It’s been a few days since posting because, well, to be quite honest, we’ve been afraid to update everyone with what’s been going on.  However, we have managed to calm down a bit with some help on our perspective and are moving forward full steam.

Ok, so the big things that happened this week are Rip hitting his teacher and on a separate day being sent to the office for not listening to the teacher and talking back.  (family members, DO NOT freak out!)

Yes, Kirk and I were freaking out a little bit when we received the reports because this really is not typically how Rip would act at school.  As a matter of fact, in the past his teachers have very much enjoyed and gotten along with Rip famously.

So the first incident (the kicking/hitting – we’re getting conflicting stories so we’re not completely sure what happened) happened on the one and only day Rip forgot his backpack – don’t forget this means he forgot his snack and lunch.  Turns out Rip is extremely resourceful when he’s hungry.  Again we’re not exactly sure what happened because we’re getting conflicting stories but we do know that at some point Rip’s teacher prevented him from getting food from other students.  This essentially pissed Rip off and he hit (or kicked) the teacher.   By the way, Rip only forgot his backpack the one day and has come a very long way in taking on this responsibility in a very short 2 weeks.  We’re really hoping he gets the backpack all 5 days this week…go Rip!!

The second incident took place 2 days later.  I received a call from the office saying Rip was eating lunch in the office because he was in time out for not listening to the teacher and talking back.  The reason they were calling me was to let me know he was refusing to eat his lunch and they REALLY wanted him to eat (past experience has indicated everyone is much happier if Rip does not have low blood sugar).  So after talking with the office I immediately hang up and get Kirk on the phone so I can freak out with someone else.  Now I have Kirk freaking out with me and we still have no idea what to do.  I reach out to the absolutely fabulous Vicki Hoefle (mastermind behind the Parenting On Track Program) and within 30 seconds am at ease.

Vicki has many years of experience and has an amazing way of helping the person freaking out to put things into perspective and be able to address the issue calm and logically.  So, basically what Rip is doing is testing his boundaries.  Since we began this program we have stopped controlling Rip and started teaching him and treating him with the respect he deserves.  Unfortunately, this new behavior that he is used to at home hasn’t necessarily transferred over to the classroom.  So he is back in a controlling (probably un-respectful) environment…and in this position without any clue how to handle himself..since Kirk and I have neglected to teach him.  Rip is in process of learning what his new boundaries are and how to have self control.  Basically he’s still going through de-tox.

Now Vicki provided us with more thoughts/insight and our freaking out perspective is a bit more calm and rational.  My favorite thought Vicki provided us with was that it’s GOOD that Rip is saying ‘No’ or talking back.  I know, first time I head that, I thought, “What???”  But it makes sense.  Rip is having the courage to not be a puppet; to not let just anyone manipulate him; but to think for himself!  How amazing is that…especially at 5!  This kid is strong and going to be a leader!

One very important thing we are learning early on in this program is that what Rip does now is just practice.  We’re thankful that he has the time to practice getting these skills right now so when the really tough stuff comes at him (puberty, drugs, drinking, etc…) he will have the self control, skills, resources to handle it and handle it well.

I know this blog is supposed to be about our journey, but we have to give our thanks to Vicki and Parenting On Track for helping us through it.  Parenting is so much harder than anyone can ever explain to you until you are in the middle of it.  And by then, we are so blinded by love for our kids we can’t think rationally!  After just two weeks of this Program, Kirk and I are feeling more confident as parents and are seeing amazing results in just a short amount of time.  Don’t get me wrong, we have a long ways to go (another 13 years for Rip) but for the first time in 5 years, we feel like we are moving in the right direction.

Ok, time to go watch Week 3 video (Timeline For Training – you can watch it here).  This is going to be a really good one…can’t wait!!