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Parenting Issues Message Board

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BPmom....I am rather new here but let me give it a shot. Under the circumstances you are entitled to have a good's been a heck of a time with your daughter having this disorder. BTDT....I have had my share of cries too. It isn't easy watching the child you love going through this and also being the one that she displaces all of her inner turmoil on.

The thing that helped me through those times and continues to, is to separate the BP from the child. Your daughter is dealing with alot and until the meds are right she is going to have this type of behavior going on.

As far as your 4 year old goes you must show him that his negative behavior is not going to get him any extra attention. He is probably seeing that Amanda is getting lots of it when she acts up (which has definite biological components to it) and figures that he will get the same. You need to sit down with him when it is quiet and explain to him that Amanda has a problem in her brain that makes her act the way she does and the doctors are trying to find the right medicine for it. And that he doesn't have that problem and cannot act the way he does.....that you know that he must be upset that you have to spend time with Amanda when she is sick just like you do when he is sick. But that he is not and if he acts badly he will have consequences. There is a behavioral/responsibility plan in which you list what behaviors are a problem the top 6. EG: no cursing, no physical injury to others, Do homework by 8pm each night... You are doing a weekly monitoring of this. He gets three strikes and then starts to lose priveleges. You list priveleges in order of what he enjoys the least to most. EG: Using phone, watching TV, using video games, playdates with friends, Using Ipod

Once he gets three strikes for each strike you take away a privelege. You start one and add another and he doesn't get those things until a new week starts again. Then you can set up a bonus if he doesn't lose priveleges like a special movie with mom or an activity that he likes as a reward. YOu can give him coupons and when he gets a certain amount he can redeem them for a dinner at McDonalds or something like that.

Also...even though Amanda is unstable you should set up a chart for her as well. IT will have to be somewhat modified but she needs to know that there are consequences to her bad behaviors and that there are rewards for improvements.

Just a suggestion but the therapist that met with us made it quite clear that children with Bipolar need structure and clear expectations. And that if they do not meet them that there will be consequences. And for a week of good behavior there will be a reward. For my daughter it was a day out shopping, a haircut, a manicure, having a friend to stay overnight, or renting a DVD.

YOu need to tell Amanda that it isn't and excuse whether you have Bipolar or not to misbehave....that in the world if she does something wrong even though she has BP she will still be responsible for her actions and can end up in jail and that she needs to know that she must work on making sure that she doesn't allow her behavior to get her into trouble or hurt somebody else.

When she yells at you disengage yourself as much as possible. LEt her know that her words are hurtful and that you are not going to tolerate it. If you must remove yourself from the room and if you must let her know that you are going someplace until she calms down.

I realize that there will be times that you may not be able to do this if she is that much out of control but when you disengage she will have to work it out for herself. And many times they need to learn how to do that.

So no more coming down on are a great mom and someday Amanda is going to tell you that. Right now she is too consumed with trying to figure out how to get through all that is going on inside of her mind.

I read a book to my daughter to help her understand what Bipolar is and it might be a way to explain to your son what is going on with Amanda. IT is called "The Storm in My Brain" and if you do a search you will come upon a PDF version to download right on your computer. Check it out.

Meanwhile, be kind to yourself....and don't be saying that you are a bad mom. Your daughter's having BP has nothing to do with your parenting.

I will check in with you tomorrow and just wanted to give you some positive thoughts to get you through the night. Try to get some rest.....most likely you aren't doing that and you need to as much as you are able to.

Hope that next time you post it will tell us that you are feeling better and that Amanda is too.

~ IG:)

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