What can I say about Beyond Logic, Consequences and Control that doesn’t sound like I am being paid by them!? 🙂 Which I am not I promise.
For us, right now, where we are at, this is saving our lives! As dramatic as that statement maybe, it’s actually almost the only way I can write it. We have gone from being a house being dictated too, a house controlled by a single 6, almost 7 year old dictator to a house with a 4 person family in it, where one family member requires more structure and more patient parenting than the rest. I now have hope that our family will be ok, that we are all going to survive and thrive not just muddle through until our son goes to college and we are released from our day-to-day parenting responsibilities. Which sadly is what I wish for some days.
This doesn’t mean all our problems are solved, this however is hopefully the answer to one part of the puzzle. Our son is adopted from Central America and we became a family when he was 7.5 months old. Unfortunately for my son part of the process in getting to be our son involved a lot of heartache and trauma on his part. There are some really interesting studies by Dr. Bruce Perry on changes in the brain resulting from childhood trauma (its worth mentioning that it isn’t only related to adopted children so don’t click away from this page just yet.) Some biological children may indeed suffer from similar brain development due to traumatic births. Anyway this is where our story gets confusing even for me. I ask myself questions all the time, and the more I know the more confusing it can be. Does he have RAD? Does he have RAD and ADD, or is this one and the same? Does he have anxiety and depression because he has RAD? Or have the changes in his brain caused all 4 conditions, or are all 4 conditions really there, or is it one thing that can be called one thing or all 4 things? I know see, I am still really confused.
To make things simpler and for the sake of argument our latest round of tests concluded “ADD, anxiety, depression and RAD.” so for giggles that’s what I am working with when I talk about his diagnoses. However, there is also the part of me that isn’t convinced on any of it, and my thinking is more in line with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), lower emotional maturity and higher IQ, which we did have IQ tests done in the latest tests and his IQ is exceptionally high. He is in the 99%ile for his age group in many areas, which in itself, in my mind, is going to be cause for pause as it were.
Confused much? Me too, imagine how easy it becomes trying to help him when you know all this stuff is going on, but you don’t know why, how or what to do for the best. Leaving things in the status quo is just not an option – his behavior is not only disruptive and aggressive he also has some pretty deep and depressing thoughts which is too much for any child to deal with alone. So my thinking leads me to manage behaviors and for this, right now, Heather Forbes and the Beyond Consequences is filling that need.
I have read all three books written by Heather. The first is a complete review of how to implement the program. The second book is an add on to the first in my opinion and the 3rd book (my favorite) is other parents real life situations and the solution with an add on to say if it helped or not. We are also enrolled in her 10 week parenting class (online) which has so far been amazing (week 2) if nothing else we have ‘met’ 40 other parents with children just like ours! (and not all adopted it’s worth saying again!) Check out the reviews on Amazon to see more about what other parents think of this parenting method.
After reading so many books and trying so many things this is one of the more than workable parenting method in my humble opinion. The Beyond approach comes at parenting from a new perspective, it approaches the child’s behavior as coming from one of two places, ‘fear or love’. Once you understand that concept it becomes clear that much of what my kid is doing is fear based. His need for control is fear based. His transition issues are because he is afraid etc. It very quickly started to make sense to us that this was a new way of looking at why my son reacted the way he did. He is terrified much of the time.
BLC&C also explains something called the “stress model’ which totally helped us visualize how minimal our son’s stress window of tolerance is. For him a bad day starts with itchy socks and just gets worse from there. He has no tools to handle his stress and his behavior deteriorates the more stress he is under.
One problem we had at school was directly related to a child being moved from his class to another. It didn’t seem a big deal to anyone other than our son. We certainly didn’t get it at all but once we realized how much stress that put him under, how in his head he started to wonder “why did the move him? what if they move me? why would they move me? I wonder when they might move me? What will the new teacher be like? How will I interact with the other kids?” etc. etc. Once we realized why he was having a hard time, we addressed it, and his behavior settled down again, but on some level he was A: Stressed and B: trying to force the issue by acting out. Who knew parenting was going to be like a CSI episode 😀 Follow the clues, follow the clues.
Consequently now instead of his behavior I try to address his fear and once I reassure him that he is safe, or talk him through the steps of what’s about to happen he actually calms down. Last week our son had to have a tooth filled. I spoke to the dentist and explained the situation. The dentist was calm and reassuring, he allowed my son to touch the instruments, he gave him instruction to lift his arm if he wanted a break or if it hurt, and he walked him through each step before it happened and amazingly our son was totally fine, the whole thing was done in less than an hour. This from a child who previously had been so distraught at the doctor’s office during a little thumb stick to check his Vit D levels he had thrown chairs and terrified the nurses. So for us, this has proven to be one of the best parenting books we have read and one of the most workable methods we have tried!
There is a Yahoo group dedicated to working within this method. Search for the: Beyond Consequences Support Group or Daily Parenting Reflections group.