08-20-2017 02:49 PM
Hi @Orbit64, I hope the reunion is the beginning of a fresh start -try and keep the expectations pretty low at this stage and I guess just show your son that you also are ready to start afresh . The mental preparation will help with this. At the end of the day he is your boy and he has not been a good place. This has impacted the whole family. But he is your boy and hopefully has had some intervention that has enabled him to gain some new perspective and strategies.
Do you get some sort of report from the Adventure Therapy Program?
08-21-2017 11:56 AM
08-21-2017 12:15 PM
Yes @Orbit64 I think that is definitely one thing that we as parents can all agree on, wishing it was not so hard.
I'm glad to hear you guys had some signs of progress but sorry to hear how impacted you all are still, especially your wife. I hope you're all accessing some support.
I may have asked this already but is there a follow-up plan from the Outback people or some recommendations made for you guys?
I only ask because it can make a huge difference for everyone if you have a kind of 'continuum of care' in place.
08-21-2017 12:22 PM
Really am feeling for you @Orbit64. I understand the anxiety. It's like once upon a time it would take months to feel anxiety, but now it takes just one thing then you're back fighting for breath. I'm glad you can see the improvements and are positive about that. And I imagine your son felt somewhat awkward having come from a place he knew he was there to "get help" from, then back home. They find it hard to be venerable...instead react in ODD behaviour or anger. One thing I was encouraged to do today is make a list of behaviours and their consequences...instead of having to have a knee jerk reaction or running off the top of my head. Then you, as parents, and your son, can clearly know where his behaviour will lead him. Also on the flip side, clear reward system for good behaviour...but this needs to be each day, as they can't look past the day they are in. I don't want to go into what we are doing again but I am clear with my son where the boundary lies, which is easier considering his "physical position". And the couple of times he has flared back up, he has had those "physical" boundaries put back in place, allowing us to feel safer and less anxiety. He knows that he will receive only 2 warnings then the police will be called, for example, for breaking property or being abusive. Also that he will be expected to pay for any breakages he incurs.
I think your clear guidelines, Quote:
"So keeping low expectations was right.
We are keeping in the front of our thinking.
Firm, fair, friendly.
Have high expectations for him.
Have very firm boundaries."
are well thought out and wise. You do also need to protect your mental/emotional health and your property also. Are you both able, for example, to schedule a day off a fortnight or so to spend together to relax & recharge? I am glad your son has apologised after each incident, and that you have a moment to be able to praise him for that...I know too well how little opportunities there are to do that. Did he go to school today? Hope so Mine has, as he has been threatened expulsion if he misses one more day. We'll see if that works...hopefully. I hope you get enough support and the right advice as you continue. Thinking of your family. btw, I have had every professional say our choice of boundary was a good course of action, and no detriment to his mental/emotional/physical wellbeing...especially since he has greatly improved. Have you room for a tent in your back yard with your balmy WA weather
08-21-2017 03:36 PM
08-21-2017 03:44 PM
The report will certainly make for some interesting reading and will hopefully give you a little bit of insight as well as ways to go forward.
What kinds of things were you and your wife able to do in terms of de-stress and self care whilst your son was away? Can any of those things be continued now he is back? The anxiety your wife was experiencing can be so debilitating so Im hopeful you can both find a way to access some time out.
08-21-2017 03:47 PM
08-21-2017 04:44 PM
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