Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Monday, December 29, 2008

Caught off-guard

We're not sure how far Keith is developmentally-speaking. One doctor said 6-9 months, another doctor said newborn. Whatever the age he is - he is learning some new behaviors. Today he threw a big fit (he seems to be having fits more often these days...) so I calmed him down by rocking him. Once he was calmed down, I put him on the floor. He looked up at me and very deliberately stuck out his tongue and blew raspberries at me and scooted away quickly. Tyler & I were definitely caught off-guard by this behavior. He knew what he was doing.

Both children have been more difficult lately. Keith throws more fits. If I take him away from ANYTHING that he's doing, he throws a fit. It's getting to be ridiculous how many times he throws his head back and kicks his legs throughout the day (and evening). Anna wasn't much of a tantrum girl - so this is new territory for me. Kristina is now whining. All. The. Time. If she can't have a bath - she whines. If she can't play wii - she whines. If I can't pick her up immediately - she whines. Ah yes, we have two very difficult-to-please children in our house. The therapist warned us that things would get worse before they got better. She wasn't kidding around.

16 comments:

Melisa said...

Sorry. Not laughing at you, laughing with you. ;) He blew raspberries at you?! He is so stinkin' cute.

Bethany said...

Are you ignoring his tantrums? Nika has tried to throw mini tantrums, usually when I don't pick her up and carry her to the table for a meal. LOL. She is obsessed with food. Anyway, I tell her to come (i.e. crawl on over or even walk ... she can do it!) and she has a fit sometimes. She is learning though. I don't pay attention to her fits because that is what it is ... attention seeking. Giving them attention during that behavior is rewarding the behavior. Although if he is close to injuring himself, I'm not sure how to solve that one. Hope it gets better quick!

traceylynndel said...

Sounds about right. Brought a smile to my face. Just keep plugging along. you are doing great.

Tracey
www.delrosarioadoptionsaga.spaces.live.com

Diana said...

Chalk it up to being overwhelmed from the holidays and the end of the honeymoon and attachment issues and a whole bunch of other things. Unfortunately, if your therapist is right that things will get worse before they gets better, fasten your seatbelt and hang on tight, honey - because this ride is 'aint even left the station yet. Just keep praying and trusting the Lord and remember that IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!! Try really hard not to take whatever they're doing personally. That's sometimes the hardest part (even still for me and my kids.) Try to look past the behavior and try to see what's really driving it - very likely trauma, deprivation, and neglect. Once you see the behavior through that lense, it really is more managable. It still isn't fun and you'll still have much less hair and age much faster than your peers, but at least it makes it survivable.

It's a tough call on what to do with the negative behavior. Yah, for normally adjusting non-PI kids, ignore the negative behavior and it goes away, but with PI kids and all they've endured in their very short lives, acting like this is very often the only way their needs got met. Being ignored is WHY they do it. So, you ignoring it often magnifies it...but then again, so does reacting to it and doling out consequences or punishments. Throw language and attachment issues in there and you'll really find out what it means to want to pull your hair out!!

Hang in there and remember you're not alone!

MamaPoRuski said...

Our son is a bit older but we make wookie noises (You know, the hairy creature in star wars...)at him when he is whining and ignore the tantrums. Nips them in the bud unless he is really winding up for a melt down!

nicole said...

Wow, it looks like you have such a great network of friends who have been through most of these things before. I especially agree with the advice from Diana. I hope things get easier for you guys soon. We'll keep you in our prayers through this tough transition period. xoxo

MoonDog said...

oh I know its so hard in the beginning. holiday craziness doesnt help either. hang in there. on the bright side if kieth blew raspberries ON PURPOSE he is functioning well above a newborn stage! so thats a good thing!

Tami said...

If he blew raspberries at you, on purpose, he's way beyond a newborn! :)
Hang in there, hon. Yes. It will get worse before it gets better. But the good news is the kids are getting comfortable enough around you...feeling safe enough...to start acting up. Now its up to you to nip it in the bud. Unfortunately, what works for Keith probably won't work with Kristina. I'll be praying for wisdom for you in finding out what will work best for your kids. ;>)

Sarah C said...

I am sorry things are hard right now. Kristina and Keith are so cute. Things will get better. You are a great mom.

Journey to our Ukrainian Angel said...

Ohhhh yes the whining and the tantrumming. Georgiy (home 2 months) was beginning to drive us up the wall with the frequency of those. Here is what we did. We taught him the sign for "please" and whenever he had a fit for a very trivial reason (to us I suppose, but you cannot live with a screaming kid all day long nor can this be a behavior that is acceptable regardless of how they aqcuired it IMO)we would sit him in the recliner and walk away. Yup. Ignore him until he was done. He was safe, warm and in a comfy spot but we were not engaing in that form of communication. When he stops we walk up to him with a big smile and say:"All done?" and then say "Out please?" He will sign for "please" and can continue playing after a big hug.

We figure we cannot stop the tantrums or the whining, but we can not feed them with attention. We make sure he gets a lot of positive attention during the day so I don't feel bad about ignoring a tantrum or whining. I know the difference between a tantrum because the world is not working according to his view or a big upset that is deeper than that, KWIM? Georgiy's tantrumming has been reduced a LOT by just putting him in his "chill out chair" as we call it and it has improved his receptiveness to signing and talking quite a bit because he wants to tell us stuff now. The old way is not getting him far and he knows it.

Liz said...

Tantrums and whining are never fun. Just when I think we've nipped these behaviors in the bud, they creep right back. Isaac is my tantrum guy and Sydney is my whiner.

I try to make sure that I don't give in to anything the kids want when they are whining. If we are in a public setting, even at the grocery store, I will stop what I'm doing and take them to a corner or even out to the car to have a talk (at least on those great days that I am practicing good parenting).

I don't know what to do about this with the language barrier. That's a tricky one.

Charissa said...

Jill, I just remembered. I don't think I ever sent you the photos of Keith I told you I had. If you'll email me at charissaurban@yahoo.com I'll email them to you!

Amanda said...

The tantrums can be crazy. The boys are throwing tantrums all the time... every day. About everything not worthy of a fit. I know they wouldn't be so open with their tantrums if they weren't comfortable with us, but I sure hope we can get them to learn to deal with their anger and dissapointments appropriately. It must be harder for a young boy who doesn't have any speach.

Heather said...

I know I am behind on reading your blog (and don't think I have actually posted in your comments before), though I have followed your blog for months as Keith was in my prayers from the first time I saw him. I had to laugh because I am going through the same thing right now with my 2. Both my boys are adopted domestically and my almost 6 year old has autism and has recently discovered the VERY annoying and thus reaction creating art of whining, as you put it ALL. THE. TIME. It is hard to take, but after 6 months of that, he seems to be slacking off some now, especially since I tell him I can't hear him if her whines. Probably not a good choice for a newly adopted Kristina, but he has been with me for over 3 years now. As for the back arching leg kicking tantrums, we have that here too. My 2 year old with CP does the same thing. He usually includes a few backhand smack at me with his good arm, and will also pinch and scratch, while saying "pinch, pinch" in a very angry voice. I really Can't wait for them to be through these phases, and I know you know that feeling. But this too shall pass. And your little ones really never have had a chance to fully express all these feelings of wanting to do something their own way. So, honestly, it is a positive that they feel confident and secure enough to exhibit challenging behavior. My older son was nearly 3 when he came home, and after 5 moves in foster care, was on his best behavior for over 6 months. IT was a releif when he finally started acting out some, becasue it showed that he was feeling more attached and like he was not afraid that we were goign to get rid of him. So consider the tantrums and the whining as signs of developmental progress and a more secure attachment, and jsut breathe. It will get better.

Tuan's Princess said...

I'm coming in late on this one but here is my opinion.

If you ignore them during their tantrums you are withdrawing yourself from them. They interpret it as you withdrawing your love from them (even if you are not). This is the absolute last thing I would do. When they are tantruming a time out (from what? your love? your attention?) is not what they need. They need your presence and constant, unconditional love.

Is this hard - especially for the 500th time that day? Yes! But the results are worth it.

Hang in there!

Maria

Tuan's Princess said...

Sorry - forgot one very important part to my last post.

Keith and Kristina are not learning to not tantrum when you ignore them until they calm down. What you are teaching them is that Mommy and Daddy only love me when I'm good/happy. Mommy and Daddy won't be there for me if/when I lose control of myself or get really, really mad.

Please consider this.