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TMS parents - what about the kids?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by AngK, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    I've got a family full of opinions & advice... especially when it comes to my kids.

    The first part of this post is a rant - feel free to skip it :) ... the second part is a question for all of you:

    RANT - The family is supportive of my efforts to overcome TMS and acknowledge that I am anxious but they decide to help me out by adding to the anxiety? Thank you so much for the help! How about just chilling? Honestly, if I did everything everyone asks everyday my kids would be practicing baseball, soccer, swimming, piano, a foreign language , school work, table manners, cleaning the house (must learn responsibility at age 6) … and of course there’s fun – like in the old days when kids just played outside all day. But honestly, looking at this list when would these kids have time for that? But, the trade off would be that they’d be perfect ,wouldn’t they? And it’s my job to make sure they end up that way? Forget that and forget them. My children will not be raised to think that they have to be a virtuoso or savant in order to be worthy of love.

    QUESTION - But, children must be taught impulse control. They cannot throw tantrums in school, with friends, etc. And laziness shouldn't be encouraged. They should be encouraged to do their best. How do you - especially with children who exhibit tendencies toward TMS personalities - find a middle ground?
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    AngK I don't have any of my own children but I have 10 (soon to be 11) nieces and nephews and I've been working as a nanny for a while, so take this for what it's worth. One of my favorite (yes, I admit it I have favorites) children that I nanny for exhibits tendencies towards anxiety and TMS and the child is not yet 6. Keep in mind that this is not my child so there are limits to what I can ethically do as influence. A quiet time or rest period is part of every afternoon. I don't tell the child to "sleep" or "nap" but there are plenty of days when we lie on the floor and listen to meditation cd's or relaxing music, just resting and breathing. Much of the time we're silent, just breathing and resting. Some times we talk about how it's important for all creatures of all ages to rest and breathe. I do my best to acknowledge their emotions and also to verbalize my own so they learn to have a better understanding of emotion in general. For example, yesterday a tantrum appeared that seemed to go on forever. A younger sibling was about to nap in the next room and I stayed with that child longer than normal making sure there was no anxiety manifesting from the sibling's tantrum. I was also listening to what the other child was saying (when it was comprehensible). When I went to the child throwing the tantrum I expressed my understanding that the child was angry and upset. I acknowledged some of what had been said by repeating it back. Then I told the child that it was ok to be angry and upset, we all feel that way sometimes and if the current behaviors were making the child feel better that was ok (mind you the child was not harming itself or anything else - just noise) but it was not making me feel better, in fact I told the child that I felt I was becoming angry and that would make things worse for both of us. So I acknowledged that what I was about to do might make the child more upset, and explained that I was going to close the door because the other child was trying to sleep, and I was going to go into another room to calm myself down. I explained that the child could open the door once it had calmed down. I closed the door and I walked away. It got worse for about 2 minutes then silence. Poor kid was so exhausted by the tantrum that it was followed by a 90 minute nap. I was completely surprised to discover the door was open later when I returned upstairs to retrieve the younger one. When the child who had been upset awoke we had a very excited, happy, pride filled conversation about how wonderful it was that the child was able to soothe itself and calm itself down. I made certain to ask if the child remembered "how" it had done it so it could be done again and I promised a special surprise as a reward the next time I'm with them.

    Granted things are different with school age children, obviously a child can't just cry and scream until they feel better in such a setting but that's where I think it is so important to encourage them to verbally express what they're experiencing when they're not in that setting. That way when they're familiar with it, they understand it, and it's not as scarey. I think part of the difficulty children have is that they're told something is not acceptable or not "nice" or "bad" long before they have any comprehension of what the "something" actually is. I think it gives them courage and strength to face and feel the emotions if they know everyone experiences them and that the emotion itself is ok and there are healthy ways to express it to feel better.
    yb44 likes this.
  3. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Wow, Leslie, that was good stuff. I've had a lot of kids (my own and beautiful foster children, too) over the years. They need to know you love and respect them but yourself, too. Totally love you saying that the yelling is giving you a headache and letting the child finish the tantrum in peace, knowing it is welcome back as soon as the storm is over. I think you nailed it.

    Almost all children are trying to be good but there is stuff they either don't know or can't yet put into practice. We can guide them and trust them to take what they are ready for from our words and actions.
  4. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    Leslie, I like how you also included the non-tantrum child in the equation. Any time you deal with kids, it's never just one child, it's the whole family.
    With the prevalence of chronic pain in our society, I think it's really important to start with the kids. I believe Dr. Schubiner works with kids (re: ADHD, etc...) I wonder if he has any information on this. Hmmm...
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Ask them what are you FEELING right now. My son is grown up so I can't go back in time to do this but I am doing it with my 4 year old nephew. He gets angry and punches the air and yesterday kicked the air. I stop and ask him lovingly WHY did you do that--what are you feeling--use words to tell me. And he does! This way we can talk out the feelings that are causing the behavior. Which is why the behavior is happening in the first place!

    I remember the first time I heard a woman say to her child in the store "use your words" and I thought that was great!

    Kids have feelings and we don't want them to learn to suppress them.

    Best wishes!

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