Sunday, May 15, 2011

95% is good, right?

So we're still not medicating anyone for the hyperactivity or the general defiant stuff. We do have a big reevaluation of this situation tomorrow for IM. I'm feeling open to some antianxiety meds for him because he constantly chews his shirts, which I think must be a nervous habit. The theory in his case is that he's generally an anxious kid, and when the anxiety builds up, it leads to impulsive behavior. It's generaly not vicious or mean, just really immature and goofy. We've spent the last several months working through several other issues including sleep and allergies so that the emotional evaluations could be more reliable. The choice to medicate is so thorny for me! We find our Jedis generally delightful 95% of the time, so I have a hard time justifying medication for kids who are very difficult or nutty only 5% of the time, and the cost can be rather prohibitive. Side effects bring a whole other range of issues that I can't even anticipate. I was on antidepressants 10 years ago, and I had trouble with side effects and with finding an effective drug and dose. As I became better able to cope, I was happier off the meds. I worry that we'll have the same problem with meds for my kids.

They do extremely well in school, and the only problem areas are any time we are transitioning from one activity or location to another, when their imaginary play seems to take over most of the county, and when we are at church. Most of this is manageable, but it is truly miserable on the rare occasions when the behavior gets out of hand. A-man's difficulty is a control issue. He gets angry, primarily at me, and continues to ratchet up the hostility until Dr. O' or I put an end to it. Sometimes I can head it off with gentle words in a behavioral script and gentle touch. Other times, I have to see his bet and raise him, ending the argument with punishment such as a loss of privilege, time out with work to do, or a spank if he truly will not relent. Sometimes he responds better to the serious consequence than to the gentle intervention. Definitely makes me second-guess myself!

Despite all this, I find my children so sweet and loving and fun! I can't wait for summer so I can be with them all day! I find behavior much easier to manage when they're with me all day because I can squelch the first sign of stinky attitudes or impulsivity. I love their fascinating minds and the creative ideas they dream up. I love seeing them play together and enjoy their little adventures! These high-maintenance monkeys are what God blesses us with, and I've chosen to accept that and to continue to give them additional siblings because I think the large family dynamic really does foster compassion and thoughtfulness and the ability to work through differences. I'm happy with our choices so far, and I want to parent in a way that lets me feel that we're all a pretty good team.

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