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How to stay sane with challenging children?

May 21, 2018

I have a nearly 10 yr old daughter who is Autistic; demand avoidance, & mild to moderate adhd, amongst other issues. We are currently having some epic behavioural issues that leave me completely exhausted, worn down, emotional & demotivated. DH asked about my day at dinner; kids in bed, and I only spoke about the extremely challenging morning & evening I'd had. He suggested having other things to think about other than the difficulties of the day, but how do I allow other thoughts to have space in my when I'm totally fatigued?

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Post Information
Title How to stay sane with challenging children?
Author Santas_sub
Upvotes 5
Comments 21
Date May 21, 2018 9:20 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/RedPillWomen/how-to-stay-sane-with-challenging-children.67337
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/RedPillWomen/comments/8l4e7y/how_to_stay_sane_with_challenging_children/

[–]notyetsaved13 points14 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Puberty! Poor girl. Join a support group for special needs parents. Even if your husband doesn't join, it will be a great benefit for you.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Exactly, I can remember what it was like and it was horrid. I have friends with special needs kids and it helps. However I am extremely emotional and find it just affects me so deeply. It's impact completely floors me. My husband is without emotion when dealing with her behaviour and tolerates far more than I. How can I respond in a RP way and not end up feeling as though I've gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson?

[–]notyetsaved5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

The trick that worked for me was to stop expecting my asd kid to respond in a nuerotypical way. I literally put myself in observation mode and try to guide him through whatever he is going through. Your husband is onto something with how he handles her. The less emotional you are with her, the less out of control she will feel. She can feel your stress and she doesn't know what to do with it, so she is trying to cope with your stuff AND her stuff the best way she can, which really is counter productive for both of you, because she really just doesn't know how and is trying to make it all go away.

I have learned that role playing when everything is calm helps to be able to defuse things quicker when things are not calm. People on the ASD spectrum don't just figure this stuff out. You got to spell it out for her AND act it out for her. Ask her questions. Don't use "feel" words. Example: "What are you thinking right before (some routine unwanted behavior) occurs?" Then come up with a plan together to change the behavior together. It's a ton of work to lay this foundation, but so worth it when you see her build confidence in herself and take what you practice with her and apply it to other life experiences :)

[–]Santas_sub[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you! X

[–]organicsunshine10 points11 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Have your husband spend a full day with your daughter, normal routine. Not a weekend ot special day. Let him SEE the challenges and then work TOGETHER to find ways to live with them. Honestly, all the advice here is good. But he needs a daily life reality beyond your feedback to truly understand. Another option is to install an in home camera with sound, review it once a week and discuss.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

My husband is hands on and knows exactly how she is and how demanding and exhausting she can be. I don't want to feel as though I have to keep my daughter at arms length just to be able to get through the day.

[–]organicsunshine2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hmm, then perhaps do the down and then up method. "This and that was challenging, however we got through it and are glad you are home..or she had a good day at school...or other self positive" Information without the connotation?

[–]organicsunshine1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Also, my parents used to have a once a week nanny or sitter to take the load off my mom so she could get things done and take care of herself. Maybe a respite caregiver could help.

[–]okayestwifey4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

You need something for yourself outside of the kids. Something so that you can factually say, "X did this this morning and it was hard, but I'm also glad I got to go to Y today." While at first this might seem like just another Thing To Do, it will make you more into a whole person and energize you by giving you something other than kids to think about. Get involved with a charity, a hobby, or maybe a social group. Not only will it make you more interesting and attractive to your husband, you won't feel so run down and empty. It will create the space in your head to have thoughts despite your life as a mother being exhausting.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I do have outside interests and I am diligent about ensuring I have things for me. The issues come when it's taken all my energy to deal with a pre hormonal special needs girl who is extremely challenging. When it comes to my time/housework I'm just so done in.

[–]Amonette20124 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Find a network. There will be other women in your community (and men, but probably more women) who also have these issues and worries you can relate to. Facebook can be good - look out for 'neighbourhood' groups and post to see if anyone in your area can connect you to more specific communities.

Huge respect to you; you sound like a very dedicated parent.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I do have friends in similar circumstances and it does help. I came off of FB a couple of years ago as I found it too intrusive. Thank you.

[–]Amonette20121 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think a lot of people did! I find it a lot nicer now that I've unfollowed everyone having loud political rants. Some great support networks have sprung up since then. I met a friend in a similar position to you through my neighbourhood group and now I watch her kid for her (I work part time at home and we have tonnes of space, so it turned out to be an easy solution for them), which frees up some of her time.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Ask her as many questions as possible about what interests her, keep her talking, and keep listening and asking questions, with absolutely no judgment, until it wears her out-- basically turning the tables without being mean. Females tend to cope more through talking whereas males cope more with action, so as long as you aren't judgmental which could make her withdrawal, you could try to get her to talk so much that she doesn't feel like acting negatively.

A woman is best suited to do this because it would drive most men insane to hear about makeup brands and their prices for longer than ten seconds, unless its me in 2007 and you are talking about black nail polish, good luck.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Distraction is always the number one technique to turn to first. Alas it doesn't always work.

[–]Santas_sub[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I really appreciate all your comments and advice.

[–]thelittlestpotato0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don't know if I can be much help, but I will add a couple things that help me when working with challenging children. The first piece of advice comes in two parts: the first is to find a way to vent your emotions (journaling, therapy sessions, talking with others, support groups, etc.) and the second part is to find the good in the situation (so extremely difficult, but it gets easier with practice). Even if you can only come up with superficial answers at first, I find that focusing on good moments, even if they are few and far in between, help me get through the days a little easier. The second piece of advice I have is to remember that the child is not behaving in a certain way to annoy me, and to stop having expectations. If you expect your child to respond in a certain way, you will only be disappointed by the results. There are some great suggestions in the other comments too that have to do with this.

Finally, if you are struggling with your emotions, I would definitely suggest going to therapy for it. Professional help can make a huge impact in your ability to handle your day to day challenges.

[–]teaandtalk5 Stars-1 points0 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I doubt there's any way to fit more fun stuff in your day - sounds like perhaps your husband doesn't realise quite how all-encompassing it is. Are you homeschooling DD? Do you have the financial freedom to outsource some of your other at-home responsibilities?

[–]Santas_sub[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

As I said above, he's fully aware of how demanding and stressful it is. No she's at a special needs school and is managed very well there. Typically her home behaviour is NEVER displayed at school.

[–]notyetsaved1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Just now seeing this. Because her behavior at home is never displayed at school is actually a great thing! She feels safe at home :)

[–]Santas_sub[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

(Sigh)...i know! (In a good way) 😉

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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