I don't think I can do this teenager parenting thing..at least for today. It hasn't been easy to parent the teens that have already made it to or near adulthood. It hasn't been easy but it has been manageable...and not much that we experienced was something that other parents have not had to deal with for generations before us. But this next batch of three teenagers think differently. They have forms of FASD and the intensity of the emotional rollercoaster is even greater than ever.
I know parents say they can handle hearing "I hate you and I always have.." because they know their child doesn't mean it. Well, I am not one of those parents. It hurts every time I hear it...and I want to open my mouth right back to them and say something just as stupid.
Parenting teenagers with FASD is so tough. I think we clearly state the rules but what we say is not processed the way we think it should have been. When you go to a friend's house, bring you phone. If you phone battery is dead, you must call to check in. Simple. Not. Escalated fight about this. Yep.
Another kind of parent I am not. I am not a parent who can easily let go of what the other parents/ teachers think of me. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't care if they think we are strict or overprotective. But, I do know that my FASD kids have such a misguided perception of events that occur in our home, that I know that when they share with friends why they are mad at us, I am sure eyebrows are raised. I hate to know that our testimony is undermined because the very kids we are trying to help are saying awful things about us. Failing grades and kids who act disrespectful to the very ones who are trying to help them--that behavior embarrasses me to no end. Yes, I should let it go..but some things are hard to let go of...
And here is another thing I am not. I am not responsible for providing entertainment and fun for our teenagers all summer. I am not Julie on "The Love Boat." And even if I was responsible for creating a "summer to remember" for them, it probably wouldn't meet their expectations anyway. Day one into summer vacation and I am already feeling the pressure. I will not let these expectations take away my joy. It is so much easier to create fun for the little ones for me. And maybe by all the fun I have created for them over the past summers, I have created my own problems...never thought of that...
I feel defeated in the parenting teens "adventure." I've always hated rollercoasters--the unexpected drops, the sick to my stomach feeling, the anticipating that when you are going up to see the beautiful view from the top, that things will be crashing down quickly. It isn't easy to enjoy the time at the top when you are anticipating what you know will come next. My teens with FASD/ADHD beg me to go on rollercoasters with them and they think they have never been successful. Turns out, we are on one together every day around here. They tell me that I will love the ride if I just try it. Even if I close my eyes, I'm still not liking it....
Friday, June 11, 2010
Isaac and Kaden on Kaden's Graduation Day.
I mentioned that Isaac was having a really good day last week. His really good day has stretched to a really good couple of weeks. Isaac is doing amazingly well. He is happy and content. He is still battling awful herpes outbreaks on his hand that look very painful, but he seems to be handling the pain well. He saw the neurologist this week and he was pleased with how Isaac looked. Isaac is using a switch activated by his head movements to hear our voices. He seems to be activating the switch purposely. He also is imitating sound when he hears it. I will say "awww...." after someone says it to him if he is focused both visually and auditorially. The doctor said that the dose of valium that he takes 4 times a day would knock us out as adults. It doesn't knock Isaac out at all--he definitely needs a lot of medication to combat the neuroirritability. But, overall, I think he impressed the doctor given his diagnosis. He is a smart little cookie....and oh.......sooooo loved.
at 7:56 AM