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It has been quite the year for our family. So many things have happened, some good, some bad. And we still struggle with many daily things. Often I think that things are going really well and I can relax a little, then something comes along to throw a bump in the road and we have to adapt. And while that is just how life is, parenting a child with low self-esteem and multiple issues can make every little daily thing just that much harder to navigate.

Monday we met our son's new paediatrician. He seems very nice and I feel he is a really good fit for my son. He is open to communication and seems genuinely interested in finding ways to help my son, rather than just medicate him and push him through his appointment. On the other hand, he did voice concern about how he felt Maddox's medication hasn't regulated him enough to function completely well during the day and has expressed that we should try a second medication to help and see if we can get him stable enough before high school comes around this fall.

High school for my son gives me anxiety. He will have a different teacher for each subject. There is daily change of timetable schedules and activities and my son does not deal well with change. He craves stability and routine. I am hoping that his schedule will not give him too much anxiety as he navigates through the next 4 years. High school classes, teachers and kids can be hard enough to deal with and then throwing in any learning issues just magnifies the problems.

Last night, my son started his 2nd medication that was prescribed. He will now take his pills in the morning and a different medication at night. He expressed his anger at taking another medication saying how he will never be himself now since he will be medicated 24 hours a day. My mommy-heart is breaking. My wild, full-spirited, high-energy boy who struggles so much feels that he is being medicated so that he cannot be himself. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Last week my son got in a fight at school. A 'friendly' snow ball fight turned negative very quickly, resulting in my son and another boy throwing punches. Both boys were addressed and had the same punishment. Although my son sees it as everyone picking on him, or giving him worse punishment than the other boy. I cannot help him see that there is no difference, or at least I don't have the tools to help him understand. And that day he texted me from school about the fight and his punishment and told me that all he wants to do is come home and sit in his room with his dog because his dog is the only one who loves him and doesn't treat him badly. My mommy-heart is breaking. And my son is not an innocent victim here, that's not what I'm trying to convey at all either. He is totally responsible for all of his actions and more often than not, my son can be very cruel with his words and provoke someone to retaliate against him because he doesn't understand how his words can hurt someone. How do you get a child to stop saying mean, cruel things to others when he doesn't understand they are mean and cruel and make other people angry? We need to find our balance.

Over the course of the last couple years, hockey has been an issue for my son. Between coaches who don't understand him and his demeanour, to players who make fun of him or alienate him, the sport that my son has played since he was only 4 years old has become more of a negative experience for him and causing more anxiety as the days go on. My son loves hockey. He has watched his favourite players and knows how many points they have and follows them. He has a big net downstairs with synthetic ice to practice his One-Timers and slap shots. And now my son feels that the best solution to his anxiety is to just quit hockey so he won't have to deal with coaches or players who don't understand him. And this breaks my mommy-heart so much. My son is quite competitive and loves to play hard and win and try his best. I loved watching him play (as I've watched all my kids in the activities they do from karate, hockey, football and others) and I love seeing him smile on the ice or on the bench with his friends. For him to give all that up because he feels no one understands him or will work with him just hurts my mommy-heart. And I can't make him play the game he loves and give him the tools he needs to deal with all his feelings and issues that hockey brings. We've tried Minor Hockey and switch recently to Rec Hockey in hopes that the decrease of stress would help his anxiety, but his competitive nature confused him and why his teammates weren't as driven as him to play hard and win. So now he feels there is no balance for him in hockey. And if the solution for him is to give it up, then I will support him and help him find something that he enjoys and can participate in regularly that will give him the same joy that hockey used to.

Now logically I know the solution to this problem, as any reasonable parent would. Get him into see someone. Talk about his feelings, problems, issues and let him know that medication is to help him focus and give him an advantage in school and at home rather than 'change him' or 'change who he is'. His medication isn't to make him something else because no one likes who he is but rather to help his struggles. And I've tried so so so many different people. The problem is my son has deep-rooted trust issues. I am honestly not sure where this stems from, as he has had these issues since birth. He doesn't like outsiders, he doesn't trust psychologists, doctors or anyone on the outside of his small circle. Even when some friends and family are especially nice to him or give him attention or gifts, he asked me what their reason for that is. He thinks everyone has a motive and does not genuinely believe that people like him or want to help him. If I could find that 'magic person' who he trusts and will talk to I would have by now and he would be seeing them regularly. Sadly, that person may just be me. And I don't have the right tools to help him. Just my mommy-instinct. Which means I have to try and get the tools.

We have recently been enrolled in the FSCD program in Alberta here. Thankfully, they have a few things for us to help with my son and I have been able to be registered in an online program called Triple P. I haven't divulged much into yet, but essentially it's an online course so parents can take different modules to help them parent their children who have difficulties at home or school. And this is all at no-cost. So I will begin this online course in hopes that I can gain some understanding to help my son with his negative feelings and turn them around. And I pray that soon we can find our balance. Because we need this in order to be healthy and happy at home for our entire family.

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