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should I put my son back in school?

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    should I put my son back in school?

    I'm not a frequent poster here but I love reading the wisdom offered on this forum, which is why I'm seeking your help. It may be time to put my 2e child (ADHD/gifted) back in school but I don't know if it's the right thing to do. He is causing all of the family so much stress and anxiety through his constant arguing and verbal abuse of us. He's super smart but there is no stopping him when he feels his power and control have been challenged or compromised. He's been losing control of his temper lately and getting into physical fights with his brother. Today after a fight I took away his MP3 player as a punishment and he stole my computer and hid my wallet for revenge. He's coming between our marriage. The problem is that I don't even know where I'd put him in school. I found a school that specializes in kids with ADHD but almost all of the kids are struggling academically. He's probably one or two grades ahead. His therapist is a proponent of public schools, but I don't see how putting him in a class with 20-25 kids in a school that just teaches to the test would help. She also thinks he needs to go to school to help him better learn to respect authority. I want my kids to have a classical education. I want them to be trained in rhetoric so they can grow up and be able to argue for a promotion, form political opinions based on morals and logic and not just popular opinion, to defend their faith, to see beauty in the world. It saddens me to imagine him growing up getting the same inadequate education that I received, but what he is doing to our family is awful. I don't know what to do.
    2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
    6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

    #2
    Sounds like you need a new therapist, not a new schooling option.

    I'm not a big fan of medicating kids, but in some circumstances it's a disservice to NOT medicate your child. Not sure if your child is medicated, but if he's attending therapy and it's not effective, maybe medication should be considered?

    Your signature says the younger kids are in private school. Is that still accurate?

    My son went through a very difficult behavior period. I decided to put my younger in public school for second semester, but kept the challenging child home with me. With a focus on him and behavior, things improved. All three of my kids are home with me now. But, I think separating out the innocent sibling for a time was the right decision. It removed her from the constant chaos.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Colomama View Post
      Sounds like you need a new therapist, not a new schooling option.

      I'm not a big fan of medicating kids, but in some circumstances it's a disservice to NOT medicate your child. Not sure if your child is medicated, but if he's attending therapy and it's not effective, maybe medication should be considered?

      Your signature says the younger kids are in private school. Is that still accurate?

      My son went through a very difficult behavior period. I decided to put my younger in public school for second semester, but kept the challenging child home with me. With a focus on him and behavior, things improved. All three of my kids are home with me now. But, I think separating out the innocent sibling for a time was the right decision. It removed her from the constant chaos.
      He is medicated. He can't function without it. On my signature, I've been trying all evening to figure out how to update it and can't. Currently he's in 5th and homeschooled, his brother is in 3rd and just started homeschooling this year, and the younger two are in Montessori. His brother is missing a lot of the basic skills that he should've mastered in school and didn't, so I want to keep him home and get him caught up on his math facts and phonics before putting him back in school. But I agree that separating them is probably something that needs to be done.
      2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
      6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

      Comment


        #4
        Maybe a new diagnosis review is needed ? It sounds like more than ADHD is at play.

        It sounds like strong parenting is present. There are consequences for poor behavior. And then he ups the ante to that discipline. I agree with you that putting him with 30 of his closest peers in a public classroom is NOT going to encourage a stronger appreciation of authority figures.

        How does dad handle this? How does your son respond to dad vs. you? I mention this because it's a point of friction in some families. In my situation, I'm home every day and seeing and dealing with the behavior. My husband just sees fringes of it late in the evening and chalks it up to tiredness or hunger. So, I'm the "mean" parent all the time. It's important to present a united front to these challenging behaviors.

        Does your son feel academically challenged? My middle daughter tends to be a behavior challenge if her brain isn't challenged.

        Just kicking things out to think about...
        Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

        DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
        DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
        DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

        We've completed:
        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

        Comment


          #5
          Good morning. We experienced this same havoc when my son was your son's age. These things helped:

          - Looking closely into the available school options.

          In our situation, it was these: public with the high possibility of falling in with the "wrong crowd" complete with tempting new habits such as cursing, drinking, and smoking; two established parochial schools with high behavioral standards, strong social cliques, and little flexibility for outliers; a $20,000/year school I found by googling; and one new relaxed, self-paced school nearly in my backyard. I brought my son to the last option for entrance testing. They began the testing at such a low level that day, far below establishing a basal, that he was no longer giving his best (at all) by the time they approached his higher abilities. And this was only in spelling. We still had all day remaining to test! This was the first red flag. While he was being tested, I pored over the available texts to determine the philosophical bent of the program. I could see the extremely lax pedagogical -- and pervasively heterodox theological -- approaches; yet I was so desperate, I wavered. I spoke with one of my oldest classical homeschooling kindred spirits who knew my son. I remember that she said, "Who are you and what have you done with my friend??" It was the splash of cold water I needed. The reality at that time: We had no satisfactory alternative to homeschooling. This gave me the push to improve our other approaches.

          - More comprehensive medical treatment.

          For us this meant an adolescent psychiatrist. For my son the situation had risen far beyond "adhd." Our new psychiatrist, a Christian woman who had the demeanor of a lumberjack when necessary, would not tolerate the slightest bit of disrespect toward me in the office. If my son began interrupting me, she stopped him. She helped us change patterns in addition to getting him proper medication.

          - Better therapeutic support.

          We found a local goal-setting therapist to help my son set and work toward his own goals.

          - GeneSight.com testing.

          This new testing helped us recently to learn that my son is a very fast metabolizer of the one medication that benefits him the most. This is why we were always "chasing symptoms rather than getting ahead of them," my son's doctor explained. Blood levels of the medication comported with this, as his med level was not even in the therapeutic range.

          - An integrative medicine doctor.

          He has helped with ancillary supplements and testing (MTHFR) with a view to relying less on medications in the future if possible.

          - A parenting program designed for adhd, bipolar, ODD, and more.

          This refocused our efforts away from ineffective and detrimental patterns we did not even know we were using. It gave us back our "calm" by teaching us matter-of-fact approaches. It gave us back our credibility by teaching us more logical and less emotionally reactive ways to interact. It reunited us as a couple to present, as Colomama said, a unified front. It removed my son's power to divide all of us and gave us the ability to focus instead on helping him solve his own problems.

          - Church.

          Getting my son connected with serving in the church, singing in the male choir, lighting candles, helping with ushering, attending the adult Bible class with us even as a teen, reading nearly all of the works of C.S. Lewis as literature study, writing nightly in My Thankfulness Journal, and learning by heart large passages of Scripture -- all of this has been immeasurably and eternally impactful.


          Everything works together. An alternate school might help, but you really want to approach this from all fronts. Fifth grade is the perfect age to regroup so you can help him navigate the teen years and all of the social, hormonal, and personal challenges to come. My guess, based on many heart-to-heart conversations with my son, is that he does not want to be causing so much trouble. He does not want to fail. He does not want to be miserable. He does not know what to do with or for himself right now. He needs help.


          Praying for your entire family as you learn what will help --



          Comment


            #6
            Sheesh, I'm about to sound terrible. But I can't read something like this without trying so here it goes. Some of this may sound a bit dramatic, but maybe that's what is needed.

            I'm on your side - your therapist is flat wrong. There is no-one else out there that is going to take the time, have the interest, or even a fraction of the love and care that you have for your kiddo. What's more, as parents, we didn't start out this way, but our levels of tolerance and patience are put into a crucible, strengthened, lengthened, and hardened over the entire lifespan of that kid and at the end of the day, we are the only real experts when it comes to our kids, and we are possibly the only people who can tolerate them and love them at the same time. The only other person that will actually beat us out? Their future spouse. And God bless that person. We love our kids so much, but in spite of that, we know their flaws and we know how hard it is to raise them up. A poor teacher with terrible resources, and 25-30 other kids with their own educational/emotional/behavioral needs can't help you get to the root problems for the most important kid in the room (your kid), and even if they could, they don't have the time because in about 8-9 months, that person will disappear and your off to the next teacher who starts from scratch. These teachers, wonderful as so many of them are, cannot become a subject matter expert in your kid in the time constraints they have and that leaves you few options.

            What I really want to do is encourage you. I hear the love and desperate search for answers. That's an awesome Mama moment you've shared, even in your humble frustration. I don't know about you, but I have learned so much about God by becoming a parent - and I feel so badly for every single thing I've ever done that I know must have frustrated Him to no end. Talk about long-suffering. Whenever I feel I'm about to lose my cool with my kids, I think about that. I thank Him for not giving up on me, for painstakingly pursuing me even if/when I spit in HIs face, or when I had a better idea (Ha!). I realize that by becoming a mother, I get to walk a bit in God's shoes. I can see farther, and it doesn't matter how much I have learned or how much I want to guide and direct, kids want to go their own way. Why? Because they have free will. The ultimate gift that comes with the ultimate risk. God decided when he created us that free will was necessary, even if it risked everything, for every person he created. Free will is worth the risk. Without it, we are little more than a toaster. I don't know about you, but when I lovingly looked at hubby and said I wanted to have children, I didn't envision a toaster. At great risk, we have kids...not toasters. So when I have these great moments of extreme frustration, I think about God and how he had the choice - create Melissa (that's me!)...or a toaster. It helps me catch by breath and re-center a bit as a Mama.

            So let's talk about that free will. It existed before the fall of man. We know this because God had a rule - don't eat that...don't even touch it. Seriously. Don't. As soon as you do...you will surely die. It is clear that the only reason to have a rule at all is because you have the choice whether to follow it, or break it and go your own way. You are fighting your son's free will. The sickening thing that a parent comes to know is that the most we, as parents, can ever do is punish bad behavior and show the consequences of it - but we cannot force them to really do anything for the same reason we cannot be truly forced. We can motivate only, and yet that motivation will often fall woefully, laughably short. This is why I don't believe anything would change for the better if you just insert your kiddo into a different environment with a different adult and a couple dozen other kids. You son will likely learn even more about his own free will...and the free will of 25 other developing kids. Ask yourself this - was there ever a time in your own personal history where the guidance of a kid actually led you to better behavior? I don't know about you, but I don't find kids to be great teachers of character. Sure, some might have better influence but that is usually reserved for older kids guiding younger ones, but I can't say that another kid ever made me become "better". That's the real problem - we can't change the nature of our kids because we can't actually force them to be something they don't voluntarily choose to be. Unfortunately, the knowledge we gained from eating the fruit is this: Evil looks pretty good, fun even. Evil looks like it might even be fulfilling. It takes wisdom given to us from God alone, to realize that just because it looks good, and just because you want it, that it isn't good for you. It takes years of guidance and wisdom from God (and that relayed and taught by you, Mama) to know that true happiness and fulfillment cannot come from our own attempts to satisfy ourselves. This means that every human choice has one of two outcomes - God's way or our way. Every word we say, every action we take, every single moment...we are looking at that fruit and trying to decide if our way might actually be better than God's. Your son is walking his own way, because he doesn't understand the full ramifications. He's not thinking about how each one of these outbursts, tantrums, or acts of vengeance aren't just temporarily harming events in that one day - they have lifelong consequences. If you have siblings, how do you feel, even to this day, about the times they wronged you as a child? How do they feel about when you wronged them? Some people hold these memories for a long time - even a lifetime. You don't just spontaneously become an adult and have peaceable relations with family members. Those are lifelong works in progress. Many can be destroyed in childhood between siblings, cousins, parents, grandparents, etc.

            I can see that you are a Christian family and at this point, maybe it's time to introduce him to more adult concepts and ideas and consequences seen in the Bible, the human race itself, and even your own family or your own personal stories. Extreme feelings that are allowed to run free lead to "X"...and give real examples. It has to relate deeply, personally, and intimately to his own sense of self. He needs to feel what it is like to live through the consequences of the decisions others have made that are lining up with his own behaviors. Make it real. And allow it to show the real scariness of the situation and the outcome. Do you remember that old adage? "People don't change because they see the light. They change because they feel the heat." Show him that every time - every single stinking time - we try to do things our way, it just goes bad. Have a tantrum? It will have consequences farther than you can ever possibly know. Acts of vengeance....you have no idea how it can haunt you for decades.

            Why? Because, there is something out there looking for us to make that choice, to open that window, to make that mis-step. It hunts our lives for these moments when we eat the fruit, and it will use up each and every opportunity presented for maximum effect. Satan will not miss a single opportunity. He can't - he has a finite window with which to separate you from God and he has to be efficient and use each one as much as possible. Satan's entire goal is to separate us from God. Sin separates because we cannot look God in the face, even in prayer, without wanting to hide. Eat the fruit - hide. It's instinctual. Satan needs us to choose to touch the fruit, taste the fruit, and hide from God. We all do it. There isn't a moment in the Bible when it didn't happen - and if you look, you'll see countless someones eating the fruit throughout the Bible, and then try to hide. The longer we stay in hiding, we are miserable, because there isn't happiness apart from God. Satan knows that too....enter more fruit. In other words, it always, ALWAYS, gets worse.

            I would approach your son from this perspective - that the problem isn't that he has a short fuse. The problem isn't that he hates to not have control over his environment. The problem isn't that he has another point of view that differs with the adults around him. It's time to get scary because it really is scary and he needs to feel it.

            I guess I'd explain all of this and then summarize it this way (sorry for the drama from this point forward, but it's all I've got):

            "Do you want to be a good man? A man that is kind and wise, and loves and brings love wherever he goes? Do you want to be a man that God remarks "There's one after My own heart." Do you want to grow old and your family cherishes you utterly, until the end of your days? Do you want Satan to rejoice the day you die and say "Finally....he's out of the fight That one has been a thorn in my side since...."

            Or:

            Do you want to be one of the most evil men ever recorded in history? It's not laughable or even a rhetorical question. Any of us can do it. You are too young to know this, but you would be shocked how fast we go from being "cute kids" to monsters. We choose it - every single one of us. We practice becoming monsters with our actions, and eventually, that's all we are.

            I can't force you to become a good man, any more than I can force you to become a monster. You, and you alone, must choose and you are free to choose either one. But know this...God gave you a Mama that will pursue you until the end of my days, and I will not quit guiding you, and helping you listen to the gentle voice of God. Yet, even when my body is shriveled and dead in the ground, God will not stop pursuing you until your last breath and He will either say one of two things: "Well Done, son" ....or...."Fine...Have it your way...You can go on from here without Me. I'll leave you alone." Satan wins - ultimate separation from God. And Satan doesn't have any use for you after that. He's on to the next person. He won the "Great Battle of (insert your son's name)".

            So, which one are you? Are you a good man in training? Or are you a monster in training?

            I can help you. I'm your Mama. And I've been through these moments and failed utterly. Dad too. We've eaten that fruit too many times to count and suffered the consequences. We've hurt ourselves, others, and people we don't even know. But we know how to come back - we pray, listen to God, and ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, for help...again. You may not like it some days, but you are too loved for me to quit on you. I didn't ask God to give me a toaster - I asked God for you. Fearfully...wonderfully made. And it is with great risk that God helped your Dad and I to create your life. But you are worth the risk. You're a good man in training...one after "God's own heart"...

            Good luck Mama!






            Melissa

            DS (MP3) - 9
            DS (MP2) - 7/8
            DS (K) - 6
            DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by musdir26 View Post
              On my signature, I've been trying all evening to figure out how to update it and can't.
              Good afternoon musdir26,

              To update your signature, follow these steps:
              1. In the upper-right of any page on the forum, click on the box with your username and then, in the drop down menu that appears, click "User Settings."
              2. On the next screen, click the "Account" tab below the "Back to Profile" button.
              3. Scroll about halfway down the "Account" page until you see a red hyperlink that says "Edit Post Signature."
              4. Edit your signature in the pop up window that appears, then click "Save"
              5. Finally, scroll to the very bottom of the "Account" page and click "Save Changes."
              HTH!
              Michael
              Memoria Press

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by musdir26 View Post
                I'm not a frequent poster here but I love reading the wisdom offered on this forum, which is why I'm seeking your help. It may be time to put my 2e child (ADHD/gifted) back in school but I don't know if it's the right thing to do. He is causing all of the family so much stress and anxiety through his constant arguing and verbal abuse of us. He's super smart but there is no stopping him when he feels his power and control have been challenged or compromised. He's been losing control of his temper lately and getting into physical fights with his brother. Today after a fight I took away his MP3 player as a punishment and he stole my computer and hid my wallet for revenge. He's coming between our marriage. The problem is that I don't even know where I'd put him in school. I found a school that specializes in kids with ADHD but almost all of the kids are struggling academically. He's probably one or two grades ahead. His therapist is a proponent of public schools, but I don't see how putting him in a class with 20-25 kids in a school that just teaches to the test would help. She also thinks he needs to go to school to help him better learn to respect authority. I want my kids to have a classical education. I want them to be trained in rhetoric so they can grow up and be able to argue for a promotion, form political opinions based on morals and logic and not just popular opinion, to defend their faith, to see beauty in the world. It saddens me to imagine him growing up getting the same inadequate education that I received, but what he is doing to our family is awful. I don't know what to do.

                Dear musdir26, take all of our thoughts with a grain of salt and, more than anything, with the understanding that we hear your angst. Many of us have felt it. We wish an easy answer were possible to give.

                Of course you will speak with your son in accordance with your own faith tradition. In the meantime, a multi-faceted approach as mentioned in my post above may be what is needed.

                Please let us know if we can help further.

                If nothing else, know that you are not alone in wanting the best for your children and not yet knowing exactly how that will be accomplished. Feel free to email me privately if you ever need to share or discuss beyond the forum, cherylswope@memoriapress.com.
                Last edited by cherylswope; 10-01-2019, 02:43 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I knew this was the right place to seek help. I’m still processing all of my many thoughts from your gracious advice. I am so grateful to those of you who responded.
                  2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
                  6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

                  Comment

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