Updated: Nov 5, 2019
The next year at school brought more challenges than I thought were possible. KC didn’t like change (still doesn’t, but he adapts better to it), and there was a lot of that happening. New classroom, new teacher, new classmates. That was only at school. We also were moving out of the house that we had lived in since before KC was born, and his father was having hip replacement surgery and wouldn’t be living with us while he recovered. We were leaving a home that was big and roomie (3 bedrooms two baths downstairs area) for a two-bedroom apartment.
Yep, here come the challenges! This time I was ready. We had the counselor that he could go see, and I tried to remind him daily of what he needed to do if he started to feel frustrated. I was prepared to get through this year with little to no issues. Yeah, not so.
KC complained about his classwork saying he wasn’t getting any help from the teacher. The teacher sent notes home daily stating that he wasn’t working and was getting upset. The counselor didn’t seem to be around much nor did she seem to care. This caused his anger to increase and he would get in trouble more. I had a child at our afterschool program that seemed to take joy in making sure I knew what trouble my son had gotten into while at school (seeing they were in the same class). This didn’t help KC or me.
Then the day before KC’s father’s surgery, KC got suspended for hitting a child who took a stuffed animal away from him. It wasn’t KC’s, but the child who snatched it back.
I would love to say that I was calm through all this, praying things through, asking God to heal KC and give me strength. But that wasn’t the case, I was frustrated with KC. Why couldn’t he just let these little things go? I was frustrated with the school he was in as they weren’t helping. I was very open with everything that was going on at home, the move, and his father’s upcoming surgery, not only to his teacher but also to the counselor and the principal. Yet things kept getting worse. It was like no one cared.
At this point, we were getting ready to move into a different school district and I was planning on moving KC after the Christmas break. Nope, two weeks before Thanksgiving I went and enrolled him into the school and got him started, yet another change. Let’s just say he wasn’t thrilled with me.
This caused more issues not only at school but also at home. He would yell and scream at us over little things. No matter what we did to discipline him, it didn’t work. It was as if a switch was turned off to the fact that there were consequences to his actions, no matter how many times we stated that to him, as well as gave those consequences.
Here is my eight-year-old threatening to run away on two different occasions. The first time I tried to talk him through the situation and explain to him that this wasn’t the answer. He stared at me for a second, then yelled at me and ran out the door. (He came back 30 minutes later). The second time I looked at him, gave him a small suitcase, walked him to the door and told him good luck. He stared in disbelief, shut the door that I had opened for him and ran back into his room and slammed the door.
These weren’t the only things that we dealt with. He would yell at us for just giving him direction or for asking him about his homework. One time he bit his father on the leg because his dad told him no. The behaviors we were seeing seemed more like that of a two-year-old than an eight-year-old.
I was called into a conference with his teacher a month after the holiday break. She was concerned with not only how he was doing academically, but how he was doing socially. She was trying to work with him. She noticed because of his outbreaks and fits that the other students kept their distance from him. She suggested that I get him tested and that it could be done at school. I agreed to this.
I must take a minute to state that sometimes knowing answers doesn’t help. When they are only in part and when they question your ability to be a good parent, it makes you feel like a failure as a parent. That was the case with the results that we got with KC.
We were informed that he had ADHD (which we learned much later was not the case), anxiety disorder (which made sense) and he was depressed. (Yep, that warms a mother’s heart!) It was a lot to take in. How can an 8-year-old have depression and where did I go wrong that he would have that?
Please note, this still didn’t explain some of the behavior that he was having and that the teachers and counselors basically put it on being part of ADHD. We knew the best thing that we could do for him right now was to get him help. A friend of ours told us about a wonderful counselor who would come to us and work with him in our house so, in fact, she was working with all of us. KC loved her and we would do the “homework” that she assigned to us. There was only one issue we kept seeing over and over. Anything that we put into place only worked for a few weeks at most. We were always reinventing the wheel.
She was only with us until the end of the year because of other commitments. But we did see an improvement and at the same time, it was hard on KC because of the change that came with it. But we were able to get through second grade.