November 6 – Yes, we actually pay someone for this advice.

After two years of seeing the psychologist, Dr. Rita, there were a few key points that were hammered (gently) into our heads. Arguing with Doodicus is pointless. Of course, logically any one knows this, but we are talking about illogical arguments. The other day Dood told me that he was running out of loose leaf tablet paper that he uses for his math assignments. I took one of the dozen tablets we had left-over from last year and starting tearing out pages along the perforations. The resulting shitfit was spectacular. He told me that his teacher wouldn’t let him use it because the paper wasn’t the same. These are the illogical statements that for whatever reason, Sparring Partner and I would try to address, first calmly and then with ever-increasing frustration and anger. It was the type of confrontation that Dr. Rita has worked with us to avoid. Instead we are to agree with Doodicus: yes, the paper IS different, and please let us know if she refuses to accept your work because of it.

“His brain is stuck,” per Dr. Rita. Dood will take a thought and zero in and obsesses over it, which is compounded by his anxiety. Dr. Rita once very wisely said, “You can’t use logic to win an illogical argument.”

More recently, we were reminded of the old chestnut, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This is in regard to how much time Doodicus spends on video games, which has been quite a bit lately because he hasn’t had to bring as much homework home, and he hasn’t shown any interest in extracurricular activities. As it was explained yesterday, hungry kids aren’t as particular about what they eat as long as they get to eat; thirsty kids aren’t as particular about what they drink as long as they get a drink; bored kids aren’t as particular about how long they get to use their video games as long as they get to play.

It’s easy to sit back and think, “Well, duh!” when things are calm and quiet and you’re in the eye of a storm, but when you’ve been sucked into the edge of a storm by an 11-year-old who seems to be a magnet for conflict, then it’s a major exercise of restraint.

We have to learn to not to get sucked into an argument. We don’t have to prove we’re smarter. Even when we’re likely not.

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4 thoughts on “November 6 – Yes, we actually pay someone for this advice.”

  1. To expand about what his Dr. Said about his brain google overactive amygdala & overactive sympathetic nervous system. It’s the cause of anxiety and many, many other physical and emotional problems. The longer it’s overactive, the more symptoms will pop up. I’ve been studying this for a family member for over a year with great improvement. Google the book 10 mindful minutes in amazon. It has GREAT reviews and it’s for kids. I saw it on Katie Couric. Also, deep belly breathing (so simple and easy) balances the sympathetic system and activates the relaxation system (the rest and digest). As crazy as it sounds, if you can get him to say stop stop stop to himself out loud (or in his head if he’s at school) cuts off the stress response. Then replace he could replace with a postive thought that releases endorphins or other happy neuropeptides to cancel out the adrenaline (and other stress chemicals) that negative thoughts produce. Who knew every time any of us thinks a thought, the hypothalamus actually turns that thought into a a chemical messenger that cause physiological changes in the body.

    Here are 3 good articles: http://moodsmith.com/what-is-anxiety/,

    http://www.anastasiachristidou.com/brain/emotions-and-physical-health-what-neuropeptides-have-to-do-with-it/,

    http://www.enlightenedfeelings.com/unlearning.html

    http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13725

    So much of this was so so surprising. Best of luck with everything. 🙂

    1. Coincidentally, I just saw a video tonight about the “fight or flight” response, and how anxiety has so much to do with it. And then my son came home with a handout from his school’s counseling group on the same topic. We’ll definitely discuss the “stop, stop, stop” exercise and see if it’s something we can introduce. Thank you for the suggestions and tips, Maris.

  2. Oh, I know this well. My son has added the hormonal teen angst to the mix. He sees things very black and white. You say one rule in front of him–you better mean it, because there will be no wavering! (I oftentimes think of Taming of the Shrew…I am wierd like that).

    Sometimes maturity has helped with this illogical vs. logical issue. Sometimes we understand and accommodate – like with his anti-sticker issues (hard when you have a five year old who gets stickers for rewards at school!). And sometimes, the maturity just makes it that much harder!

    Good luck!

  3. I totally get the “brain stuck.” I get that way and I will have completely irrational arguments with husband. I even KNOW they are illogical when they’re happening, and I just can’t get past them, I can’t say why I get stuck or so upset about something so unimportant and irrelevant to life. Big hugs mama. You’re doing GOOD! Really.

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