What problems were you facing with your bipolar child?
My son was VERY hostile even as a baby. Temper tantrums happened at least twice a day, usually more. As he got older he got destructive. I remember him getting off the bus from kindergarten with his hair cut in patches so that he had to have a buzz cut to even it out.
He would get it my face and yell "f*** you" to me if he didn't get what he wanted, then he would go and tear up something in his brother's room.
He started setting fires. That really concerned us. So he was forced back into counseling which wasn't successful because he refused to participate.
He wrote on his bedroom walls all kinds of ugly things.
What was the best advice you got?
The best advice I got was to wait until we were both calm until we talked about it. And he had to make restitution to those he had harmed in anyway. It was good for him as I didn't beat the hell out of him like I wanted to and good for me because I didn't have to see his face until I calmed down. Also when he calmed down he was truthful about his part in whatever it was he was being punished for.
- I used this advice to talk to his teachers. He had a traumatic experience with a teacher pulling him by the hair to the office. He didn't tell me about it, another kid did.
- But with that exception, it worked beautifully. His teachers all put a desk outside and when he got unruly he got sent outside the room until he could collect himself and be part of the class again. The teachers said it worked beautifully for them because he would only be out there for 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops.
- It also kept me from punishing him when I was angry when I would be too strict.
Was it difficult to make use of the advice you got?
Yes, because he would be slamming thing around and I would have to send him back to his room. Also, I was very angry and tired of doing this on my own. my ex didn't support me and my current husband couldn't handle him either.
What long-term impact did using the advice have?
Hard to say. He has disowned me so I don't see him or hear from him, but I think it is what has made him successful in the Air Force. He is doing very well in there and he loves it.
What advice do you have for parents of bipolar kids?
Love them and be very demonstrative but don't put up with any crap from the beginning. You know the difference between crying because they need something and crying because they are being fussy.