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"normal" teen issues in PANDAS remisssion


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my older ds, much less PANDAS symptoms, is 11.5 - entering middle school Sept. PANDAS ds is 9, entering 4th next year. I went to a great seminar yesterday on the adolescent brain and high risk behaviors, why that brain is so vulnerable.

 

curious for thoughts, ideas, stories, etc from those with teens in remission on what you may have done differently and/or the same when working with kids in preparing them for peer pressures and experimentations for drinking, drugs, sex etc of the teen years.

 

I have much more concerns for younger ds -- much more vulnerable from many angles -- stronger vulnerable PANDAS brain, 2E learning issues and basic personality -- but I feel I need to figure out how to appropriately work with older ds in fighting my own urge to use his social anxiety issues to keep him safe. I've worked hard to help him fight his sense to keep in his shell in some situations and now feel I'd rather have him in that shell at times as a teen - :wacko: .

 

thanks!

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Smarty -- I find this is one of the hardest issues DH and I face: pushing DS to move outside his comfort zone and thus not allow any anxieties to hold him back, while at the same time reinforcing (but not putting a barbed wire fence around) the values, morals and basic self-protections he needs in the face of various peer pressures.

 

In our case, thus far anyway, I've been called upon to do more of the pushing than pulling back. DS is prone toward always striving to do the "right" thing, and since he's been in school he's been inundated with "Say No to Drugs" campaigns and assemblies, safe sex education in junior high, and safe driving, etc. in high school. And, quite honestly, these programs/syllabi seem to be designed for "the lowest common denominator." The language in the materials and used by the instructors, in our experience, have been so pedantic, so narrow, so inflexible, with frequent use of the words "never" and "don't" -- trying to get through the thickest skulls among them, I suppose. So the harsh, take-no-prisoners ideas about all of these potential "evils" were put on the table by teachers and strangers, and then it became our job to reel DS back in to the real world. He became so wound up about personal safety on the heels of a health class in junior high, in fact, that I had to "go rogue" on him and deliberately "break the rules" to loosen him up a bit! <_< He once wanted to call the cops to take him home, rather than get in the car with DH and me, after a dinner out at which DH and I each consumed 1 cocktail over a 4-hour period! During that same time period, he was prone to backseat driving that would drive one insane, watching our speed, our turns, our signaling, like a hawk! I actually kicked him out of the car one time and made him walk the last 3 blocks home, I'd so had enough! :P

 

Some of my friends call me the "anti-mom" because I'm heck-bent on modeling some provocative behavior/language for DS -- in a safe way and safe environment -- so he doesn't want to curl into the fetal position when he encounters it out in the world! I don't want him to be socially stigmatized or ostracized for being such a "straight arrow" or a "goody-2-shoes," so while it's fine (and applauded) by me if he never swears in public, I also don't want him turning up his nose at people who do or making snap judgments about someone because they said H-E-double-hockey-sticks in a moment of frustration. Or decide that he no longer likes his once favorite band (Green Day) because he sees an interview with the lead singer in which he confesses to smoking pot. The world is not black and white, people are not black and white, and good people make bad choices occasionally while a person that you may initially think is "SO not somebody I'd want as a friend" can surprise you and save the day!

 

In our case, I think it's all working out. He's finally loosened up and taken to my insubordinate nick-names and wisecracks with good humor, and I no longer cart around a Junior Driving Instructor in my passenger seat! But he's also stated definitively that he'll never get into any of his friends' cars with them if they've been drinking, and he's elected to not drink at all (ever, he says, but we'll see -- the kid won't even drink carbonated beverages, so I think he might stick to this one, at least for a while yet). It's a daily process here, one we tailor to fit the specific circumstances, attitudes, etc. that appear in the moment.

 

I know you'll figure it out as you go along . . . you have a great relationship with your boys, and you know how to reach them. The "basics" are likely to be put out there, whether you like it or not, by the school, clubs (like Boy Scouts) or religious affiliations, and then it'll be up to all of you to further tailor the messages, hone them to reach each boy in a way that suits them and prepares them to be safe, independent and self-sufficient in the world.

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THANK YOU, Nancy!

 

My DS is almost 12, and yes, the world does not see the grays that are so prevalent out there. I find myself saying a lot of "some people do this, some people do that"."Our culture expects this, but in other cultures its different...", "In the past,....", "you can always change your mind", etc to show the range of grays. I'm trying to do this early, before true adolescence and puberty hits.

 

Saw a new primary physician doctor this year, and the man spent 5 minutes stressing the importance of handwashing at all times -- before eating, after play, after petting the cat, after this, after that, after each breath you take. just about. Fortunately DS does NOT have contamination OCD, but I never know how these things might morph and I wanted to clamp my hand over this doctor's mouth and say NOT ALL KIDS ARE COOKIE CUTTER THE SAME! (Fortunately, no repercussions).

 

But yes, this disease turns parenting on its head. Thanks for articulating it so well!

 

.

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My DS15 has follows very rigid rules of social behavior and it's mostly based in his OCD.

 

When we went to Rothman last winter for ERP therapy, his therapist actually had him practice breaking social rules by cursing and even telling little white lies. He did this to demonstrate to my son that nothing bad would happen when he broke minor social rules. My son was sure that God would strike him dead or something else horrible if he broke a rule (e.g. No foul language, no lying).

 

He still struggles with grey areas and he holds everyone around him to the same standards he holds himself.

 

I don't know what this looks like in the real world, as he is too physically ill to attend school currently and interacts with only a few peers.

 

Smartyjones - not sure what advice to give you. But I will say that if there's OCD involved, you do have a more difficult job of teaching right from wrong but acknowledging that not everything in life is black and white. When you figure it out, please tell me :D

 

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Dear momentsOCDson,

 

Gosh..... Your post hit the nail on the head on so many different levels around here. I know it's not funny but almost had to laugh about your cocktails with dinner comment. My son reacts the exact same way..... I also worry that my son will ostracize himself from his friends just because they use a few choice words and such. My son is going in eighth grade this year and an incident happened last year where the kids were trying to pressure him into saying a "bad word" because my son had said to them "I have never cussed" so of course the told him he needed to say this or that. Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of peer pressure, and I am glad he did not do it just because they were teasing him, but just hoping little stuff like this does not make him an outcast either. He is so straight and narrow I also sometimes just wish he would lighten up. I want him to enjoy his childhood without so much worry. I often wonder if he will become a priest when he grows up.

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My boys are huge fans of the Big Bang Theory and Friends. I often wonder how DS sees Sheldon and Monica (both main characters with overwhelming OCD).

 

We often diffuse these all or nothing rules with humor and maybe even innuendo.

 

T. Anna - also an anti-mom

Edited by T.Anna
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Saw a new primary physician doctor this year, and the man spent 5 minutes stressing the importance of handwashing at all times -- before eating, after play, after petting the cat, after this, after that, after each breath you take. just about. Fortunately DS does NOT have contamination OCD, but I never know how these things might morph and I wanted to clamp my hand over this doctor's mouth and say NOT ALL KIDS ARE COOKIE CUTTER THE SAME! (Fortunately, no repercussions).

 

Oh yes! We have been there SO many times! Camp counselors, teachers, doctors, dentists -- all of them emphasizing the importance of good hygiene without a clue that DS would turn this into a Gospel of Soap and Toothpaste! <_<

 

For quite some time, he tended to react similarly to classroom instructions regarding assignment deadlines, warnings regarding cheating (looking at someone else's paper), etc. Anything that came out of the mouth of an authority figure was Gospel! Aarrgghh!!

 

Again, we just coached his powers of discrimination and constantly challenged the status quo . . . had him do some "reality testing" and gut checking. And there were times, also, when we would just come out and say, "You know things like that are said for the benefit of the average kid, and you're not average!" :P

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T Anna,

 

I have never seen the show, but the kids at school nicknamed my son Sheldon ( well actually nicknamed a mole on his neck Sheldon-7th grade boys). I finally had to go complain to the school after this went on for 5 months.... It was ridiculous and stupid. I wondered where they got that name from. Now I will have to watch the show. Thanks for the heads up.

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