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How do I work more with my son and his behavior and listening issues, if I am a military mom and feel like pulling my hair out all the time? Please help....

I am currently on leave and have seen my kids in a whole new light. My son concerns me. He has always been emotional but it's gotten worse. He can never lose, he's never wrong, everything is "why", and I have to repeat myself endlessly. I have to stay on him about eating, doing homework, and just about anything. Friends are telling it's ADD/ADHD. Others are telling me he just needs a good spanking. I've tried everything.

I spoke to his guidance counselor and gave her a heads-up on the issues with his talking in class and not following directions. I want to help my son but it seems no matter what I try, something frustrates him and he is so easily discouraged. It's heartbreaking hearing "I can't do it, mommy" when I know he can.

Sorry for babbling, but I'm so frustrated and confused. I appreciate all the help you all give. Thank you ahead of time.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:57 PM on Mar. 3, 2010 in Kids' Health

Answers (7)
  • How old is he?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:59 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Sometimes children act out for attention. I would be careful with labeling him with ADD or ADHD. Medication isn't always the answer. I've seen a lot of people get labeled like this and then are prevented from going to college because he earned a special ed diploma and it was merely a behavorial issue that could have been resolved without meds. I'm not a doctor though.

    Answer by balancingmother at 10:05 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • He is 9 years old...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:09 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • He sounds a lot like a boy to me. Just like so many boys but I think you're doing the right thing by chatting w/ the counselor or teachers. You may call the doctor and inquire about this too. He could have some small learning disability, a hearing problem or nothing at all. Don't panic, try working with him. He is his own person, different from you and may have his own little set of issues to work through like so many kids. Just keep digging for answers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:10 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • One of the great things about being military is that you can contact the Fleet and Family Service Center, the Family Readiness Center, or the Health and Wellness Center (depending on what Branch you are). There is all sorts of free and confidential counseling available. They offer things like family counseling and individual counseling where you can get help with this, and they offer parenting classes (NOT saying you're a bad parent - just that they're a great resource for tips on how to deal with things like this), etc.

    These things are free, they're almost always confidential (not, like if say you go in and say I can't stop hitting my kid, I'm afraid I'm going to kill him, then of course that's going to be reported - just like with a civilian agency). Honestly, talk to them - they can meet you, your kids, how old they are, etc, and give you a LOT of help with this :-)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:11 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • One other thing - and please know, this is NOT a bash - because I'm a Vet and my dh is Active Duty and we have 2 teenagers of our own, so I do NOT have a problem with military families AT ALL, but one other thing that they can help with is this -

    While I do not believe that all military kids are automatically all messed up or any stupidity like that, I do know that there have been recent studies done showing that they do have higher anxiety levels and stuff than their civilian life peers because of a lot of reasons. This does NOT have to be a problem, and it CAN be addressed and made better (and come out of it even stronger than if nothing had happened) - the counselors that work with them have special training to help address the unique situations that being in a military family brings about.

    Trust me on this, I work with military families, and my own dd went to see a counselor through Fleet and Family for awhile.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:15 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

  • Something else that you may not have considered is that your son may have a learning disability. At age 9, the schoolwork typically gets harder and teachers expect students to be more independent. Most children can hide/compensate for a learning disability up to about 3rd or 4th grade, then the world falls apart because the higher level thinking skills required often overwhelm the child with a learning disability. The result is a very frustrated child who doesn't understand why he's struggling, so he acts out b/c of the frustration. He may develop self-esteem issues. He may be teased by peers. Since he was already a sensitive child, this would magnify the issue for him.

    Counseling is still a great idea, but I would suggest, especially if the staff is also seeing behaviors at school, that you request for your son to be evaluated by the district for a learning disability. It's free & may greatly benefit your child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:12 AM on Mar. 4, 2010

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