Friday, August 7, 2009

Do you ever feel like you're failing?

I wonder if parents should receive report cards. I wonder what mine would look like. Since we have 4 children it is rarely quiet at our house. I rarely have a morning, afternoon or evening that doesn't involve some sort of disaster in children world.

From about 4 years old I knew that Parker was different. He definitely beats to his own drummer.(he is now 8)Last year during my husbands deployment I took him to the pediatrician and explained what was going on. I had thought that he has had A.D.D. since about the age of 4 but no one would listen to me. I kept getting the standard answers "he's just a boy", "well you do have to take into consideration that his dad is gone" or "you have to take into consideration that his dad just came home."

For a while I accepted these answers. But last year I was at the end of my rope. I knew that something was different. I felt it. The way only a parent can. It took convincing my husband that Parker should take meds. In the end I decided Parker would take them. Ted was gone and it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. But by the time Ted got here he was okay with it.

Parker's case is mild. I have worked in the school system and seen kids that are extreme. I'm thankful that I don't face those challenges. Which adds to my thoughts that maybe this isn't A.D.D.

The last year has been a struggle. Alternative parenting has seemed to work with Parker. We have changed medications a couple of times. I am thankful for a great pediatrician and counselor.

But lately I can't help but wonder if it's not A.D.D. I wonder if maybe it's something else. I'm not really sure what that something else is. When he takes his meds there isn't a whole lot of difference then when he doesn't. It does give him more focus but not much more. At our last medication check the pediatrician said that if I felt that this dose isn't working we should get a referral to a psychiatrist just to make sure something else isn't going on. I thought that this dose was working. But to be honest, it's summer. We aren't sitting for long periods of time or doing things that require him to be still.

If he is with an adult that is familiar to him he seems to do okay if I'm not there. It's when he is with an adult that he's not familiar with and I'm not around that we have a problem. He tends to tell stories or act out more. The latest episode was at Operation purple Camp. He did fine for the first few days. He was so excited to go. Then yesterday we get the call that every parent dreads. Parker isn't doing well. He made up a couple of stories that seemed real to him and he kept walking away from the group. I talked to the camp director and to Parker. Parker said he wanted to stay and try again. Today wasn't any better. I ended up having to go and pick him up today.

We've known that he has had an issue with fantasy vs. reality. He knows the difference for the most part. But if he has a dream that feels real he thinks it really happened. It's something that we have been working on in counseling.

The staff at OPC said that Parker was respectful he just was just withdrawn and didn't want to participate.

Driving to pick him up today I felt(and feel) like I have failed Parker some how. Like there could/should be more I am doing for him. Although I don't know what that is. I don't know if this is just an out of control child that I have created or if there is something more to it than that. I know that each child is different. We have 4 and they are all very different. But how can 1 of the 4 be completely off the map? How can I justify to the other three all the extra time that Parker requires?

I feel like I'm falling down on the job with Parker. I don't know how to put things on track with him and still balance life with the other 3. My husband is fixing to go TDY again. The latest round of it. He will come home and then deploy. I can see the effects deployment is having on Parker. His mood swings and general behavior are always worse when Ted comes and then goes again. All the kids act out a little. It's normal. Parker is usually off the map.

Do you ever feel like you are failing? I sure do.

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