Sunday, December 30, 2007

Intense child

in·tense /ɪnˈtɛns/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[in-tens] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree: intense heat.
acute, strong, or vehement, as sensations, feelings, or emotions: intense anger.
of an extreme kind; very great, as in strength, keenness, severity, or the like: an intense gale.
having a characteristic quality in a high degree: The intense sunlight was blinding.
strenuous or earnest, as activity, exertion, diligence, or thought: an intense life.
exhibiting a high degree of some quality or action.
having or showing great strength, strong feeling, or tension, as a person, the face, or language.
susceptible to strong emotion; emotional: an intense person.
(of color) very deep: intense red.
Photography. dense (def. 4).
[Origin: 1350–1400; ME < style="FONT-VARIANT: small-caps" href="" minmax_bound="true">intent2, ptp. of intendere to intend. See in-2, tense1] —Related forms
in·tense·ly, adverb
in·tense·ness, noun
—Synonyms 2. fervent, passionate, ardent, strong.

Well that sums up Jared :)

He has always been intense, he is easily frustrated and he perceives things differently then we do. Lately it has been more so, I could come up with a few reasons like sickness, food dyes, he has been on a bubble gum kick, I only buy it once in awhile, I haven't been able to find bubble gum without red dye in it, we have found gum they like, Spry gum but I have to travel 30 minutes or order online. Another pet peeve of mine, getting natural, organic and homeopathic items is not convenient, we have to travel or buy online(whole different post).

Cassie has sensitivities to dyes, preservatives and HFCS, MSG,nitrates, and everything artificial so we usually don't buy the stuff, but on occasion I do. Anyway back to Jared...

I have attempted many a post to save in draft and then delete, I'm not sure how much to share, how it looks negative or what advice I want. I have posted on my yahoo group, Rad Christian Unschoolers, I read at Always Unschooled, I read Danielle and Ren's writing's, they have an intense boy also.

We stopped going to home ed meetings after he was 2- 2 1/2 because I spent the whole time in the hall, I stopped field trips because they were not Jared friendly. I figured it's just a short time, my kids will have lots of opportunities to see those things. It was not a sacfrifice, it was a choice, a choice to keep my whole family happy. We choose to go places where Jared can be himself, like the Zoo, The Gaylord Opry Mills Hotel in Nashville, some stores, the park, certain restaurants, we do take out more often than dine out. These are things we choose, we love him and we try to accomodate him the best we can.

Bear with me because I do not want to spout negatives about a boy I love so much but I need to let this out.

He is mean, he yells, he hits,he throws things, he demands...

Then he is also sweet, loving and kind and playful...

He is like two different children, I have not read the Explosive Child yet...

In case you haven't noticed I'm not big on letting it all out and asking for advice. I am more reserved, research, figure it out as I go kind of person. That works really well most of the time, sometimes I just need a been there done that here is what I found to be true. So if any of you have that to share, please do, I welcome your input. I feel like I'm at an impasse, I have tried many approaches with this little guy and I want to do what is right for him.

We talk when he is receptive, not when he is explosive. It is so odd that my other kids were nothing like this. I have mentioned before that he is Jason's prototype, we joke that the apple did not fall off it is still dangling. He is his father, they butt heads like crazy and I have known Jason since he was 18, I have seen a lot :)

At one of my friend's house (several months ago)he had an episode and it was really mild, trust me, but she basically said that he is not allowed to do that here. Ok, I do my best to ward off unpleasant situations but sometimes I can't stop them. We love these people but have not been back to their house for varying life reasons. The kids come here though to play and it's usually ok, although they have expressed some discontent if/when Jared loses it.

Another friend, who I have only known a few months, has witnessed Jared and it's a completely different reaction. Actually she remains calm and does not judge or react, she also parents more in line with me. I love both of these women and value their friendship but it can make things hairy when Jared is well being Jared.

I think I'll just stop here for now, thanks for reading, caring and any advice :)


Tina said...

I have no advice. Just letting you know I read and care.

kelli said...

How old is Jared? I know it really does change as they get older.

I remember my son saying to a friend who was having a hard time with her son "just let him live until he's 11, it will get better" *g*

We still have some pretty intense times with our youngest, she's 10. The calmer I can stay the better things go. We talk about breathing a LOT. About how getting oxygen into our bodies is a good thing. :)

Hilaree said...

Hi Stephanie! My Feistygirl, age 3, is so incredibly intense she may implode at any second. As of right now, I have no advice for you...because you've been dealing with an intense child much longer than I have! Also...I'm sleepy. Let me think a little bit and get back to you. One comment right now is that I think its so important to continue to value our children for EXACTLY how God made them. The question is, how do we help them EXIST in this world? How do we help them shape their absolute gift of intensity into ways that not only help them cope but use their gift to bless others?'s a big question, and a big responsibility. As a mother of an intense child, believe me, I know. I'll keep thinking and comment again. :)

Stephanie said...

Thanks ladies :)
Jared is 5 1/2

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

You kind of know me through RCU and you know that my life isn't a bed of roses, but I have had some success with my now 7yo DS. He's been a handful, let me tell you, and like you say, it's hard when other people judge him harshly and show so little grace. I also do a lot of connecting, cuddling, eye to eye contact, calm talking, deep breathing together etc when he's having a meltdown, and I obviously try to keep an eye on when he's bored or feeling rejected/left-out etc (both real triggers for an explosion). All I can say is that he's a VERY different child now, than a couple of years ago. We have a beautiful connection now; he's affectionate, loves to hold my hand when we walk, or snuggle on the lounge. These are things that NEVER happened even a year ago!! I think that your approach to life, parenting, etc is a gift to him. Hang in there!


Hilaree said...

Hi again...been thinking about you and your little dude. I'm not a big fan of "disorders" or labeling children (or anyone) with them, but we've recently been really looking into Sensory Processing Disorder with Feistygirl. Have you researched this route with Jared? Also, I'm in the midst of reading Raising Your Spirited Child, which is very school and rules-oriented (like how to get them to bed on time, etc.), but has some really great gems of wisdom that just pop out at me and actually do jive with the radical unschooling philosophy. Its very focused on helping your child to be successful, your child who is "MORE intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, energetic". Also very focused on looking at our own attitudes toward a child that much of the rest of the world perceives as difficult, which I know you already do. What do you think?

Stephanie said...

Thanks :)
I just briefly checked out SPD and it's not Jared, maybe a couple things could resemble him but heck it does me too.

I'm not big on labels either, he could be in the ADHD camp too but it really doesn't matter.

He is just Jared and I will keep looking for ways to help him, thank you for the thoughts. We just never know what may help so I appreciate all the responses :)

Sarah said...

All 4 of our kids are INTENSE all in their own ways. Because I am with them 24/7, I know where they are in their state of mind and can pretty much tell how they will act and what kind of day they will have (most of the time anyway.) If they are run down or close to it, I reduce outside activities with others and they understand the reasoning for such decision. Nowaday, they don't question and just relax and looking forward to being out again and appreciating such thoughts. Many so-called behavior issues are relating to neurual responses and brain function/process. Many things are not as black-n-white in the traditional sense adults often want to analyze and compartmentalize. This is what dh is specialized in. People often judge a child as mean because he/she yells, hits, is a reflection of common one-size-fit-all social standard and comes expectation. Stephanie, you are a very wise woman and loves your children enough to know when to say no and when to say I need a break away from. It's perfectly okay to have those feelings. I tell my friends that we need to be selfish (boy, is this difficult for a mother to do!). We need to put us first above all things of course except GOD. If we are not happy, your kids will know and feel and sense it without you saying a word. As trite as it may sound, your kids are happy when you are happy. So, is Jared making another turn on a spiral in his staircase? Picture a spiral'll know what I mean. I love reading your musings as it ignites ponderings of my own life and the ones I so adore! Oooooh, I wish you live next door too! Wouldn't that be just wonderful!

Sarah (the other me)