Monday, September 14, 2009

Regression

This is for all of the adoptive mommies and daddies. I set out on this blog with more tenacity once we started the adoption of Sir Tariku because I wanted to be honest. I wanted an honest look at adoption (or as much as possible while still preserving his personal story and some things that I want to be just his). I think I've done a decent job at that, most of our adoption has been roses. We've been blessed beyond measure with that.

Zach and I have recently started to notice just the slightest bit of regression. As most adoptive parents (APs) will tell you, it's incredibly difficult to establish whether it's "normal" child behavior or behavior that has underlying messages. Truly, what we've seen in Tariku recently probably wouldn't even be on a lot of APs radar but...

Lately Tariku just isn't as great about listening. It's strange because it's quite obvious he's not doing it just to disobey us. He honestly always seems surprised that we caught him. For instance, tonight Zach was coaching his soccer. Zach said, "Okay everyone run to me, don't kick the ball just leave them alone." Tariku kicks the ball. Zach says, "Tariku, I said leave the balls alone, just run here." Tariku takes 2 steps and then kicks the ball. When Zach tells him to sit out for a bit he just seemed like that was perfectly normal thing. Very strange.

I can pinpoint the beginning to one thing. Preschool. He loves preschool, he really does. Every morning he's excited to go, though he has voiced his concern over the fact that he hasn't learned anything and can he please just go to Kindergarten so he can start learning to read? But of course my mind starts thinking about the fact that preschool might be a little too close to what the care center felt like for him. Maybe he's regressing because of that. Too many emotions coming out that he can't quite identify and/or verbalize.

Like I said, it's nothing big but it's maybe something big. For Tariku not to listen is pretty big. He's usually the one that gets in trouble because he listens to things that aren't his business. So we're not sure what to do about that. We tried taking toys away but that honestly just doesn't affect him. I think time outs/ins might be the way to go with this one, he so hates being taken out of the action. The hard part is that I don't want to punish him if it really is about feelings he can't vocalize. I tried asking him why he is doing it? Is he sad or scared? Does he not understand when we tell him things? He said, "Because I want you to take my toys." It's quite clear he doesn't quite understand the whole deal.

So what to do fellow APs? This whole parenting thing is so very humbling.

So is his beauty, by the way.

7 comments:

AnnMarie & Nick said...

How freakin' cute is he? No advice but I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say. I will tell you that in the last 2 or 3 months Geremu is having similar problems listening and I've tried so many different things without any success.

This kid of mine just might be in a parent/child swim class when he is 18. Not because he hasn't mastered the swim skills but because he doesn't listen. Everytime instruction is given he conviently goes underwater.

cathy said...

so, so strange that you posted this, as z has recently regressed in the behavior dept. he's talking back to me (not his dad) and wanting to be in "control" a lot, like getting the last word in all the time. other parents might just think he's pushing the limits, but i think it's more. i'm trying to put a finger on it... perhaps it's kindergarten. i just don't know. he got in big trouble today for mouthing off to me--and didn't even realize he was doing it. then, after his time out, he pushed me away and didn't want to talk about it. SO unlike him, usually. it's breaking my heart, because it seems like he wants us to be mad at him. lots of long distance hugs to you... at least while i'm praying for my boy i can be praying for yours too. :)

Tarah said...

So beautiful!

Do you think he is way more comfortable now, and will push limits like most kids? I know it took a while for TT to even cry until she trusted us enough.

Hard stuff Tessi. I will be praying for you!

rebekah said...

Hmmmm..... yeah, this is tough stuff.

We started Matthew yesterday in preschool/ daycare. So far, no big deal. I won't for a minute believe it will continue this way.

Whenever we suspect some sort of regression or anything with Matthew, we reach back to High Nurture, High Structure. Lots of good attention, but also lots of guidance on behavior and keeping schedules.

You know, I've tried that asking thing with Quinn, when his behavior is off kilter, why he's doing it. His answers are bunk. He doesn't know. And if he doesn't and can't verbalize it, I figure most kids can't.

Bonnie said...

sometimes when something new (like school) starts in your kids life they need an outlet for the stress of it - for our adopted kids I think that need is greater. B. just started preschool - which she loves, loves, loves - but bedtime is a struggle right now )which is where her issues typically come out) I'm trying to be patient and wait it out as she gets a handle on everything.

Shannon- said...

yes he is a handsome one!

I have a suggestion although not a BTDT - I have had to implore it at preschool type situations.

If it stems from the difference in "authority figures"- someone at school acts like a mom (teachers) and then there is mom. And sometimes it can be difficult for them to balance and comprehend, with the both in the same room or which is the one I have to listen too.

We sit up purposfully a dynamic with the teachers ahead of time that would show that - as soon as mom shows up- teacher steps back and mom is the 'all powerful' one. (I'm phrasing it as if it was something threatening or a negative situation- but it doesn't have to be). It can be as simple as the teacher telling him to do something (before child knows you are there) and then when you enter and he sees you- you change direction and ask him to do the opposite/or something different. Teacher makes the point to differ to you/ either to pick up where he left off with initial task and then she repeats what mom says in a manner that "shows" teacher is defFER-ing to you. (a little alpha dog syndrom type scenario with no confrontation because teacher knows place)

We've had to emplore this only up to 2 times with my nephews. (it was not adoption related though) so perhaps all my typeing is for naught...

:) You'll figure it out. Momma's always know best.

Laura said...

Tough. But oh so cute!

I agree completely...so hard to know what is adoption related and what is normal kid behavior. My second bio-kid C just started kindergarten and it has been a terribly rough transistion for him. The others (adopted and not!) have been a breeze. So I have to think some things are related just to being different kids, different personalities.

As I've heard before from other AP's, the adoption issue adds another layer to the complexities of parenting. Not a good or bad layer, but a layer nonetheless. Humbling for sure!