Sunday, August 23, 2015


After years of being let off easy for shoplifting he is getting reamed over. She is threatening to have him arrested as our truck is sitting in the parking lot ready to head out for our first vacation in two years. He's terrified. THANK YOU Ace Hardware. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

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Is now confined to his room furnished with mattress, bedding, a bucket, and TP. Motion camera on door alerts us to any attempts to leave.

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Instead of cleaning the basement, he was down there watching hardcore porn on the iPad, bypassing the restrictions with stolen passcodes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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Dressed. Showered. Hid in bedroom until noon mustering up the courage to face the day. #incompatiblehats #lovingmom #watchfulguard via IFTTT

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How does one go on when one can’t go on? #cryingallthetime via IFTTT

Sunday, June 14, 2015

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@wearycook : #parenting. A fresh train wreck every day.

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@wearycook : It's as if he is doomed to the institution. Started in an #orphanage. Next stop #jail? #mentalhospital?

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@wearycook : Yesterday he stood right in front of me and lied "yeah. Mom said I could. She wanted me to". #Infuriating.

Encouraging words

"This isn't your fault, you lifted him out of a very deep and hopeless hole and as discouraging as this is to you, you are the best thing that has ever happened to him and furthermore I love you and you are a good good mom."

In response to my sharing that, if we could find somewhere else for Garbanzo to live, he would be gone. Endless trickery, deceit, stealing, lying. It's not gotten any better, in fact worse. I am so weary of having to always be monitoring, always watching, always suspicious. If I relax at all, he escalates. It's as if he has no internal monitor, and no interest in gaining one. I love him dearly but I am so tired. I can't keep doing this. 

Friday, November 14, 2014


He's upped the stealing from gum to pocket knives, family jewelry, electronics, credit cards and cash.  Where will it end?

Monday, August 25, 2014

stealing, again, and again

Garbanzo has an uncle that has invested a lot of time and energy in setting Garbanzo up with a mowing gig, mowing for both the uncle and the uncle's neighbor. We'll call him Uncle McGivor. Uncle McGivor's knife turned up under the bed that Garbanzo sleeps in over at his grandparents' house. That is, the bed he USED to sleep under, before he was banished from their house for stealing from grandma's jewelry box and lying about it.
What does one do with a child with such poor impulse control, such unreliable morals, that he steals from the his relatives? In a way, you could say that we have given up. Not that we don't care or that I don't lay awake at night worrying about his future, but that we have given up the idea that we have any control over this. I am powerless over my son's stealing. We tell him he has to chose what kind of man he wants to be, and that with choices come consequences. I'm still waiting to hear what consequences Uncle McGivor has in store for him. I would think he will be fired.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


again. more.

This time it was his Grandpa's class ring.

I am at a loss of what to do.  He is impervious to punishments.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

one thing that is working

Tater has a really hard time controlling her temper.  Anything that makes her mad makes her really really mad.  Not getting her way, being told no, being told what to do, being corrected, being asked to do a job correctly, these all make her mad.

When she is mad, she is consumed by the mad.  And the situation escalates into more and more bad choices.

Basically, she can't be around people, as she will engage them in anger.  So, obviously, she needs to be by herself until she can calm down.  It usually does not take long, and she can usually see that she was being unreasonable after she has become calm.

But getting her to go to her room usually became chaotic.  I'd say something like, "You need to go to your room until you can accept my decision." and she would shout hateful things and stomp and shout challenges and NOT GO.  And then I would stand up to take her and she would cry out that I was hurting her and whimper and do the whole kicked puppy thing and it would just go on and on.  She would lose control and (as James Lehman would point out) gain control, as I would back off on my resolve to ask her to go to her room.

But no more!

I give my kids printed lists (via OLLY) that show the day's responsibilities.  Included on each day is this:
COPYWORK: 5 times neatly and in cursive: When I behave inappropriately, Mom and Dad may ask me to go to my room to calm down so that I can correct my behavior. I need to go to my room without challenging, grumbling, stomping, and so on. When I am ready to apologize for my inappropriate behavior and am ready to be polite to people, I may come out of my room. (If you go to your room appropriately when asked, you don't need to copy this today.)

Now, if it wasn't on the list, and I assigned it when she acted up, there would be a big raging fit over receiving the lines.  But since it is on her list as default, and she can earn the right to skip it with good behavior, she choses that.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014


We've noticed with Garbonzo a strong correlation between the consumption of sugar and the increase of impulsive behaviors. For this reason, we closely monitor his sugar intake. After he's had sugar, he needs closer supervision and simpler tasks. We try to time the sugar intake for times where those accommodations can be made.

And when I mean impulsivity, I don't mean blurting out, or flickering lights, I mean pilfering and stealing. Those impulses are an issue for him even without sugar, but on sugar it's much much worse. 

We have relations that get this.  They've changed their sugaring and even they can see how that improves his behavior.

We also have relations that don't quite get this. We had hoped that they might honor the sugar restrictions just because we asked them to, but that's not really happening.   I think they honestly don't get it and are just trying to be nice to the poor deprived child, When Garbanzo spends time with them, they give him snack baggies full of chocolate chips and sodas and so forth.

This is a two-pronged problem: 
1.) Authority is Disposable if You Don't Agree with It.
The greater problem is that he sees them disregard his parents' wishes because they disagree and he takes it as license to do the same. This is HUGE as it may take weeks or months to re-establish the notion that our authority is not disposable.

It's the same thing we see after he comes home from camp. At camp, things are done differently.  Mom and Dad's ways are irrelevant at camp.  That's fine.  It's camp.  But the week after camp it is so hard for Garbanzo to re-enter the family that we ALWAYS take the week after camp to go family camping.  We are together, Dad is with us, every little twinge of blowing off authority is squashed immediately.  And there are so many fun things to do, so many pleasures around, that it isn't worth his while to maintain insolence.  But we can't go on a family camping trip every time he spends time with his Sugary Relations.  And thus far, we haven't found a manageable reset mechanism.

2.) Lack of Disclosure.
The other problem is that they tend to sugar him up at the end of the visit and then not tell me, so it has taken me awhile to figure out that after spending time with them, he needs a different sort of day.  If this was the only thing, I could live with it.  But the authority issue is trashing our home life.