Believe me, we’ve tried a lot of parenting methods. I’d like to think that I’ve become somewhat of an expert. From the strong-willed books (that advocate spanking, which when we tried he would respond with a spit to our face and tell us to do it again-so we no longer spank). Then there’s the raising boys books, the five love languages, the praying parent books, the James Dobson answer books and yes, good old Dr. Phil. Then there were books on setting limits and explosive children. I even contacted one author by phone to seek help but he wanted to charge $300 per hour.
Feeling desperate, I would peek in on the “Supernanny” tv show, though I noticed that my child’s behavior was always more extreme than their kids when my son was in the “Mr. Hyde” state. I then tried the video series 1,2,3 Magic provided by our health care system. This is a great tool we still use today, but if my son was out of control, no timeout was going to work. In fact, a lot of the rages started when I was trying to place him into a timeout. And for the record, I didn’t just read these books, but took notes and even made cheat sheets to keep close by so when my son would become hard to manage I would be able to reference the recommended techniques. In the end, I came across a lot of great resources and most were very effective since my younger two boys responded just as the book said they would.
Then, as we moved along with the 1,2,3 magic timeout techniques, we tried reward systems that were multi-level to bring out the most positive behavior (though a huge pain in the butt to manage). There was ticket systems, sticker charts and marble jars to keep track of good behavior, lots of positive words of affirmation. And when my son was “Dr, Jekyll” our home life was running smooth. But once his trigger switched, it was all meaningless.
Our doctor even had us attend a ADHD class, which was useless since he wasn’t ADHD. But with hope we tried to apply what we’d learned.
Besides parenting techniques, we tried removing food coloring dyes (which is everywhere), reducing sugar and increasing proteins. The doctors performed blood tests to make sure his thyroid was normal and they ruled out the possibility that he may have a tumor on his adrenal gland. We added fish oil supplements to his diet and tried exercising after school to exert energy. We even tried the game of chess in hopes of training his brain how to think ahead. We also were in therapy being given play-by-play direction on how to handle every situation that came up. But none of this worked. So when all systems failed, we turned to medicine for the first time.