Thursday, February 22, 2018

When Nothing Becomes Something

Although I didn't write about this in my journal, Jordan had been complaining for months that her scalp was dry and flaky.  No big deal.  So I did what most mothers would do; I went out and got her dandruff shampoo.  After a week or two I asked her if it was getting any better.  It wasn't.  She continued to complain, so I eventually made a doctor's appointment to try to get some answers.

We didn't get any.  There may have been a few dry spots, but not enough for it to be classified as true dandruff.  So it was Nothing, right?

Wrong.  Because she eventually told me she had been picking at her scalp for a long time, and she "couldn't stop." 

This was Something. 

All the time spent in her bedroom "doing homework", the extra time needed getting ready for school  and bed, the endless showers...  Damn.  Is that what she had been doing? Is that all she had been doing? This kind of freaked me out.  As her mother, I began to feel inescapably out of control. I sensed a slight twinge of panic creep in. What do you mean you can't stop? 

Imagine how she must have felt...

Thank you.

Us Too

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Put In Check Again...

by our sweet, determined, perceptive Kayla.  She told us we were babying her on the weekends by demanding she do her chores and homework before anything else. Um.  We're your parents. We have the right to set parameters for our children, voice our expectations, and make sure they are being met.

This is how I remember being raised. My chores were completed on Saturday mornings. This is how we were attempting to handle Jordan.  And how's this for positive-parental reinforcement?  Jordan told us she appreciated when we set time limits; it helped her stay focused.

Kayla was in seventh grade, and she was not quite as appreciative. She felt we were treating her unfairly. "I'm not Jordan."   Cring-ish.   Right??

No. She was not Jordan. She had given us no evidence that she needed us to micro manage her weekend schedule. She was social, running cross country, playing travel basketball, and maintaining her A average in school.  She was thriving.

Hear Ye Hear Ye!  A new policy was set forth in the Beck household:  As long as Kayla didn't get to bed too late, she had complete control over her weekend schedule. 

Thank you.

Us Too

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Individual Plans and Journeys

I feel the need to clarify something after writing my last post.  I'm typically not one of those parents who would do anything for her child no matter what.  Although it may have been uncomfortable or nerve wracking, I tried to let our kids do things on their own.  At least I think I did.  Some of my friends who were not Stay-At-Home-Moms once told me I was "not a typical" SAHM. I had no idea how to take this, and I think I may have been a bit offended, but they meant it as a compliment. Well okay then.  :)

The thing is, when you have a child who is afraid to try, it gets complicated.  Do you let her sit out and observe, or do you push? (Because parents always know what's best, right?)  It's funny. When Jordan was younger I would get frustrated and angry, and inevitably I would push her.  If she finally attempted whatever it was she feared failing at, and she didn't succeed, it was no big deal;  a missed basket, an untied shoe, not standing on a scooter, a splash of water in the face, a small spill on an even smaller bike...

Now that Jordan is older, and it is expected that she do almost everything on her own, failure can be (and sometimes is) a big deal. The adjectives "uncomfortable" and "nerve wracking" don't even come close to doing it justice. There are boys, friends, school, drugs and alcohol, med changes and mental health, travel, self care, time management, moving vehicles...  There is life.

It's hard to know how much support is too much, when you know what's at stake.  In my mind I know what a 20 year old should be able to do.  I also know how trivial and inaccurate this statement is.

Just taking it little by little, day by day. 

Thank you.

Us Too


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"I Know It's Me"


Let me get this straight. You want us to leave Jordan alone, let her take charge of her nightly routine, and see how it goes? This advise was given to me by Jordan's counselor, in front of Jordan. That was probably the most important portion of the plan. Jordan realized that this idea didn't come from us, so Adam and I couldn't be blamed for anything; not for being uncaring, and not for making the situation worse.  So we did what we were told, and we backed off.

Like any other week, Jordan spent 3 to 4 hours in her room each night doing homework. Well, I assumed she was doing homework, but since I wasn't checking in on her, I couldn't be absolutely sure.  In the back of my mind I suspected OCD was the culprit for her issues, (it was written in my journal) but I don't think I had any idea what that actually meant.

For me personally, I felt the week went pretty well. There was almost no conflict.  I was able to go to bed earlier than usual, although I have to admit it was stressful not knowing what she was doing or what time she was going to bed. It reminded me of the excruciating time when we took Jordan's pacifiers away. Ugh. This parenting thing. Does it ever get easier?

In counseling the following week, Jordan divulged that her bed time basically stayed the same, averaging around 11:00. Although this may not sound terribly late, keep in mind she got up at 5:30 every morning.  I know how I feel after a full week of 6 1/2 or less hours of sleep a night, and I'm not an alien-like adolescent growing at an astronomical rate.

Jordan was not at all fond of our new parenting assignment. In her opinion it didn't go very well, and when she realized we had differing points of view regarding it's effectiveness, her comment was "Great. Bedtime is going to be 11:00 from now on.  I know it's me."

Today I realize how telling this statement was.  It shows how little control Jordan believed she had over her behaviors. Without the help of her parents she felt slated for failure. How could someone not experience a sense of anxiety, when they felt as if they had zero control?

Our next step was to reach out to the middle school for help, because it was obvious we still needed it.

Thank you.

Us Too