Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave
If you’re like me, you have to keep reminding yourself that the wolf is NOT at the door. With all the horrific stories in the media and the stresses in our world today, it’s no wonder we are having moments of not functioning well. If you’re like me, you might go to bed, reliving the stressful incidents of the day and perhaps the economic, political or environmental issues that affect us either directly or tangentially. Some of us can create incredibly dark scenarios in our minds because we live in a complex world where all our buttons can be easily pushed.
Children certainly push our buttons and we often don’t know how to shake off the negative emotions we are left with. It’s a rich territory when we look at the landscape of our thoughts and this applies to situations which cause anxiety between parent and child or even with our partners. In order to have more harmony on a consistent basis one needs to do it gently and gradually. ‘Ask and It Is Given’ is a New York Times bestselling book written by Esther & Jerry Hicks. It is a book I highly recommend and is about us “asking” and being answered by All-That-Is. That may sound like a riddle but the book is primarily about how whatever we’re asking for, ie: harmony in family relationships, is being given to us and there are ways to ask and then receive. As most of us will admit, we do create our own reality and no one else does! We create our own reality in any given situation even if you don’t understand how we do it. For that reason, we often create by default. As Esther and Jerry Hicks tell us, “When you are consciously aware of your own thoughts and you are deliberately offering them, then you are the deliberate creator of your own reality.“
You ask through your attention and through your desire. You don’t have to use words. You just have to feel it in your being. By paying attention to your emotions, you can understand every experience you are having whether good or bad.
One way I’ve learned to help myself with any issue that weighs heavily, which saddens me, makes me angry or anxiety ridden is to journal at the end of the day. This seems to expunge the negative emotional charge and gives me more clarity on how and why I reacted as I did.
I have also learned a most helpful technique. The minute I have a negative thought, and we have plenty during the course of the day because we’re human, I immediately replace it with a positive thought and keep dwelling on the positive thought for at least 30-45 seconds because it is shown in the study of neuro-plasticity that new neurons are created within that span of time. Also, thinking of a positive experience or happy moment immediately raises your frequency. Quantum physics tells us we are just particles of energy bouncing against each other, and that energy can vary from high or low by what we are thinking.; that we attract situations to us that meet the energy we are expelling or sending out. This is certainly an important technique to teach to your child if he’s old enough to grasp the concept.
Our genetic blue-print also determines our basic matrix of behavior. The experiences we have reinforce our self-image for good or bad. The truth is, we mentally self-talk into what we believe true about ourselves and the self-talk turns into self-fulfilling prophesies. We will only accept the input that reinforces our self-image which is really a lie. Then, we begin to act out the roles as if they it were true. As an example, if a child is told he/she is wrong or incorrect too many times, they’ll learn the self- talk, “I don’t do it well which then becomes, “I can’t do it. This thought will escalate to “I won’t do it.”
When we move this concept into the school system, how children perform results from the self-image they’ve created; what they believe to be true. If the image of self is that of a poor reader, then they’ll continue to read poorly.Same thing with spelling.
To take it a step further, not being able to read or write is very humiliating. Because we don’t want anyone to know, we try to avoid it and go to great lengths not to be put in a position which reveals this deficit. Worse, I found as a teacher that kids try to cover their tracks and deny the emotional embarrassment. They often “act out” by being tough or a loner, or dumb. Then, the assumption for the child is, everyone knows how dumb I am, so there’s no need to hide it. I’ll just give up and get dumber. This line of behavior often carries into adulthood. But, it doesn’t have to. When understanding our behavioral traits, we can live at our best and deepen relationships with ourselves and others.
Conscious Parenting- Dealing with Defiant Children
Below is the checklist of a young teen whose disorder should be tracked according to intensity and repetition. In my case, the student exhibited all but one of the descriptors seen below. Not knowing the background of this student because he was relatively new to my class, and didn’t have an IEP there was no way I could tell if there was some type of trauma in his life that triggered the actions. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and reacted according to how I’ve been trained. Certainly, aggressive behavior such as he exhibited could be excused due to trauma. Otherwise, there are ways to deal with it. Here is the list which seems to characterize an ODD child/teen.
- Oftenloses temper
- Argues with adults and authority figures
- Refuses to comply with adult requests
- Blames others for his mistakes
- Deliberately annoys people
- Is easily annoyed by others
- Is angry/resentful and spiteful/vindictive.
Sound like someone you may know?
Please see information below as I found it most helpful and I think you will too.
If a person exhibits four or more of these behaviors for six months or longer, he/she would likely be diagnosed with ODD, unless there was an alternative explanation. For example, if the individual has experienced. trauma such as the death or ill health of a caretaker, or if there’s another disorder or condition at play. The most important factor to consider is frequency and intensity. All kids exhibit some of these behaviors at some time, but not to the extent of an ODD child. ODD may develop at any time, over time, and may be secondary to another diagnosis. In other words, it might co-exist with ADHD or a mood disorder.
With oppositional and defiant children, there are very different levels of misbehavior. You might have a youngster who’s having temper tantrums, or an older adolescent who’s exhibited ODD behavior for years and who feels justified in being verbally or physically abusive, or punching holes in the kitchen wall.
A common trait of kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder is that they often see themselves as victims and feel justified in acting out. And sadly, they see so many examples of people they may revere such as athletes, actors, and politicians. in our culture who act out and set truly bad examples. Children then may feel even more justified in what they’re doing.
Parents and certainly teachers are often intimidated by their ODD child’s behavior because it’s so difficult to deal with. Sometimes it just seems easier to give in than to deal with trying to manage and respond differently. Again, it’s important to remember as a parent that you can change at any time. You might feel defeated because of your own stress levels, feelings of blame or failure, and exhaustion. But here’s the truth: you can learn to respond in such a way as to reduce the acting out behavior.
Here are four things you can do as a parent to effectively manage your child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder: I found this info on the internet to help me deal with my own problems in class. Just google Oppositional Defiant Disorder and you’ll receive great suggestions.
- Respond without anger: It’s important to respond to your ODD child without anger—try to be as calm and matter-of-fact as possible. Just acknowledge the behavior, state it as you see it, explain how it will need to change and then remove yourself from all arguments. You really have to pick your battles and decide what’s most important to you—and ultimately to your child.
- Be clear and consistent: The nature of oppositional defiant behavior is to wear parents down so that they eventually give in. You need to be strong, clear and consistent in your follow-through.
- Do not take things personally. Do not take your child’s behavior personally. When your ODD child acts out, as hard as it might be, stay as neutral and objective as possible. You need to be clear and concise and not get pulled into a power struggle—it’s really not about you, it’s about your child and what he needs to learn. We as parents sometimes need to be great actors and actresses with our kids. The key is to keep practicing calm, consistent parenting and following through.
- Don’t be your child’s friend—be his parent: Remember, being a parent is not a personality contest. There are times when he won’t like you—he may even shout, “I hate you,” or call you foul names. But if you keep setting limits with your child and follow through by giving him consequences and holding him accountable, then ultimately you’re doing the best thing for your child.