Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recon an old shirt and recon your soul

What do I do when the crazy is topping the charts and I'm just simply too tired to out-crazy it?

I stop.

I stop whatever I am doing.

Usually, that means I am writhing in anger over my kid's dysregulation. I want to scream or throw something or pull my hair out. I WANT to engage in their fight, cause it would feel sooooooo good to get out some of that aggression I now have starting to seep out of my ears.

So, I stop.

I say to myself, "Ya' know what? I'm stepping away from that. I'm going to make something."


"I'm going to read something."


"I'm going to play some stupid computer game for like an HOUR."

Anything. Whatever. And when my child yells something or sasses or says, "What are you DOING?" I can smile and say, "I'm remaking this shirt. The armpits were really stained, so I'm cutting them out so I can wear it some more." "YEAH, cause you're so GROSS!" "I sure was with these yellow pits."

"Well, I don't WANT to put away my plate!"
"I know. Hey, check out how cool this collar looks!"

See what I'm doing there? I'm literally stepping out of the battle. Sometimes my child will keep trying to engage. Then it just becomes comical. Sometimes they may actually do that one little tiny thing they chose to battle over. Sometimes they won't. Almost always, they will regulate, because they're not getting a rise out of you. They want the fight. And yet ... you ... are just sitting there doing something else?

And in the process, you are handing the process back over to their brain (that's the free therapy perk you get out of therapeutic parenting moments that happen over and over again). Perhaps you also get a book read or get a high score on Free Cell or recon a shirt so that it is wearable again?!?

Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away and do something else and just let the battle go. Well, and THEN take silly pictures of yourself that look like you have to go pee (what is up with THAT?)


Anonymous said...

Ooo-weeee girl! You sure are having fun at your house!

I love you!

J. said...

way more fun than we are, the best we got today was a kid who puked at school because he drank to much water to fast to get out of a test, he came home and had to do it here instead!
PS I love the gotta pee picture, it's fabulous!

Summer said...

Man, you're making me wish my sewing machine was working!

Diana said...

You are an amazing woman! I heart you!

So, my wise and wonderful friend, what do you do when said crazy starts attacking the other kids to get your attention? This has been a big deal in our world lately. The less I engage, the more Crazy goes after the other know, with rocks and shin kicks, claws, vulgarity, etc...all that "normal kid stuff" we all hear so much about - ha, normal in the RAD world, that is.

Also, how do you deescalate yourself and shed the stress once crazy has returned to Earth's atmosphere and rejoined the human race?

GB's Mom said...

Great ideas!

Babetta said...

I did this a lot when lil b was little
My regular statement was "I'm finished having this conversation"
She kept talking, but I went on with what I was doing...once it was no longer a dialogue, she moved on too
Thanks for the reminder!

Jennie said...

you are the awesome times, like, a bajillion.

I've learned the disengage tactic and it is OH SO MUCH MORE FUN! It's like a venomous snake writhing and wriggling and striking and spitting it's venom only you're on the other side of the glass cage going, "wow, that's SO COOL!" as opposed to "dear God almighty maker of heaven and earth, save me quick before I die!!!!"

Christine said...

Diana, I find a way to separate the kids. If the offender is just going crazy, then the other kids and I ALL go do something else (even if it involves locking ourselves in my room to watch a movie - and we crank it LOUD to drown out the noise and banging and crashing). Or I'll send them outside and let them paint, etc. I try to have a few really fun and not everyday kind of things we can do on those occasions. That's also when I'm popping a little M&M in their mouth - "Wow, I bet what she said really hurt your feelings. Here's some chocolate. Let's put some mocha love on that."

Or like we did last Sunday morning, "I know your sister is standing outside the window cussing at you. Would you feel better if you got to watch some extra TV?"

Many times my kids are regulated before I am. I am honest, "I still need some time. I think it's rockin' that you're doing better now. I'll be back to my normal mom self before too long." I make sure to hug them and then get back to my hiding.

Then I do some tapping or dancing to 80's music or I call a friend or read one of the really funny jokes my blog readers sent me last week!

Lisa said...

You sew and I take pictures. When you see lots of new photos on FB it's a dead giveaway.

Rock on!

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Project Runway - look out!!! Thanks for being a good role model and showing us there is life beyond yellowed armpits and disregulated kids.....You crack me up.

Over Yonder said...

That is insightful and hilarious all rolled up in one! I bought an old Bruce Springsteen shirt this week with the perpose of recon. :)

triplehmoms said...

I used some chocolate love a few weeks ago and my tantrum-thrower stopped in her tracks. She said, "Ok, Mom. I will stop now." I assured her that I was thankful she stopped, but that I wasn't passing out anymore M&Ms right then. She would have to wait until next time. I can say that it made an impression for sure because every time she sees the M&Ms, she says that her motor is running slow and she could handle some M&Ms. That girl!

Simply Moms said...

We call it "taking a vacation."

Anonymous said...

question maybe - i've thought this before - my kids are not actually rad, but probably bipolar-ish. My daughter used to pick fights with me, starting as she started in to puberty. Once I realized we were getting circular or just trading barbs, I would just walk away and say I'm not talking about this any more. However, occasionally she would tell me (when she wasnt angry) that she felt like our conversations never had conclusions. I struggled to understand that. Years later, she finally admitted that she was picking fights with me because she was mad because she felt that I didnt need her after i remarried . .. so my disengaging from her fights felt like another emotional abondonment.

This started at 11, and now she's 17 and after lots and lots of work and crisis and time, we're doing much better . . . she told me last month that she realized that going out of her way to piss off everyone around her was sabotoging her own life.

But . . . did I do something wrong by disengaging? Or is life just complicated and non-linear?

Is this too long to put as a post comment?