Sunday, January 11, 2015

Livng with a Challenging Child

I've hesitated to write about this for a while.  I know there are many people that deal with difficult children, so I have felt silly telling anyone about G's behavior issues.  But, I have felt very isolated and lonely, because no one knows what my daily life is really like.  I'm hoping opening up about it will help me deal with it better.  
Ever since baby G could crawl and pull up on furniture he has been challenging, sometimes more than others. You've probably heard the saying, "the squeaky wheels gets the oil."  He is our squeaky wheel and he demands oil.
Before I had my miscarriage he was extremely busy, into EVERYTHING, and threw things at me daily.  We assumed he would out grow the "stage" he was in and after much prayer we felt like another baby was right for our family.  Well, after I miscarried things with G got worse.  He got even more difficult.  It became apparent that another baby would have complicated our life significantly.
IMG_5998 When G gets angry, which is just about anytime he doesn't get his way, he throws anything within reach, a shoe, a toy, utensils, etc. Whoever upsets him has to watch out for flying objects.  If that doesn't work he will scratch you, hit you, or pull your hair.  He goes into a rage until he gets what he wants. We have never had a child behave like this.  It's uncharted water for us.
IMG_5557 If that is not bad enough he has also learned how to unlock every door that leads outside.  The child locks have nothing on him.  He just rips them off.  He doesn't care if he is dressed, has shoes on, or lets me know he's leaving.  He just leaves whenever he feels like it.  He doesn't just stay in the yard either. He walks down the street. I can only imagine what my neighbors think, not that that matters at all--what matters is his safety.  
IMG_5385 Also, he doesn't want to go anywhere.  He doesn't want to run errands, go to preschool, or go to the gyms kid care-as of this week (my only sanity).  I have to beg, plead, and bribe him to go anywhere. If at all possible we keep him at home.
So, that is what our family has been dealing with for over three years now.  If you know him, you are probably a little shocked to hear this since that is most likely not the child you know.  He behaves like a normal three year old in public. Sometimes he is. Some days are easier than others, his behavior ebbs and flows. 
His behavior affects the whole family, but mostly me, since I am with him most of the time.  I have a hard time taking a shower, making dinner, putting away laundry, or anything else without constantly checking on him.  I've resorted to putting him in the shower with me, even when he doesn't need one,  just so he's with me and I know what he is doing.  A lot in life has been put on hold as he takes so much of our time and attention. We hope he is just in a very long stage and not something more serious.
IMG_5354 This is part of the reason I have fallen off the blog wagon. Also, life is just so full right now. It's hard to find the time to write.  I miss it immensely.
(He has this habit of doing crossed eyes for pictures)
We have been trying to handle G with as much love and patience as we can muster. Sometimes we succeed, often we fail, miserably. Then we feel awful and guilty.  There is no way to know just how exhausting life can be with a child that behaves like this is, day in and day out, unless you've lived with one.  
IMG_2806The saving grace is that G can be a very sweet and loving little boy when he wants to be.  He gives the best hugs in the world and tells us "I love you" and those help get us through the hard times. We pray a lot and hope as he gets older he will mature and life with him will get easier and more enjoyable.

Have you survived life with a challenging child?  How did you deal with him/her?

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