Author Topic: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son  (Read 1063 times)

aquarius25

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Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« on: February 28, 2018, 11:01:45 AM »
So I know this is a weird place to look for ideas and input but hey you never know, right? Lol. I try to be open-minded and I have found some pretty remarkable people here so I am asking for ideas and suggestions on how to help my son with a struggle that I am fearing will lead him down a destructive path.

My heart is feeling really heavy today. My son struggles with reading. It is really hard for him because he doesn't have that inner monologue in his head. You know when you read something you kinda hear the words in your head. His brain is missing a step in the sequence and he is missing that step. He has done a program to rewire (yep, just like men are doing here, lol ,it is just for reading though) and the new pathways are still really new. He is in 4 grade, we home school. His little sister reads so much better than him in second grade and that just makes it worse. He is brilliant and so smart but this is a big struggle for him. I have been working with him on this for sometime now. Well yesterday I heard him start to fill with shame. He is starting to say things like  he is stupid, not good enough, and dumb. He is filled with the feeling of shame and inadequacy, he feels small and helpless. As a result I can see how this attitude is hurting him from recovering. His progress is slowing and so is his self confidence.

This whole thing, the emotions he describes at 10, they are the same ones that fueled my husbands pron addiction. I know if he keeps this up he will isolate (he is already showing first signs of wanting to but I am too  involved to allow that, lol) and from isolation porn and all kinds of other destructive behavior is a step away. As my husband pulled back layer after layer of his root cause in his recovery (and continues to do so) a lot of it started with these same feelings at this very age. I feel like I am witnessing the very first moments that shame and these base root cause feelings first ignite and I am seeing them in my son.

We are trying to be as encouraging as we can. I affirm him in so many ways, showing him so many areas that he is amazing and inspiring to me and others. I put him in activities that he is good at and can build confidence from. He just hasn't really found some good friends here that he can connect with. As a result I fear that I am just the mom, harping all her mom garb on him. I am wondering what else I can do? He is so amazing and has the capacity for so much. It breaks my heart to seem him suffering and harboring these feelings.

So does anyone have any ideas? Think back to when you were a tween and these insecurities were just starting to form. What did you need in that moment? I would greatly appreciate any feedback. I know this isn't totally porn related but hey, it's this a root cause for so many men that has driven them to their addiction. I am hoping to help my son avoid all of that hurt.


malando

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 08:04:19 PM »
I'm not sure I have any advice that would help with reading specifically, but I do recognise that position of being a child/teen with low self-esteem and confidence. When I look back now, I can see that what I needed was not so much words, but actions. My parents were not good at encouraging me in general, but even when they did, it sounded hollow and untrue to me. I think that what was lacking was doing things together as a family where I could show some of my abilities and feel proud to show them off. We never played sport together, we rarely played games together, we didn't work on projects together like painting a wall or something. I think that gave me the feeling that I wasn't very useful. Now I'm certain this doesn't apply to your family like it did to mine, but I would encourage you to do as many family activities as you can where you are all engaged and all showing your various talents. I think it's the only way to build confidence within the family unit, which can then expand into the wider world. Maybe you could think of a project where all of you have an equal role, but a distinct role and he can feel proud of what he's added to the project.

I actually think that seeing his sister doing so well with reading is probably very humiliating for your son. I would make real steps to separate that part of their learning - to the extent that he doesn't have to watch or listen to her read at all. I don't think it would be inspiring or encouraging at all for him. If he could be insulated from her reading (I know that's easier said than done because she wants to show off her wonderful skill too), he might be able to form his own relationship with reading that's not based on any comparison with his sister. I do think comparison with siblings can be very harmful. In a homeschool situation this is particularly difficult because they see so much of each other and there is only one other point of comparison. In this sense, it would almost be better if he were in a class with other kids just for reading - then he could see that there are other kids out there that struggle with reading, and he might even be a little ahead of some of them.

As always, take my thoughts with a grain of salt - I'm just free-ranging it here, based on how I felt as a child in my family.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:18:09 AM by malando »

aquarius25

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 09:46:17 AM »
Malando, thank you for  your input. We do lots of activities as a family and I agree that I think it is the one thing that makes the biggest difference. As far as separating while reading, it tricky when you homeschool cause they are always together. I have them do their out loud reading in separate rooms mainly because it's really hard to out loud read when another person is doing that right next to you, lol. My daughter doesn't really show off her reading skill she just picks out large books and happens to finish them quickly. She is second grade and reading Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I also want her to feel affirmed as well. I would hate to have her skill be diminished because her brother is having a problem. We try to be encouraging and explain that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. My son is amazing at math and that is an area that my daughter could use improvement, lol. So we try to explain that we are all different so comparing doesn't work because we are all to unique.

I love the idea of putting him in some sort of group that he can do on his own where he can show off his talents. Maybe I will sign him up for some stem classes or something without his sister. Thanks for that, that is a great suggestion. The other thing I started yesterday was giving the kids a big project they can do on their own. We have been restoring this old house and haven't really even started on the yard. So I am going to let the kids design the landscaping for our yard, lol. They have already started measuring and drawing up ideas. It is really cool to see their ideas and perspective.

Thanks again for the response.

DoneAtLast

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 10:11:00 AM »
The thoughts on confidence touch me deeply... my parents seemed to have an innate fear of making me feel too puffed up, and they did a good job of that!  Fostering individualism helps.  Someone bad at football can feel good because they're good at music, or someone bad at math drawing can feel good because they're good at poetry, and someone bad at reading can feel good because they're good at (insert your son's thing here). 

The overwhelming feeling I got when reading your post was that you should find some really good reading specialists.  This isn't me taking a dig at homeschooling.  Some of my favorite people in the world are homeschooled, and while I am not married or have children, I would love that option for my own children.  But, reading disorders are really tricky, and even people who specialize in it can be stumped sometimes.  We know about dyslexia or hooked on phonics, but it goes so much deeper.  Maybe you have to go through a few people before you find one that can really connect and help him, but it will be worth the effort if/when you find the right one.  Plus, treating it like a learning disability often helps children more than hurts.  Children adapt well and if they see a way they can work with their disability instead of just being frustrated and feeling "stupid", they can take that and run with it.  I've heard so many adults say that the most important person in their lives after their immediate family members was a teacher, and when that is said, it is usually a teacher that helped them through some disability.

Depending on your state, you can sometimes get vouchers/state assistance for this stuff.  One family I know that home schools (7 kids) has one with down syndrome, and he gets a visitor/helper once a week or so - the reasoning being if he went to public school the state would be paying for that anyway.  That stuff changes depending on state laws, though...

Free-man

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 04:45:34 PM »
In 2 years or less you will have to talk with him about sex. My parents never talked to me about it. School neither…I discovered with some school colleges trough mags. He will have his isolated moments of porn but you have to understand that he will be a boy in his puberty that he's discovering sex and pmo and mo is natural but don't excess. Girls are out there and love is everything in life.

Maybe some sport activities like marcial arts, karate or taekwondo would benefit him and would help with self confidence and will make some friend.
Family activities, Little trips, feed their cultural mind…museums, exhibitions, nature treking learn about plants, trees and animals… smile and laughing is very important.

About Reading problems I agree with doneatlast…you could talk with some especialists that can help him, maybe he has developed dislexia or hyperactivity…  and please don't compare his skills with her sister, neighbour, friend or anybody…it's frustrating and it hurts very much. Because he want to read but he can't and he sees that he's not at the expected level.

About develop his skills…I would highly recommend a book called The Element by Ken Robinson…it's absolutely amazing. You can check his TED Talks in youtube. He talks about education and skills that the children have but the System don't allows to develop and all of them losing in adults. He's looking for another kind of education system.

I hope I helped you.
Best regards :)


aquarius25

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 08:40:39 AM »
Thank you guys for your input! He has seen one specialist, that is how we discovered the issue in the first place regarding his need to rewire. But I can see that maybe visiting another would be good. As for the comparing, I think it is more something he puts on him self more than anything. I try to take the position of we all have strengths and weaknesses and that is ok. That is what keeps us connected to a community, so we can encourage each other and grow together. I like the idea of other form of education (obliviously because we home school, lol) I will check out the book recommendation and ted talk! I am always looking for ways to think outside the box for learning. I really appreciate all of the feedback given so much! I know this post isn't porn related exactly but I do think if I don't find a way for him to see, discover/ believe, and share is greatness then it could be something that turns into a porn addiction or some other form of coping that isn't constructive. In some weird cosmic way I am thankful (let me be clear I am not saying that I am glad my husband is a porn addict, lol) I am more giving thanks and seeing something good come out of this. If he hadn't had this addiction I probably wouldn't have been so educated on these things. I have read and learned a lot about myself, my husband, and humans. I also wouldn't have had this community to reach out to. I may not have recognized these signs at this early stage. Funny how life works out. So today, I am thankful for all of the progress, and I am thankful for this community and the support of the people here! When ever you feel like you are low and that you don't matter remember you made a difference for me, and for my son too!

DoneAtLast

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 10:45:44 PM »
I should have figured it out that he's already seen a specialist.  I'm not saying one way or another if another one is needed (never met the person!), but I suppose it couldn't hurt.

"In some weird cosmic way I am thankful (let me be clear I am not saying that I am glad my husband is a porn addict, lol) I am more giving thanks and seeing something good come out of this. "

I sometimes say that about my own life.  Of course I regret all of the time I spent in front of porn, but what I have learned from the recovery and what I have gained spiritually is great.  O Felix Culpa!  O Joyous Fault! 

Do you have a local community of home schoolers?  It seems you might really appreciate a group like that. 

mousemat1

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 07:38:58 AM »
This is a societal issue. Making people feel inadequate because they don't show the same aptitude for something. School tests also contribute to this. You're son is good at something and I think it is useful that you are exploring what he is good at and helping him to really develop that area. This might help him cope with feelings of inadequacy. Perhaps he'll discover he's good at art while his friends aren't, for example. He's only a child so peer pressure is always going to bear down heavily on him. It wasn't until I was in my late 20s when I started to recognise my strengths and exploit them.

It's a fact that the more you do something, the better you get at it. You might never become the best but just try to find ways he can read for pleasure rather than as an exercise to improve his reading. Perhaps comics might help.

You sound like you're doing a great job encouraging him. The problem for most young people today is that they spend more time with their peers than with their family. While you can control and create a supportive environment at home, at school he is exposed to the insensitive comments that most children are capable of making. It's a real struggle. There are plenty of people who others have considered stupid, who went on to achieve great things. You're son has the potential to be one of them.

Regarding your worries about porn. If he starts self medicating with porn then this could develop into an addiction. The dopamine hit can help mask feelings of inadequacy and sadness. If at all possible find that thing that your son excels at. If he needs to get his dopamine hit try to make it come from an activity which can help him develop as an adult. It could be music, art, an interest in animals, making things from wood or metal or ceramics.

I wish you good luck.

aquarius25

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2018, 03:30:27 PM »
Update:
I have given a lot of thought to all of the encouragement and suggestions. We had a great weekend, yesterday he went to his first chess tournament (is recently started participating in a chess club and has been enjoying it) Yesterday was a big tournament, like 1000 kids. His division had 70 and he scored 30 out of 70! He was pretty excited since most of those kids have been playing for years and he has only been doing it for a short time. I could see how much confidence it gave him. The other kids in his club were really encouraging too! They were preparing him to not get his expectations too high and he ended up winning a few games! Later he ask if we could get some books on chess so he could read on some new moves. During his games at the tournament he wrote down every move he made during the game and the moves his opponents made and he studies all of the positions. The kids in his chess club are a few years older than him and he kept up with all of them. It was nice to see him connect with other kids (although they are a bit older like 13-15 and he is 10) it was just great to see him smile. He was having the time of his life and he really was proud of himself.
Sorry to brag just proud mama moment, lol.

mousemat1

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 03:50:11 PM »
Great news! Do you play chess yourself? Maybe you can discuss tactics with him to keep his interest up.

Free-man

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Re: Looking for some help and suggestions to help my son
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 03:59:26 AM »
Chess is a good idea and you train Brain and also i think is relaxing.
Or you can try with music, learn to play an instrument. He would go with some more kids and learn together, he would make friends there and girlfriend, who knows.