Monday, July 13, 2009

The Anger Tool Box

(Mostly serious & lengthy Blog with some Humor thrown in as a coping mechanism).... Being a parent is tough. There are no manuals, no trouble shooting guides, no repair shop for the things that are "broken". Every pregnant mother, and expecting father, along with their families Pray for one thing (well the good ones do) that the baby is HEALTHY. For all intents and purposes, my son was born "healthy". He didn't have Downs, Didn't have cerebral palsy, no birth defects whatsoever. He was a freakin cute baby(not just being biased). He was an even cuter Toddler. It was when he was a toddler that we started noticing some concerns. He was a TERROR. I'm not talking typical terrible twos here. Just way out there. We thought that maybe it was just us. So we tried to get some help with behavior modifications. Nothing doing. This Psychologist thought maybe he had ADHD. I was diagnosed with this as a teen, and so does half the population of children these days. I was skeptical. And he was not even 3 yet. There was no way I was medicating him. We just dealt. So... Jump forward a few years (a little over 2) to Kindergarten. We kept having problems. Nothing worked. And he just seemed to be getting worse. He is a sweet, loving, funny, outgoing, compassionate kid. But sometimes, he isn't. AT ALL. He is a totally DIFFERENT kid. (Can someone else parent this Other kid I don't know? I want MY kid) Another psyc told us the same thing. Wanted to Medicate. And I was SOOO not down with what he wanted to put him on (after meeting the kid ONCE for 30 mins). Lets just say, we never went back there. Again we dealt. Anyway... UGH. We were told ADHD, Opposition Defiance Disorder... and because of family history, possible Bi-Polar Disorder. No one wanted to diagnose bi-polar on a 6 year old. The testing wasn't conclusive. Blah Blah Blah, Try Meds finally. It helped. A little. It helped the ADHD symptoms, the hyperactivity... The focus. To an extent. Now, we are on Med Number 3. again, it helps. A little. I HATE THIS. I HATE putting his poor scrawny little body through this. But I am at a loss. Now things are getting worse as far as extreme behaviors go. Throwing Chairs (computer chairs) Kicking car windows, biting, death threats, bludgeoning me in the back of the head with a water bottle while I'm driving( NO YOU ARE NOT CHUCK NORRIS dude)... you name it, he's done it. And probably more than you can imagine from a 7 year old. Its looking like NOW after all this time, someone is CLOSE to FINALLY diagnosing him with Bi-Polar. Not an easy thing for a parent to digest. and not only bi-polar, but more, and not sure. Because and I quote "...a tough one. He doesn't FIT into any one category. He has traits from several. He is going to be a hard child to parent" She even brought someone in to double check that he WASN'T autistic because of some of the traits.

*deep Breath* (please feel free to take an intermission and grab a snack. Preferably a cupcake ;)
This is my SWEET BOY. My mamma's boy. The hugger. WTH?!!! It makes me cry. A lot. And here is the thing. When you are in public and things like this happen. The rages, the tantrums, the kicking and screaming and punching. The DIRTY LOOKS don't FREAKIN HELP!! If he was physically disabled, or had an obvious birth defect that someone could see, it would be accepted. You wouldn't look like a crappy parent. One that cant control their kid. People wouldn't say things like "she should get control of her kids". I want to punch those people in the Jugular. Seriously. He cant help it. Its not his fault. It doesn't excuse the behaviors, but what can you do? I think of all the yelling, the punishing, the grounding, the time outs. And I cry. Because all this time we have been expecting him to behave like a "normal" child. Like every other 7 year old we've known. We thought he was just being a pain in the ass. (sorry but that's how we felt). NOW. we have to totally change the way we see our son. How do you do that? How can you change your view of them and what you can expect from them. Lowering behavioral Standards so to speak.
So he is a VERY LITERAL child. He learns by seeing things and having something Tangible to do. I wanted to come up with something for him to do to help control the rages. So I made Him THIS:

Inside it will have a Stress Ball, a book, a DO NOT DISTURB sign, happy pictures of our family, and a Timer, so he can use it to breath and calm himself. Any other suggestions for the box would be welcomed. This is the only thing I could think to do. Anything to help. I hope it works.


  1. I think your box idea is a great one. If only all kids with this type of issue were lucky enough to have parents like eager to help them. Hang in there!

  2. hey sis! you know mason has both ADHD and ODD so i know exactly how you feel! when i went to my parenting kids with ADHD class the first thing the instructor told me was "Your child isn't a bad child. He's battling a disability." and it completely changed the way i saw mason...i felt horrible that i was expecting things from him that he wasn't physically capable of trust me when i say, i'm right there with ya!! i love the idea of the anger box!! i may just have to do one for mason!! and i would even add some puzzles or hands on building toys that would take his mind off things. you're a great mama! love you sis!

  3. What a great idea! I know what you mean about dealing with very judgmental people, it drives me nuts too. I think this Anger Tool Box will help your son deal with his issues on HIS level, which I believe will be effective. Way to get creative...hang in there!

    Hope you have a great SitS day!

  4. Stay strong! The box is a great idea. Maybe talk to him and see what he would like to put in the box.

  5. My heart goes out to you - the box is an awesome idea. Your blog is great. Visiting from Sits!

  6. WOW Honey I am so sorry you are all dealing with this, especially your sweet boy! you are a wonderful mommy, this box idea is great! maybe you could add an mp3 player with some "calm" music? heheheh everything will get better with time, God will help you through. ((BIG HUGS))

  7. What a great idea! I love that you are giving him something tangible and giving him his own space in order to try to tame his beast.

    Just remember you are doing the best you can and that is better than anyone else can do for you and your family.

    Visiting from SITS. Come see me at The Apron Goddesses. I have a soft and flirty apron give away!

  8. Thats an amazing idea with the box! Please do a follow up post to see how it helps. Also I sent ya an email with some unsolicited advice... sorry I can't help it

  9. This is a great idea!!! Hope it works!

  10. I hate medications and I hate that our doctors push them upon us as a way to "fix" problems instead of actually fixing them. Have you looked into maybe modifying his diet? I hear that diets have so much to do with behavior problems.
    Good luck to you! I hope he grows out of it for the love of your sanity <3

  11. That's a great idea! Have you found a group of parents who know what you are going through? Although I don't personally have this kind of parenting challenge, I've heard that can really help. If you don't already know about it often has good suggestions too and seems to have a pretty good community of parents who understand invisible disabilities. I also highly recommend this book, especially the part that talks about the myth that "your success as a parent can be measured by your child’s behavior".

  12. I am so impressed by several things; your ability to handle this with humor, your undying love and committment to your child, and your creativity to handling what must seem like an unsurmountable problem. I love the idea of an anger tool box and the things you put in it. I think you are an incredible mom, writer, and woman. I am so glad I happened to stumble on your blog from another one. I am looking forward to continuing to read your future posts.
    God bless your family for their service to our country and God bless America!!

  13. Duct tape. Don't forget the duct tape. Oh wait, that's supposed to go in the Mommy tool box! ;-)

  14. I popped over her from, 5 minutes for Special Needs---
    I love the coment about the duck tape !
    i was only going to add---
    Try saying what you want him to do instead of saying to stop,or don't do that...
    At our house...We say ... show me sitting, show me calm... ect.
    another thing we say that sometimes helps is , make a new choice
    My son "only has" Sensory Processing Disorder but he is very challenging also...
    I LOVE LOVE the tool box idea... so visual!
    I can be found at
    and remember you are the BEST parent for you son...

  15. Stopping by from SITS. I love this idea, and not just for a kids with problems.

    I may make one of these.

  16. check: tonny attwood, exploring feelings (anger) he has the toolbox might find helpful ideas, also check the gordon's programe which will help on how to talk and connect or "a-ha parenting are extremely good parents!!!!!!!!!!!
    hellos from greece...


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