:

    Hi all. I have not been on this website in ages. It looks so different now. My kiddo is now a teenager! Ahhh!!!!! This summer he is not attending summer school which was our choice. He has been doing great with his behaviors and we thought a summer without school may be just what he needs. Now I am questioning that thought! Over the past two weeks my kiddo has taken a turn towards needing and wanting control. He says the opposite of everything I (Mom) say, tries to argue his point (to be right), has started demanding instead of asking, correcting adults non-stop and is trying to triangulate my husband and I. I think a couple things are going on 1. he is alone with me all day (I don’t work summers) 2. he earned the game systems back when he stopped self abusing and his finger nails grew back (Congratulations to him as this was a HUGE success for him), and 3. I have eased up on consequences some. Tonight he has lost the game systems until he chooses to improve on his behavior especially being respectful to me (Mom). I know how difficult it is for him and my heart breaks. I want to treat him like a normal kid but know I can’t. He has come a very long way in a very short time (a year and a half since he moved in with us). He has made so many positive changes that at one point I started writing down what his behaviors were and what they are now just so I could remind myself how well he is doing. This is a bump in the road that I know he’ll get past. I am reading up again on RAD and ODD to remind myself what I need to do to help him. Any suggestions for the above issues would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. Traci

    • Hi Traci – It sounds like he has made great strides with his RAD. Yeah for you awesome mom! That is a tough rocky road. Now it a great time to get on top of the respect issue before it becomes a runaway train! I feel like he is a prime candidate for The Total Transformation program and here is the link to a blog on this site about getting it for free http://parentingallies.com/you-can-get-total-transformation-program-free/.
      For the arguing, I found a good start is to stay calm (as we RAD moms know) and to state your request/statement once and then walk away. Do NOT turn around and look back nor get sucked into answering the “Why” question. If you can’t help it, you can say “You know why” or “I gave you my answer”.
      Good going so far. Don’t give up!
      Julie recently posted..Who’s In Control Here?My Profile

      • Traci Wihlen says:

        Thank you Julie! Yes, he has made great strides with his RAD. It has been a roller coaster ride over the past year and a half but the changes he has made amaze us and his therapist. The “respect” issue has been the biggest challenge! I actually have to Total Transformation Program and did get it free! It is wonderful along with Nancy Thomas’ book When Love is Not Enough. I use techniques out of both. I do have to listen to the Total Transformation program again and skim the book. Nothing like a good refresher course! I, also, spent some time on positiveparentingskills.com web site reading up again on RAD and ODD which also helped me to regain my perspective. I do think I was getting “sucked in” by his behaviors lately. I have notices a major increase in his Why, How, What questions. I will admit I did get caught up again in answering them a few times. Then I walk away thinking Ok, kick yourself you goon! 🙂 I did need a reminder to walk away! I did this yesterday. Stated my direction (he proceeded to argue) and walked into my bedroom, closed the door and stood there for 3 minutes. When I came out, he had done as I has asked and did ask what I was doing. I just replied, “That is not your business.” This is another issue of his. A need to get involved in everyone’s business. Many of his recent behaviors had gotten much better. There has been a spike in them recently (since he earned his video game systems back about 6 weeks ago). Even though we took them away two days ago, I can see almost a physical change where he is calmer and not as anxious. My little guy (not so little anymore) prides himself on trying to get me angry. I will say that the two things that I have been blessed with is patients and the ability to stay calm. His previous mother figure was not a calm person and had no patients when it came to his behaviors. So he has lots of practice ticking her off and in his own words “I just wanted to see if I could get her head to blow off.” Anyway, he has made huge gains in many areas and I do agree that him being respectful is the main goal at this point. Your advice and encouragement is worth more than you can know. Thank you!

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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